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8 Answers

Does anyone have experience with the Rheem Prestige heat-pump water heater?

I was excited about using the Sanden CO2 HPWH, but communication with the company was very hit or miss. The local installer they referred me to was very responsive and helpful with technical information. He gave me a quote for $5,900 installed. This was for a 43 gallon tank (the 83 gallon tank, oddly enough, would've been $6,100 installed). Because of the poor communication, and the cost, we had to move on.

Asked By Eric Whetzel | Dec 8 16
0 Answers

Ventilating heat pump water heater

I have to replace my 28 year old ventilating heat pump water heater (leak in tank) and can't find anything to fit the bill. My unit doubles as an air to air heat exchanger. When the water heater cycles on, air is ducted from the bathroom & kitchen, across the coil in the heat pump, and outside. Fresh, replacement air is allowed into the house through small openings in outside walls in bedroom closets. None of the heat pump water heaters I've found allow for ducting in although some can be adapted for ducting outside.

Asked By Grey Doffin | Dec 9 16
2 Answers

How to Seal Floors Dyed with India Ink?

Hi All! Does anyone have specific experience using India Ink on hardwood floors?

I am in need of specific information on how to seal the floors once they are stained. I've asked around a few woodworking/DIY sites and while people offer idea's, it doesn't seem like anyone can give me an answer on a tried and true product and means of application. What product and what means of application can be used to seal India ink on hardwood floors? All suggestions, completed project examples and even failed attempts helpful!

Asked By Sarah Hoffman | Dec 9 16
4 Answers

Do they sell Dow Thermax anymore?

I have a big basement I need to insulate from the interior and I'd like to avoid the cost of framing and drywall since the basement will only be used for storage.

Do they still make Dow Thermax? I can't seem to find it anywhere. Is there a new product that meets the fire ratings as Thermax, that won't require drywall over it?

Asked By Clay Whitenack | Feb 9 16
29 Answers

Dense-packed cellulose might go extinct

I apologize for the clickbait title, but it seems all of the insulation contractors in my area are very wary of dense-packed cellulose in walls and often say, "we normally don't do cellulose in walls anymore." Part of their reluctance in my situation is attributed to my dpuble stud 10 1/4" thick walls that are 24" o.c. They think it will settle and bulge out. Still, I think even if I had standard 2x6 walls, 16" o.c., they would all try to convince me to do spray foam and offer a lower price to do it.

Asked By Jimmy Nguyen | Nov 14 16
74 Answers

Sun Bandit solar water heater

Hello. I was reading the article by Martin Holladay entitled "Solar Thermal is Really, Really Dead" and enjoyed the discussions going back and forth on the topic of solar water heating methods. I am planning on building a small 600sq' SIP cabin in the area of Nelson BC (climate zone 6) next year and I found this product listed as being one of the most efficient for heating domestic hot water on the Canada Energy Guide site. It says it can also be used for space heating via a radiant floor system or perhaps radiators.

Asked By Scott Wilson | Oct 21 16
0 Answers

7' x 7' sky light with a low U Factor

I need to replace a 7' x 7' skylight in a condo in Boston. I'm looking for a product withe a low U Factor. I've spoken to Wasco, and they said they can't make any of their eco products that large, so I'm stuck with their standard acrylic dome and a U Factor of 0.64.

Has anyone seen another skylight product that could be manufactured at that size with a low U Factor?

- Adam

Asked By Adam berrey | Nov 21 16
1 Answer

Comfort Board 80 vs 110 - density worth extra cost?

For our upcoming house build using 4" of rigid mineral wool we have been quoted for both Roxul comfort board 80 and 110. Over the top of this we will install 2x4 furring and cedar siding.

The 110 has a compressive strength of 1120 PSF at 10% deflection, the 80 is only 439 PSF at 10%, using the 110 will simplify the installation of furring as it will compress less, but I don’t know that the furring installation sub would price their install any differently between the two products. (Furring install not by insulation contractor).

Asked By Chris Armstrong | Nov 16 16
11 Answers

Alpen Windows - Heat Mirror

Alpen windows have a pretty impressive line-up (R-7) that can be used in high-elevations (5,000+ feet). My question is about the HEAT MIRROR technology. There was some problems years ago with the mirror technology failing but that's been a while.

How reliable is that technology?

Can the windows last 30+ years like a standard double pane window?

Asked By Peter L | Nov 11 16
14 Answers

Recommendations for kitchen/half-bath tankless heater

Hi all,

Back in 2012, Martin posted an article ( about how tankless water heaters aren't really worth the money. I have a couple of questions..

1.) Has there been changes in pricing to change the recommendation?
2.) Is this article focused just on whole-house heaters, or are point of use heaters also not worth going tankless?

Asked By Clay Whitenack | Oct 31 16
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