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16 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

Solar orientation design trade-offs-tough decisions

I have the unique opportunity to build an net-zero spec house for an investor in my local area. It's a 1450 sq ft. ranch with a garage on a slab. Building to "pretty awesome" house principles. Air-tight, High R, Triple glazed euro windows, etc etc.

My dilemma is the trade-offs between curb appeal, design functionality and optimum solar orientation for solar PV and glazing.

Asked By Ben Freed | Jul 6 15
7 Answers

Insulate shop with polyiso between rafters?

Hi Folks ...

[I am new here, but have read through enough posts to see that what I'm asking about seems to be within the normal range of discussion, but not answered directly by anything I could find.]

I am in MA (zone 5). I have a 12' x 20' prefab shed that is used as a workshop. It was insulated with fiberglass batts between the 2x4 (yes, 2x4) rafters. There was 3/8" plywood below these covering the rafters, but not all the way up to the peak -- top foot or so on each side was just the open insulation face.

Asked By Tom Rawson | Dec 29 14
4 Answers

Best practices for cutting foam?

What are people doing to cut EPS foam and control the dust and debris generated, considering the toxicity of the fire retardant chemicals in it?

Some argue the fire retardants are OK, because they don't leach out of the foam much. But it seems to me that the environmental release is probably dominated by the dust and debris generated.

Asked By Charlie Sullivan | Jul 6 15
5 Answers

Window replacement

Hi.... I am helping a friend reconstruct an exterior wall, and will be replacing a window. The window purchased (and non-returnable) is a replacement window type.

Since we will be removing all the siding for the reconstruction, I assumed that a regular flanged was purchased.

Asked By Rob Henderson | Jul 6 15
5 Answers

My HAVC unit sits outside my bedroom wall. How can I reduce the noise transfer from the unit?

I am thinking of removing the existing drywall and replacing the insulation with noise reduction insulation and some kind of noise reducing drywall

Asked By Frank Gambale | Jul 6 15
5 Answers

Spray-applied acoustic sealants

I have already found couple of articles at GBA about sprayable caulk that is used to air seal envelope: EcoSeal and EnergyComplete. Is there anything newer coming up on the market? I only ask because our builder was approached by Lumber84 to become a test house for air sealing with acoustical sealant... We still don't know what it might be and what properties and VOC, etc.
Thanks,
Lucy

Asked By Lucyna de Barbaro | Jul 5 15
3 Answers

Had a 50 inch water heater — replacing it with a 59 1/4 inch one

Had a 50 inch water heater — replacing it with a 59 1/4 inch one.

Will there be any problems because of height difference? Does the height difference cause any problems with installation?

Asked By Anthony Wells | Jul 5 15
7 Answers

New unvented attic and high humidity

Last year after a severe hailstorm the attic insulation and the entire roof deck of my 1600 sq. ft. ranch style home in Fort Calhoun, NE was replaced. With the replacement we upgraded the insulation to Open Cell Icynene spray foam on roof decking. The spray foam is at least 6-8 inches on the roof, and covers the sidewalls, soffits, and attached garage ceiling. This completely closes in the attic to the thermal envelope of the house.

Asked By Nick Schuler | Jun 30 15
0 Answers

Net Zero vanity license plates

Phil Kaplan of Maine is proud of his "Net Zero" vanity license plate. He sent me a photo in which he poses with Bob Irving, who nabbed the Net Zero tag for New Hampshire.

Who else has a Net Zero vanity plate?

.

Asked By Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor | Jul 6 15
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