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Is your BioMass heat staying inside for the big Nord'Eastor tomorrow with high winds with biter cold

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Don2222, Jan 11, 2011.

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  1. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    Well having Wood Pellet heat and keeping it from escaping is another problem. Cold winds coming in the Gable vents will take it out!

    After having the roof done years ago with the new building code to cut a ridge vent along the peak is a big issue in the winter.

    Sure, the roofers said it was great! It makes the roof last longer and keeps the house cooler in the summer!!

    But noone said how the air flow from the soffit vents up to the ridge vent create a vacuum that literally sucks the heat right out of the house!!

    So I put in the styrofoam proper vents from the soffit to the ridge between the rafters and covered them with reflectix foil all from home depot.

    Recently a roofer told me, well if there is enough insulation in the attic floor, then proper vents are not needed. By code they are only installed in Cathedral Ceilings!!

    Well the Building Code should be changed!!! The codes are not perfect!!

    So I just finished building plywood doors to cover up the 2 Gable Vents for the winter! Just got the last one done over the weekend.

    I cannot tell you how much of a difference. My daughter says she can now sleep better at night because her room is no longer drafty!!!

    The Pellet stove now can heat the 2,000 sqft house on heat setting 2 and then bumped up to heat setting 3 early in the morning on colder nights like last night when it was down to 15 degrees. Before I bumped it up to 3 at 6:30 AM, the livingroom was 67 degrees and really not bad. No more draftyness from the roof!!!!!

    So beware of Gable Vents and Ridge vents in open attic spaces during the winter!!!!!

    See pic of snow maps below and Closed Gable Vent!!

    Attached Files:

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I can't wait for the storm (the last ones have been duds here).

    I've got my snowblower tank all topped off, picked up five more gallons of go juice for it, and topped off the car's tank as well.

    I want more insulation up top. I draw the limit at 4 feet on the roof above that and it is snow rake time.

    I have more issues from the blankity blank bathroom vents when the wind is just right. I'm firmly convinced the fewer holes going through a house the better off you are.
  3. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    If you tighten up the attic by closing off the gables, keep an eye out for ice damming. On some houses the vents make a big difference.
  4. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    I agree that the inside roof needs ventilation, however the best way is to install proper vents. This completely eliminates Ice Dams!

    See Pink vents in 1st pic below.


    Then I covered them with Home Depot's Reflectix foil which almost eliminates the need for air conditioning in the summer!

    See 2nd pic below:

    Attached Files:

  5. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Bathroom vents should have a working damper valve in them. I have one and I also have plastic shutters on the outside cap on the side of the house.
  6. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Nothing like plumbing on the cold side of the insulation, yikes!!!
  7. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    This house was built in the early 60s when copper was cheap! LOL The line you see is the bathroom sink vent pipe. So no water to freeze in there! LOL
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Likely you haven't seen some of the "newer" ones. Enough wind and they open. I have four vent penetrations for fans, two of them the wind can't open, the other two if it is really howling it can open. I'll be changing that setup. It really has to hit them just right for it to happen.
  9. FordMastertech

    FordMastertech Feeling the Heat

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    Looks like you only have 4 or so inches of insulation in that attic floor, I can still see the tops of the roof trusses on the floor.
  10. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    You guys have good eyesight!! LOL Yes, that is the original Economy R7 Owens-Corning Fiberglass Building Insulations (See 1st pic)

    However that is an old picture. Since then I ripped some 2x4s down to 2x2s and nailed them on top of the 2x4 trusts in the attic floor to create 2x6 cavities. Then I put in the Home Depot Reflectix foil and rolled down some Faced R19 6 inch thick insulation. Then crisscrossed that with unfaced R30 for a total of R53 (R49 is recommended by DOE for this region) It makes a difference LOL!!

    See 2nd pic. It keeps in a little more Biomass heat!!

    Attached Files:

  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    There's a moral to this story Don, don't show us anything but the latest pictures because if things aren't just perfect we will let loose the hounds of comment upon you.

    Even us old geezers sometimes have decent eyesight.
  12. FordMastertech

    FordMastertech Feeling the Heat

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    The eye sight is ok but the hearing acording to the Mrs of 28 years is lacking. ;-P
  13. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    No way that is defensive listening, she is a hollerin' and your ear's obnoxious sound limit tripped ;-) .
  14. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello Smokey

    Thanks for the comments. The main point here is to share what we are doing to save our pellet stove heat from being blown outside into the storm. There are somethings that we may overlook that can make a real difference.

    The work I have done so far is not what my neighbors have really though of doing yet. However one of my neighbors liked what I did in my attic so much he hired me to do the same with the insulation replacement and radiant heat shield install using the reflectix foil.

    So in both our houses it was our initial instinct to leave a gap on the inside of the peak to allow warm attic air to rise up and escape. Again we were only thinking of the hot summer air. I am rethinking this in comparison to a closed cathedral ceiling and thinking of extending the foil to cover the inside of the peak but still allow the soffit vent air to flow up and out of the ridge vent.

    See pic below of the inside peak and any comments will be appreciated??

    Also if you guys found any good ways to save your pellet heat from escaping or being blown out of your house during a big storm, I would really like to hear it??

    Thanks

    Attached Files:

  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Don,

    I've been making a list of a few things I'll eventually make some changes on, but most deal with air infiltration. In particular in the garage under.

    This is our fourth winter in this house and we really have no complaints. We have done a lot of things around the place as there was no landscaping, we wanted to get back to gardening, there were lighting changes to make, and an entire insides to paint. Been real busy with dump truck sized loads of "stuff". We have a pretty good feel for the house now and likely this spring I'll turn some of my attention to HVAC types of things.

