The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

under construction designed to earn the energy star house in grant park rendering
Posted by EV Staff on September 2, 2011
Here's a house we designed for a builder in the historic Grant Park neighborhood in Atlanta, which should be completed by January 1, 2012. The home is 2-stories, has 4-bedrooms and 3-and-a-half baths, and is just under 2,200 square feet. The builder decided to stick-build the home, but it was...
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hvac zone duct dampers in SIP structural insulated panel cabin
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 26, 2011
Ah, so what exactly is this hidden flaw? "My HVAC guy put a zoned system in my house and told me it was the cat's pajamas," you may be thinking about now. Or maybe your HVAC installer described it as the bee's knees, the eel's ankle, or the elephant's instep. Doesn't matter. However they described...
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describe the image
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 24, 2011
At Building Science Summer Camp a few weeks ago, I heard from Sam Rashkin that changes to the ENERGY STAR Version 3 guidelines and implementation schedule were on the horizon. This week, the EPA announced those changes—and some are rather curious. The email I received on Monday listed four items...
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hvac air conditioner heat transfer condensing unit air flow plants
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 29, 2011
Here's an easy thing you can do to keep your air conditioner running as efficiently as possible: Don't crowd the condensing unit, the outdoor part of your AC. In the photo at left, you see a common problem. I took this picture at a brand new house a couple of months ago, and there's not a problem...
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hvac air conditioner rule of thumb manual j cooling load
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 25, 2011
As the Quality Assurance Designee for our HERS rating providership, I do something that isn't healthful. I know it's probably driving up my blood pressure and taking years off my life. But I do it because I have to. It's part of a QAD's job.
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Air conditioning lingo and the Green Curmudgeon
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 13, 2011
Have you heard your air conditioner repairman use terms you didn't understand? Are you a new home energy auditor or HERS rater trying to figure out how heating and cooling systems work? There's a lot of jargon in the world of HVAC (including those initials), and I'll demystify some of it for you...
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hvac high efficiency sealed combustion furnace variable speed air conditioner
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 10, 2011
This is a guest post by David Butler of Optimal Building Systems in Arizona and a frequent commenter here in our blog. I've known David for a couple of years now, and I can attest to his expertise in the field of HVAC. When an HVAC question stumps Chris and me, we call on David because he'll most...
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ducts radial system outside building envelope in attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 20, 2011
Remember that article I wrote about ducts installed against the roof deck and how I said it was probably the absolute worst single location for installing ducts?  Well, in the comments, Dave Roberts, a senior engineer at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), wrote about a paper he co-authored...
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Butt joints without rigid connectors in flex duct can lead to a lot of duct leakage.
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 3, 2011
HVAC installers and I have a little game of hide-and-seek that we play. Of course, there are the obvious problems I find in duct systems, like the ductopus, ducts installed right up against the roof deck, and duct leakage galore. But there's one duct problem that I have to hunt for.
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The evaporator coil in an air conditioner cools and dehumidifies your home's air.
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 27, 2011
I'm torn. Since I first dived into the ENERGY STAR Version 3 guidelines, the new HVAC requirements have pulled me in two directions. On the one hand, as someone who's been calling for change in the HVAC industry, I see them as a great way to move things forward. On the other hand, I'm a HERS rating...
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