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2 Answers

thicker walls -- [Not really a new thread]

The interior is gutted to the studs. Was going to replace old isolation with R-15. Will be residing in the future. Vinal is brittle and we are replacing all windows. Doing all the work myself so it's just what I think I'm worth.
Thank you

Asked By Scott Neels | Mar 23 15
2 Answers

Hard or flaccid?

I am advising my friends on their 50s ranch upgrade with full basement. The house could never be made energy efficient unless it was completely torn down and rebuilt. They have a lower seer HVAC system that is a tad bit over-sized and runs like a top. Their GC wants them to completely rip-out the very accessible (full basement) hard HVAC duct and install a new system for 16k+ not including 18% markup (estimate with no manual J or D, to go by I might add), because their system is "too leaky" which he summarized by just eyeballing it.

Asked By leo kloop | Mar 23 15
9 Answers

New PHIUS+ 2015 released and in effect as of March 16th, 2015

Interested to hear comments on the new PHIUS + 2015 that went into effect on March 16, 2015. They made a lot of changes and the biggest being the each climate zone and specific area will have its own standards. Not one big gigantic fits all approach like PassivHaus but very specific to climate zones, house size, etc.

Read more here:

Asked By Peter L | Mar 20 15
2 Answers

Insulating basement ceiling/first floor

I suspect this has been much discussed, so feel free to bump me over to a thread if one exists...

We have a relatively modern (1981), reasonably efficient gambrel in Maine. Full basement, concrete foundation, unfinished (used for storage and a workshop. Not heated, but gets residual heat from the oil boiler. Temp hovers between 50 and 70, depending upon what the boiler is doing.

Asked By John Gold | Mar 23 15
19 Answers

Air sealing, flashing questions

I have to say that reading GBA for 4 years certainly helps when you build your own house (my brother's house, really), but it does not replace actually getting your hands dirty or sticky. I use the term sticky because my job is air sealing and I get covered in sticky stuff daily.

I have a few questions because I am not sure that I am doing things correctly. I don't really "get" flashing. I know you are supposed to "think like water" and ask yourself where would the water go and how to divert it to the outside of the building, but some details still baffle me.

Asked By Lucy Foxworth | Aug 25 13
7 Answers

Makeup air advice needed

I had a recent post asking advice regarding HRV vs exhaust only ventilation for my very tight energy efficient smaller home that I am building. Balanced HRV systems if installed properly could have exhaust lines in the bathroom and in the kitchen with boost capacities negating the need for additional exhaust lines.

The major stumbling blocks are the very high cost of proper installation and space requirement for the system itself for easy accessibility as well as space for the duct work.

Asked By Victoria Williams | Mar 22 15
4 Answers

Is anybody aware of an hybrid air-source heat pump and gas boiler available in U.S. market?

I know Daikin makes one for the the European market, but I can't find a similar product that is available here.

Asked By Joseph Carry | Mar 21 15
3 Answers

Furnace and HRV

We are in the market for a new furnace and hrv, do they come as a single unit? Can you also recommend a list of reliable and efficient brands?

Thank you!

Asked By Diane MacIntyre | Mar 22 15
2 Answers

U-values of solid walls

I asked a GSHP installer how they could work out heat loss for each room without knowing the construction characteristics of the walls, roof and floors and received the following answer "our technical design team have worked out based on building regulations the required U-value’s for different properties be it a new build, renovation or boiler replacement in an existing house"

Is this a case where common sense has failed me, can they do this with any degree of accuracy or am I right to be suspicious of the results their averages produce?

Asked By George Winkle | Mar 19 15
4 Answers

What R-value is required on the stem wall of a crawl space?

I am located in Zone 3b, Orange County CA.

Asked By keith messick | Mar 21 15
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