The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Posted by EV Staff on November 3, 2010
The last time I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Icynene was not a household name, and many homeowners had never heard of a Blower Door and Duct Blaster. (Well, OK, you're right. They're not exactly household names now either, but a lot more people know about them.)
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Posted by EV Staff on October 8, 2010
When my wife and I moved from Tampa to Atlanta in 2008, we decided to try high rise living. We were living in a 1916 bungalow, which we loved dearly, and looked forward to something fresh and new. Something that would not leak like a sieve, and that wouldn't use so much energy. The sales team for...
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Sealing ducts with mastic in a high performance home
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 28, 2010
Geothermal heat pumps. Tankless water heaters. Spray foam insulation. Because of all the hype around 'green' products, it's easy to focus on the details and miss the big picture.
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High efficiency HVAC equipment with typical duct installation, including a plenum that's too small
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 22, 2010
I realize that the deck is stacked against me, but I'll make another plea for HVAC contractors to stop putting crappy ducts on high efficiency heating and cooling equipment. Last week I looked at this issue with my in-laws' house. This week I revisited a house I've written about once before. Yes,...
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hvac high efficiency sealed combustion furnace variable speed air conditioner
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 17, 2010
In the past two years, I've helped my parents-in-law make dramatic improvements in their home. Two years ago, I tackled their building envelope, encapsulating the crawl spaces, sealing the air leaks, isolating the mechanical room, and adding insulation. One year ago, I advised them on the purchase...
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HVAC for energy raters, energy auditors, and building analysts class in Atlanta
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 3, 2010
In 2003, I finished building a high performance home and moved into it. Shortly thereafter, I enrolled in a HERS rater class and got myself certified as a home energy rater. So, with all that experience plus my background in physics plus the fact that I spent summers in my teen years helping my...
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SEBC radiant barrier foil faced bubble wrap
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 30, 2010
When I wrote about my trip to the Southeast Building Conference in July, I mentioned how some products on display there really annoyed me because they're either bad to the bone or overhyped. The main one in the latter category is foil-faced bubble wrap sold as insulation.
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Trunk and branch duct system, part of good HVAC design
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 25, 2010
My grandfather (yes, the first of this line of 3 Allisons!) was an electrician, plumber, and HVAC contractor, and I had the great fortune of being able to spend a month or two every summer from the time I was about 12 working with him and my uncle Dickie. I'd go out on calls with them all day long...
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Using the principles of energy efficient design in green modular homes
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 22, 2010
I've been spending a lot of time at the drafting table lately. In fact, I've worked up about half a dozen floor plans in the past week alone. I'm gearing up to release a series of pre-packaged construction-ready plans for purchase. Each one is being designed to be energy efficient and will meet...
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HVAC filter, very dirty
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 16, 2010
Every once in a while I like to post some of my favorite pictures of atrocities I've seen in houses, for example the duct stump in the Little Shop of Duct Design Horrors. Today, the subject is HVAC filters, specifically the large pleated filters that can be a great addition to an HVAC system. As...
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