The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Condensation on the insulation jacket of a duct running through a crawl space
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 14, 2017
Water vapor from the air condenses on air conditioning ducts in humid climates. It's as normal as poorly insulated bonus rooms making occupants uncomfortable or cigarettes causing lung cancer†. Condensation on ducts is most common in crawl spaces and basements, where the air is more likely to have...
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humidifier-indoor-humidity-mold.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 14, 2016
It's that time of year when heating systems start coming out of their summer hibernation. (Except maybe in Vermont. Michael Blasnik's Nest data showed that Vermonters are about the last to start heating their homes in Fall.) Then everyone starts looking for their lotion and lip balm. Gaps appear in...
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spray-foam-insulation-attic-humidity.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 26, 2016
Three weeks ago, I wrote about an attic with spray foam insulation and the interesting humidity pattern we observed in it. We placed data loggers near the ridge and floor of the attic as well as in the living space and outdoors. In that last article, I showed the dew point data for the four...
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filter-over-plenum-hole-ventilation-air-intake.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 5, 2016
I've seen some crazy things done to homes. It's usually someone's attempt to make things better. Sometimes that someone is a homeowner or other occupant. Sometimes it's a contractor. But it always seems to be a solution to a problem that creates other problems. It's just like they say: Our biggest...
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what-is-home-performance-google-search.png
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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frost-on-roof-heat-loss-to-attic-600.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 27, 2016
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the season of cold, it was the season of heat, it was the ignorance of what was right in front of us, it was the opening of our eyes, we had warmth in our homes, we had warmth in our attics — in short, the period was so like the present...
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skylight-solar-heat-gain-air-conditioning-load.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 13, 2016
Everyone loves skylights. Right? They bring so much light into a room they can turn a Seattle kitchen into a bright and sunny Florida room. Especially this time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere), having that extra light brighten even the darkest days of winter. But skylights have a dark side,...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on November 11, 2015
Danny Orlando, a manager in the ENERGY STAR program at the US EPA, walks the talk. He's been steadily improving the energy efficiency of his home over the past couple of decades and also monitoring his energy use data. The graph below tells the story.
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hot-dark-roof-infrared-image
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 26, 2015
The most contentious issue I’ve written about since I started blogging isn’t bad Manual Js. Nor is it endorsing government intervention by raising efficiency standards or improving energy codes. Incredibly, it’s not even whether or not naked people need building science. Nope. The topic that really...
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