Q&A: A Forum for Green Building Experts and Beginners

[Click map to enlarge]

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions. The usual rules of courtesy apply: 1. Be nice. 2. If you can't be nice, be polite. 3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief. To attach a photo or illustration: Under the box labeled "More explanation," look for the words "File attachments." Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo. Thanks for joining the conversation!

3 Answers

I am replacing my existing siding and I am doing the following -stud - 5/8" plywood - 1-1/2" of Polyisol, 3/8" rain screen, WRB, fiber cement siding. The house is in the San Francisco bay area on a hill with a stepped foundation.

Asked By Randy Mason | Aug 30 14
32 Answers

My house has high levels of CO2 / carbon dioxide, every room is between 1100 ppm to 1200 ppm according to an air quality test I had. There are only 2 grown occupants and it's a 1000 sq. ft. brick house. No pets or plants, gas stove / furnace / water heater.

The basement was the only area that had between 900-1,000 ppm of CO2. I've read ASHRAE likes to see under 1000 ppm of CO2. We do have headaches & drowsiness but aren't sure if it's strictly from CO2. For reference, our CO (carbon monoxide) numbers were all under 2 ppm.

Asked By Jeff Watson | Mar 9 14
Answers

(If this should be posted elsewhere- feel free to move it, or tell me where to repost it.)
I have a fairly typical Chicago-style, narrow (like 22'), 2-story, balloon-framed house that was built in the 1880s or 1890s, and converted to a 2-flat later.
At some point (maybe in the 2-flat conversion?), the 2-story back porch was enclosed, and the new siding was continued down to grade level- by adding some framing between the wood columns (on piers) that support the porch.

Asked By Ben Rush | Aug 30 14
1 Answer

I live in the San Francisco bay area and am going to use 1-1/2" rigid foam board and a rain screen on the exterior of my house. I have read numerous articles in regards to using insect screen at the tops and bottoms of the rainscreen wall, however no specific details about the type of insect screen is ever mentioned.

There are numerous types of insect screens (Aluminum, Fiberglass Bronze, galvanized, etc.) available.

Asked By Randy Mason | Aug 30 14
6 Answers

My 1927 house has balloon framing, real plaster walls on rock lath, and no vapor barrier. It has cedar shingles over tar paper.

If I blow insulation into the walls, will I create a problem with vapor from the house condensing inside the walls? Even without insulation (current condition), can I close the top of the walls in the attic or will that also allow water vapor to condense in the walls?

Asked By RUTH HENDRICKSON | Aug 29 14
5 Answers

I am in zone 5A and I have a problem of excess humidity in my ICF home with no abnormal sources of moisture (5 occupants of a 2150 sft home with a full basement). This results in condensation on the wall of windows facing a pond on the north.

Since a dehumidifier will also dump heat into the home helping my all-electric furnace heat the home, I am wondering if it would cheaper to run the dehumidifier than to use an ERV to lessen the humidity in the home. I realize in the latter case, there's some loss of sensible heat that the electric furnace would then have to compensate for.

TIA.

Asked By Venkat Y | Aug 29 14
8 Answers

My designer and I are designing a house as close to passivhaus standards as we can get. We have agreed to design it with SIPs but he thinks a truss roof with spray insulation would work just as well. I'm thinking a SIP roof eliminates potential for thermal bridging and is less costly to install versus the truss roof.

Asked By scott schroeder | Aug 29 14
15 Answers

I would like to decide on putting in solar panels to reduce energy costs.

I have read about the next generation solar panels not being to far off.

Question: Would it be better to install current solar panels or wait for the new type that will be coming shortly?

Asked By John Alberti | Aug 26 14
2 Answers

Hi,
I am currently redoing the exterior of my house with a new vinyl siding and changing all windows. My house was built in the mid 80's and have 2x6 studs with Batt Insulation and mostly without a vapor barrier... but the insulation is not great, especially the air goes through the house.
My question is what is the best insulation for me to put outside the house underneath the vinyl siding. My windows will allow me to go up to 1 inches of exterior insulation.
So XPS with Typar? Polyisocyanurate (IKO Ener Air )? Others?

Asked By Jason Haché | Aug 29 14
1 Answer

So based on everything thing I am reading should we be using R3 R4 or R5 for each inch of Polyiso since it decreases in performance as it gets colder. I seem to be seeing some variation in Answers. I am in zone 5 and was planning on putting 5 inches of Polyiso.(thinking that was R 30 Roughly but if is is only R 15 when coldest that is a problem) Now it seems like I would be better served with three inches of polyiso with EPS on top. I have access to 1.5 or 2.75 inch EPS. Would I still be OK with 3 inches of polyiso and 2.75 inch of EPS on top?

Asked By terry grube | Aug 29 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!