The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

million dollar home crappy hvac wall street journal
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 8, 2013
The fellow standing in the home he's having built is proud. It's his dream home in Brookline, Massachusetts after all. The Wall Street Journal last week published an article about affluent home buyers getting their own jumbo construction loans to do just as Mr. Deshpande has done. Usually, they...
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huntington condo building science problems
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 30, 2013
Hi. My name is Allison, and I'm a building science zealot. I preach the gospel of building science, yet in my own life, I fall short of the perfection I exhort others to attain. Yes, I once built a green home that had many of the features I promote here, but if you've been reading this blog for a...
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canadian 100 dollar bill hvac contractor home performance
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 25, 2013
After a nice dinner at La Palette in Toronto one evening, I began walking down Queen Street as I headed back toward my hotel. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied a piece of paper on the ground. It looked a lot like Canadian money, but surely my eyes deceived me. It must've just been my lack of...
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hvac oversized air conditioning system massive enormous condenser texas
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 19, 2013
The typical new home gets a heating and air conditioning system that's about two times too large. Look, I've  discussed oversized air conditioners many times before. Most HVAC contractors use a rule of thumb that says they should put in one ton of air conditioning capacity for each 500-600 square...
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garage air conditioning duct system negative pressure
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 2, 2013
Sometimes people do the craziest things. Take that photo below, for example. That's a new home being built in Austin, Texas. The arrows point to three air conditioning ducts. In the garage. Yes, they're air conditioning the garage.
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Building science secrets for home builders and remodelers
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 30, 2013
Overall, the state of the construction industry is improving. A lot of home builders and remodelers are learning, either out of interest or coercion, about building science and how to apply it to their work.
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duct leakage test vent cap systems hers class resnet
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 25, 2013
Duct leakage testing has come a long way. We've gone from doing the subtraction method with blower doors to having specialized duct pressurization blowers. We've also evolved in how we seal the ducts for a test, going from kraft paper/masking tape to duct mask to vent caps. The last item in that...
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crawl space duct system moisture mold nasty iaq
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 28, 2013
I've seen a lot of nasty crawl spaces. I've squirmed through their squalor and squeezed through their narrow confines. Possums, snakes, spiders, and camel crickets have kept me company in the dank, musty underworlds that so many people live above. Moldy joist fur (furry joist mold? joisty mold fur...
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air conditioner hvac filter wrong way evaporator coil frozen 1
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 13, 2013
You know how when you change the filter in your air conditioner, it has a little arrow on the edge showing which way the air is supposed to flow through it? What do you think happens if you put it in with the arrow in the wrong direction? And then let it get too dirty? That's what happened with the...
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attic bath fan duct snakes 440
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 17, 2013
Neville poked his head up through the scuttle hole into the attic and surveyed the situation. Troy immediately heard a scream erupt and had to get out of the way as Neville quickly jumped down off the ladder.
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