The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

building science cfl compact fluorescent light easy bake oven
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 27, 2011
I get asked a lot of questions about windows, air conditioning, and other energy efficiency topics: What size HVAC system should I install? Is it true you can seal a house up too tight? Can I use a CFL bulb in my Easy-Bake Oven?
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Radiant barrier roof sheathing can lower the temperature in your attic, but is it cost-effective.
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 10, 2011
I'm teaching a HERS rater class this week, and on Monday we went out to look at a couple of houses and do a Blower Door test. The second house we visited was under construction, and the builder had used Louisiana-Pacific's radiant barrier decking, Techshield (photo, left).
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radiant heat gain attic kneewall bonus room comfort
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 8, 2011
As you sit comfortably in your home, you’re being bombarded by radiation from all sides. There’s nothing you can do to stop it either. Don’t worry, though—without it, you’d be dead because your house would be at a temperature of absolute zero. (But that's impossible according to the third law of...
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radiant barrier roof deck building science heat gain air conditioning
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 22, 2011
In the guest post I wrote for Bob Borson in his blog Life of an Architect, I gave an overview of the types of attic insulation. I didn't discuss radiant barriers in the article, but it's a hot topic, so to speak, and someone did bring it up in the questions. So, today's as good a day as any to talk...
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air barrier building envelope det verifier sleuthing blower door test
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 20, 2011
The first bit of sleuthing you may need to do here is to figure out what the heck a DET verifier is. Well, we have a new energy code here in Georgia, and the requirement that all new homes (and extensive renovations) be tested for duct leakage and infiltration rate kicked in on 1 July. The task...
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building science peculiar notions geoffrey pyke screw propelled weasle
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 8, 2011
Some people, even in modern times, have believed the Earth is flat. Others believe that drilling a hole in their head will make them eternally happy. 
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hvac or building envelope choices home energy efficiency
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 1, 2011
Earlier this week, my HVAC guru, David Butler, made a statement in a LinkedIn discussion group that's obvious to those of us who know building science and high performance homes, but it's something that I think may not be clear to a lot of people who are building or remodeling their homes. His...
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building science bonus room comfort hvac building envelope problems
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 15, 2011
You know what a bonus room is, right? It's more descriptively called a FROG, for finished room over garage, and it typically has vaulted ceilings and attic kneewalls (more on that later). I love the name FROG for this room, but it seems to be a regional thing.
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building science perfect wall stick built construction
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 12, 2011
Have you thought about the best wall to build a wall? In my Building Science 101 article, I mentioned that buildings need to control the flow of heat, air, and moisture to perform well. Does the standard stick-built, wall with its cladding, housewrap, sheathing, framing, and cavity insulation, do...
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spray foam insulation on roofline for building envelope relocation
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 23, 2011
Putting spray foam insulation on the roofline of both existing homes and new homes has been growing in popularity over the past decade. But, is it always the best way to treat the building envelope? When does it make sense to spray foam the roofline, and when does it make more sense to keep the...
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