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getting house temps up

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by trguitar, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Mar 7, 2012
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    6,524
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Careful using anything to insulate windows from the inside. You can end up with condensation problems, mold, rot, etc. Nasty stuff can happen when cold air is trapped between a window and interior insulation, and moisture from inside the house pushes into that poorly-circulated space.

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  2. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Dec 25, 2010
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    Loc:
    Southern IN
    It's a fight for me if I let room temp drop very much. I can't even raise the temp a degree an hour in a 720 sq.ft. room with the Fv stove top at 400-500, if outside temps are in the 20s. I thought I just had some bad air leaks, but this thread is telling me that a lot of heat is being sucked up by the 1-1.5" of concrete, essentially, that covers the log walls. Air gets around the logs to carry the heat away from that 'concrete' as well, more so when the wind is up. OK, now I have to rip off all the interior walls and put up blue board. Yet another job added to the list...that will never get done. ;lol
  3. trguitar

    trguitar Member

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    Dec 2, 2011
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    71
    Loc:
    Stow, MA
    Home energy assessment is scheduled for early February, but there's some stuff I can do in the meantime. I went up into the attic today, and there is only R-19 up there. That's got to be contributing to the problem.
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
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    6,524
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Got home last night, and although my stove had been out since the very-early morning hours, that stone fireplace was still radiating heat. Room temp had dropped to 62F, with the stove being out for about 14 hours, but the stone was still warm to the touch, especially up inside the fireplace.
  5. DTrain

    DTrain Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    226
    Loc:
    Stow, MA
    Hey, I also live in Stow. you must have been redirected too hl&p audit guys since stow doesn't participate in massave. Well it didn't when I called last year. I got an audit and the guy told me I needed $30k in upgrades (boiler, insulation, windows). Cape from early 60s. Cold as a nuns in here all winter last year. I spend a load on oil too. So the stove was a brute force route to heating a less that efficient house. But I am ok with the temps I'm getting, which seem about 10 lower than you want. It's toasty in the living room, every where else is fine. The only upgrade I'm going to do is buy a nice wool sweater! @ $100/cord in unprocessed logs it'll take along time before I equal what I could have on house upgrades.

    Long story short, your place and experience with your stove sounds similar to what I am getting. But I don't mind it.
  6. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    southern ontario
    How big is your home (square footage heated)?
  7. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Messages:
    452
    Loc:
    Conifer Colorado
    my home is a 1900 sq foot ranch. with a 500 sq foot unfinished basement on a walkout. I don't usually heat the basement unless I am going to be working down there to finish it. It also has a pretty wide open floor plan. I have 2 bedrooms and a bath at one end and the kitchen and master bedroom and bath are at the other end with a great room in the middle which is also where the stove is.

    This is not the exact floor plan but very similar
    [​IMG]
  8. trguitar

    trguitar Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Loc:
    Stow, MA
    Update...

    I few days before the audit I had an epiphany regarding the second floor knee wall on the north side of the house. I had been back there over the summer installing a bathroom fan for the downstairs bathroom, and noticed that the insulation was falling down from the rafters (Cape roof/cathedral ceiling). But, dopy me -- I didn't think anything about it. So, I went back there again, and sure enough half of it had fallen out, along the whole north side of the house. I put it all back up which resulted in a 5 degree temp change upstairs within 24 hours.

    I had the energy audit last Wednesday. It confirmed some problems I thought I might have, and uncovered some more.

    1) Massive air leaks in the basement around the rim joists. Actually two joist bays where there was no rim joist at all -- just stuffed fiberglass "blocking" a full on hole to the outside under the deck! :eek:

    2) While inspecting the rim joists, I noticed that the first floor on the north and south sides of the house are also cantilevered out about 9 inches. The IR camera from the audit showed the first floor on the north and south sides of the house to be very cold. The "insulation" in the cantilevered section (accessible from the basement rim joists), was just shoved in fiberglass.

    3) South facing knee wall on the second floor has big problems. Ah, the joys of living in a Cape.

    4) He said the sunroom is not an issue. And the windows, while not great, are not terrible. So, he felt I didn't need to rush out and get all new windows. That was a relief.

    All told, I think fixing these problems will cost < $1000 in materials. And since the program is affiliated with HL&P (local electric company) there are no insulation rebates. I didn't know about free air-sealing, but I'll call them about that. If the insulation rebates are not offered, I doubt the air sealing is.

    So, I've already started sealing the air leaks in the basement at the rim joists, and working on the knee walls upstairs. It's already improved the temp upstairs another 4 degrees, and I've barely started. So, now instead of waking up to 50 degrees upstairs, it's 59. Improvement!

    Found some great material on knee walls, rim joists, and cantilevered floors.

    http://www.finehomebuilding.com/design/departments/energy-smart-details/air-sealing-a-basement.aspx
    http://www.finehomebuilding.com/des...art-details/how-to-insulate-a-cold-floor.aspx
    http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how...ils/two-ways-to-insulate-attic-kneewalls.aspx

    I'll report back when I have everything done.
  9. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Dec 14, 2007
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    3,518
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    I did the rim joists in my sister's house. Made an amazing difference temps in the basement and the bedrooms above the really bad openings ( I could stick my fingers outside in places ).
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,657
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Sealing up leaks is often the cheapest and fastest way to reducing heat loss. An 1/8" leak along a 30' length of rim joist is the same as having a 9"x5" hole in the wall. Add wind pressure like in last weekend's blizzard and you are fighting mother nature to keep warm.

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