The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

ventilation energy enthalpy recovery ventilator erv humidity
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 25, 2017
"You know where this is going, right? Codes will eventually require balanced ventilation." I've heard people say this more than once in the past year or so. As someone who has been attending the semiannual meeting of the ASHRAE 62.2 committee, I've been skeptical. Then I read the new Aspen energy...
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Aspen, Colorado energy code
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 24, 2017
The city of Aspen, Colorado has bucked the trend. Well, actually two trends, but first things first. The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) introduced another pathway for code compliance using what's called the Energy Rating Index (ERI). Since the only thing that qualifies as an ERI...
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New home installation with sagging flex duct
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 19, 2016
Some people love flex duct. Some people hate it. Some of us are OK with it if it's done right. As I've documented here numerous times, many flex duct installations leave a lot to be desired. They sag. They're kinked. They're twisted around pipes. If there's something bad that can be done with flex...
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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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Stephen Hawking
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 18, 2016
There's big news this week. No, I'm not talking about the delayed opening of ski resorts out West because of the lack of snow. And, believe it or not, it has nothing at all to do with Donald Trump. I'm talking about Stephen Hawking's prediction that we humans have only a thousand years left here on...
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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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solar-electricity-photovoltaic-rooftop-modules.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 9, 2016
Supply and demand are two different things. When you think of an energy code, say the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), you probably think of demand, not supply. Conserving energy, after all, means reducing demand. It's related to supply only indirectly. As a result, you might expect...
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bed-of-nails-physics-class.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 4, 2016
You can go into just about any introductory physics classroom and you'll see that the students learn the same stuff no matter which school they attend. They study forces and motion, momentum and energy, electrostatics, and a host of other physics topics. They do lab experiments. They observe and...
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