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3 Answers

Order of upgrades

In an older house, is there a particular order in which air sealing and insulating upgrades should be made? I understand every situation is different, so I am looking for general guidelines. I am looking at possibly purchasing a 40 year old house and planned on trying to air seal the attic and rim joists of the crawlspace right away as well as duct sealing. Any big holes like pull-down attic stairs would also be addressed. After completing the most obvious work I'd like to have a blower door test done.

Asked By Daniel Gillen | Jan 28 15
2 Answers

How can I stop snow from blowing into my soffit vents and up the attic vent chutes?

We live in Maine, next to the ocean, northeast exposer. When we get blowing snow, it comes up under the eaves, through the soffit vents, up the vent chutes and onto the insulation in the attic. How can we stop this problem? Should we cover the vents and/or stuff the chutes with plastic on the NE side?

Asked By Lynn Braff | Jan 30 15
4 Answers

Is 4" of foam worth it?

I am building an addition onto my house in climate Zone 4 (central Missouri). Part of the plans of the addition are trying to incorporate having 2x6 construction of the addition next to a 2x4 framed original construction.

I have decided to allow the 2" difference in framing to stick out to the exterior of the south side of house with the intention of having 2" of foam on the 2x6 wall (which appears to be enough to prevent condensation) and adding 4" of foam to the 2x4 walls.

Asked By Michael McArdle | Jan 30 15
2 Answers

Western Montana cabin and home

My wife and I are planning to buy a property in Western Montana, climate zone 6B, in the next few years. Our plan is to build a small cabin to use as a vacation property and then after I retire from the military we will build a large home and live there full time. We originally were looking at log cabins and homes because of the rustic look, but then I realized just how inefficient they are. Efficiency and cost are the main concerns and we would be going for the Pretty Good house concept over trying to earn any certifications.

Asked By Keith Roxo | Jan 30 15
5 Answers

Radiant floor vs. minisplits?

I have a 800 sq. ft. home in Asheville, NC, and am looking to put on a 550 sq. ft. addition. I have been looking into all options of radiant floor heat vs mini splits for our heating and get stuck between preference and practicality. I am adding three floors with each floor being about 190 sq. ft.

Asked By Clayton Hufford | Jan 29 15
15 Answers

House fully insulated with 2" rigid foam

I have been an avid viewer of this site for a couple of years now, ever since I knew I was going to be building my new home. This is, however, my first post to the site.

Asked By Nick Beining | Jan 13 15
18 Answers

Double Staggered-Stud Wall vs. 2x3 + Foam Strip + 2x4 Wall

My new house will be in a part of climate zone 2B in Arizona where the winter nights often dip into the 30s and the summer days often rise to 100 with around 45 days of "monsoon season" mostly in August when we'll get an hour of thunderstorms once or twice a week. We have moderate to severe termites.

Asked By Jeff Cooper | Jan 23 15
5 Answers

Any ideas on best/greenest counter top materials?

Cost per square foot, if available, would be appreciated.

Asked By Jacque Hyler | Jan 29 15
9 Answers

Unvented roof deck with dense-packed cellulose -- vapor barrier?

Hi I just dense packed my attic ceiling (it is a livable space, not crawl) with dense pack cellulose (8"), held in with insulweb. we put the cellulose right up against the roof deck. I am concerned whether I need a vapor barrier and where it should go. My plan was to just put rough cut wood (not tongue and groove ontop of it for the ceiling, but a few people who looked at it thought I might need a vapor or air barrier. The roof is not vented.

Asked By carrie da | Jan 29 15
4 Answers

Combining electric cove heaters with PV

In a recent blog, Designing an HVAC System for a Cold Climate, Malcolm Taylor is quoted as recommending electric cove heaters, and a link to the Comfort Cove line from Radiants Systems, Inc. is provided in the blog text. Searching Green Building Advisor turns up half a dozen other references to cove heaters, all very short, and all positive. I wonder if there is more useful advice on choosing and using this technology for supplemental heat.

Asked By Derek Roff | Jan 29 15
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