The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

A Make It Right house in New Orleans with serious moisture problems
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 13, 2018
Hurricane Katrina barreled through New Orleans in 2005.  The levees failed, flooding 80% of the city and destroying many homes.  The low-income residents in the Lower 9th Ward were particularly harmed by the storm, many losing everything they owned.  Two years later, Brad Pitt started the Make It...
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Kitchen range hood
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 4, 2018
Energy efficiency is a gateway drug to building science.  When you really start learning about it, you come to the inescapable conclusion that there's so much more to making homes better than just saving energy.  A house is a system, you know.  There's moisture and comfort and indoor air quality...
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The Corsi Code, a breakdown of how you spend your life
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 31, 2018
Back in 2004, as I was immersing myself in the world of building science and green building, I took the US Green Building Council's exam to become a LEED Accredited Professional.  I bought their book.  I took a study course at Southface to prepare for the test.  And that's when I learned a...
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humidifier-indoor-humidity-mold.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 14, 2016
It's that time of year when heating systems start coming out of their summer hibernation. (Except maybe in Vermont. Michael Blasnik's Nest data showed that Vermonters are about the last to start heating their homes in Fall.) Then everyone starts looking for their lotion and lip balm. Gaps appear in...
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basement-moisture-problem-mold-humidity.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 31, 2016
Lying in bed. Feel like I've run a world record mile. Can't...catch...my...breath. I take the deepest breath I can. The noisy air provides little sustenance for my oxygen-starved lungs.
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moisture-management-plumbing-leak-indoor-air-quality-asthma.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 19, 2016
The Building Performance Institute (BPI) recently introduced a new certification called the Healthy Home Evaluator. It's not a standalone credential, though. Anyone looking to add it to their list of credentials must already have one of three other BPI certifications:  Building Analyst, Energy...
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crawl-space-encapsulation-iaq-unexpected-benefit.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 26, 2016
My friend Perry had lived in a nearly hundred year old house for six or seven years when we encapsulated his crawl space in 2005. It was a typical old country house. Originally built on piers, someone had filled in the gaps and turned the foundation into an enclosed, vented crawl space. There was...
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new-tract-home-construction-green-building-advice.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 15, 2016
Let's say you've bought a lot in a new development and are having a tract home built. You want the home to be as energy efficient, comfortable, and green as possible. Your builder offers only a few options, like high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, but you want more. That's the...
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ventless-unvented-gas-log-fireplace-indoor-air-quality-iaq.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 25, 2016
Unvented combustion appliances were added to the scope of ASHRAE's residential ventilation and IAQ standard (Std. 62.2) recently. The committee has begun their deliberations on the issue, and at ASHRAE's winter meeting in Orlando this month, the unvented gas appliance industry folks attempted a...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on September 24, 2015
The British newspaper The Guardian recently published an article on asthma and energy efficient homes, claiming that reducing energy use in homes can hurt indoor air quality (IAQ). But wait! Asthma may not be the only thing to fear with energy efficient homes. A researcher whose report is cited...
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