The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

disconnected duct unbalanced supply leakage
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 30, 2016
A lot of discoveries and research work over the past four decades have led to our current understanding of air leakage in buildings. I’ll mention a few here, but I want to focus on one: the MAD AIR paper by John Tooley and Neil Moyer. The full title of the paper was, Mechanical Air Distribution And...
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wet-bulb-temperature-psychrometrics-sweat
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 7, 2015
Wet bulb temperature tells you how easy it is for water to evaporate. Sounds simple enough, right? Today I'll give you a couple of examples to see how well you really understand that simple statement. First, early last month my friend Mike MacFarland texted me about the day he wore his wet bulb...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on June 29, 2015
Yesterday I had lunch with Robert Bean and Eric Griffin at the ASHRAE conference here in Atlanta. As we talked about how we got into the field of building science, I began thinking of the reasons I love doing what I do. My background is physics, and I really enjoyed teaching it when I was in...
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near net zero energy home utah 2
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 18, 2015
I'm writing this on St. Patrick's Day so let me tell you a wee bit about the O'Mearas. Kevin and Svetlana O'Meara live in a beautiful home in Utah that's oh-so-close to being a net zero energy home. After I wrote about how home building is like skiing two years ago, Kevin invited me out to see...
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net zero energy house serenbe proud green home imery
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 26, 2013
I spoke at Serenbe,† a beautiful green community southwest of Atlanta, this weekend and got a chance to visit a net zero energy home while there. Built by Luis Imery, one of the home energy raters we're a HERS provider for, the home has garnered quite a bit of recognition. In fact, they recently...
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Albert Einstein knew that planning ahead was the key to solving problems.
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 4, 2013
I get a lot of questions from people asking how they should go about fixing their homes. Sometimes it's specific (What's the best way to insulate my kneewalls?), and sometimes it's a hands up in the air, With all these problems, where do I start?  I'll focus on the latter today and let Albert...
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ventilation energy recovery ventilator erv electronic damper
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 9, 2013
If you're designing a ventilation system, first you have to determine how much air the house needs. You can use ASHRAE 62.2 or the new BSC-01 for that task. Then you have to decide what type of ventilation system to use: positive pressure, negative pressure, or balanced. In many green homes, the...
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million dollar home crappy hvac wall street journal
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 8, 2013
The fellow standing in the home he's having built is proud. It's his dream home in Brookline, Massachusetts after all. The Wall Street Journal last week published an article about affluent home buyers getting their own jumbo construction loans to do just as Mr. Deshpande has done. Usually, they...
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attic kneewall details air barrier insulation
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 7, 2013
We're working on a project, so we got a set of plans to get started. It includes the attic kneewall and vaulted ceiling section you see below.This is typical of plans that architects draw, and builders build houses this way all the time. Unfortunately, it contains several errors. Can you spot them?
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small simple home high electricity energy bills strip heat
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 27, 2013
She lives in a small, simple house in southern Mississippi. It's only 1700 square feet. Why then, she wondered, were her summer electricity bills running more than $600? She didn't have anything that could be a big energy hog, like a swimming pool, and she didn't do stupid things like leave all the...
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