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1 Answer

How to cool my upstairs?

I live in South Louisiana and my house is quite large 5500sqft with the upstairs measuring about 1600sqft. In the summer the upstairs does not get cool. The attic has the insulation that was used when it was built fiberglass pink stuff about 15 yrs old. My attic is also big. Any ideas on how to keep my upstairs cool.? add vents, more insulation, reflective barrier? please help.

In General questions | Asked By Angelique Barrow | Jun 6 14
5 Answers

1.5 story insulation

I live in a 1.5 story cape cod in the Philadelphia suburbs (Zone 4A) built in the 1950s. As expected the second floor has no air sealing and basically no insulation. I am leaning towards using dense pack cellulose to fill the 2x6 rafters as this will not require a total tear down of the drywall. I know without using a vent channel this would require me to use foam on top of the roof deck with at least R-15. I have read all the articles on the site that have to do with my situation but I still have a few questions about this before I get the work started.

In General questions | Asked By Andrew Sirianni | Jun 5 14
1 Answer

Housewraps - Tyvek vs. tar paper

Is there a performance advantage to using Tyvek instead of #30 tar paper when considering house wraps? Thank You.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Randy Ransom | Jun 5 14
1 Answer

Below grade polyethylene and slab

I am questioning as to the order of polyethylene vapor barrier to foam when placed under a slab. The reason I ask is because I am currently having my house built and today I have discovered that the contractor placed the poly directly on the ground (good drainable material) with the blue board foam boards on top of it. I have read in the past that the poly should be placed on top. I am worried that it has been done incorrectly. Any thoughts to put my mind at ease as I am rather stressed out right now. Thanks in advance.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Matthew Michaud | Jun 5 14
1 Answer

What's your favorite high-efficiency natural gas fireplace?

We're building a small house with a small heating load. Thinking about a high-efficiency fireplace with electric backup.
What unit(s) do you recommend?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By brian evans | Jun 3 14
3 Answers

Recommendations for exterior trim in the Northeast?

I am replacing windows and want to install a trim that is long lasting and environmentally sustainable.

In Green products and materials | Asked By matt dooley | Jun 1 14
1 Answer

What is the going rate for an energy modeler?

My architect and I are trying to design my home around a Passive House standard. My architect has some knowledge but readily admits to not being very familiar with Passive House design standards. He is well known and has designed many homes in the area, but none to Passive House criteria. Recently, I met with a building science professor who teaches energy efficient building/Passive House and is building his own home to be a non-certified Passive House zero-energy house. He has a Masters in Building Sciences and is a licensed architect.

In General questions | Asked By scott schroeder | Jun 2 14
3 Answers

Living space

I'm planning to build a new home on Houston city limit. I would like to build a 2500 sq/ft living space house, but for not be to hard on the budget I would like to live the live unfinished 2 bedroom. In other word take all the mechanical (AC duct, electric) to the room and noting else but just framing.
The builder told me that the city of Houston will not allow that but it also could be that the builder do not want me to save money.
Can you help me with that?


In Building Code Questions | Asked By Rocco Locaso | May 30 14
1 Answer

What plumbing system is safe?

Buying house with polybutylene plumbing and read that it can leak. Is it a
health hazard re leaching chemicals into drinking water? Polytheylene (PEX)
tubing can be a health hazard and carcinogenic due to leaching chemicals. Copper has health issues from leaching copper as well.
What is the best plumbing piping that is also safe to our health? Thank you.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Katherine Webb | Jun 2 14
2 Answers

Spray foam against plywood roof decking questions

I currently have the following roofing system and am located in Northern WV in climate zone 5. Fabral standing seams metal roofing, tar paper and then plywood on 2' center bonus room trusses. I am getting quotes on insulating the underside of the roof decking with spray foam. The HVAC units and ductwork are located in the attic space beside the bonus room. Here are my questions and concerns.

1) I have a vented soffit and vented ridge vent at the moment and should I put up something to keep the air flow before spraying the foam or create a unvented attic space instead with the foam?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Brian Mallow | Jun 2 14
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