The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

furnace combustion air intake duct spray foam insulated attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 5, 2015
A while back I wrote about the incompatibility of putting an atmospheric combustion furnace in a sealed attic. Most often the attic is sealed by installing spray foam insulation at the roofline, thus bringing the attic inside the building enclosure and turning it into conditioned space (directly or...
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asbestos duct tape health safety risk
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 23, 2014
Asbestos was a popular material for most of the twentieth century, mainly because of its ability to insulate and act as a fire retardant. In fact, it's still used heavily in some parts of the world, such as India and China. We know enough about the risks now, though, that it's banned outright in...
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attic insulation to go polystyrene boxes 1b
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 7, 2014
Someone got creative with their attic insulation!
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clark howard diy ways save energy bill
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 18, 2014
Clark Howard is the penny pincher's guru. My wife loves his radio show and website for all the money-saving tips he provides. Naturally, anyone trying to help people save money at home has to address energy use, and Howard does, too. Unlike some others, though, he's generally well educated on the...
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power attic ventilator fan gable vent
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 29, 2014
Three years ago I wrote an article titled, Don’t Let Your Attic Suck - Power Attic Ventilators Are a Bad Idea. Nearly a hundred thousand page views and 93 comments later, it's still generating lots of heat. I don't know why so many people are so defensive about power attic ventilators, but here are...
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bruce wilcox john proctor dry climate forum 2014
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 20, 2014
At the Forum on Dry Climate Home Performance earlier this year, I got to hear three building science experts talk about a really cool research project they've been working on in Stockton, California. Bruce Wilcox, John Proctor, and Rick Chitwood (Wilcox and Proctor shown in photo at left) filled us...
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spray foam insulation open cell roof rot moisture problem
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 16, 2014
Murmurs and hearsay about open-cell spray foam insulation have been gaining traction for a while. It rots roofs, people have told me. Not long ago, someone even told me that in Florida, roofing companies won't let their workers go up on roofs with open-cell spray foam because the roofs are so...
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hvac duct booster fan ice chest 1 600
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 7, 2014
Sometimes you see something in a house that splits your head open, revealing the little green pistachio head that sees the world in a completely different way. I love those moments! It's Stumpy, the duct amputee, which I saw back in '09, or the Kraken ductopus of Snellville from '07. These things...
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atmospheric combustion gas furnace
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 16, 2014
I get asked from time to time if a gas furnace dries out the air in a home and makes a humidifier necessary. I've written about humidifiers and psychrometrics before, but it's still worthwhile making this point explicitly. Even some people who work in the heating and air conditioning industry get...
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roof ice dam attic heat loss cute house
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 14, 2014
They say you can't fix stupid. They're wrong. When it comes to ice dams, we know how to fix what is the most common cause.† If you know a little building science, you can look at the photo below and know immediately what's going on here. Right?
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