The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Filter bypass because of incorrectly installed filter
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 24, 2018
Indoor air quality (IAQ) researchers have established that little bitty invisible pieces of stuff that float around in the air are bad for human health.  Of course, being scientists, they don't call it little bitty invisible pieces of stuff.  They call it particulate matter (PM) or particulates. ...
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Paracelsus, the father of toxicology
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 22, 2018
That face above is of a physician, alchemist, and astrologer named Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim.  He is deemed the father of toxicology and is better known by the name Paracelsus.  I begin this article with him because Dr. Brett Singer, at Building Science Summer Camp...
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Crazy ventilation duct system mess
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 25, 2018
I've posted a lot of crazy duct system photos here in this blog.  Remember "Release the Kraken!"?  How about "Two Jellyfish Mating"?  And about three years ago I found one that instantly became my new favorite duct disaster.  But those were all in fairly standard homes.  They didn't have any...
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Kitchen range hood
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 4, 2018
Energy efficiency is a gateway drug to building science.  When you really start learning about it, you come to the inescapable conclusion that there's so much more to making homes better than just saving energy.  A house is a system, you know.  There's moisture and comfort and indoor air quality...
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The Corsi Code, a breakdown of how you spend your life
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 31, 2018
Back in 2004, as I was immersing myself in the world of building science and green building, I took the US Green Building Council's exam to become a LEED Accredited Professional.  I bought their book.  I took a study course at Southface to prepare for the test.  And that's when I learned a...
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Bathroom exhaust fan brings humid air into the house
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 20, 2018
Nope.  Today is not the first of April.  Nor is this one of those special April Fools' Day articles I write at random times.  This one's real.  A white noise generator has now been used in at least one home to reduce indoor humidity.  And no, this isn't an amazing scientific breakthrough either....
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ASHRAE 62.2 standard for residential ventilation
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 29, 2018
It's been a while since I've written about what I had been calling "The Great Ventilation Debate" back when Joe Lstiburek was battling the ASHRAE 62.2 residential ventilation committee.  The 62.2 committee meets in person twice a year at the two ASHRAE conferences and they just met last Friday and...
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Ventilation grille bringing in straight outdoor air at the ASHRAE conference hotel in Houston, Texas  (photo by Nikki Krueger of Therma-Stor, used with permission)
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 24, 2018
I've been going to the meetings of the ASHRAE residential ventilation committee (SSPC 62.2, to be specific) for the past few years.  As a matter of fact, I'm writing this article from my room in Houston, the site of the summer meeting.  It's always interesting to go to these things because the...
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ventilation energy enthalpy recovery ventilator erv humidity
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 9, 2018
When I woke up Saturday morning, the temperature outdoors was -40 degrees†. The wind chill was -100 degrees! It was just unbelievably, impossibly, inhumanly cold outside. Fortunately, that was on a mountaintop in New Hampshire and not where I was. I happened to have woken up on a mountaintop in...
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Green buildings can make you smarter
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 10, 2017
The room is dead silent. You stare down at the paper on your desk, ransacking your brain for any hint of the answer to this test question that has you stumped. Your desperation mounts as you know the teacher is about to call for your test to be turned in. Why can't I figure this out, you think. But...
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