Where do I get my ideas? Well, the first place to look is the enormous gulf between the right way to build, renovate, or improve a building and the way things are actually done. Take the photo at left, for example. That ductopus is not the result of a proper HVAC design. It’s just not. If it actually moves the proper amount of air through each duct in the system and keeps the house comfortable and does it efficiently, it’d be a miracle.
A lot of my articles in the Energy Vanguard blog come from the photos I’ve taken over the years of monstrosities like that ductopus. Sometimes when I don’t have an idea yet and want to write an article, I’ll just go through my photos and find one or a collection that I can put a few words to and send it out. Other times, I’ll go to a house and snap a photo that I know immediately will appear in an article very soon. The post on the disconnected water heater flue was one like that.
I also get ideas from things I see on Twitter or LinkedIn or the news. The two I wrote about measuring infiltration rates and what a Blower Door really does came about from something I saw on Twitter and then further discussion of the topic on LinkedIn. Sometimes my ideas come from an event, like Building Science Summer Camp (and stinkin’ or not, I’m going this year!).
Fear also motivates my writing. And if you’ve read the blog long enough, you probably know I’m talking about peak oil when I say that. In fact, my first LetsBlogOff post, The Optimism of Pessimism in the Age of Peak Oil, was on the topic of peak oil.
Mainly, though, my ideas come from the voices in my head. Them, and aliens.
Alien photo by gray_um from flickr.com, used under a Creative Commons license.