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My house is a sieve!

Post in 'The Green Room' started by lml999, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. mass_burner

    mass_burner Minister of Fire

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    for door sealing, they use standard 8' sections and cut to match door dimensions. It seals from the outside and comes in white and dark brown. Its just metal/rubber so you can paint it. I have not seen the same item in big box stores, but I'm sure you can order it somewhere.

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  2. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Someone needs to take away your old house privileges, if you'd even consider replacing original doors. They make interlocking metal weatherstripping for this (no rubber... that sh*t don't work), which works as well as, and holds up far better than, the weatherstripping on any modern door.

    http://www.kilianhardware.com/indoorcawiwe.html

    M1 & M2 is the only way to go. This is a one-time job. Owners of your house 100 years from now will thank you for not ruining their house.
    woodgeek likes this.
  3. Mpodesta

    Mpodesta Member

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    Put down the pitch forks and extinguish the torches :) lol

    Most of my doors are gorgeous, very well built and could stop a direct blast from a tank, These have been all refinished by a professional to look like as they were day 1 (me and wood working dont get along)

    The "other" problematic drafty doors are the complete opposite of most of my doors. Poorly built with longevity being an after thought, nothing antique or of value with these bad boys

    This is the door from the porch/mud room (2nd door just like it going into the kitchen)


    Yes............its closed in the picture (latched)


    [​IMG]
    begreen and Joful like this.
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yikes! Okay... privileges restored. ;lol
    PapaDave and Mpodesta like this.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That door looks thin and badly warped. Is it scheduled for replacement? A gap like that can add up to the equiv. of a many square inch hole in the wall.
  6. Mpodesta

    Mpodesta Member

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    Yes, the one behind it (not pictured) is the same door but not warped/bent like that


    That door enters a mud room/enclosed porch that was added onto the house after it was built. That enters into the kitchen and is the main source of my heat loss and drafts. I've done all I can to seal off the kitchen from the porch area to minimize heat loss.
    I have a second original door to the outside threw the second parlor (my grandparents use to run a mom n pop shop from this parlor) This is sealed quite well (still have the original cloth and tack weather stripping, works quite well)

    My Mass Saves appointment is DEC 14th for my energy audit. The girl on the phone told me to halt any construction/renovations, that most of the updating will be covered by grants and rebates from the state and federal.
    Next area I'm tackling is the "exhaust" hole in my kitchen wall from the cook top, at some point, the hood was replaced with a vent-less filter screen setup, but the hole was never sealed off. I'm going to fill it temporarily with some Roxul to at-least hold back some of the draft/cold this weekend.
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Hmm... I never even thought of tht 6" tube that connects my range to the outside world! <> This is a range set into a central island with no hood, so vent is located between the left and right burner sets, and exhausts down thru floor, across basement ceiling, and outside just a few inches above grade. I don't know what sort of damper it has (it's a new range), if any.
  8. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Most have "butterfly" or other types of flap dampers that prevent most back flow. I've found these types of dampers still let in/out quite a bit of air when the hood is not operating. I added a nice quality and good sealing exhaust damper to our duct where it exits our house. I no longer feel cold drafts coming in through the hood in winter.
  9. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Our kitchen, a ca.1894 framed addition, is the most drafty part of the house, so I hadn't even noticed any additional draft from the range vent. We have plans to gut and redo, but it's still a ways out on the list of big projects.
  10. Mpodesta

    Mpodesta Member

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    Sealing up the vent made a huge difference, even to the point of im still waiting for the ball to drop....


    Got the doors sealed up better and the vent taken care of and its night and day now, I can feel the heat from the stove making it up stairs (I was blowing it in to the kitchen from the living room with the hopes of it finding it's way to the stair well)

    Next project is wrapping the stink pipe (not sure what you call it, the pipe that runs from the basement to the roof to vent the drain pipes) Its a big ole black cast iron pipe that's in the kitchen closet and upstairs closet. It does a great job of transferring the cold from outside and acting like and ice cube.
    I'm going to wrap it in pipe insulation to help block out the could
  11. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Interesting. I've never seen referenced a plumbing vent as a source of energy loss in a house.
    Off the top of my head I can't see any reason not to insulate it though.
    I would think that you'd want the insulation to have a vapor barrier though to keep warm wet air from passing through it and condensing on the cold pipe.
  12. Mpodesta

    Mpodesta Member

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    I wouldn't say its a huge loss, but when I place my hand on it, it quite noticeably colder (as is the surrounding air in the 2 closets)
  13. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Plumbing vent is a standard airsealing target. Caulk (or can-foam) the pipe to the sheeting at the attic floor plane (if you have a standard vented attic with insulation on the attic floor). Oftentimes, there are several square inches left open there....equivalent to several recessed light cans, and well worth sealing carefully.

