The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

building science cfl compact fluorescent light easy bake oven
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 27, 2011
I get asked a lot of questions about windows, air conditioning, and other energy efficiency topics: What size HVAC system should I install? Is it true you can seal a house up too tight? Can I use a CFL bulb in my Easy-Bake Oven?
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The new Georgia energy code bans most power attic ventilators.
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 15, 2011
A couple of months ago, I wrote about why you don't want power attic ventilators in your home. Whenever I've written about this topic, it just seems to set some people off. I get comments like, "You really should do more research before you post blogs like this," and, "You don't know what you are...
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power attic ventilator building science infiltration air leakage
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 8, 2011
Trade shows can be both educational and infuriating, and there’s one product I see at a lot of trade shows that fits easily into the latter category - power attic ventilators. The variety of this device that’s been popular lately is the solar-powered attic ventilator. Using the Sun to make the...
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spray foam insulation on roofline for building envelope relocation
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 23, 2011
Putting spray foam insulation on the roofline of both existing homes and new homes has been growing in popularity over the past decade. But, is it always the best way to treat the building envelope? When does it make sense to spray foam the roofline, and when does it make more sense to keep the...
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attic insulation air sealing home performance retrofit Ed Voytovich
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 14, 2011
Guest post by Ed Voytovich of Building Efficiency Resources (The BER). I know Ed mainly through our interactions in the LinkedIn RESNET BPI group, where he's a frequent and knowledgeable contributor, though we also met IRL (in real life) at the RESNET conference last year. He's one of the most...
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roof snow melt attic heat loss insulation air barrier
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 5, 2011
We got a couple inches of snow here in Atlanta over the holidays, and I love to get outside and take pictures after the snow has been on the rooftops for a day or so. In the photo below, you can see what happened after that snow had been on the roof for only 12 hours.
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attic air leakage open wall cavity
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 29, 2010
It just drives me crazy! When you see news stories in the media about improving your home's energy efficiency, they invariably tell you to caulk your windows and weatherstrip your doors. You know, there are enough home energy raters and auditors now that we oughta be able to cure them of foisting...
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Dead rat in the attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 29, 2010
In my last article, I wrote about how I've learned so much by visiting the parts of houses that most people don't like to go into themselves. In that article, my focus was on the problems with the attic kneewall. Today, with Halloween upon us, let me show you some of the scarier stuff I've found in...
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Top plate framing leads to air leakage when the gap isn't air sealed.
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 15, 2010
Most houses in this part of the world are 'stick-built.' That is, they're framed with 2x4s - sticks. This term came from the timber framers who were used to building with massive posts and beams. When smaller lumber became available in the 19th century, the timber framers derisively called them '...
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Spray foam insulation can be a good option for insulating beneath a floor
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 29, 2010
Spray foam insulation is a great product. Homes insulated with it can be some of the most efficient and comfortable homes built. I've been in plenty of these homes and can tell you that when spray foam is installed properly, they outperform 99% of fiberglass batt-insulated, stick-built homes. (I...
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