Sunday, November 24, 2013

Home Energy Efficiency

I spent many evenings and a few weekends during the extended fall upgrading the insulation on the house with my sister Liz. 
The house was built in 1972.
An inch of poorly installed fiberglass (R-3 at best) was considered good enough for below grade walls then... 
While we had access to the block we sealed all the joints and painted it with concrete sealant.
I also filled the joint between the framed wall and the plate on top the block with foam.
We had to adjust the layout of the heating pipe to make room for more insulation.
- Thanks Dad.
I insulated the top plate as well as the face of the wall.
2" of R Max insulation is R-13. It also seals the wall much better than fiberglass. I taped all the joints and spray foamed any visible gaps. 
Liz and her friend Tom ready to insulate the attic
Blowing in cellulose in the rain is several kinds of fun.
There was insulation flowing up that hose.
We now have R-45+ in the attic instead of R-15.
The first time it got below 20 degrees my new frost plug heater started to leak and a frost plug heater that leaks when it's cold is a bit of a problem...
It took two late nights, but I got it fixed. 
The finished basement wall is noticeably warmer to the touch. 
Of all  the things I found during the project this may be the most baffling.
Three 6' heating fins to warm the floor under the entryway and no insulation on the concrete block wall.
It was effectively R-0 between the warmest place of the house and the frozen ground outside...
On the night before it snowed I used some scraps to build a rack under the shed rafters.

I still have a couple more rooms to insulate and a new boiler to install. I'm hoping all the improvements will cut the heating bill by 50-75% this winter. 

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