The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Keeping the air conditioner thermostat set really low can do more than just make people uncomfortable.
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 3, 2020
I briefly worked at a dry cleaning shop in St. Louis a long time ago.  It was December, and we had a bout of super cold weather one week.  The temperature dropped to 0° F at night and got up only into the teens during the day.  I worked inside where the temperature was always nice and warm, but the...
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What is the perfect weather for a dehumidifier?
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 17, 2020
That dehumidifier you see in the photo above is in the Energy Vanguard office here in Decatur, Georgia.  The compressor doesn't come on often, but this past week I've heard it running quite a bit.  Depending on where you're from, you may be thinking, "Yeah, it's always humid in the South.  I don't...
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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...
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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.) ...
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Bathroom exhaust fan brings humid air into the house
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 20, 2018
Nope.  Today is not the first of April.  Nor is this one of those special April Fools' Day articles I write at random times.  This one's real.  A white noise generator has now been used in at least one home to reduce indoor humidity.  And no, this isn't an amazing scientific breakthrough either....
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This fan should not be your first choice for keeping cool.  See point 4 below for the reason.
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 11, 2018
Here we are in the middle of air conditioning season.  So why don't we chop down some myths and misconceptions about ceiling fans.  What got me on to this topic was a video of a fan with blades that hide on top of the fan when the fan is turned off.  Sounds clever, but it's a ridiculous idea....
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Dew point isn't just for understanding condensation
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 9, 2018
I've been on a bit of a mission for the past several years.  My goal is to get more people thinking about humidity in terms of dew point rather than relative humidity.  Why?  Because relative humidity is misleading.  That whole "relative" thing is a bit slippery, you know. For example, I've had a...
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Good HVAC design is 99% invisible.  (Photo of living room by Ceylon Tea Trails from flickr.com, used under a Creative Commons license.)
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 3, 2018
Sometimes people are bothered by how things look.  They don't want a return grille showing in that location or they'd rather have the supply registers low on the wall or they just can't stomach the thought of a wall-mounted ductless mini-split anywhere.  We all have our preferences about how things...
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ventilation energy enthalpy recovery ventilator erv humidity
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 9, 2018
When I woke up Saturday morning, the temperature outdoors was -40 degrees†. The wind chill was -100 degrees! It was just unbelievably, impossibly, inhumanly cold outside. Fortunately, that was on a mountaintop in New Hampshire and not where I was. I happened to have woken up on a mountaintop in...
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Are door undercuts sufficient as return air pathways?
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 23, 2017
Most people don't know that simply closing a door in their home can make them sick, increase their energy bills, or reduce their comfort. We live in this invisible stuff called air. We pull many pounds of it into our lungs each day. A typical air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace easily moves 20...
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