The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

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Posted by Allison Bailes on August 9, 2016
I get asked a lot of questions about spray foam. Do I need an ignition barrier? Should I use open cell or closed cell spray foam? Will open cell spray foam really rot my roof? But the question I get more than any other on this topic is about whether or not the insulation on the attic floor should...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on July 18, 2016
I've got a record of 14 blower door tests on my condo. Many of them were during home energy rater classes, as we'd bring them here for the confirmed rating they needed to complete. The early ones were horrible! But I had a good reason. Our laundry room ceiling was half gone because of a water leak...
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disconnected duct unbalanced supply leakage
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 30, 2016
A lot of discoveries and research work over the past four decades have led to our current understanding of air leakage in buildings. I’ll mention a few here, but I want to focus on one: the MAD AIR paper by John Tooley and Neil Moyer. The full title of the paper was, Mechanical Air Distribution And...
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interstitial-pressure-field-mad-air-leakage.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 25, 2016
The word "interstitial" comes up occasionally in building science discussions. I think I've heard it a couple of times at conferences just in the past month. That may be because Joe Lstiburek was there. He's the guy who used that word 127 times in his doctoral dissertation, Toward an Understanding...
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bathroom-remodel-exterior-wall-insulation.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 23, 2016
When I began remodeling my master bathroom last month, I found the exterior wall ripe for some serious improvement. It had a number of problems, and I was excited to find them. It was worse than I imagined in some ways. The photo below shows the wall partially opened up.
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air-barrier-continuity-leakage-sealing.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 3, 2016
Professor John Straube is one of the smartest guys in building science. On top of that, I think he's the best presenter in the field. At the Air Barrier Association conference in Baltimore, he gave one of the best building science talks I've heard. Of the things he said, this statement really stood...
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bathroom-demolition-before-renovation.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 26, 2016
Last week I spent a lot of hours in my bathroom. I was sick. Really. I was sick and tired of having an outdated bathroom that was beginning to fall apart. So when my wife hit the road last Monday to drive across the country, I got out my wrecking bar. Here's what it looked like last Tuesday...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on February 29, 2016
Maybe you're a homeowner investigating how to make your home more comfortable. Maybe you're contractor (HVAC, insulation, remodeling...) looking to grow. Or maybe you're an artist looking for the latest trends in performance art. However you got here, I'll see if I can help you understand what this...
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new-tract-home-construction-green-building-advice.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 15, 2016
Let's say you've bought a lot in a new development and are having a tract home built. You want the home to be as energy efficient, comfortable, and green as possible. Your builder offers only a few options, like high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, but you want more. That's the...
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