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Things you can do to make your home Greener

Post in 'The Green Room' started by elkimmeg, May 18, 2006.

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  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    South Puget Sound, WA
    Yes, that was a terrible fire and a tragedy. I like music, but can do without the pyrotechnics unless we're talking something outdoors in the desert, like Burning Man.

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  2. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Mo part of radon accumulations in your dwelling is the lack of ventalation. If you had air changes the radon issue would be lessened

    Some new home being built here have basement ventilation systems operated by a humidistat. Not a bad idea to have an air exchange system. Another good point is to have an outdoor air feed for your HVAC system. The ability to bring in fresh air and temper it before tramsmission to the living spaces,

    Greener homes did we mention weather stripping doors and windows? Did we mention more fuel effecient appliances like front load washers and dryers? the front load washers also uses les water and run quieter.

    What about water restrictors in your shower heads, Some called wigets? They restrict the flow of water but allow a decent spray pattern using less water and energy saving less hot water
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Mo,

    1. Yes. They weren't packed well.
    2. No idea.

    The difference between the basement and first floor is interesting: ~12 in basement and <1 on first floor. We spend hardly any time down there so for us it's no biggie. Alas, the cat spends a fair amount of time down there and that is why I believe I'm getting the "mitigate soon, dear" feedback. :)

    I understand that those air to air heat exchangers aren't that efficient.

    For me, I'd be interested in keep down the energy loss. Even though most sub-slab mitigation systems take a suction from under the basement floor slab, I'm sure there is conditioned air that is exhausted to the cold outdoors. There is also the negative house pressure thing: I can actually see this from the cat door's action in the basement. Not good for the boiler. I am thinking of putting in an outdoor air supply for the boiler.

    Interstingly, the radon levels are somewhat higher (12 vs 7.5) now with the heat off. I'm thinking it's because the boiler isn't sucking up the air.

    I think it is possible to keep the radon gas from seeping in by putting the basement under a positive pressure, but believe this is trickier.

    I'd really like to exhaust the sub-slab air right up through the metal chimney, but I imagine that would violate any number of codes. :)

    I noticed the radon levels went up after I plugged up the unused outside air vents to the old fireplace. It was quite cold to the touch in the hearth area as well. Must have been losing a lot of heat there.
  5. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Thanks.

    1. Darn. I'd hate that expensive little geezer to get dinging along the way. And double darn, that guy also carries the replacement fan I've been looking for at a pretty good price.

    2. The reason I asked is that I was surprised when I read my CO detector manual and it said the device will shut down after seven years and start beeping so you'll know to replace it. I was wondering if this Radon detector may have a similar life span.

    I'm pretty much committed to buying one of these. I'm very curious what the levels are around here (basement where I spend a bunch of time) and was just about to get a pro to test them. But for the same price ($100), I can get an electronic tester and keep track of things continuously. I already bought one of those $10 test kits from Home de Poo, so I think I'll set it up when I first receive my new electronic tester and see if they both give the same reading (as a sanity check).
  6. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Anyone know what to do with a house that has 2x4 exterior walls with 2" fiberglass batt in them?

    It was customary when my house was built to put 2" wall insulation and 3" in the attic. Thank heavens they got rid of 2" batt insulation and instead it's 3 1/2" so it fills in wall cavities. So, I'm in a jam with my walls. That 1 1/2" air space causes air movement/flow between my attic and basement. Though I've been trying to seal it, it's not really possible. That means putting foam on the outside of my house is going to be pretty much useless with cold air being able to flow in that 1.5" air space. Lastly, I'd love to fill it up with cellulose but once again, I'm pretty certain cellulose can't be blown into 1 1/2" space effectively.

    Should I just forget about doing anything to improve my walls?
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I'm trying to figure out your situation if the wall is completely filled with batts then how can their be 1.5" air space. Please explain I can not picture your situatiion
  8. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Think of a 2x4 wall with 2" batt insulation in it. There's still 1.5", that's what my house has.

    The air space is letting air flow happen in my walls and I'd like to stop it. I've sealed the bottoms and tops of all my exterior walls best I could but the exterior of my house was made before plywood and is all No. 4 I call them plankboards (1x10s with loads of knots).
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Let me say this, framing your home with 3/4" 1/10 boards with wind bracing is far superior than modern 1/2" plywood or chip board.
    If 15 LB felt or tar paper is installed under the siding the board spacing is of little conquensenses. When I was building my own home in 1977 I chose 20' 1/10 board for my roof, knowing It was a superior to 1/2" plywood. I agree 2" insulation is inadequate. but a sealed air space also provides insulatioin. 2' is probably about R 6.5 about 1/2 of R-13 but a lot better than nothing. whayt makes you believe air circulation exist in that 1.5" air space
  10. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Just had my roof replaced and they had to patch up holes and breaks in my 1x10's as my roof is made with those (No. 4 I call them, as I've never seen wood you can buy at the lumber store as low quality). He charges me $3 for each hole he has to fix, my 1x10's in my roof had about a dozen of them.

    My house has the 15 LB felt paper over my exterior. I can tell there's air flow because when a breeze blows outside there's a breeze that comes out my outlets into my house. I put gaskets around my outlets but that tells me there's air flow going on in my walls.
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