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2 Answers

placement of vapor retarder for radiant heat in slab

I'm building a small house (~ 1000 sq. ft.) on a full foundation and am having radiant heat tubing installed in the slab. The plumbing contractor plans to staple the tubing to the foam insulation under the slab. I had planned to put the foam over crushed stone then a 10 mil sheeting over then the slab on that as I've seen in numerous foundation diagrams. But if the plastic sheeting is over the foam the staples for the radiant tubing will poke many holes in it so that seems like a bad idea.

Asked By Martin Frank | Jul 3 15
12 Answers

Is my 5000 BTU LG 10 year old window unit significantly inefficient ?

My wife says so, in comparison with similar modern window units. She wants it replaced. The unit runs on all work days, during summer work hours, in my home office in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio summers are hot, but not as hot as north Texas, as an example comparison. My question is whether efficiency advances in 10 years have made a big difference for small window units.

I tried to search, but every search returned hundreds of irrelevant topics.

Asked By Weldon Cabaniss | Jun 28 15
9 Answers

ZIP R-Sheathing Climate Zone 5?

I am considering ZIP R-sheathing for a home in Climate Zone 5. The wall assembly would be a ventilated rainscreen as follows (exterior to interior)

1. Hardie Panel siding
2. 3/4" furring/airspace
3. ZIP 1.5" R-sheathing (R6.6 total, 12-16 perms for the OSB, <1.0 perm for the polyiso)
4. 2x6 studs
5. Icynene Low Density (5.5" thick R-20, 11 perms)
6. 1/2" gypsum

Asked By Joseph Yount | May 12 15
29 Answers

It's 2015 and they still build like this...

Brand new build going up in Phoenix, AZ. What you see is completely 100% framed and ready for stucco. The missing OSB sheathing is done on purpose. They do "open framing" and only use sheathing where required. The rest is open 2x4 framing.

They will stuff R-13 batts within the 2x4 walls, staple on some building paper and then put 1" of rigid EPS on the outside and use conventional stucco to finish it off.

A recent blower door test on a home like this showed 15 air changes per hour.

ALL of the duct work and air handlers are installed in the 150F unconditioned attic.

Asked By Peter L | Jul 1 15
12 Answers

Boiler upgrade recommendation?

I’m currently looking to upgrade my old boiler as it developed a small crack and is leaking. My current boiler is a P-468U-wt (151,000 btu/hr) Weil-McClain oil-fired boiler with a 40-gallon hot water holding tank.

I’m getting two different suggestions from two of my plumbers and would love some input on their recommendations. One recommends replacing it with an Energy Kinetics System 2000 and the other one is suggesting a Navien Combi-boiler.

Asked By Joe Pavia | Jul 1 15
0 Answers

Spray close cell flat roof or not / old brick spray foam

Greetings, Im currently renovating a 100 yr old rowhome end unit and adding a large framed addition that will have a flat roof deck surface that will be coated with FRP over OSB ;2x12 joists( no venting /warm roof) -there are so many controversial articles on how to properly insulate to avoid moisture entrapment it is dizzying..

Asked By Darron Zimmer | Jul 3 15
17 Answers

Deep energy retrofit — Envelope upgrade questions

We are well into the process of a deep energy retrofit for our 2,700 sq. ft. house in NYC suburbs, zone 4/5A. The house is a typical 1988 contemporary with 2x6" wood frame construction, builder grade, sloppy subs, code minimum and 25 years of neglect. Long story short, we are currently replacing the roof, windows, doors, siding and HVAC. Before we started renovations, the blower door test result of just under 11 ACH50, proved that the envelope could be improved, so that is now our focus.

Asked By Andrew Wuench | Mar 31 15
1 Answer

Intus finishes: Any chemists or PVC film experts out there?

About to get quotes for 2 jobs on Intus vinyl windows. Never heard of this technology and its pretty amazing how dark they are offering for some of their exterior color selections in vinyl. I will recommend staying on the lighter side to be safer but does anyone have any opinions on this film technology and color choices that Intus is using?

http://www.intuswindows.com/products/windows-u-pvc-arcade/

Click on "colors" for description of the film technology.

Asked By Brian Knight | Jul 2 15
65 Answers

Attic is hot after closed-cell spray foam was installed

Finished attic with 4 foot knee wall , duct located in knee wall to support 2 floor,extremely hot, BASF spray tite 2 inches with spray foam wraped around rafter in knee wall but with Sheetrock on ceiling just 2 in foam In cavity . Suggestions to handle heat issue. Richmond Virginia all attic seal very well thinking heat coming from rafters under Sheetrock. Thermal convection coming from rafters. Worked done in the winter, crawl space also done, house built 1994 colonial 2 story with garage with room above with dormer. Also in crawl space does it really need supply vent and return vent

Asked By Mark Hippchen | Jun 27 15
5 Answers

Relative value of air sealing at exterior sheathing

I am trying to understand the relative value of air sealing at the sheathing. To do this lets consider cost as the benchmark. I realize that there is value beyond cost but this is an easily quantifiable benchmark and the one that seems most resonate with my clients.

Asked By Hugh Stearns | Jul 1 15
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