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0 Answers

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In General questions | Asked By diksaTrils diksaTrils | Jul 23 15
5 Answers

Cost effectiveness of one thick layer of rigid foam vs. two thinner layers?

Hi all,

We live in Central KY, zone 4a. We are shooting for a "pretty good house" standard for approximately r-30 walls. We are leaning toward a 2x6 frame construction, with blown-in cellulose, plywood or osb sheathing, a couple of inches of rigid foam, and brick veneer.

I see that it is most energy efficient to use multiple layers of exterior rigid foam so that you can stagger the seams. However, this obviously doubles the labor cost of adding the foam.

In General questions | Asked By Clay Whitenack | Jul 23 15
20 Answers

Buyer education versus a good code and intensive enforcement of it

This is kind of a general question. I'm seeing more and more issues coming up on GBA questions and answers regarding shoddy construction that homeowners are having to deal with. I read it recently in Peter L's description of some builders in the Phoenix area. This is most concerning when one is having a new home built, or purchasing a previously built new home, and it has subpar construction.

In Building Code Questions | Asked By Eric Habegger | Jul 21 15
3 Answers

Drying to the inside question

On homes with rigid foam on the outside of the walls, I know the house has to dry to the inside, so just latex paint or possibly a "smart" vapor barrier would be used on the interior drywall walls. My question is regarding the ceiling. I would probably be using blown-in celulose or similar (just a "normal" attic with ridge-vents and vents in soffits, etc), so would I want to poly the ceiling to keep the moisture out of the insulation? Can the house still dry to inside with poly in the ceiling?

Build will be right on the border of Zones 6 and 7 in Central MN.

In General questions | Asked By Brad VanVickle | Jul 23 15
14 Answers

I need advice on the design of an energy-efficient heating system

Just completed re-framing a home in NH. Used Zip R on the outside, CC foam inside. I had planned on going with radiant heat but from the articles in GBA, this may be overkill. I have spoke with a few propane companies and 2 plumbing companies and have not seen anything that is right. Most do not seem to be up to date ( old school) Who out there can I contact to design the proper system without trying to sell me on their systems?

I am truly thinking of going with return hot water as this system has served us well in our last home for 25 years.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Joseph Maraldo | Jul 22 15
5 Answers

Managing humidity in a tightly constructed ventilated house

In a tightly built, newly constructed house in Zone 5, we're experiencing higher than desired humidity. As expected, the air conditioning does not run often enough to effectively dehumidify, even in the peak heat of an Illinois summer. I'd value your recommendations.

Here are some specifics:

In Mechanicals | Asked By Dave Brooks | Jul 23 15
4 Answers

Radon mitigation

Two story residence in WV with cold winters, mostly hot, humid summers, HVAC on both floors and lower level mostly below ground level. Plastic under concrete floor and some insulation on basement level walls. House is rather tight construction for the 70's construction.. Have an installed pipe from below basement concrete floor to above roof with in-line radon fan. Had minimal effect on radon reduction which is at or just above recommended levels to take action. Intend to add exhaust ports in that stack in basement hallway.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Virgil Tacy | Jul 20 15
1 Answer

Do I have to clean my solar panels?

Given that there isn’t too much rain to help with the cleaning, what is the typical solar panel maintenance attention that you would anticipate:
Is solar panel cleaning just typically wetting them down with hoses, or hand scrubbing? Dust obviously and a lot of birds out there.
Every other day, once a week, once a month?

In General questions | Asked By jing wei | Jul 23 15
2 Answers

Finished home was not insulated properly. How to fix?

I have a 10 year old home. Low e glass windows, 2x6 used on outside of home, Victorian style home. When it was being build the builder put in the insulation before the windows or door. Then it rained. When I questioned him he told me that I only know by reading and it's how it is done. Home has fiberglass in walls and blow in pieces in the attic. Certain rooms are hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I used a friends tool that you point at the wall and it tells you the temperature of it.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Helen Jackson | Jul 22 15
1 Answer

Air sealing techniques for a fire-damaged house rebuild in Phoenix

A friend's home was recently damaged in a fire. The restoration will included taking the roof off and stripping the interior. With just the exterior walls left standing it seems a great opportunity to incorporate some deep energy techniques.

From reading here at GBA, the proper location for the air barrier (in Phoenix) appears to be at the exterior (warm side of the insulation). The exterior wall covering is stucco.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Daen Hendrickson | Jul 22 15
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