The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

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Posted by Allison Bailes on October 7, 2016
Like many energy geeks, I track my electricity usage and costs. I've been doing it for decades. (Unlike Danny Orlando, however, I haven't stayed in the same house and watched as the home energy improvements kept lowering that usage.) One thing I've noticed in the past few months is that the...
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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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Posted by Allison Bailes on September 29, 2016
Solar energy has sex appeal. If you want to show the world you're doing something to reduce pollution, you put photovoltaic (PV) panels on your roof to generate clean electricity. Even better, you drive a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric car and charge your car's batteries with your solar panels....
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Posted by Allison Bailes on September 26, 2016
Yesterday I returned home from the North American Passive House Conference. It was great, as it always is. Wait. No, this was the best one yet. On the 10th anniversary of the first conference, PHIUS put on an amazing conference. It was the biggest one ever, I believe. As I flew home I pondered some...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on September 7, 2016
There's a ton of new construction and remodeling going on in Atlanta. On a lot near where I live, a developer tore down the old house and is building two new ones. This weekend, I took the opportunity to check out their progress on the first one and saw the mechanical system roughed in on the first...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on September 2, 2016
I've been working on my presentation for the 10th anniversary of the North American Passive House Conference. It's on the global warming impact of insulation, a followup to my latest article about Alex Wilson's work on that subject. One of the things I wanted to do was to see what difference it...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on August 29, 2016
Air conditioner sizing rules of thumb must die. That's what I wrote in my last article. The most common rule of thumb is to use 500 square feet per ton to determine the size of air conditioner needed. Or 400 or 600 or some other number in that general vicinity. In my article, I showed a graph of...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on August 26, 2016
We design a lot of heating and air conditioning systems at Energy Vanguard. Alexander Bell, who goes by Andy, is our design wizard, and I've been getting involved with the process again lately. When I talk to potential clients, a lot of them tell me their contractor wants to size their air...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on August 23, 2016
Remember my bathroom remodeling project? I took the liberty of gutting our outdated, decaying bathroom while my wife was out of town in April. I found some interesting air leakage pathways when I opened the walls. I fixed that. I found termite damage. I fixed that. Our 1970 condo didn't have an...
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