The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

A dirty air conditioner coil can create bad odors
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 3, 2019
I never read Robert Fulghum's book, All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, but I have a clear memory of learning about one thing in the book:  Most of the dust floating around our homes is actually made up of skin flakes.  Now, I don't know if that memory is accurate (maybe it wasn't...
3 Comments | Read/write comments
Using a high-MERV filter doesn't have to result in a large pressure drop
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 23, 2019
Last August I began a series of articles on filtration and indoor air quality.  You can find the list of them at the bottom of this article but let's do a quick review here:  We spend a lot of our time in buildings.  A lot of indoor pollutants are generated in the kitchen and not removed by the...
30 Comments | Read/write comments
A heat pump is an air conditioner with a reversing valve
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 29, 2019
So we've looked at a simple way to estimate the heat pump balance point.  If you also read the comments of that article, you should be aware that there's more to the actual balance point than what I wrote in the article.  Today, though, let's look at two factors that can affect the balance point....
21 Comments | Read/write comments
At the balance point, a heat pump can supply the same amount of heat as a house needs
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 26, 2019
As the outdoor temperature drops on a cold day, a home's heating load increases.  At the same time, decreasing temperature means less heat in the air for a heat pump to pump indoors.  And at one special temperature, the capacity of a heat pump equals the heating load in the house.  That temperature...
13 Comments | Read/write comments
The 2019 Home Performance Coalition national conference is in Chicago. Be there!
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 22, 2019
My first conference after I officially left academia and got into the world of home performance and building science was in 2004.  Since then I've been to a whole lot of conferences.  There are even more building science conferences I could have gone to.  But fifteen years down the road now, I have...
0 Comments | Read/write comments
Tags:
A heat pump pumping heat in winter
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 19, 2019
Since more people are using heat pumps these days, even in cold climates, let's spell out the three different types of heat that conventional heat pumps provide.  Why not!  We've just recently covered the three main sources of home heating and then stepped back and looked another group of three...
45 Comments | Read/write comments
Low indoor relative humidity in winter is common
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 15, 2019
I'm going to go out on a limb and make what you may think is an outrageous statement:  Water is the most interesting substance in the world.  Some of you may immediately respond, "Oh, yeah!  What about beer?"  (Or wine or Sidecars, Negronis, or Sazeracs or whatever your drink of choice is.) ...
22 Comments | Read/write comments
Abundant pressure drops in flex duct installation
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 8, 2019
"Don't sweat the small stuff," they say.  You know what, though?  That may be great advice for your emotional life but it's terrible advice for just about anything to do with buildings.  Whether you're designing them, specifying materials, putting them together, or fixing them later, buildings have...
2 Comments | Read/write comments
3 sources of heat in a Passive House or other high-performance home
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 31, 2019
Earlier this week I wrote about the three main sources of heat in homes.  At the end of the article I threw in a fourth one, solar energy, but then I dismissed it as something that people tried in the 1970s and '80s and have since abandoned for home heating.  And that's still mostly true, but my...
16 Comments | Read/write comments
3 main sources of home heating
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 28, 2019
It's wintertime in the Northern hemisphere and that means we're heating our homes.  The new year started off a bit on the warm side, with the temperature at nearly 70° F (21° C) here in the Atlanta area.  In terms of heating degree days (HDD), we've gone from about 12 HDD/day at the beginning of...
24 Comments | Read/write comments

Pages

Subscribe to the Energy Vanguard Blog