The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Does compression of fiberglass insulation cause problems?
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 18, 2017
I've been guilty of perpetuating a myth. Last month I wrote an article in which I said installing insulation, "cavities are filled completely with as little compression as possible." But is compression really such a bad thing? When I posted that same article on Green Building Advisor, commenter...
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Blower door test during a home peformance assessment
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 17, 2017
Dick Kornbluth was an insulation contractor in Syracuse, New York back in the 1970s. Then he discovered home performance. It's really the logical place insulation contractors, HVAC contractors, and similar companies to end up. Rather than doing just one job to make a building better, he did several...
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Missed insulation and air barrier
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 16, 2017
The Atlanta housing market is booming again. I see renovations, infill, and tear-downs all over the place lately. There's a rebuild after tear-down happening now along one of my main walks. You saw a little about it already. Remember that house with the terrible joist blocking to the garage? Well,...
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Stick-built home with advanced framing
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 3, 2017
Most new homes in North America are built with sticks. The early home builders used bigger pieces of wood — timbers — and when the smaller dimensional lumber that we use so much today hit the market, they scoffingly referred to those new-fangled little woody things as sticks. So now our home...
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Air sealing the Build SMART wall panels with a sausage gun
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 13, 2016
If you want to build a superinsulated, airtight house, you run into some difficulties. How do you deal with the extra thickness of your walls and ceilings when you add all that extra insulation? What's the best way to ensure you hit your airtightness goal? And how do you do all that while keeping...
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loaa 2 insulation blown cellulose complete coverage energy vanguard
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 6, 2016
Everyone knows about the impact of burning fossil fuels on global warming. Maybe not everyone believes it, but scientists first started focusing attention on increasing carbon dioxide levels way back in 1827. The impact of insulation on global warming, however, is relatively new. About a decade ago...
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Insulation and Global Warming
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 21, 2016
At the North American Passive House Conference in Philadelphia in September, I gave a presentation on the global warming impact of insulation, an issue I've been discussing off and on since Alex Wilson wrote his paper on the topic back in 2010. In my presentation, I covered two different aspects of...
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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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spray-foam-insulation-attic-humidity.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 5, 2016
Spray foam insulation can solve problems that other insulation materials can't. One of those problems is moving the building enclosure from the drywall ceiling of a home to the roofline. By doing so, you bring the attic inside the building enclosure. But what happens to that attic space when you...
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spray-foam-insulation-roof-deck-cellulose-attic-floor.jpg
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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