The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) removes stale air from the house and brings in outdoor air
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 22, 2020
Let's talk about one of my favorite subjects:  air.  Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) that spreads it, the indoor air quality (IAQ) community—researchers, mediators, manufacturers, bloggers, groupies—is having a moment.  This must be the first time in...
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A high-MERV portable air cleaner can reduce your risk of getting COVID-19
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 7, 2020
Twitter is an utter hellscape in some ways, but it does have a few redeeming qualities.  I've seen a lot of good information about the COVID-19 pandemic there, including ways to filter the indoor air for coronavirus and the emerging science about the spread of SARS-COV-2 via aerosols in addition to...
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A simple design feature can lower the pressure drop across a high-MERV filter
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 24, 2020
I hate it when I don't see ahead of time what seems obvious afterward.  I've assembled a lot of things in my life, including a house and two VW engines, and I can't tell you how many times I've gotten to the end and then had to undo everything because I put a piece in backwards or skipped a step. ...
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Keeping the air conditioner thermostat set really low can do more than just make people uncomfortable.
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 3, 2020
I briefly worked at a dry cleaning shop in St. Louis a long time ago.  It was December, and we had a bout of super cold weather one week.  The temperature dropped to 0° F at night and got up only into the teens during the day.  I worked inside where the temperature was always nice and warm, but the...
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Air conditioner supply vent with mold because of sweating
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 23, 2020
Back in the summer of 2005, I got a call to figure out a moisture problem in a new house.  The homeowners took me into the master suite, where the first thing to catch my eye was the towel folded neatly on the floor.  It hadn't just fallen out of the laundry basket; it was there to catch the water...
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The Sterling chart, from a 1986 research paper, suggests an optimum zone for relative humidity
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 9, 2020
The classic chart demonstrating the importance of keeping to the middle of the relative humidity spectrum has been shown to countless attendees of classes, conference presentations, and webinars on building science, indoor air quality, moisture problems, and health.  I can't tell you how many times...
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A MERV-13 filter in a return filter grille in my dining room ceiling
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 24, 2020
Filtration is on the minds of a lot of people lately.  Because of the coronavirus pandemic, most of us would prefer not to breathe in air that contains any hint of the SARS-COV-2 virus that's been spreading the illness known as COVID-19.  Wearing a mask when going out in public is standard.  Having...
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The three main rating scales for filter efficiency:  MERV, FPR, and MPR
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 28, 2020
As much as I've written about filters and filtration in this blog, I have to confess there's one aspect of filter efficiency I've resisted learning about.  Every article I've written that mentions filter efficiency talks about only one rating scale:  Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV).  A...
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Ultraviolet (UV) lamp installed in air handler to kill microbes on cooling coil and drain pan  [Image from Fresh Aire UV]
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 23, 2020
I used to be a smart-ass who would say things I thought were clever but really were just annoying.  When I learned the basics of quantum physics, for example, I had a clever/annoying answer for anyone who asked me, What's new?  E over h, I'd respond.  Hahaha!  Then we'd both laugh our heads off. ...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 13, 2020
Have you ever lived in a home where you just couldn’t feel warm even though you had the heat cranked way up?  How about one where you have to turn up the volume on the TV when the air conditioner or heater comes on?  Or a home with a musty smelling basement?The myths we live byThese and more are...
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