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25 Answers

While I love radiators, I hate using fossil fuels

I live in an 1890 Victorian in Southern Pennsylvania, heated by oil. While I love radiators, I hate using fossil fuels! Is there a way to use green technology to use less oil? My methods to date have been uncomfortable - installing a wood stove.

Is there a way of boosting the boiler with green energy? Would geothermal help? I'm newly divorced and ignorant about systems!
Thanks, Susan

Asked By Susan Hanway | Aug 28 16
2 Answers

Log wall spray foam insulation: closed or open cell?

Hi - Man, I'm glad I found your site because I'm torn and need advice for this unusual situation.

Asked By Dave Beller | Aug 30 16
21 Answers

How should I address the lack of plywood boxes for my double stud wall rough openings?

Blame it on lack of clarity on my part, but when my framer built my double stud walls he didn't oversize the window rough openings to account for 1/2" plywood sheathing connecting the inner to the outer walls. He figured that this gap could be covered solely with drywall.

What is the disadvantage of not having plywood in this location?

Asked By Adam Peterson | Aug 12 16
22 Answers

Mitsubishi minisplits — horizontally ducted

Sorry - I blv I posted the same in another section. Please ignore this question if it's a duplicate.

We are not fans of ductless units. Therefore, we opted for the hidden horizontally ducted units that Mitsubishi provides. Unfortunately, all the Mitsubishi contractors we talked to have never designed a home with these type of units. Plenty of ductless experience.

Asked By Ismail Mohammed | May 21 16
6 Answers

Options to make space for exterior insulation

This is my first post so thanks in advance for any input. I’m finalizing the plans for our new home with in Kentucky, and I’m talking through the option of adding 2” of Roxul Comfortboard on the outside of ZIP wall sheathing with the builder. He has never done this before, and one of the objections he is raising is that it would require making the foundation/basement walls 2” thicker to make room for this since we are already planning on a brick cladding.

Asked By Brad White | Aug 26 16
5 Answers

Stand-alone infloor cooling system?

I live in northern Canada. It does not get hot very often, but when it does we can get 90-100F for a few weeks or even a month.

I've got full radiant heat system with 8" OC spacing for heat pipes, many zones and a very snazzy pump setup. I've also got 4 HRV's keeping the air moving.

The infloor heat works great, and I find it very efficient.

For the few months of the year where its hot out, the house can get hot. Depending on the room, it can become un-usable. This of course has to do with all the windows and the solar gain. Hey, I like a bright house :-)

Asked By Mark Helmrich | Aug 28 16
5 Answers

Matte finish paint disaster: Options for more durable finish needed!

Well this is slightly embarrassing, but I either talked myself into or go talked into doing matte finish paint for my entire house. We liked the look of the matte paint as we thought it would hide imperfections and looked kind of rustic to match our Tuscan house theme.

The paint is advertised as "eco friendly" and "washable flat" is its name. Its from Cloverdale. It also has "ceramic microspheres" or something that is supposed to make the paint super durable and its a breakthrough in matte finish paint.

Asked By Mark Helmrich | Aug 28 16
5 Answers

I have a half vault ceiling with 3 vertical skylights at the peaks

I have a half vault ceiling with 3 vertical skylights at the peaks. It was condensating a lot so we had the blown insulation stuffed between, in between the ceiling joists, from the soffit. There is no ridge vent as it's cut off at the windows. Even after replacing...

The skylights windows are single-pane and the rising sun hits them quickly. The ceiling surface reads 100 degrees at this during the day.

Asked By Ben McMillan | Aug 28 16
7 Answers

Exterior walls

Zone 5a, Indianapolis
Single story ranch with slab on grade.
4 inch exterior walls
Current construction:
North facing exterior is stone (no weep holes) then 1/2 space then particle board then 2x4 framing with unfaced fiberglass batt then moisture shield ( guessing 3-4 mill regular clear plastic) then 1/2 in dry wall.
All other exterior walls are vinyl siding then particle board then 2x4 framing with unfaced fiberglass batting then moisture shield ( guessing 3-4 mill plastic) then 1/2 in dry wall.

Asked By Edward Kramer | Aug 28 16
75 Answers

Two condensation questions

I have a newly foamed attic with open-cell foam (average 8 inches or so with rafters covered) and a brand new AC unit with furnace. I had thought that lowering the temperature of the attic would take away the need for insulation on the condensate drain line, but it is still sweating. The upstairs temperature is in the 75 degree range in the Attic is in the 81 degree range, but the Attic humidity has gone from being in the thirties or forties when it was a vented attic to being about 70% now, so I guess the dew point is still high enough to necessitate insulating the drain line.

Asked By John Sexton | Aug 7 16
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