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Air sealing your home..

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by md2002, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    They do. It's not as good as the MA program but look at the cl&p website or Yankee if that's your provider. Look for the home energy audit. They replace all your bulbs and do a blower door test then spend a few hours sealing up leaks. You also get a written report with recommendations and having do e this you can qualify for the special low or no interest loans through chif.org

    Course my house had the equivalent of 3000 basketballs flying out the door in an hour in terms of heat loss. I need $10k in insulation and sealing. Sigh.

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  2. CTguy9230

    CTguy9230 Feeling the Heat

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    thanks....i,ll have to look into that
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Air infiltration will definitely do a number on the heating system as will lack of insulation.
  4. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    I had one done on my dime and found out each of 14 recessed lights was leaking an average of 5cfm EACH with a flow hood. The infrared camera scan showed me all of the leaky areas around the base trim and windows that needed attention. My return vents were only flowing 200 cfm total air flow because the duct system was built so poorly that the attic air and basement air was my return air so I was trying to heat and cool an extra 1000 cfm that wasn't from the living space. I spent days and still need more time behind the caulk gun and foam cans but I have changed things totally.

    I did learn on recessed lights that special trim rings can be used to do a fair job of sealing and ebay is the cheapest place for these in quantity by far. The best option is to run to walmart or wherever that has styrofoam coolers and put one over each can in the attic and trim it to fit if needed and caulk in place. I caulked around mine and sat a brick on each one and also did the trim rings. The dust level in the house dropped less than half from the cellulose fibers and dirt being pulled through the lights. I wasn't alarmed with 5cfm but x14 lights and over 24 hours is 100,800cfm per day just on leaky lights.

    every little thing adds up and its makes a huge difference in comfort and $$$
  5. saladdin

    saladdin Feeling the Heat

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    6 more inches of insulation for 2200. Jeez, I go to Lowe's buy 20 rolls of insulation get free rental for their blow-in machine and 3 hours later I am done and only out $200-$250.
  6. bonesy

    bonesy Feeling the Heat

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    Those in the picture are only applied to the bottom portion of the roof to keep the space in the soffit open for air flow so the insulation doesn't block it up. Normally they are not run all the way up.
  7. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I had my house sealed up in January through the NH program. $100 up front for the audit and if I did $200 worth of their recommendations, they rebated the $100. The electric utilities run the program, they have certified contractors that are required to do the work. All of the recomended work is ranked by payback so it wouldn't be hard to only implement what a homeowner can afford.

    I had the unfinished half of my second floor sprayed and a crawl space. The contractor is primarily a spray foam contractor, they were good at air sealing but less so with other improvements that required carpentry skills, like sealing off my attic hatch.

    The approach for can lights is to build a box out of iso board foam in the attic and then spray over it with foam. I expect I could do the same and then use something like a tiger foam kit to spray it over. Given that the certified contractor does this work on a no bid basis, I would pay them to do the spray work but would probably do the carpentry myself. One big plus is that the utility has a third party firm to audit the work and the contractor cant bill the job until the utility approves it.

    They also sprayed my basement sills and ran down over the rim joist and down onto the top of the wall.

    I had a tight house before but this made it even tighter. They didnt require an air to air heat exchanger but did require a timer on the bathroom fan to ensure that there were adequate air changes. They also swapped out the bathroom fan with an energy start unit. If I had a gas stove or appliances, I probably would have pushed for an air to air heat exchanger as it is lot more effective than an bathroom fan on a timer.

    I have a wood boiler in the basement and didn't see a significant difference in draft or any start up issues. Then again I have the equivalent of a three story interior chimney so I don't think draft is much of an issue.

    With the energy work and my new storage tank for my boiler that went on line in late January, I checked my oil and decided I didnt need to buy any for this winter.
  8. bonesy

    bonesy Feeling the Heat

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    I think you're basically defeating the purpose of soffit and ridge vents. If I am understanding correctly, essentially you are just recycling outside air through the channel and not venting the attic space at all. They are there to grab the air from the attic at the soffit/eave level and pull it through to exit at the top, taking with it the attic air in between. This is for proper ventilation in the attic to reduce mold, humidity and heat issues. If it affected your heating then your attic is not insulated properly. It should have no affect on that if you have the proper amount of insulation in the attic (at least R50 in cold climates) between your conditioned space of the top floor and the unconditioned space of the attic. If I am misunderstanding the way you have it setup, let me know.

