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Passive houses, you can heat them with a hair dryer

Post in 'The Green Room' started by begreen, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,668
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    Id like a well insulated place but i wouldnt want to go too far as i would not have any use for the
    woodstove anymore.
    ;em

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  2. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
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    936
    Loc:
    Upstate NY

    Me too. I don't want a bigger wood stove and I can't get one much smaller without going to a ship stove. I want to live in a house, not a contraption.
  3. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Jan 27, 2008
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    2,714
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    SE PA
    Bad news, your house IS a contraption. Its just a subtle one.
    Frozen Canuck likes this.
  4. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
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    936
    Loc:
    Upstate NY

    I know Geek, and I agree with you, and I'm also fascinated with the tech advancements and innovations ongoing, but I love the unmatchable 19th century architecture and wood work of my present home. I have a high tech house on hold that I could probably heat with a hair drier, but to finish it would bankrupt me.

    For now, the best applications for innovative (or retro) tech for me are those that allow me to continue to live in this old rambling Victorian.
    woodgeek likes this.
  5. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,408
    I'm going the "Pretty Good House" route and seeing what happens. We have a 1200SF (counting the finished basement) one story ranch, which we're planning on squeezing two bedrooms out of the attached garage and at the same time sealing up the envelope of the house, applying 2 or more inches of foam board to the outside walls, and blown cellulose to the attic. The goal will be R-25/30 walls and an R-60 ceiling. I figure we'll be able to get more out of the wood heat and just the oil heat less, which would be good enough for me considering the relatively small investment it will take.
  6. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
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    3,668
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    How about the Finished Bsmt foundation,any insulation there? And the Bsmt floors?
  7. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,408
    About 1/2 of the basement is finished and has 4-5" of fiberglass batts in the stud bays-nothing spectacular. The other half is unfinished and is utility space (where the oil and wood furnace reside). No insulation in the floor. The rim joist is stuffed with fiberglass all the way around though. I will admit to not knowing much about how this affects the overall envelope of the house in terms of insulation, but I have to believe that making the house as close to airtight as possible (it's nowhere near that right now), and insulating the aboveground walls and ceiling much better would have to make a big difference in our overall comfort and oil usage. Right now the house is leaky as heck and has R-5 walls/R-8 ceilings.

    In terms of investment it will be low for me because I'll be doing it all myself. Air sealing will consist of me, my dad, my FIL, and A LOT of cans of Great Stuff. The plan after that is a good application of Tyvek, then some foam board. I'm still debating on how much. 2" x 4' x 8' foam runs about $34 a sheet at the local Lowes. Luckily my house is small and simple (25' x 50' rectangle-one story)-I figure about 48-50 sheets will do it. The really ambitious project would be to apply foam horizontally, tape the seams completely, and then apply an additional layer vertically with the seams taped again, and battens applied which will help hold the foam tight to the house and provide a nailer for the Hardi-plank siding which will finish it off. The siding will need to be done anyway because we'll be moving some windows as a result of adding two bedrooms by converting our attached garage. It's probably a few years off at this point, but I plan on documenting every step of it here and reporting on the results.

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