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2 Answers

Gas Fireplaces

Hi all,

Looking for suggested brands/models on two types of gas fireplaces. We're specifically looking for options with the least toxic materials. We're hoping to not have fumes enter the home from the heating of the fireplace materials. Thank you!

(1) Direct vent gas fully enclosed/sealed fireplace
(2) Direct vent gas fully enclosed/sealed and see-through fireplace

Asked By J C | Oct 18 15
4 Answers

Clogged furnace filter air restriction

I remember reading an article not too long that mentioned a test and after 5 years there was not much change in reduced airflow from a clogged filter, but i can't find the article for the life of me, i believe it was on GBA.
Sound familiar to anyone?

Asked By Alan B | Nov 12 15
17 Answers

Proper metal roof installation.

We are building a new home in Southeastern Pennsylvania. We are having a Drexel Metal standing seam metal roof installed over plywood sheathing. The attic is unconditioned space with blown in insulation to a value of R-60 or so. Should the metal roofing be installed over strapping. We will have a vented soffit for air circulation.
when discussing with the roofing contractor he is adamant that this is not necessary or appropriate. My thought is that the metal should be separated from the plywood.

Asked By william dempsey | Nov 10 15
4 Answers

Retrofit unvented catherdral ceiling

Hello and thanks in advance for help ...

I am in zone 5 (by your map) Ohio and have a typical cathedral ceiling room addition from the late 70s. T&G knotty pine, followed by 6" fiberglass in 2 x 6 rafters and then the roof plywood ...of course now rotten and was previously replaced!. I am a senior lady trying to get the contractor to do it as correct as possible this time. None of the carpenters seem to know what to do with my situation so I have had to do the research.

Asked By Arlene | Nov 13 15
3 Answers

Home certification for DIY improvements?


I am based in Illinois and have a energy star certificate program available to me,(http://www.illinoishomeperformance.org/) but it requires that the contractor do the work I would rather do myself for 15-20% of the cost.

Is anyone aware of a low cost certification where I can do the work myself?

I am hoping a certification will help me get a better appraisal/sales value in the future which is a long term goal of making some of the changes. This for an existing home 67' and the projects will mostly focus on sealing and insulation additions / improvements.


Asked By John Reuter | Nov 13 15
10 Answers

Advice for keeping snow off a minisplit?

As I am getting for another bad New England winter, I clearly remember my last one, when we just got minisplits installed. It was daily duty to shovel them out. One installed on the North side would get bunch of wind-swept snow off the roof above and so would the one on the East side.

Unfortunately, I did not know it was possible to mount them on the wall, so they are sitting on concrete pad HVAC people installed it on. Maybe I wold put lattice on the side where prevailing winds are from and try to keep snow off it that.

Asked By Apollo | Nov 12 15
21 Answers

HVAC concept selection

I am considering HVAC options for a house in Michigan (climate zone 5). I would appreciate advice from this forum. Am I forgetting some important issues? Is my assessment of the advantages and drawbacks of various options faulty? The house is 2300 ft^2 above grade plus a finished basement (including bedrooms). I calculate a design heating load of about 30k btu/hr using Marc Rosenbaum’s spreadsheet. Regardless of which heating and cooling option I choose, I will be installing an HRV or ERV.

Asked By Reid Baldwin | Sep 17 15
27 Answers

Roof construction for a low-slope roof?


Asked By Kevin Hoene | Sep 21 15
8 Answers

I need to use ^more^ electricity

Hi. I'd like some advice or suggestions. I'm in the lucky position of having to use more electricity. I have a solar pv tracker that generates about 5500 kwh/yr and I live in Vt where I cannot accumulate electricity $ credit for more than a year. My house is a New England Cape and I've done some energy conservation and efficiency measures during the last 15 years. I currently use about 4400 kwh/year and I hope to reduce that number over the next year. I already have an electric oven, stovetop and dryer. My oil boiler system (Energy Kinetics) is less than 20 years old and in great condition.

Asked By Andy Friedland | Nov 8 15
2 Answers

Barn renovation — floor insulation dilemma

I am renovating a historic post an beam barn in VT. We are turning the structure into living space. This has lead us to relay and mortar the stone foundation. Spray foam the outside of the barn and add an additional layer of siding. The space is roughly 1000 sq ft.

Asked By Christopher Cullen | Nov 12 15
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