The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

The soffits, fascias, and gutters need to be replaced, opening up an air-sealing opportunity
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 11, 2019
The number one thing you need to do to protect a building is control water.  As the Canadian building scientist Gus Handegord said, "The three biggest problems in buildings are water, water, and water."  So, with the 1961 house I bought this year, one of the first things I discovered was the...
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Spray foam insulation in an encapsulated attic.  How good is at the eaves?
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 8, 2019
An attic that's brought inside the building enclosure is a beautiful thing.  This is most often done with spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation, either open-cell or closed-cell.  Here in the southeastern US, open-cell is most often the spray foam of choice.  But how well does this process of...
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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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sorry.jpg
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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