The Latest from the Energy Vanguard Blog

Posted by EV Staff on July 1, 2010
"Making something beautiful is one of the most sustainable things you can do." - Sarah Susanka, Author of The Not So Big House.
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Condensation forms on surfaces that are below the dew point temperature, even when the air conditioner is working properly.
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 30, 2010
It's a pretty safe bet that the vast majority of air conditioners are oversized. ACCA developed its Manual J protocol for heating and cooling load calculations to help HVAC contractors put in correctly sized equipment, but there are a couple of problems. First, most contractors don't do the load...
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Spray foam insulation is great for the building envelope.
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 29, 2010
Spray foam insulation is a great product. Homes insulated with it can be some of the most efficient and comfortable homes built. I've been in plenty of these homes and can tell you that when spray foam is installed properly, they outperform 99% of fiberglass batt-insulated, stick-built homes. (I...
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Lumpy attic insulation, poor average R-value
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 28, 2010
My dissertation in grad school was called "Flat or Lumpy." (Of course, it had the requisite incomprehensibility in the subtitle, with words like 'heteroepitaxy.') Those two words in the title, which cut to the heart of what my surface physics research was all about, also describe a property of...
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ceiling fan, air leakage, comfort, energy conservation
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 25, 2010
Here's another item for the myths of energy conservation category: In most homes, ceiling fans do NOT save energy. It's not that they can't save energy; it's just that most people don't understand how to use them to do so, and the potential savings are pretty small.
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Green   modular homes aren't like this.
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 24, 2010
What pops into your mind when you hear the term 'modular home'? Cheap? Flimsy? Ugly? Trailer? Energy hog? Boxy? Cramped? Well, let me try to bring you up to speed in the field of modular, and especially green modular homes.
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A high performance home doesn't have to look weird.
Posted by EV Staff on June 23, 2010
Yesterday, I heard a law student tell a story about some advice she gave to her friend about a recent break up. Her friend was having trouble letting go, and instead of saying something simple like, "you need to move on," she recommended that her friend "mitigate the damages!" WHAT!?, her friend...
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Duct sealing with mastic will be covered by the Home Star Program.
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 21, 2010
Home Star, the program working its way through Congress, will be a boon to homeowners and will give a big boost to the home energy efficiency industry. Called variously the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program, Home Star Rebate Program, or Cash for Caulkers, it has...
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What's this HERS rating thing I keep hearing about?
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 16, 2010
My company is a HERS rating provider, and there are a lot of duties and responsibilities that go along with that. This morning, Chris and I are heading out for a three day trip to Hilton Head and Charleston, South Carolina to wrap up the certification process for four of our home energy raters....
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An oversized air conditioner can make it cold but doesn't dehumidify well.
Posted by Allison Bailes on June 14, 2010
It's been hot and muggy in Atlanta the past few days. Now I'm not your typical Atlantan who says that lightly. I grew up in Houston and south Louisiana and spent nine years in Florida, so I know hot and muggy. Overall, summers in Atlanta are pretty nice because of our elevation (~1000 feet), but we...
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