The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Posted by EV Staff on March 15, 2011
Hey, HERS raters, what if I told you that you could get the volume of a multi-pitched roof for all of your home energy ratings without the need to calculate a single algebraic formula? Or, how about wall area? I know, I'm your new best friend, right?
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heat pump balance point HVAC design building envelope
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 10, 2011
In my quest to educate the world on building science topics, I find that I often have to go back to basics. Whether it's the basic nature of heat, why we're using the wrong quantity to characterize infiltration rates, or the reason that the media's focus on caulking windows drives me crazy, I try...
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Panned joist return duct in HVAC system, poor HVAC design, lots of duct leakage
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 24, 2011
My grandfather, the original Allison Arthur Bailes, was an electrician, plumber, HVAC contractor ('heating & air man'), and refrigerator repairman. In the '70s when I was a teenager, I used to spend a couple of months each summer working 'on the truck' with him and my uncle in Leesville,...
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Heat pumps can heat a home by running the an air conditioner's refrigeration cycle in the opposite direction.
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 20, 2011
This is the second article of a two-part guest post by David Butler of Optimal Building Systems in Arizona and a frequent commenter in the RESNET BPI group on LinkedIn. 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...
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Posted by EV Staff on January 4, 2011
I live in a high-rise condominium in Midtown Atlanta. In an earlier post about this energy hog of a building, I focused on the huge heat loss conditions that exist, the missed opportunities to prevent these conditions through energy efficient design, and the high energy bills that we pay as a...
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Heat pumps really can keep you warm in winter.
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 17, 2010
It's been cold out lately, so I've been talking about heat. Invariably when I talk to people about how heat pumps can keep your home warm in winter, they get a look of bewilderment on their faces and ask how that's possible. No one ever tells me that they're confused about how a refrigerator or air...
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What is heat?
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 15, 2010
Back in grad school, I was taking a class in surface physics, and my friend Steve asked, "What is temperature?" On first hearing that question, you might think it's so obvious that it doesn't even bear asking, and anyone who does give voice to it must be an idiot. Right?
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Dryer vent duct caked with wet lint from restricted air flow
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 12, 2010
After I wrote an article this past week about the problem of restrictive wall caps reducing dryer vent air flow, I heard from David Williams, a fellow resident as well as a contractor who's done a lot of work here at the condos where I live. He recently replaced a dryer duct in one of our buildings...
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ENERGY STAR homes Version 3 teamwork
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 2, 2010
I've been involved with ENERGY STAR homes since 2004, when it was still in Version 1 of the program. It wasn't called that at the time, though. It was just ENERGY STAR. At that time, a home needed only one inspection, which occurred when the house was finished.
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Posted by EV Staff on November 19, 2010
As we approach Christmas, I am reminded of the days when my siblings and I would, one by one, make our way down to the Family Room on Christmas morning to count the number of gifts for each of us. Some years, that was at 4 am, and we'd realize it was way to early to get up. Our parents wouldn't be...
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