The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Friction rate is the wronge name
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 12, 2018
Last year I wrote some articles on duct design and one of the topics I covered was this thing called friction rate.  At the end of that article, I discussed "How to think about friction rate."  It confuses a lot of people because it's the wrong name.  First I'll tell you why and then I'll tell you...
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Crazy ventilation duct system mess
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 25, 2018
I've posted a lot of crazy duct system photos here in this blog.  Remember "Release the Kraken!"?  How about "Two Jellyfish Mating"?  And about three years ago I found one that instantly became my new favorite duct disaster.  But those were all in fairly standard homes.  They didn't have any...
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A Make It Right house in New Orleans with serious moisture problems
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 13, 2018
Hurricane Katrina barreled through New Orleans in 2005.  The levees failed, flooding 80% of the city and destroying many homes.  The low-income residents in the Lower 9th Ward were particularly harmed by the storm, many losing everything they owned.  Two years later, Brad Pitt started the Make It...
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Dr. Bailes shows you how to talk like a building scientist
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 11, 2018
Everyone these days wants to be a building scientist.  It's the second most popular branch of the sciences, after all (the most popular being physics, naturally).  So today let's discuss how you can enhance your future in building science by learning how to talk like a building scientist. When I'm...
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Science podcast on 7 Minutes of BS
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 7, 2018
Dan Morrison was my editor when I first started posting some of my articles over at Green Building Advisor.  He's now on his own and one of the things he does is the 7 Minutes of BS podcast for ProTradeCraft.  If you haven't checked it out, get over there.  It's amazing.  Dan interviews a  lot of...
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Kitchen range hood
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 4, 2018
Energy efficiency is a gateway drug to building science.  When you really start learning about it, you come to the inescapable conclusion that there's so much more to making homes better than just saving energy.  A house is a system, you know.  There's moisture and comfort and indoor air quality...
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The Corsi Code, a breakdown of how you spend your life
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 31, 2018
Back in 2004, as I was immersing myself in the world of building science and green building, I took the US Green Building Council's exam to become a LEED Accredited Professional.  I bought their book.  I took a study course at Southface to prepare for the test.  And that's when I learned a...
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HVAC School logo
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 24, 2018
I love to share good resources and here's one you need to know about if you're interested in the nitty gritty of HVAC systems.  I'm talking about HVAC School, with their various channels like their daily Tech Tips email, YouTube videos, quizzes, and a podcast.  It's all free. Bryan Orr (shown below...
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Professor John Straube presenting on moisture physics at the 2018 Building Science Summer Camp
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 22, 2018
The 22nd annual Westford Symposium on Building Science (aka, Building Science Summer Camp) happened two weeks ago.  And it began with a bang, as Professor John Straube expounded on moisture physics for half a day.  I've now had the chance to hear him present on mechanical systems for low-load homes...
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Does the relative humidity have to be 100% whenever it's raining?
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 21, 2018
Serious question here.  Have you ever thought about what the relative humidity is when it's raining?  I've heard people say it's 100% because, well...because it has to be.  It's raining, dammit!  What else could it be? Not so fast there.  This is something we can actually look up on a weather app...
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