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The Insulated Man movie poster
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 6, 2017
Yesterday was Energy Efficiency Day. I saw a lot tweets on the topic, and the photo above, showing the movie poster for The Insulated Man, was in one of them. That, of course, got me thinking about other classic works of literature related to energy and building science. For example, have you read...
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Crawl space moisture sources
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 5, 2017
Here in the southeastern US, we have a lot of crawl spaces. Most are vented. Even most new ones are vented. It's not because it's the best way to keep them dry. That's certainly not true. We have enough research on crawl spaces to know better. No, they're vented because foundation vents got into...
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The outdoor unit of an air conditioner or heat pump
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 3, 2017
I was on a tour of passive house projects in Seattle a couple of days ago when someone asked me, "What do you call the outdoor part of a heat pump? The condenser? The compressor?" For someone not immersed in the field of HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning), that can be confusing. So...
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Making third-party HVAC design work
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 28, 2017
What if a builder refused to build from plans drawn by an architect? What if a tile installer refused to implement designs handed to them and instead did their own thing? What if an HVAC contractor told a potential client they wouldn't install a system designed by a third party to ACCA protocols?...
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Your air conditioner is more efficient in fall and spring
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 20, 2017
It's cooled off a bit here in Atlanta. A couple of weeks ago we even had temperatures down in the low 50s Fahrenheit. Ah, that felt nice, especially since I've been running again this year.1 With the fall equinox two days away, we should start seeing more of those nice cool days. We're back up...
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Can you get condensation on a sponge?
Posted by Allison Bailes on September 7, 2017
Last week I taught a class called What the Duct!? at the Builders' Boot Camp in Virginia. Paul Francisco was one of the other instructors (teaching about indoor air quality), and on the last evening at dinner, our conversation turned to building science. (Imagine that!) I don't recall exactly how...
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Moisture problems at the air conditioning diffusers in a trendy restaurant
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 25, 2017
I've got the curse, you know. I can't walk into a building and not check out what's going on with ductwork, windows, and anything else that lets me apply what I know about building science. Yesterday, I went to lunch at a trendy restaurant near Emory University and of course looked up at the...
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To understand heat, air, and moisture flows in buildings, think materials, assemblies, and enclosure.
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 17, 2017
When you approach the subject of building science, especially as it regards heat, air, and moisture flows through the building enclosure, it's easy to get confused. There's a lot to learn: blower door testing, insulation grading, R-value, permeance, radiant barriers, combustion safety, solar heat...
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Al Gore's Tennessee home got an energy retrofit in 2007
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 15, 2017
Al Gore is in the news again. His new climate change movie, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, is in theaters now. And that means the folks who don't believe in climate change — or at least that humans have any impact on it — are out in force trying to discredit the message. As was the case 10...
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Builders' Boot Camp in Christiansburg, VA, 30-31 August 2017
Posted by Allison Bailes on August 9, 2017
Now that Summer Camp is over, I'm excited about Boot Camp. That would be the Builders' Boot Camp that Community Housing Partners (CHP) puts on each year. It's being held on 30-31 August. I haven't been part of it before, but this year I'm teaching a half-day class four times over the two day affair...
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