The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

ducts inside conditioned space
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 26, 2013
I'm a big advocate of getting ducts inside the building enclosure. In cooling climates, getting ducts out of an unconditioned attic can save you 15% on your electricity bills. It can reduce the size of air conditioner you need by 25%. If it's not in such a harsh environment, your air conditioner...
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crawl space duct system moisture mold nasty iaq
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 28, 2013
I've seen a lot of nasty crawl spaces. I've squirmed through their squalor and squeezed through their narrow confines. Possums, snakes, spiders, and camel crickets have kept me company in the dank, musty underworlds that so many people live above. Moldy joist fur (furry joist mold? joisty mold fur...
13 Comments | Read/write comments
green home building scaffolding allison bailes tools
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 3, 2013
When I wrote about the net zero energy home that Amy Musser and Matt Vande built, I was really impressed that they were willing to share the mistakes they'd made and what they would do differently if they could go back and start over. Several readers remarked on that in the comments as well. Since...
8 Comments | Read/write comments
net zero energy home test facility nist photovoltaic module
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 20, 2013
When you think of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), do you think of atomic clocks and hunks of metal that serve as standards of mass and length? Or do you think of cutting edge research in net zero energy (NZE) homes? It turns out, they do indeed still deal with standards,...
2 Comments | Read/write comments
advanced framing t wall insulation thermal bridging
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 17, 2013
A few weeks ago Allison made a couple of quips that could be construed as critical of Advanced Framing methods, also often referred to optimistically as Optimum Value Engineering (OVE). I myself am generally critical of Advanced Framing, so perhaps I was just reading into Allison's comments what I...
18 Comments | Read/write comments
elephant room hvac high performance home david butler small
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 15, 2013
The ENERGY STAR New Homes program deserves much of the credit for bringing high performance to the mass market. Aside from a widely recognized and respected brand, ENERGY STAR accomplished that which previously eluded industry pioneers: it created a uniform verification and certification procedure...
26 Comments | Read/write comments
hvac air conditioner condensing unit in attic 1 small
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 20, 2013
Occasionally I get asked if it's OK to put the condensing unit for an air conditioner or heat pump in a garage or other room that's a buffer space. The thinking is that since the temperature may not be as hot in summer or as cold in winter, the system will operate more efficiently. I just saw...
27 Comments | Read/write comments
flex duct crushed no air flow
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 20, 2013
I've written a lot about duct problems, especially those in flex duct because they're so abundant. A couple of years ago, I even wrote an article about whether or not flex duct should be banned. My answer was no but that we need better quality control. When I updated and reposted the article...
15 Comments | Read/write comments
facebook little girl dancing with art
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 31, 2013
I LOVE this photo! It has nothing to do with building science. Or does it? As we humans have progressed from living in caves to mud huts to stone buildings to the stick-built structures many of us in the US inhabit now, our lives have changed.
4 Comments | Read/write comments
A bad duct retrofit
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 7, 2013
Heating and air conditioning contractors, like the rest of us, make mistakes. They make mistakes that hurt performance and efficiency of the HVAC systems they install and maintain. They make mistakes that hurt their customers sometimes. And they make mistakes that hurt their businesses. Let's look...
25 Comments | Read/write comments


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