The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

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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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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thermal-bridging-framing-insulation-r-value.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 29, 2016
We talk about R-value all the time. "I've got an R-19 wall," or "Code requires R-38 in my ceiling." But what are those numbers? As it turns out, when we talk about R-value we usually give the R-value of the insulation. That's the case with both of those statements above. But what's the real R-value...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 20, 2016
Well, I really stirred things up with my last article on insulation and global warming. My intention was to explain why Alex Wilson's results could be doing a disservice to the green building community. In the end, I was rightly accused of have done a disservice myself. So, here goes with part...
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wall-condensation-exterior-vs-interior-insulation-anthony-cox.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 4, 2016
A couple of weeks ago I caught up with Anthony Cox at the Air Barrier Association conference in Baltimore. You may know Anthony as the inventor of the House of Pressure, a great model for demonstrating backdrafting, zonal pressure differences, and other building pressure phenomena. Well, now he's...
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