The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Voters' guide for the 2010 election
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 1, 2010
Below is a repost of an article with advice for voters from my friend Chris Kaiser at Mapawatt.
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Dead rat in the attic
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 29, 2010
In my last article, I wrote about how I've learned so much by visiting the parts of houses that most people don't like to go into themselves. In that article, my focus was on the problems with the attic kneewall. Today, with Halloween upon us, let me show you some of the scarier stuff I've found in...
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Peneda Geres National Park in Portugal, photo from Lonely Planet
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 27, 2010
I guess you could call me a contrarian. I usually go in the opposite direction from the crowds. In 1997, for example, I spent two weeks in Portugal, where most people head for the beaches south of Lisbon. Instead, I headed north and inland and ended up in a beautiful little town called Bragança and...
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heat pump water heater compressor stiebel eltron
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 25, 2010
Last week, I was a judge in the LightHouse Awards green home competition put on by the Hilton Head Home Builders Association (HBA). Along with fellow judges Chris Laumer-Giddens, my colleague here at Energy Vanguard, and Tim Watson of Southern Fried Home, I visited two homes in the Hilton Head area...
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The optimism of pessimism in the peak oil world
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 19, 2010
Five years ago I read a book that freaked the hell out of me - The Long Emergency by Jim Kunstler. I was drinking a lot of peak oil kool-aid that year, but that book really got to me in a way that the others didn't. I had to re-evaluate everything I thought about how the future might unfold, and it...
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House wrap can serve as an important control layer, but it may not be controlling what you think it's controlling.
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 19, 2010
It took me a while to figure out that a building is basically just a structural framework with control layers. Yeah, there's also electrical, plumbing, mechanical systems, and finishes, but the heart of a building is the stuff that holds it up and that moderates the flows of heat, air, and moisture...
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building envelope science air barrier insulation
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 13, 2010
Up and down. Left and right. Good and evil. Black and white.
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Heat-Loss-Flaw-Bungalow
Posted by EV Staff on October 8, 2010
When my wife and I moved from Tampa to Atlanta in 2008, we decided to try high rise living. We were living in a 1916 bungalow, which we loved dearly, and looked forward to something fresh and new. Something that would not leak like a sieve, and that wouldn't use so much energy. The sales team for...
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What happens to the temperature of asphalt shingles with an insulated roofline and an unvented attic?
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 7, 2010
One of the most common questions I get when I describe homes with insulated rooflines is, "What does that do to the shingles?" Some roofing companies have made a lot of noise about this topic, saying that if the shingles can't conduct heat downward into the attic, their lifetime will be greatly...
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HERS rater training Blower Door, duct leakage, and diagnostic testing
Posted by Allison Bailes on October 5, 2010
I've been involved in the home energy rating field since 2003 and have witnessed a lot of growth. When I went through the HERS rater class, there were only a handful of HERS rater training providers and maybe a couple dozen HERS rating providers. I counted 53 HERS training providers on the RESNET...
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