  9. jlupi

    jlupi Member

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    What is REL? >>>>

    relative humidity. Yes An energy audit showed the house to be on the tight side. cooking and showers (even with running bath fans for 10-15 min) quickly raised the humidity in the house. Audit confirmed what I thought - need more air turn over. I put an inline bath fan on a de-humidistat which draws in cold dry air. The more expensive and energy efficient solution would be to duct in a heat recovery ventilator.
  10. jlupi

    jlupi Member

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    This is true. the attic must breath or their will be high humidity trapped in thbe attic causing mold and premature roof failure. the rafter vents near the soffits are fine to prevent air wash but should not extend all the way to to the ridge vent. The goal in attics is to keep them the same temp as OUTSIDE
  11. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    I do have an opening under the ridge vent to vent the attic air. I find that is all that is necessary and the house stays much warmer even though there is plenty of insulation in the attic floor. I know it is hard to believe, but I did it and my neighbor did it and it is just amazing how much warmer the house is. I must mention that these two houses have walkout basements completely above ground and there are no dampness issues. It would be interesting to try it on a house that may have more dampness because I really do not think that the cyclonic wind action in the attic that sucks heat out would help a damp basement much.
  12. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    There is plenty of air movement under the rafter vents to keep the roof from failing. I do disagree about keeping the attic the same temp as the outside in the winter time. By blocking the gable vents in the winter and extending the rafter vents, the attic is warmer than the outside but not hot. When I had the gable vents open and big gust of fridged air came howling in, it took out warm air I am paying to heat!@ I call that it The Great HEAT Robbery and it is going on in way to many homes!

    My neighbor is still on oil heat and it did save quite a bit!
  13. jlupi

    jlupi Member

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  14. UMainah

    UMainah Member

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    Why are you heating you're attic in the first place?

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
  15. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    I am not heating my attic just keeping in the warm air I am paying for from the downstairs!
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Actually the goal in an attic depends upon the use the attic is put to. The goal for a roof may or may not be the same.

    It is perfectly fine to run rafter vents all the way to the ridge and vent there and insulate and seal the rest of the attic.

    The goal with having the attic temperature the same as that outside is to prevent roof damage due to heat buildup and ice damming due to heat loss melting snow on the roof from below.

    An attic can and frequently is maintained for other reasons.
  17. jlupi

    jlupi Member

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    then you would need to insulate the entire attic (walls etc) as is sometimes done w sprayfoam to prevent condonsation on cold surfaces.
  18. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Correct Smokey
    Just like Cathedral Ceilings if they are done correctly, they have rafter vents all the way to the ridge vent and R30 over them.
  19. UMainah

    UMainah Member

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    If you insulate properly then that warm air won't escape from downstairs to the attic. Why pay to heat what I'm assuming is unlivable space?
  20. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    If warm air did not escape then you could turn your furnace off and the heat would stay in your house all night! So I really disagree and that is why my system works. It keeps heat in the living space as long as possible!
  21. bonesy

    bonesy Feeling the Heat

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    Heat does stay in my house all night. Not all of it, but a good portion.... minimal warm (or cool in the summer) air should escape if you are properly insulated.
  22. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

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    Had the air sealing done through the MassSave program today. Added about R26 to my attic to put me around R40+...my blower test went from 3600 to 2400....hope to feel the difference
  23. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    On a house that was not built for efficiency it takes a lot of labor to seal one up enough that ventilation is needed unless you are opening spots in the wall and putting in foam insulation I doubt there will be a problem. I guess if a person went in and drilled holes in the sheet rock and blew cellulose in the wall cavity that it would stop enough air flow to create a problem but the labor involved would only be feasible if the house had no insulation to start with. If you pulled off the siding and house wrapped and replaced the siding/sheeting after caulking any leaks to the inside that could be found that would probably create an issue if other sealing measures were taken also.

    I know many houses around here the base trim covers the shoddy sheet rock install and in places doesn't even cover the floor plate so air can just filter around the trim and right up behind the sheetrock to the outside. This is where an infrared camera is priceless because it shows up plain as day.

    If all I did was seal the attic where wires and pipes go through and any other holes, seal the recessed lights with beer coolers and or sealing trim rings and seal the basement gaps and cracks along with ductwork sealing with mastic I bet there still would be plenty of air movement. A blower door test will tell where you are before and after and if there is an issue with it being too tight.
  24. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    CT does have a program like this, guys.
    i'm not sure if it is as extensive as this one, or as cheap (free) but there is a program.

    A buddy had it done. cost him $75 i think he said. I havne't heard from him to see how it turned out. I'll text him now and report back later on it.

    cl-p puts it on with a bunch of other utilities.

    http://www.cl-p.com/Home/SaveEnergy/Rebates/Home_Energy_Solutions/
    http://www.cl-p.com/Home/SaveEnergy/AboutCEEF.aspx
    http://www.ctenergyinfo.com/dpuc_home_energy_solutions.htm
  25. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    Ya, as mentioned above, I did this program, and it was good - but not great like the MA one. In MA, if you have no insulation, say, and the insulation cost is going to be $3.000 - YOU only pay $1,800 and the rest is somehow absorbed/covered/paid in by the program (which I know I know is taxes somewhere, I pay 'em too). In CT you can get loans at good rates but the work still costs what it costs.

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