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11 Answers

Recessed lighting has a bad reputation

Hello! I can tell from reading and from my own experience that Recessed Can Lights are a big frowned upon item for use in Green homes. Mainly the fact that they do not seal very well and are far from 'Air Tight' even if they say so due to a cheap gasket.

I have seen people use foil-faced poly iso and make boxes to place over the recessed can lights. These boxes can be air sealed without having to make contact with the light fixture.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Nicholas C | Nov 25 16
5 Answers

How to best protect a passive house from wind?

What ideas do you have on how be best protect a house from the Zone IV wind area? I am planning a passive house. Is there specific roof and building outside (like bricks maybe)?

In General questions | Asked By Steve Young | Nov 26 16
2 Answers

Northwest rambler — Attic and crawl space refurbishing

My wife and I are purchasing a 3750 s.f. 1987 rambler in Duvall, WA, climate zone 4/Marine, 17F design temp. The 2015 data indicates 5,000 Heating Deg Days for Duvall. Electricity is $.10/kW. Heating/cooling is currently with a 36,000 BTU packaged unit heat pump supplemented by electric wall heaters.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Ronald Wilander | Nov 23 16
3 Answers

Unvented gas logs

I was so excited to get vent free gas logs last year in my two fireplaces. Now I have a film on all my windows and mirrors. I've read your posts about vent-free products.

My brother is a firefighter and having a FIT that I'm polluting my home. In 6 months I've had 2 serious respiratory infections. (No mystery, right ?)

QUESTIONS: Is there a way to make the vent free logs ... vented? They are in the fireplace already -- I'm not mechanical at all but it seems it's doable. I'd hate to loose the logs but better them than me.

Thanks so much.

In General questions | Asked By Kate Dolan | Nov 27 16
3 Answers

How do I bury a container in a hill (with needed drainage around it)?

I am not planning to have a basement in my new passive house, but I do want a place to store my vegetables and a place to go if there is a tornado. I am considering a shipping container

In General questions | Asked By Steve Young | Nov 26 16
3 Answers

Should I add more venting to my attic, or seal it up, or do nothing?

Should I add more venting to my attic, or should I seal it up and run a dehumidifier to prevent mold, or should I do nothing, or should I go with some fourth option? I read the "All about attic venting" article, but it doesn't leave me certain about how I should proceed.

In General questions | Asked By Michael Bluejay | Nov 26 16
13 Answers

Looking for advice on a new build heating plan

I am trying to figure out the best solution for heating our new home and I would greatly appreciate any suggestion from the wise folks here.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Tim Burke | Nov 24 16
15 Answers

Window mix-up

We are in the process of dramatically upgrading the insulation of our 120 year old farm house and adding on a mudroom/laundry room, new bathroom and replacing the sunporch. We are in northern Michigan (zone 6a). Our original plans had Andersen 400 windows with a U-factor of 0.26 but our builder inadvertently ordered, purchased and installed an older version of the same window that is 0.30 for 12 windows. Everything else about the window is the same -- the difference is a coating on the glass.

In General questions | Asked By Ryan Knight | Nov 22 16
29 Answers

Dense-packed cellulose might go extinct

I apologize for the clickbait title, but it seems all of the insulation contractors in my area are very wary of dense-packed cellulose in walls and often say, "we normally don't do cellulose in walls anymore." Part of their reluctance in my situation is attributed to my dpuble stud 10 1/4" thick walls that are 24" o.c. They think it will settle and bulge out. Still, I think even if I had standard 2x6 walls, 16" o.c., they would all try to convince me to do spray foam and offer a lower price to do it.

In Green products and materials | Asked By Jimmy Nguyen | Nov 14 16
40 Answers

Domestic hot water and space heating

I am trying to put together a system that can deliver domestic hot water and heat the house. The colonial house is in Brooklyn, NY ( zone 7), 29' x 33' and consists of 2 floors + basement. I am doing complete renovation and already removed all walls throughout the house and will use closed cell foam insulation in all walls and roof. I plan to run Pex in joists for both floors and I am thinking of using baseboard in the basement.

My questions are:

In Mechanicals | Asked By Vladimir Polyakov | Nov 3 16
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