The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Insulation on flex duct (Photo by Mike MacFarland, used with permission)
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 13, 2018
If you know a little building science, you've no doubt seen a lot of problems that occur with air distribution systems. Ducts just don't get anywhere near the attention they deserve in most homes, partly because they're hidden from view. I've written about ducts quite a bit here and have shown...
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Crawl space moisture sources
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 5, 2017
Here in the southeastern US, we have a lot of crawl spaces. Most are vented. Even most new ones are vented. It's not because it's the best way to keep them dry. That's certainly not true. We have enough research on crawl spaces to know better. No, they're vented because foundation vents got into...
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humidifier-indoor-humidity-mold.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 14, 2016
It's that time of year when heating systems start coming out of their summer hibernation. (Except maybe in Vermont. Michael Blasnik's Nest data showed that Vermonters are about the last to start heating their homes in Fall.) Then everyone starts looking for their lotion and lip balm. Gaps appear in...
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what-is-home-performance-google-search.png
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 29, 2016
Maybe you're a homeowner investigating how to make your home more comfortable. Maybe you're contractor (HVAC, insulation, remodeling...) looking to grow. Or maybe you're an artist looking for the latest trends in performance art. However you got here, I'll see if I can help you understand what this...
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crawl-space-encapsulation-iaq-unexpected-benefit.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 26, 2016
My friend Perry had lived in a nearly hundred year old house for six or seven years when we encapsulated his crawl space in 2005. It was a typical old country house. Originally built on piers, someone had filled in the gaps and turned the foundation into an enclosed, vented crawl space. There was...
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new-tract-home-construction-green-building-advice.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 15, 2016
Let's say you've bought a lot in a new development and are having a tract home built. You want the home to be as energy efficient, comfortable, and green as possible. Your builder offers only a few options, like high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, but you want more. That's the...
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E3-cool-air-intake-crawl-space-1-600.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 1, 2016
I know it's not air conditioning season, but this story is too good to wait until summer rolls around. My friends at E3 Innovate in Nashville — you may remember them for finding the home ventilated with dead possum odors — have done it again. This time they've discovered a crawl space with an...
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confined-crawl-space-osha-standard-500
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 2, 2015
Who among us doesn't love spending time in crawl spaces and attics? I've certainly done my time there. A lot of my friends hang out there, too. I found out in an email from the Building Performance Institute (BPI), however, that the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) will...
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hvac furnace atmospheric combustion air building code irc nfpa
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 10, 2015
Remember those two furnaces I showed you photos of last week? You know, the ones that had ducts placed—or taped, in one case—right in front of them to bring them combustion air. I told you it wasn't a good way to deal with the combustion air issue, but let's go a little further today. Let's look at...
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crawl space new construction hammer and hand best practices manual
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 29, 2014
When I was building a home in 2001, I came across a gazillion little things that I needed guidance on. I'd never built anything larger than a bookcase, so new home construction was quite a big step. I bought books, scoured the web, and tried to get as much info out of Southface as I could, but I...
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