The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

flex duct crushed no air flow
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 20, 2013
I've written a lot about duct problems, especially those in flex duct because they're so abundant. A couple of years ago, I even wrote an article about whether or not flex duct should be banned. My answer was no but that we need better quality control. When I updated and reposted the article...
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A bad duct retrofit
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 7, 2013
Heating and air conditioning contractors, like the rest of us, make mistakes. They make mistakes that hurt performance and efficiency of the HVAC systems they install and maintain. They make mistakes that hurt their customers sometimes. And they make mistakes that hurt their businesses. Let's look...
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building science experts session professor john straube teaching HVAC
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 7, 2012
Oh, where do I start? Professor John Straube spoke all day yesterday at Building Science Corporation's Experts' Session. His topic was mechanical systems for low-load buildings. You know that expression about how the information comes at you so fast in some classes that it's like drinking from a...
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hvac duct flex poorly supported reduced airflow comfort efficiency
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 19, 2012
I like flex duct. Really! In fact, I did an interview yesterday for the Energy Saving in the Home Radio Show and surprised the host, I think, when I said that to him. He's an HVAC contractor himself and is used to building science types being purists on the use of rigid ducts. (You can catch the...
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ducts inside conditioned space
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 8, 2012
One of the things that happens when you learn building science and HVAC design principles is that you can no longer go into any building without looking at the building envelope and mechanical systems. Now that my smart phone doubles as a high-resolution camera, I usually get photos of the...
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hvac air conditioner capacity tons ice finland flickr
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 21, 2012
A few years ago, a student of mine told a funny story in a home energy rater class. He was an HVAC contractor and said he was installing a new air conditioner for an elderly woman. As he was explaining things to her, he mentioned that they would be installing a 4 ton unit. "Oh, my," she said. "How...
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hvac duct design strange plenum configuration jellyfish mating
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 19, 2012
Every once in a while I come across someone's workmanship that leaves me in awe. I see it and realize that I am looking at something unique, a piece of work (in all senses of that phrase) so bold that it may never be surpassed. The one I'm about to show you is such a piece.
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hvac duct robot ductbot condensation
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 12, 2012
I've seen it over and over: The central air conditioner's ceiling vents raining down onto the floor. The insulation liner on the duct in the crawl space holding a gallon or two of water. The office that has spots appearing on the ceiling. It's not uncommon at all, although it should be.
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hvac distribution duct system losses efficiency waste baby
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 5, 2012
Babies cry. Babies are messy. Babies are inefficient. Just look at that face. Yeah, he's a cute little guy with that big smile, but it looks to me like there's been a problem with the food distribution system. Is your heating and air conditioning system like that? Chances are good that it is.
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hvac air conditioner happy family
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 20, 2012
This is the story of a happy family that got too hot and sweaty. They'd lived in their house for a while, and everything was fine at first. The central air conditioning system kept them nice and cool. Over the past few years, however—they're not sure exactly when it started—their 'Home, Sweet Home...
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