The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 18, 2016
I always look at the bathroom ventilation when I'm staying in hotels. Last month I was at the Air Barrier Association conference in Baltimore and took the photo below. Can you tell anything about what might be happening by looking at it? I didn't do a thorough investigation, but here's what I see.
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humid-climate-conference-banana-trees.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 8, 2016
The first ever Humid Climate Conference is being held next month in Austin, Texas. Kristof Irwin and I have been kicking this idea around for a couple of years now, and he's making it happen. It's a one-day event on 6 May with some great speakers. It's being hosted by the Austin chapter of the...
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water-resistive-barrier-wrb-uv-exposure.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 6, 2016
A water resistive barrier (WRB) provides protection against water damage for water that gets behind the cladding of a building. But what if it doesn't really resist water? I've written a lot about installation problems that can lead to compromised water resistance. (See the article I wrote last...
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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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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 1, 2016
Conventional thinking says putting insulation in a building prevents heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. This comes from the 19th century physicists who invented the laws of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics in particular gives us the impression that insulation can be a good...
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window-flashing-moisture-management-house-wrap.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 30, 2016
I'm seeing more and more projects with house wrap where the installers do the window details properly. Or at least better. The photo below shows the house wrap lapping over the flashing tape at the top of the window. Often it's the reverse. And the house wrap in those cases is not only beneath the...
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dehumidifier-heat-water-vapor-condensation-evaporation.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 18, 2016
Last Friday I did a workshop on HVAC design and installation best practices for the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico. They had a great crowd in attendance. I told them why I was on crutches (the polar bear story, the ladder story, and the basketball story). I explained the importance...
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human-brain-Joseph-Vimont-500.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 8, 2016
I've been reading a lot of BS lately. No, I'm not talking about blood sugar. It's brain science that's captured my attention. Understanding how the human brain works, why we do the things we do, and what common illusions often lead us astray. What I want to talk to you about today, though, is foam...
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vw-bug-engine-rebuild-power-persistence.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 4, 2016
In the summer of 1981, my grandparents gave me a 1961 Volkswagen Bug. I had just gone through my sophomore year at Centenary College of Louisiana without having a car and really wanted to have one for my junior year. The only trouble with this purple car is that it had a blown engine. And I didn't...
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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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