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1 Answer

1880 Victorian – no insulation and new windows needed

We live in Massachusetts. Our 1880 Victorian has no insulation in the walls/ceilings/basement. Looking to replace all the windows in the house. Looking at Marvin Infinity Series (thoughts/comments?). Confused on pro/con of different insulation options. Looks like blowing in deep pack cellulose is the most common option. Exterior of house is in descent shape (wood shingles). I have read a lot about moisture issues with deep pack. Is this really a risk since there is no vapor barrier behind my lathe and plaster? Anyone suggest a great company in Mass to do the insulation work? Thanks!

In General questions | Asked By Drew King | Apr 24 12
4 Answers

Using heat from Fridge to heat water

Has anyone thought about using the heat pump in the fridge to heat hot water?
What about a hack from a DIY ?

In Green products and materials | Asked By Dennis Doherty | Apr 23 12
4 Answers

Attic access: What is the best way to maintain an airtight seal?

Once again, I'm a guy building a house--someday. After my seemingly endless perusal of this website, I've concluded that (a) attics can't be drywalled off and forgotten, even though I won't ever want to go up there, and, (b) an oft-sold accessory, the pull-down attic stairs, is a really bad idea for an energy-efficient home. Given these facts, can anyone suggest a simple, airtight detail which will allow attic access and maintain the integrity of the building envelope?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Gordon Taylor | Apr 24 12
2 Answers

I currently have an oil hot water heating system. I wish to get off oil.

What is the most economical and green solution? Wood is not an option.

In General questions | Asked By Jan de Graaf | Apr 23 12
5 Answers

Spray foam for a concrete brick house

I plan on spray foaming my house really soon. it's a post-WW2 home with concrete brick as an exterior cladding. I have read the article on the precautions of insulating brick homes, but there is a slight difference.

1. Are concrete bricks generally more resistant than clay bricks to spalling?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By gramps888 . | Apr 16 12
7 Answers

What are my options to replace fiberglass insulation in vaulted ceiling?

The vaulted ceiling is scissor truss construction with a 6/12 ceiling and 9/12 roof pitch. I've been in the attic and have very limited access, but I can see wires running through the insulation, gaps, and no insulation on top of the ridge peak. In order to replace the insulation I figure I will have to remove sections of the drywall for access from below. When I gain access from below I could rake out the fiberglass insulation and then use some type of blowin insulation. What insulation could I have blown into this space with a 6/12 pitch?

Thanks for the advice.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Brad Dorken | Apr 19 12
10 Answers

What is the correct way to manually calculate air infiltration heat loss?

I am designing my own house and I would like to figure out the Heat Loss & Heat Gain numbers to verify if the subcontrator's calculations are right. I think I've got the formulas for those, but I don't under stand 2 numbers in the equation, if this is the correct equation?

Air Infiltration Heat Loss = Room Volume X Design Temperature Difference X AIR CHANGES PER HOUR X .O18.

My questions are: How are the number of Air Changes per Hour arrived at? and What is the .018?

Ron Lay

In Mechanicals | Asked By RON LAY | Mar 19 12
5 Answers

Recommendations for Manual J software?

Hi All,

I'm looking into software to perform Manual J calcs, and perhaps also do other simulation/calculations as well. I'm fluent with the PHPP and another software called TrnSys (from a previous job), but I'm looking for something more common in the residential efficiency world.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Cramer Silkworth | Jan 10 12
3 Answers

Sealing Brick Veneer...or not?

I have a modular masonry fireplace. The chimney has a brick veneer with a small gap between the brick and the masonry blocks. I initially had a small leak through the brick and onto the chimney's built-in brick ledge (in the attic) during a rain. This seems to have stopped based on observation during subsequent rains. It has been recommended that I spray the chimney brick with a sealer.

1) Do I need to do this? Why did it leak at first and now it doesn't? The mortar wasn't fully cured at the time of the initial leakage---would that make a difference?

In General questions | Asked By john walls | Apr 22 12
3 Answers

Installation of finless windows

I will be buying windows for a new construction. The difference in cost between windows with nailing fins and those without is $1000 for the package. This is significant money and I would like to take advantage of it unless there is a compelling reason not to. If the reason comes down to ease of installation I can deal with that. What are the other benefits of fins over non-fins?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Ben Raterman | Apr 18 12
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