The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

A difficult air sealing task with garage ceiling joists
Posted by Allison Bailes on May 2, 2017
The I-joists in the photo above run across the top of the wall between the dining room and the garage. In the old days, before anyone worried at all about air moving through those joist cavities, the builder didn't do anything with them. You can see here, though, that the builder knows a thing or...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on October 28, 2016
My website host (Hubspot) had a problem when I published my last article, High Humidity in a Spray Foam Attic, Part 2. If you wanted to comment and were not allowed, that problem has been fixed. I apologize for the inconvenience.
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Posted by Allison Bailes on October 26, 2016
Three weeks ago, I wrote about an attic with spray foam insulation and the interesting humidity pattern we observed in it. We placed data loggers near the ridge and floor of the attic as well as in the living space and outdoors. In that last article, I showed the dew point data for the four...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on October 5, 2016
Spray foam insulation can solve problems that other insulation materials can't. One of those problems is moving the building enclosure from the drywall ceiling of a home to the roofline. By doing so, you bring the attic inside the building enclosure. But what happens to that attic space when you...
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human-brain-Joseph-Vimont-500.jpg
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 8, 2016
I've been reading a lot of BS lately. No, I'm not talking about blood sugar. It's brain science that's captured my attention. Understanding how the human brain works, why we do the things we do, and what common illusions often lead us astray. What I want to talk to you about today, though, is foam...
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hvac-duct-monster-ductopus-air-flow-problems
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 29, 2015
The year 2015 is almost finished. I've written 69 articles here in the Energy Vanguard Blog. I've been to a bunch of conferences and talked to a lot of people. A lot of thoughts about building science, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and more have gone through my head. As I sit here at the...
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spray foam insulation california dtsc karl palmer 600
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 31, 2015
Last summer I learned about the state of California's efforts to create more healthful buildings and working conditions. In 2008, they passed the California Green Chemistry Initiative with the intent of reducing state residents' exposure to toxic chemicals. California leads the US in new directions...
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furnace combustion air intake duct spray foam insulated attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 5, 2015
A while back I wrote about the incompatibility of putting an atmospheric combustion furnace in a sealed attic. Most often the attic is sealed by installing spray foam insulation at the roofline, thus bringing the attic inside the building enclosure and turning it into conditioned space (directly or...
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spray foam insulation open cell roof rot moisture problem
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 16, 2014
Murmurs and hearsay about open-cell spray foam insulation have been gaining traction for a while. It rots roofs, people have told me. Not long ago, someone even told me that in Florida, roofing companies won't let their workers go up on roofs with open-cell spray foam because the roofs are so...
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net zero energy house serenbe proud green home imery
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 26, 2013
I spoke at Serenbe,† a beautiful green community southwest of Atlanta, this weekend and got a chance to visit a net zero energy home while there. Built by Luis Imery, one of the home energy raters we're a HERS provider for, the home has garnered quite a bit of recognition. In fact, they recently...
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