Q&A: A Forum for Green Building Experts and Beginners

[Click map to enlarge]

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

The usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration:
Under the box labeled "More explanation," look for the words "File attachments."
Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!

1 Answer

Fireplace work around?

The house I'm buying has a fireplace. We will NOT be using it but don't want to take it out, just in case someone still wants one when we re-sell it. So:

do you have a work around for air sealing and insulating at the damper that isn't permanent and can be removed for some future owner?

Thanks in advance.

In Green building techniques | Asked By JoeW N GA Zone 3A | Jul 27 12
7 Answers

Small dental office wanting to install the smallest water heater possible

I have five handwashing sinks and one sterilization sink and took out my 40 gal gas tank heater,Space is at a premium and wondering what would be some good options. The building is from 1968.

In General questions | Asked By Joe Stricker | Jul 26 12
1 Answer

Vinyl windows on exterior foam panels

How do you install vinyl windows on 2 inch exterior foam?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Tucker Spohr | Jul 26 12
5 Answers

How to seal an existing basement floor

I have daylight/stepped foundation basement floor in zone 6 that has heaved and hod over the years due to it being unconditioned. It's about 15 years old but has been in the elements for most of them until I purchased the property and put a frame on it. It's got cracks along the perimeter and in the floor and I'm wondering what my options are for sealing them. Thanks, Steve

In General questions | Asked By stephen edge | Jul 26 12
7 Answers

Is Condensation in Larsen Truss Wall System a Problem?

We are intending to build a wall system composed of a 2x4 and a 2x3 Larsen Truss with Zip system sheathing on the outside. We are concerned about the potential for condensation in the cellulose with which we fill the cavity if we don't have insulated sheathing on the exterior.

Is this a legitimate concern and is there something we can do about it without applying insulated sheathing?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Hannah Haselton | Jul 24 12
6 Answers

Heat pump for Boston home

Do you know of a cold-climate or all-climate heat pump for the 1400 sq. ft. second floor (4 bedrooms) of my all-electric Boston home (to replace my old Carrier heat pump, located in the attic)?

I am looking for a unit that will operate with an outside air temperature in the teens. If no system is available, what conventional system would you prefer (eg, Carrier, Trane , Lennox)?

Thank you,

In GBA Pro help | Asked By robert stern | Jul 23 12
4 Answers

High RH in a Green home with a "conditioned" sealed crawl space


I am mad as a humid hornet!. I have a sealed "conditioned" crawl space, in one-year old house in Harrisonburg, VA, that is virtually leak-proof with top of the line 2Ton HVAC by Lennox.

So why do I have high RH (60-70%) in the living space? The crawl space is even more humid 70% plus! My wife has allergies, my hardwoods are "cupping, and doors are sticking. No mold yet.


If I must get a dehumidifier should I:

a. dehumidify the living space and "push" dryer air into the crawl space

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Tom Johnson | Jul 22 12
2 Answers

Elevated floor over FPSF

I have a 100-year-old house in Ottawa, Ontario and I want to build (re-build, actually) a one-story addition of about 130sf. This is zone 6 (by US standards) and the AFI is just over 1800 degree-F days.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Christopher Solar | Jul 25 12
1 Answer

Replace windows

I live in British Columbia,Canada. Please reply the following questions. Thank you.
U-factor (W/m² - K): Is this number lower better or higher better?
U-factor (Btu/h/ft² - °F): Is this number lower better or higher better?
Glazing Cavity Width (mm): Is this number lower better or higher better?
Emissivity: Is this number lower better or higher better?
Low E Surface: Is surface 3 better or surface 2 better?
Solar Heat Gain (SHGC): Is this number lower better or higher better?

In General questions | Asked By Van Lena | Jul 25 12
3 Answers

Best choices for electric boilers?

I am currently adding a second floor to my house in Massachusetts. My old oil boiler is at the very end of its life and we are exploring many options. Here are some more details....

- We have forced hot water baseboard throughout the first floor. We have a few options on the second floor, the easiest of which is to just install similar baseboards. The current copper on in the basement is setup for 2 zones so it will take minimal effort to tie into the old system.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Dan Porges | Jul 25 12
Register for a free account and join the conversation

Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!