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1 Answer

I'll be giving a presentation at the SolarFest gathering today

Anyone living near Manchester, Vermont, may be interested in checking out this weekend's SolarFest gathering -- a combination of live music and workshops on solar energy and sustainable design.

At 6:00 p.m. tonight (Friday July 15), I'll be giving a presentation at SolarFest on passive solar design.

For more information, see these web sites:

SolarFest Workshop Schedule

SolarFest General Information

In General questions | Asked By Martin Holladay | Jul 15 16
32 Answers

Desperate help, minisplit sizing

I'm a GC building my own home. I live in an extremely rural area with very few knowledgeable hvac professionals within 300 miles. I have decided to go with mitsubishi ductless mini splits to heat and cool the entire house. Basically I need help choosing what size units to purchase, how many heads, and to me most importantly where to place the units. This home will be occupied by just me and the wife so interior doors will be open most of the time.

In Mechanicals | Asked By aaron miiller | Jul 13 16
4 Answers

Best way to install a single-pane stationary window in a shower?

We are doing a complete bathroom remodel. My wife wants a window in the new 36' x 72" walk-in shower. It will look into another room with a view to the outside. The "window" could just be a single 3/8" pane of tempered glass. ideally, it would be flush with the shower side of the tile wall. I'm looking for the best way to frame the wall, install and waterproof the "window". Window opening would be approximately 36" wide and 48" tall, starting at 48" from floor of shower. Tile will be floor to ceiling in shower. Ceiling at 8'.

In General questions | Asked By Jim Gruenewald | Jul 14 16
2 Answers

Insulating ceiling under a deck

Climate Zone 5

We have opened up the ceiling of a small section of a kitchen that is under a roof deck with membrane roofing. This is in a 1910 house that has NO insulation in the walls. There is currently no insulation in this 2x8 framed ceiling cavity. There are recessed down-lights. (The main roof of the house is receiving new R60 blown in)

Back to the little section of ceiling under the deck.

The insulation subcontractor wants to install 2" closed cell spray foam and 5 1/4" BIBS. I worry about the double vapor barrier around the deck sub floor.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Meri Lewis | Jul 14 16
3 Answers

Will I have to be concerned with pipes freezing when I install a Mitsubishi Hyper heat system?

I have oil heat with forced hot water presently in my home in NH. The house is 5 years old and very well insulated. I want to add the Mitsubishi hyper heat to our house. It will have two indoor units one on each floor of our home. We are not putting a unit in the basement. It is primarily for cooling, but would like to use it to maintain the home at 55 degrees when we are not there. This is a vacation home so we are there mostly on weekends. My concern is that the oil burner will only be running to maintain hot water. We have a tankless unit off the boiler.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Rob Murray | Jul 14 16
30 Answers

Siding Recommendations


I am trying to find a green, vertical tongue and groove, or ship lap style siding, that is low maintenance or maintenance free. I am trying to achieve an unfinished or lightly stained real wood grain look. Most of the products I have seen are solid colors, which I am trying to avoid. Thanks in advance for any recommendations!


In General questions | Asked By Chad Kotlarz | Jul 10 16
2 Answers

Floor over slab insulation?

I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I'm turning an existing porch into a dinning room. There is an existing 6" slab with 1 1/2" thick pavers over it. The pavers are cemented to the slab and grouted. Dirt under the slab.

The local code calls for R10 insulation 2' in around the perimeter walls. I wanted the entire floor insulated. My contractor only did the 2' perimeter insulation. In your opinion is this OK?


In General questions | Asked By curtis bischof | Jul 14 16
4 Answers

2" or even 4" of foam on exterior of garage/workshop in zone 7

I am just about to put siding on my 24 x 30 garage/workshop. It is 2 x 6 construction (16 centers) with R50 blown cellulose in the ceiling and R20 batts in the wall cavities.

I'm adding 4" foam of exterior foam vertically along the 12 " thickened edge slab below grade (as deep as 48" if the rock below will allow... some places it will be closer to 24") in an effort to keep the slab from robbing all the heat.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By tim brown | Jul 13 16
2 Answers

What percentage improvement can I expect in my electric bill if I have spray foam insulation installed?

What is the difference in spray foam and blown in insulation? In my area the price difference is considerable and I just need to know if it would be worth it.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Delilla Harts | Jul 13 16
4 Answers

Blanket insulation in basement

The builder installed a roll batt blanket insulation in an unfinished basement covering poured in place concrete walls. I am curious on opinion as to whether leave it and frame in front of it or remove it and frame off wall and insulate with closed cell spray foam.

Can the blanket insulation be left?


In General questions | Asked By Tim Miszuk | Jul 13 16
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