The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Release the Kraken! The Ductopus Kraken!
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 9, 2012
Just a quick little post today to show you the new image I put together. Last year I wrote an article about a type of duct system that's just a complete mess. A lot of home energy pros call it the ductopus. It's just a radial system installed without any real design behind it. The ducts all radiate...
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hvac flex duct distribution system in unconditioned attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 23, 2012
Flex duct. It's ubiquitous now in homes with forced air heating and cooling systems. It's easy to install. It's cheap. The installer can show up and rough in a whole duct system without ever having seen the house before and without having a duct design. I'm not saying that's a good thing.
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hvac duct design duct trunk line too high in attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 11, 2012
The air has been thick with spring for weeks — and I do mean thick. The pollen count in Atlanta this year has set records, our highest getting over 9000. We had a warm winter and a condensed spring. Now the heat of summer is just around the corner, and that means air conditioning here in the...
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A Pretty Good House
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 5, 2012
What is it about Maine? Some of my favorite people in the home energy pro community live there. We just signed up our first HERS Rater from the state (Diane Milliken of Horizon Residential Energy Services). Now, some folks there who meet monthly to talk all things green building have come up with a...
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hvac flex duct distribution system in unconditioned attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 16, 2012
In addition to getting out and enjoying some sunny January weather, I did a little reading this weekend. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) just released a new report,  The Long-Term Energy Efficiency Potential: What the Evidence Suggests, so of course I had to find out...
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BCAP provides great energy code resources.
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 21, 2011
I've been a big advocate of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and its adoption by states. We adopted it here in Georgia last year, and it's now fully in effect, including the requirement for Blower Door and duct leakage tests on all new homes built in the state.
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hvac system static pressure measurement new home design and commissioning
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 17, 2011
Ken Fonorow is a friend of mine whom I've known since my days on the Gainesville Energy Advisory Committee when I was in grad school in the mid-'90s. He's also helped build the market for ENERGY STAR and high performance homes in Florida. When I saw him last year at the Southeast Building...
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A bad duct retrofit
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 14, 2011
You'd think with all the articles I've written about bad duct installations that it'd be hard to find more to write about here. After all, I've told you about stumpy (photo left) and panned joist return ducts and what may be the worst location ever for ducts and the ductopus and...
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hvac duct supply trunk line vent at end airflow
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 11, 2011
When I was up in North Carolina this past summer, I went to a restaurant that had the duct you see in the photo here. You may not be aware, but this duct design has a fatal flaw. Well, it's not fatal in this application, but it can certainly lead to air flow problems. Can you spot it?
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Old air conditioner condensing unit
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 29, 2011
Air conditioners don't last forever. Shocking, I know. The good news, though, is that if you have an old air conditioning system, replacing it should save you money. Efficiency has improved a lot since that old hunk of metal and noise was installed in your back yard.
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