The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

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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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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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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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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Posted by Allison Bailes on February 26, 2016
My friend Perry had lived in a nearly hundred year old house for six or seven years when we encapsulated his crawl space in 2005. It was a typical old country house. Originally built on piers, someone had filled in the gaps and turned the foundation into an enclosed, vented crawl space. There was...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on February 24, 2016
When Stephen Morrison of MoreSun Custom Woodworking sent me the photo below, my reaction was, Wow! Just wow! This duct retrofit is absolutely stunning. It's an elegant display of creativity unhindered by knowledge. Can you see what they've done?
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Posted by Allison Bailes on February 17, 2016
Now's your chance. The inaugural train-the-trainer session on the Water Efficiency Rating Score, WERS, is happening in Santa Fe, New Mexico in just three weeks. Mike Collignon from the Green Builder Coalition has been doing an amazing job getting this new program off the ground. Last year I wrote...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on February 15, 2016
Let's say you've bought a lot in a new development and are having a tract home built. You want the home to be as energy efficient, comfortable, and green as possible. Your builder offers only a few options, like high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, but you want more. That's the...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on February 8, 2016
Every year on New Year's Eve, I head over to some friends' house here in the Atlanta area. They have the best party around—Possum Drop—and I've been going for nearly a decade now. As midnight approaches, the newly-crowned Possum Queen leads the countdown. The possum is lowered slowly onto the fire...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on February 5, 2016
New Orleans is the home of jazz, Mardi Gras, and rot. I grew up about 70 miles southwest of NOLA so I know a little something about the rain and the swamps and the muggy air. It makes it tough on buildings because the moisture comes from so many directions, but it is possible to control moisture...
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