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2 Answers

New Home Build

Greetings,

I'm a long time reader. I've learned a great deal from reading these forums. We're building a new home real soon. Hopefully, we will be in this home a long time, and energy efficiency is important to me. I'm sure I'll have many more questions, but I'd appreciate any advice on the following to start.

Our home is 2,500 sf. It's basically a rectangular, two-story, shape. We are zone 4a.

Asked By C. Maglio | Dec 8 14
7 Answers

Foam insulation and vented attic

I am in the process of buying a house with open cell spray foam on the attic roof. The vents were left open for gas combusting furnaces. We are in Austin, Tx.
My budget to address the problem if there is one should be enough to cover any number of scenarios.

Asked By Heidi Hicks | Dec 16 14
39 Answers

Solar thermal systems for heating water

Jin this is for you and Richard

Let's run the costs and the systems through the paces

so far I hear $16,000 for a Caleffi system and maybe that for labor? $32,000
saves $500 a year

CO2 production unknown to manufacture
Very little CO2 to run the ECM circulators

There are much less costly systems

NYSERDA here in NY is unveiling a new program this January
Will post more about it when they tell us more

Jin, Richard, others... what say you all

Asked By aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a | Dec 15 14
9 Answers

Will my generator run a minisplit safely?

My new house will be heated with two minisplit heat pumps. Here in Maine, we have lots of power outages, so we're also putting in a whole house standby generator.

I've been informed by the Fujitsu installer that we should not plan to run the minisplits off the generator when the grid power goes out. We also may install a heat pump water heater and maybe even a heat pump dryer. We'll have some backup heat.

I have two questions:

1. Would the generator power damage the heat pumps or prevent them from operating?

Asked By stephen sheehy | Dec 13 14
23 Answers

B&G's low flow Vario ECM circulator - stupid efficient pumps

http://bellgossett.com/pumps-circulators/small-circulation-pumps-booster...

What I discovered as a result of the research stimulated by this GBA dialogue is that my circulator controlled hydronic heating will not work with a smart pump like the Alpha, Bumble B or the new Taco model.

Asked By flitch plate | Dec 16 14
25 Answers

Foam-free builds

All the talk about sub-slab foam levels has me thinking. What floor systems easily allow foam free construction? Pier construction immediately comes to mind, but beyond that?

Asked By Malcolm Taylor | Oct 4 14
10 Answers

Woodstoves: does efficient burning depend on size?

We are in the market for a new, non-catalytic woodstove. We understand that a non-cat stove needs a minimum temperature of around 500° for an efficient secondary burn. Question: Does attaining that 500° depend on the size of the stove at all? Or will the same quantity of wood produce the same burn temperature regardless of firebox size? (I know, dry, seasoned hardwood, etc.)

Asked By Patricia Appelbaum | Dec 17 14
7 Answers

Meanwhile at BSC ... PHIUS draft standard

Not sure it was linked here .....
But it might interest some of us that missed the hint from PHIUS or PHAUS

http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/bareports/ba-1405-draft-climate...

BA-1405: Climate-Specific Passive Building Standards

Draft paper from PHIUS and BSC .

Still reading and learning, interesting stuff.

Might we discuss the proposed standard now ? :)

Asked By Jin Kazama | Dec 12 14
6 Answers

Retrofit insulation of an exterior wall

I want to insulate my exterior wall and have the room gutted. I am in the Poconos of Pennsylvania and in Zone #5 I believe. I have 2x6 walls with Tyvek wrap, OSB siding and vinyl siding. The walls had R-19 faced fiberglass batts that were installed poorly. Currently all of the wall cavities and studs are exposed and are in perfect condition. The studs, tyvek and insulation have absolutely no moisture issues at all. They look like the day they were installed 22 years ago. I want to insulate but have questions about vapor issues. I sealed the rim joist with closed cell spray foam.

Asked By John Divincenzo | Dec 17 14
7 Answers

Housewrap under vinyl siding

Ok, I'm getting educated and made some decisions. To recap, I'm residing with vinyl after stripping down to plywood sheathing (1/2" plywood over 2x4 studs, fiberglass batt, poly vapor barrier, sheetrock, zone 5). I've decided to go with 3/4" rigid foam over the plywood and under the vinyl which is R3 and very water vapor permeable. Can only fit 3/4" thickness insulation board (long story). Probably going to use Progressive Foam HalfBack H2O with water management system (grooves toward sheathing to drain any leaked in water). Want to add house wrap (Tyvek or Typar).

Asked By george baloga | Dec 17 14
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