The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

fiberglass batt insulation grade 1 building enclosure
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 20, 2015
I think a lot about building enclosures. I've looked at a whole lot of houses and seen a whole lot of problems with the enclosure. I've also seen a few good ones, although they're all too rare. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I've also written about this topic a lot and have...
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fiberglass insulation owens corning grade i
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 16, 2015
One of the major fiberglass insulation manufacturers (the color in the photo below gives away which one I'm talking about) is getting serious about the installation quality of fiberglass batt insulation. They've put out a video (embedded below) and a document showing how to achieve RESNET Grade 1...
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thermometer heating degree days
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 12, 2014
Let's say you did some work on your home to make it more energy efficient - air sealing, more attic insulation, and a duct system retrofit. You've got your energy bills for 12 months before and 12 months after you did the work, and now you want to see how much energy you saved. So you sit down with...
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asbestos duct tape health safety risk
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 23, 2014
Asbestos was a popular material for most of the twentieth century, mainly because of its ability to insulate and act as a fire retardant. In fact, it's still used heavily in some parts of the world, such as India and China. We know enough about the risks now, though, that it's banned outright in...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on October 13, 2014
If you're building a house and want to have a really good building enclosure, you need it to be airtight, handle moisture properly, and have a good amount of insulation. Ideally, you'd also consider the effects of solar radiation on the home, but for now let's just focus on the insulation. What...
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attic insulation to go polystyrene boxes 1b
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 7, 2014
Someone got creative with their attic insulation!
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clark howard diy ways save energy bill
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 18, 2014
Clark Howard is the penny pincher's guru. My wife loves his radio show and website for all the money-saving tips he provides. Naturally, anyone trying to help people save money at home has to address energy use, and Howard does, too. Unlike some others, though, he's generally well educated on the...
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pen test liquid water control layer epa moisture guide 550
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 8, 2014
I listened to the IAQ Radio podcast a couple of weeks ago when they interviewed Lew Harriman and Terry Brennan, who were discussing the new moisture control guide published by the EPA last year. Brennan is the lead author of the document, and it's a really great resource full of useful information...
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bruce wilcox john proctor dry climate forum 2014
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 20, 2014
At the Forum on Dry Climate Home Performance earlier this year, I got to hear three building science experts talk about a really cool research project they've been working on in Stockton, California. Bruce Wilcox, John Proctor, and Rick Chitwood (Wilcox and Proctor shown in photo at left) filled us...
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polyethylene vapor barrier in a wall
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 24, 2014
A lot of people have heard advice about vapor barriers and vapor retarders. Many of them have walked away confused. A big part of the problem, I think, is that they've been told what to do—"Put it on the warm-in-winter side," or "Never use one"—but they haven't had the physics of what happens...
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