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2 Answers

Most efficient HRV/ERV product for small airtight space, all seasons?

Hi, I'm building a mobile office using a heavily-insulated, airtight 20-foot shipping container. All heating/cooling is via a single heat pump powered by batteries and 2000 watts of solar panels on the roof; this will have no windows. It will be used in New England, so cold winters and hot summers.

I wanted to know what the most efficient heat recovery ventilation would be for such a small space, that I can actually buy in the US.

So far the best candidates I've found are:

Asked By EfficiencyDude | Jun 28 17
11 Answers

Looking for a cost-effective, “traditionally styled” double-hung window with U-factor of about 0.20

I am building a new house in Hopkinton, NH. (on the border of climate zone 5A & 6A) and am looking for a double hung window with a u-factor of .20 (or better of course) that will look good in a New England farm house styled home. What I mean by this is I would like a clad exterior with a wood interior and SDL grills without having to spend $65,000 on a triple glazed loewen or marvin window. Don't get me wrong I have used both brands of window on customers houses and they are beautiful, but they are not in the budget for my own house.

Asked By Eric Marchand | Jun 22 17
6 Answers

Halogen-free electrical cable

Does anyone have experience using halogen free electrical cable in residential buildings? I'm going to have to do some rewiring in the house, and I'd prefer to keep it low halogen (for less toxicity if it burns and because I'm not a fan of PVC). I know that LSZH is used extensively in industry for certain applications, but I can't find much information on it for use in homes.

Asked By Kathryn Oseen-Senda | Jun 23 17
4 Answers

Anyone seen nail corrosion from Roxul?

I'm slowly building my home home and last year I fell for a great price on roxul comfortbatt. I bought what I thought I needed and stacked it in the basement of the dried in house. 8 months later I moved the roxul and was surprised to notice white carrosion and rust on the galvanized Hitachi ringshank nails I used to attach studs to an interior wall sill plate. Nails show carrosion only where I stacked the roxul and no where else in the entire house. I recently learned that roxul has formaldehyde and worry that the off gassing through the plastic wrap is the culprit.

Asked By Ryan Williamson | Jun 22 17
5 Answers

Closed-cell spray foam and XPS: green or not?

I've posted several times on my pretty badly compromised attic. We live in a 50s ranch outside Chicago with a ceiling that has been butchered by can lights and an AC handler & ductwork. I feel the only reasonable solution is to move the conditioned envelope to the roof. I've debated and debated and debated this because the solutions are expensive, a pain to implement, and now it appears environmentally questionable.

Asked By Brian Gray | May 7 17
6 Answers

Roxul insulation

Does Roxul come with a paper barrier? Do I have to you put a vapor barrier down in the attic before I put down the Roxul?

Asked By Tool1 | Jun 16 17
3 Answers

Flooring & Indoor Air Quality

Any recommendations for quality, affordable (< $4 / sqr ft) wood or laminate flooring that does not compromise indoor air quality? Few more specific questions:
1. Are California / "FloorScore" standards good enough?
2. "GreenGuard" appears to be more stringent - true?

I'm fine with laminate or engineered wood, click install / floating is fine. My criteria, in order, are:
- "not toxic". i.e. low/no formaldehyde / VOCs
- quality: looks good, doesn't squeak or cause more noise than a more expensive product, durable for kids/pets, etc.

Asked By Matt Draper | Jun 16 17
20 Answers

Retrofit single ductless minisplit to cool entire upstairs

Hello, I'm a huge fan of this website, but I finally joined so that I could ask this specific question:

My wife and I own a 2000 sq-ft colonial built in 1962 in the Metro Detroit area (climate zone 5), with only baseboard heating--no central air. The first floor can be kept comfortable with a single wall-mounted AC unit and some fans to help circulate, but the upstairs is a bigger challenge. We've had several options quoted to provide some form of AC, but we're leaning strongly towards a ductless minisplit system.

Asked By Nathan Efrusy | May 9 17
9 Answers

Second generation Whirlpool heat-pump clothes dryers: Any good?

I would like to install a ventless dryer. The Whirlpool HybridCare duets are the only large ventless dryers on the market. The discontinued WED99HEDW model got a lot of good reviews. The new models don't have many reviews yet, but the reviews they have aren't good.

Here's my question: Is anybody out there actively building the new models into new homes, and are you getting callbacks about their quality? Does anybody have a new model HybridCare, and has it been reliable?

--John

Asked By John Ranson | Mar 26 17
2 Answers

Toilet and greywater system for external apartment

We have a 900sq ft apartment in MA above our detatched garage that is plumbed in, has electricity but no sewage or greywater treatment. A couple of owners previous to us 25 years ago had installed a tight tank and the apartment was fully functional (kitchen, bathroom with sink, shower/bath and toilet). However they did this without the town knowing and when they sold the town had them crush the tight tank system.

We are on an old septic in the main house (limited to 3 bed, installed 1969) and are thinking about how we can get the apartment plumbed in so that:

Asked By robbrown99 | Jun 7 17
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