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19 Answers

Steam heat questions

I purchased a home in Millinocket Maine and wish to have the most efficient heat possible. Currently there are steam radiators. I have a fan of Rinnai hot tankless hot water heaters and read they make "boilers". Would they work for "steam heat". Being a non-techinical person , I don't know and don't know what questions to ask.

Asked By Kate Clark | Feb 23 13
7 Answers

What is the most cost-effective way to build a cement wall in a basement and achieve a good R-value?

I have build with ICFs. It is the cost. Wondering what else is out there. Not interested in rammed earth or framing with PT materials for exterior walls

Asked By Dan Easton | Feb 22 13
0 Answers

I am looking for a contractor in the Hartford CT area for a deep energy retrofit. Any suggestions? Thanks.

The proposed DER is on a single family residence in West Hartford.

Asked By Spartan Giordano | Feb 25 13
6 Answers

Green appraisal valuation for single family homes

Tampa, FL
Marc Rutenberg Homes, Zero Energy America and Zero Energy America Village

Is there new legislation for single family homes in Florida or Federal concerning appraisers giving fair value for net zero, energy and water conservation, green building products?

Is there a green/renewable energy Mortgage available for single family homes including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, FHA, conventional conforming and conventional jumbo loans for both rate and closing costs?

Asked By Ronald Schulte | Feb 22 13
1 Answer

Finding the cold and hot spots in the envelope with an infrared thermometer

I asked a few weeks back for advice on an affordable infrared detector for finding cold spots to pinpoint infiltration problems, heat loss and insulation effects. I found a mid-range infrared thermometer: "IRT207 Heat Seeker." You can pick it up for under $30 at Amazon. I have had mine for two weeks and it is getting a workout as I caulk and seal prior to insulating.



Asked By Oak Orchard | Feb 21 13
6 Answers

Rigid board insulation for an unvented cathedral ceiling: fill the void?

Hi there, first post.

I'm building a tiny cabin, Pacific NW, right on the boarder between zone 4/5, 40miles
east of Portland.

I have vaulted ceiling/gable roof. No interior walls in yet.

I have enough rigid board insulation to fill the void (iso). The sheathing was sealed to the rafters with adhesive sealant when laid down. Blocking at the soffets was sealed with silicone. There is rolled mineral roofing over that, all edges sealed with lap cement. All this was done with the anticipation of filling the void with pink fiberglass rolled insulation, with drying to the interior.

Asked By Hamlet Jones | Feb 21 13
10 Answers

Indirect Water Heater Vs. Electric Resistance Preheater

Quick question regarding overall efficiency.

My incoming domestic water is around 40 degrees F and my boiler is unable to heat it up to a temperature that is warm enough for showers. I was thinking of two options.

1. Installing a electric resistance 30 gallon preheater. This would preheat the incoming water to around 60 degrees or so before it was fed into the boiler to bring it upto temp for showers.

2. Install an indirect hot water heater tank.

Asked By Kevin Lauscher | Feb 19 13
10 Answers

Do I have to clean out and replace the Great Stuff?

I have been back-side and edge sealing and also sealing the gaps on the inside of electrical boxes with Great Stuff Door and Window (low expansion foam). Then today I saw a blog that says Dow advises not to contact it with copper wire. I called them and they said its flammable during installation and when cured.

Do I have to clean out the Great Stuff and switch to another product for air sealing electrical boxes? If so, any suggestions.

Thanks in advance

Asked By Oak Orchard | Feb 15 13
6 Answers

Green roofs: what's the verdict?

I'm intrigued by the idea but see several obvious problems: 1) leaks, 2) expense, 3) maintenance (weeding etc.), as well as a less tangible but possibly significant issue: 4) prospective home buyers viewing a green roof as a liability (we plan to be in the house for a long time, but plans can change.)

Asked By Ray Sten | Feb 14 13
1 Answer

To rainscreen or not to rainscreen?

Hello GBAers,

I'm building a small (250 sq. ft.) cottage in my backyard in the Bay Area in California in climate zone 3C. We plan on using stucco for the exterior as it will match the main house.

The cottage will have one-foot overhangs because it's near the property line. Code around here is two layers of Grade D building paper under the stucco, but I know a lot of you guys believe it's better to add a rainscreen between the paper and the stucco.

In my research, it seems that a lot of the rain screen products are insanely expensive.

Asked By Nick Jensen | Feb 19 13
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