    Since there is no airflow in the pipe (due to the water traps) the loss due to conduction in the pipe and air convection within is likely small, however. If you want to put a little pipe insulation near the airsealing boundary, it will help with that, but I would expect savings to be <$1/year.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
    Joful likes this.
  14. Mpodesta

    Mpodesta Member

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    Out of curiosity, I hit the the room/closet and pipe with my temp gun


    Room: 70-71*F
    closet: 65-66*F (This is with the door closed all weekend)
    stink pipe: 61*F

    theirs never been any condensation built up on it (I dont really check tho). Couple bucks in pipe wrap wont hurt much, even tho the yearly savings wont really add up
  15. lml999

    lml999 Member

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    Pellet boiler might be less expensive to operate, but it wouldn't work for our lifestyle. I travel for business and we travel occasionally. Can't see my SO feeding the hopper while I'm away, and I'm not sure how long a full hopper lasts.

    Never really considered the alternative...it was either go with a standard oil furnace or the Buderus. From a pure economic standpoint, a cheap furnace would have been better, but I was thinking about both efficiency and eventual house resale value. A pellet boiler would probably reduce the resale value as most buyers in this area would consider it a drawback rather than a feature. :(

    On the other hand, resale value may be moot as an increasing number of the multilevel houses in my town are bought by builders and knocked down, replaced with McMansions.
  16. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    Just wanted to toss these out there for those with old windows that are yet weatherstripped (like mine.....)

    These seem to be making a huge difference for me.

    http://www.arttec.net/Thermal-Windows/

    The air sealing is a big step, and the extra air space doesnt hurt either. I have been able to crack about one out per night after getting off of work. Using some finger-jointed PP from the big box, and a bunch of the shrink-wrapped window kits I got last spring for a few nickels on clearance. Mine wont win any beauty contests (you could make some nicer that would blend in), but not watching the curtains blow around is a nice change!
  17. lml999

    lml999 Member

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    My original doors are (and in some cases, were) hollow core. Do I get a pass? :)
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think you just gave joful a coronary. ;lol
    Joful and BrotherBart like this.
  19. georgepds

    georgepds Member

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    If you like GBA , you might want to take a look at what Lstiburek has to say about walls and vapor barriers "For the record, it makes no sense to have a vapor barrier on both sides of an assembly. If the assembly gets wet or starts out wet we are pretty much doomed…"
    http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-073-macbeth-does-vapor-barriers/
    Frozen Canuck likes this.
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    My storm window project has repeatedly proven to me that the conventional wisdom is correct. Vapor barrier should exist only on the "warm" side of an insulated cavity. A vapor barrier on the "cold" side of an insulated cavity is a condensation substrate.

    If your original doors are hollow core, then you are immune to all old house snobbery!
  21. lml999

    lml999 Member

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    LOL!

    My house was built at about the time I was born, and *I'm* not old! :)
  22. Nelson

    Nelson New Member

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    I'm in a similar situation as the OP. 30+ year old home with 6-8 in. of chopped fiberglass in the attic along with ~40 recessed lights. Love the recessed lighting but you might as well punch a hole in the ceiling 40 times with regard to losing heat up through the ceiling. Plan is to do a complete air seal job in the fall. Toyed with the idea of doing it miyself but I have 2100 sq ft of attic with a fairly shallow roof pitch. I took one look up there and said "hell no". Going to blow in cellulose up to r-60 after the air sealing is done.

    I've seen a link or two to the Building Science web site posted in this thread but figured it was worth mentioning again. A TON of great info there if you're into learning about the science behind it all. Also a few great docs on IAQ and the latest research on what may or may not be causing us to be more ill during the winter months.

    http://www.buildingscience.com/

    WRT to air exchange and IAQ (Indoor Air Quality). After the air sealing is done, I am going to put in a 80 CFM fan in my master bath that has motion detection capabilities. I can set the fan to run at a very low CFM all the time - then when motion is detected, it will kick up to the full 80 CFM. I think this is a nice compromise in the event that the house is getting too tight. You don't need a ton of air movement to keep the IAQ at a respectable level.

    At any rate, was searching on a completely different topic (garden fencing) and came across this thread. Figured I would add my $.03. I have a thread in here somewhere, with more partiuclars on my situation, that I will update once the work is done.

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