The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

The Sterling chart, from a 1986 research paper, suggests an optimum zone for relative humidity
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 9, 2020
The classic chart demonstrating the importance of keeping to the middle of the relative humidity spectrum has been shown to countless attendees of classes, conference presentations, and webinars on building science, indoor air quality, moisture problems, and health.  I can't tell you how many times...
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Posted by Allison Bailes on April 13, 2020
Have you ever lived in a home where you just couldn’t feel warm even though you had the heat cranked way up?  How about one where you have to turn up the volume on the TV when the air conditioner or heater comes on?  Or a home with a musty smelling basement? The myths we live by These and more are...
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Using a high-MERV filter doesn't have to result in a large pressure drop
Posted by Allison Bailes on April 10, 2020
Yesterday I gathered with a few of my friends and colleagues from the building performance community for a virtual happy hour.  During our chat, Steve Byers of Energy Logic posed the question:  Compared to BC (before coronavirus), how will you be different once the stay-at-home orders are lifted,...
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An image from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV.   [Image from the CDC]
Posted by Allison Bailes on March 19, 2020
Well, there's nothing like a little pandemic to completely upend our daily lives as well as our short and long-term outlooks for the future.  I've spent far too much time reading about, listening to, and watching news about the novel coronavirus lately and I guess you may have done likewise.  Here'...
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Mid-century house in Atlanta
Posted by Allison Bailes on July 12, 2019
Let me tell you the story about a poor, young country boy who broke the law and launched me into my new project.  Back in February, I was driving home from work one evening when a driver T-boned me.  The crash totaled my car.  Fortunately, no one was hurt, but I was pissed because my car was paid...
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Low indoor relative humidity in winter is common
Posted by Allison Bailes on February 15, 2019
I'm going to go out on a limb and make what you may think is an outrageous statement:  Water is the most interesting substance in the world.  Some of you may immediately respond, "Oh, yeah!  What about beer?"  (Or wine or Sidecars, Negronis, or Sazeracs or whatever your drink of choice is.) ...
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What the heck is going on with this hotel room window?
Posted by Allison Bailes on January 22, 2019
The ASHRAE conference and AHR Expo were in Atlanta last week.  Because I live here, I didn't have to stay in a hotel but a lot of people I know came to town and did stay in hotels.  One of them, John Rockwell of ERV & HRV manufacturer Zehnder, sent me the photo above of the window in his room...
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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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