The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

hvac design temperature thermometer ashrae acca manual j
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 10, 2012
We're making progress! With the all the emphasis on energy codes and energy efficiency programs like ENERGY STAR New Homes, more homes are getting Manual J heating and cooling load calculations these days. The intent is that the heating and cooling systems installed will be sized properly because...
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hvac duct design duct trunk line too high in attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 11, 2012
The air has been thick with spring for weeks — and I do mean thick. The pollen count in Atlanta this year has set records, our highest getting over 9000. We had a warm winter and a condensed spring. Now the heat of summer is just around the corner, and that means air conditioning here in the...
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David Butler's building science learning curve
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 9, 2012
Reading Allison's recent article about his experience building a green home brought back memories of my own similar experience back in 1999. Like Allison's home, mine was designed to be high performance, although maybe not so green. (Get more details at the website for this unique home.) Quite a...
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A Pretty Good House
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 5, 2012
What is it about Maine? Some of my favorite people in the home energy pro community live there. We just signed up our first HERS Rater from the state (Diane Milliken of Horizon Residential Energy Services). Now, some folks there who meet monthly to talk all things green building have come up with a...
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raters-guns-and-money-add-hvac-design-to-add-value-rater-with-blower-door
Posted by EV Staff on February 24, 2012
A few months back, I received the following email about payment to design the HVAC system for a new ENERGY STAR home. The author of the email is a home energy rater, and my client. The “HVAC guy” is the HVAC contractor who has hired the rater to get the HVAC Design completed for the job. 
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hvac flex duct distribution system in unconditioned attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 16, 2012
In addition to getting out and enjoying some sunny January weather, I did a little reading this weekend. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) just released a new report,  The Long-Term Energy Efficiency Potential: What the Evidence Suggests, so of course I had to find out...
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hvac system static pressure measurement new home design and commissioning
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 17, 2011
Ken Fonorow is a friend of mine whom I've known since my days on the Gainesville Energy Advisory Committee when I was in grad school in the mid-'90s. He's also helped build the market for ENERGY STAR and high performance homes in Florida. When I saw him last year at the Southeast Building...
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High-performance home
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 21, 2011
One of the most frustrating parts of my job as a Home Energy Rating (HERS) provider is dealing with the size of air conditioners installed in ENERGY STAR homes. My frustration has spilled over here in the Energy Vanguard blog several times, and the topic in all its manifestations (HVAC sizing,...
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A bad duct retrofit
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 14, 2011
You'd think with all the articles I've written about bad duct installations that it'd be hard to find more to write about here. After all, I've told you about stumpy (photo left) and panned joist return ducts and what may be the worst location ever for ducts and the ductopus and...
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hvac duct supply trunk line vent at end airflow
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 11, 2011
When I was up in North Carolina this past summer, I went to a restaurant that had the duct you see in the photo here. You may not be aware, but this duct design has a fatal flaw. Well, it's not fatal in this application, but it can certainly lead to air flow problems. Can you spot it?
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