The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Heat pumps really can keep you warm in winter.
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 17, 2010
It's been cold out lately, so I've been talking about heat. Invariably when I talk to people about how heat pumps can keep your home warm in winter, they get a look of bewilderment on their faces and ask how that's possible. No one ever tells me that they're confused about how a refrigerator or air...
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Understanding heat flow is fundamental to building science.
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 15, 2010
Back in grad school, I was taking a class in surface physics, and my friend Steve asked, "What is temperature?" On first hearing that question, you might think it's so obvious that it doesn't even bear asking, and anyone who does give voice to it must be an idiot. Right?
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Dryer vent duct caked with wet lint from restricted air flow
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 12, 2010
After I wrote an article this past week about the problem of restrictive wall caps reducing dryer vent air flow, I heard from David Williams, a fellow resident as well as a contractor who's done a lot of work here at the condos where I live. He recently replaced a dryer duct in one of our buildings...
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A Blower Door can find the hole but not the pressure difference.
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 9, 2010
Starting on the 1st of January 2011, all new homes permitted in Georgia must have a Blower Door test! You heard, right? I've written about this twice before - last April, when the new Georgia state energy code was finalized and then again in July when the new energy code passed at the Department of...
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dryer vent bad air flow
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 8, 2010
As I've mentioned here before, I live in a 40 year old condo that's a good example of what happens when you build something without understanding the principles of building science. I've previously written about the crawl space problems in one of our buildings and the basement problems in my...
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Building enclosure problems are rampant.
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 3, 2010
It seems so simple. There’s outside, and there’s inside. The walls, ceilings, and floors that separate the cold outside from the warm inside should be the only surfaces that rob heat from your home. Interior walls have conditioned space on both sides, so they shouldn’t be a problem, right?
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ENERGY STAR homes Version 3 teamwork
Posted by Allison Bailes on December 2, 2010
I've been involved with ENERGY STAR homes since 2004, when it was still in Version 1 of the program. It wasn't called that at the time, though. It was just ENERGY STAR. At that time, a home needed only one inspection, which occurred when the house was finished.
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attic air leakage open wall cavity
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 29, 2010
It just drives me crazy! When you see news stories in the media about improving your home's energy efficiency, they invariably tell you to caulk your windows and weatherstrip your doors. You know, there are enough home energy raters and auditors now that we oughta be able to cure them of foisting...
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describe the image
Posted by Allison Bailes on November 23, 2010
Last week I got the new version of REM/Rate, the accredited home energy rating software that we use here at Energy Vanguard Energy Ratings, and it has the ENERGY STAR Version 2.5 and Version 3 requirements built in. I've checked a few files with it now, and it looks like the new requirements make a...
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Posted by EV Staff on November 19, 2010
As we approach Christmas, I am reminded of the days when my siblings and I would, one by one, make our way down to the Family Room on Christmas morning to count the number of gifts for each of us. Some years, that was at 4 am, and we'd realize it was way to early to get up. Our parents wouldn't be...
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