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

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

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

If you want to post a question, 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!

2 Answers

What is the most economical heat system for a 700 s.f. house with no furnace?

I have a relative who may have to give up her house due to illness/unemployment Her gas furnace went on the blink. To replace it would be $1800 +. What is the safest most economical method of heat to heat her 775 sf house. She closes off one room so actually 3 small rooms & a bath is what she would be heating. For now she is using an electric fireplace and two infrared heaters that are supposed to heat up to 1000 sf.
Thank you.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Ruby | Nov 30 15
1 Answer

Detail on a garage wall abutment to an exterior block wall

Hi there - been using this site for about a year. Just performed an energy retrofit where I ripped out the ceiling in the garage Redid the ducting system, fixed a lot of electrical that was wired incorrectly or unsafe, airsealed, put ithen put in two layers of 1/2" polyisocyanurate, covered with 1/2" drywall.

If you follow this link: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/cad/detail/air-barrier-garage-band-j...

that is exactly the configuration i built to (I did not use furring strips like the detail calls out though).

In Green building techniques | Asked By Daniel | Nov 29 15
1 Answer

Green / Passive House Architects

Anyone know of a good source for good energy efficient / Passivehouse architects?

In Green building techniques | Asked By Peter L | Nov 29 15
7 Answers

Insulating a non vented vaulted ceiling in Canada


I've recently had a 10x14 foot backyard studio built for me by a local company. I asked them not to insulate it because I was hoping to save some money by doing it myself. However, after some research I'm not really sure how to continue.

The studio has a vaulted 2x6 ceiling (with one skylight) with no ventilation. The soffits also have no vents. Initially, I was planning to just shove some fibreglass batts up there, putt up a vapor barrier and then finish it off with some wood paneling. However, after researching it sounds like that's a recipe for moisture and mold.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Kirsten Quist | Nov 28 15
3 Answers

Best practices for HRV on a budget

I am building a simple but efficient home in climate zone C4. It will be a 3 bedroom, 2000 sq ft home. with us living mostly in the upper half. I was originally planning on putting one or two panasonic spot ERVs in but am know thinking it might be better for overall air quality, efficiency, and spreading the heat from my two headed mini-split, to put a fully ducted HRV unit in. I have been looking at the Fantec FLEX100H, and the Lifebreath RNC 95. Money is a huge issue but the price difference between two panasonics and one of these units is not much.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kail Zuschlag | Nov 29 15
2 Answers

Recommendations for a small HRV

Hi everyone
I'm looking to buy an HRV for our small (1000 sqft) ranch home.

I already installed all the dedicated ductwork last year and had been using a home-made HRV that worked very well, but I don't have the time to keep tinkering with it to get it to work just right. The cabinet was made of plywood and I kept having problems with the air streams crossing and causing condensation and mold in the cabinet.
Anyway as a result I'm going to hook up a new HRV to my ductwork.

I'd like a small unit - I will be installing it in a closet
Quiet would be good
Also with ports on top

In Mechanicals | Asked By Carlo Giombi | Oct 12 15
6 Answers

Advice for HRV/ERV on a budget

I am in climate zone 4C and building a fairly efficient home on a really tight budget. I used flashing tape and sealed all seams in my sheathing and will hopefully have a really tight home. The house is two stories, each story just over a 1000 sq ft (2100 sq ft total), and the home is designed so the majority of the living space is upstairs. I was planning on installing a single Panasonic Spot HRV in a central place upstairs, but a mechanical contractor (who was trying to sell me something) has told me that this will not be sufficient. and has recommended a Lifebreath RNC 95.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Kail Zuschlag | Nov 12 15
2 Answers

To vent or not to vent?

First, I apologize for a question asked many times on here. After just asking about access to an unvented attic, I started to question the whole unvented idea. I live in zone 3, plan to use Zip R (R-6.6) with cellulose inside 2x6 walls.

I originally planned on unvented with 5 inch nailbase with around 3 inches of OC spray foam in the bottom of roof.

I've read every article I can find on the subject on here and other sites. If my ducts and air handler will not be in the attic, would it be better to go unvented? I know with unvented you gain a lot of volume of air to condition.

In General questions | Asked By Eric | Nov 28 15
2 Answers

Locating manifold of a radiant floor heating system

Recently acquired a Condo that has propane fired radiant floor heating system. The house inspection showed it to be working. Recently as the cold weather begins in earnest the system cannot keep up... had a local reputable company diagnose the problem which they determined is caused by air in the system. They were able to remove some of the air at the boiler. As they drained water from the system it was very brown. In any case, the heating improved in some of the rooms as measured at the floor with an infrared thermometer. But not all. The thermostat was replaced with a programable model.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Carroll Ayer | Nov 28 15
14 Answers

Can PEX pipe be reused after a fitting is removed?

I've had 3 plastic on brass pex swivel connections fail. Each time I noticed water, reached up to check the connections only to have the nuts shatter in my hand. The first two times I used push connect fittings to replace the swivel fittings, connecting to the supply after the fitting was attached to the sink. After another failure yesterday on Thanksgiving I've decided to replace all the plastic on brass with all brass swivel fittings. I hack-sawed the pillow-top of the crimp connection then used a hair dryer to heat the pex, pulled out the brass shank and slid off the clamp.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By K C | Nov 27 15
Register for a free account and join the conversation

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