    I don't usually change things until I have somewhat of a game plan in my head if not on paper.

    Last summer was the first one where we even thought of using any air conditioning, we had two good window units we used in our other house. So I installed one of them in the great room near the kitchen section. I must admit it was nice having a cool house in all of the heat, it was even nicer when we were doing our canning (its a garden thing). What was supposed to be a one room window unit handled the entire floor.
  16. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello Smokey

    I agree, it takes me along time to formulate a plan and do the research needed for best methods and best materials. I too need as a last step need to stop the winter storm from coming into my garage under the house also!

    A new insulated garage door is really needed to replace the old wood door. The plastered ceiling needs to come down to remove the very thin layer of foil backed insulation. I found a place nearby that carries Scott McGillivray favorite!! He is on the HGTV Income Property show filmed in Canada. Almost every episode he installs Roxul insulation. I just picked up a bag to see it and cut a few pieces for some small places. It is made out of Mineral Wool (Rock) and Slag (Biproduct from Metal Smelting) Believe me this stuff is ROCK heavy!!! So that is what I have in mind for the garage ceiling which is right under the cold kitchen floor!

    Roxul Comfort batts really keep the pellet stove heat in!
    http://www.roxul.com/residential/products/roxul comfortbattâ„¢

    See Pics

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  17. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    Well so far the winds have not penetrated the house and we still have power but my inlaws south of Boston lost their power this morning! The pellet stove was on Heat setting 2 and it was 70 upstairs all night!!!

    Here in Salem NH we got 22 1/4 inches at 10 AM and still coming down!

    See pic

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  18. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Man oh man, it is piling up out their. The birds are active at the feeder. I canceled all our appointments today. Fresh bread dough raising on the back of the stove. So long as we don't loose our power, it will be an OK day. The heat from the pellet stove is keeping up with keeping us warm. Sure would like to have a second unit installed in our fireplace.
    I don't have those roof ridge vents in the peak. I have large round louvered ones on each end of the attic and I have vented soffit. We originally had 6 ins. of faced insulation in the attic floor, but later, I added another 6 inches lying the opposite direction so to eliminate the gaps. Sill have just the six inches in one end because there is a floor with thing stored up there. I haven't been up there for a couple years, so I can't imagine that anything up there really needs to be kept. I'm thinking of having the whole thing topped off with blown in insulation at 18 in. Just need to make sure I keep the soffit open. Think I'' have to put one layer of those pink things in to make sure the attic will have proper ventilation. This house originally was build with electric heat, but that was only used for a year when the reality of how much it cost set in. Our progression has been electric, wood, oil and now pellet and oil.
    Stay safe and warm! If you have to shovel, go slow and pace yourself if you want to be around to see the next storm.

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  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    This geezer has a decent snowblower. Push a button and walk behind. Drive way is over 500' feet long.

    Sometime after lunch I might start it up and take the first layer off.

    It will take longer to clear the turn around (pain in the butt, have to really watch where I'm throwing the snow) than do the driveway.
  20. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Is your driveway paved? I thought had it bad with mine at 70 feet. Much of mine is 3 and 4 cars wide. My snowthrower is also push button and steers like a bulldozer. It will throw slush as far as I need to, but this storm doesn't seem to have any slush to it. I used to clean my yard with a plow, but now admit that the snowthrower does a better job without tearing up the lawn. I had forgotten, but I no loner have to keep a path open for the oil man now that I only get delivery once a year! (another pellet plus)
  21. ScottyDaug

    ScottyDaug Member

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    +1 for Roxul.. Good stuff. I actually sell it where I work. Cuts easily, won't absorb water, denser then fiberglass (R23 for 6"), absorbs sound, and fire resistant. It's much easier, in my opinion, to work with then fiberglass, It's a little more $, but worth it.
  22. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Nope, not paved, and the first layer is all off. It is partially a shared driveway and usually a good part of it is handled by the neighbor, but the neighbor has been elsewhere the last two decent storms we've had so I did my portion and part of what he does and part of what the other neighbor does. It tends to average out in the end because if I do some of their sections, they have been known to clear out the upper level of mine. I usually leave that for last and after the first of the year I only clear a path up there. I also have a 100' or so path I clear to be able to tend the chickens.

    Well I'm ready for a geezer nap, so all you young ones carry on.
  23. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    Always good to add insulation if you can. If I ever redo the basement, I would like to put that foam board against the cinder block wall!
  24. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    Looks like these guys went all the way to the PEAK!!

    Dandy Duct LLC
    150 S 2 Road
    Henry, NE 69358
    Michael McCreary
    owner/operator

    http://www.dandyduct.com/radiantbarrierblanket.html

    Attached Files:

  25. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    Well tonight is the real test to see if closing up the gable vents keeps the Wood pellet heat in!!
    It should be the coldest night in a few years here!!

    Right now here are the temps. The Astoria Pellet stove is on Setting 2 in the basement of this split.

    Outside Temp
    6.8 Degrees

    Basement Temp
    77.7 degrees

    Living room Temp
    69 Degrees

    Garage Under Temp
    40 Degrees

    Attic with gable Vents closed!
    41.0 Degrees

    Thread Summery and Conclusion !!

    When I had the gables open the attic would be below freezing at this point and
    I would have to set the Pellet Stove at atleast 3 if not higher!!!

    So by installing soffit vents and a ridge vent and then Adding proper vents between
    the rafters and closing the gable vents and adding more insulation in the attic floor SAVES BIOMASS heat !!!!!!
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