Weather proofing advice needed

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Motomom34, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    We just went through a cold snap last month and got our heating bill. Let's just say I was not a happy camper.

    Our home consists of an old structure that was built in the late 60- early 70's then we added on in the late 90's. I have noticed that the original house seems warmer. When adding on we up-dated all the windows to double pane with the gas inside. The insulation in the new part was normal stuff, what was commonly used. A while back we insulated between the floor joist but I still think there are things we could do. We have two furnace- one for each section.

    We do have french doors that are a huge heat loss. We tried putting the wrap over them but couldn't seal the bottom. I am looking for advice on how to make the addition become as warm as the older part of the house. You can feel the difference. I really don't know what to do.
  2. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Our power bill was icky too. Have you checked the ducts that the hot furnace air goes through? They might have problems.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  3. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    You didn't mention what you had done for the roof/attic area, but that is one of the highest heat-loss areas in most houses. R-30 or higher would be my recommendation :)

    For the bottom of the french doors a rolled up towel works quite well (and inexpensively) to block major air infiltration.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  4. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Call your power company. Many of them will send a couple of folks over to do what I call a "leak test" on your place to find where outside air is coming from. Our power company even fixed the leaks!! And it's free. We had several leaks between the wall joists that just sucked in cold air in the winter and hot air during the summer almost directly into our heat pump. We also put about 3' of blow-in insulation in our attic. Cost about $1200. These improvements are saving us about $100/month.......until the power company raises their rates a few more times.

    Motomom34 likes this.
  5. cdnboy66

    cdnboy66 Monkey++

    as mentioned, an energy audit is always a good investment. But beware, they often try to sell you upgrades that may not always help.
    attic insulation is the first step, sealing air leaks is also right up there.

    One thing that can help is a FLIR heat camera to see where your heat loss is coming from.

    Check around and see if there is a local energy audit company and get a quote. Here, there are rebates available for some home improvements
    so that's worth checking out as well

    it could be that the doors and windows werent properly insulated around the gap, good place to check by pulling the interior trim off
    Motomom34 likes this.
  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    If I recall correctly, @HK_User is in that business, and would be considered an expert. Perhaps he will hear the call, and help out?
    Motomom34 likes this.
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    If the french doors are all that bad, and I figure they are, then purchase some from Marvin Windows. Mine are great and the seals are on the outside edges and the inside too. I think that Marvin now has the impact resistant glass as well as the triple pane.

    I will replace my double pane windows in the 2nd and 3rd floor next year. All with the impact resistant glass. Easy task for me for we have the casement windows so all we need is the crank out glass and each window can be changed, from inside, in about 5 minutes.

    I will replace some of the first floor later.

    If you did not insulate your slab then you need to do so.

    Our heater and all duct work are within the living quarters envelope. Duct work in the attic is a real bad deal.
  8. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Nahh, no expert, just a life time of watching things fall apart due to poor designs.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I grew up in construction myself. Used to run a crew of 6-8 guys for a general contractor, so I am pretty well versed in everything from dirt to shingle and everything in between, so I can tell you know what you are doing.
  10. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    The duct system is a real concern of mine. While insulating below the floor joist my husband notice that some of the ducts were not tightly together. He secured then taped them but I do worry that the ones inside the walls may have come apart because the heat isn't forceful upstairs. I should call the local utility maybe they could figure something because it just isn't heating properly.
  11. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    The addition doesn't have a true attic. It goes roof, boards, insulation the ceiling so our ceiling is a triangle shape, no clue what that is technically called.
  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Most have mentioned the duct work. I noticed today that the curtains will move downstairs when the heat is blowing but upstairs the curtains stay still. I had the ducts cleaned 2-3 years ago and we are diligent about the furnace filters.

    @HK_User I will price out Marvin french doors. Till then @techsar I rolled a blanket and put it on the bottom.
  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    BTW- in case my ducts have come apart inside the walls. How easy is that to remedy?
  14. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    I will guess that the ducts are the flexiable flyer type?

    If you can replace them with some honest metal duct that can be screwd togather at each joint then do so. That tape they use is to seal the duct joint, not hold the ducts together. Too bad there are so many crummy installers!
  15. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Depends on the structure.
  16. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Sizing of ducts for proper heating is all important, at each level change or in some cases branch outs, the ducts need to be sized down to increase the flow pressure and a balance must be kept in the whole system. Velocity speeds need to be checked at each outlet, for a start.

    As to the transition from first to second floor you may have some dampers installed that have fallen apart or just not adjusted. This is for the most part a time when you will need to figure on opening up the path in the walls to see what was installed.
    ColtCarbine and Motomom34 like this.
  17. janjak

    janjak Monkey

    I do love my wood stove.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  18. Snake_Doctor

    Snake_Doctor Call me Snake...

    The home I dwell in is about a century old. I use great stuff or Wal-marts knock off of it to seal cracks and gaps in the structure walls and around the windows and doors. Felt around tacked to the door frame will close gaps when doors are closed, and you can find strips to fit under the doors at your hardware store. Sealing your other windows with plastic will help also. Some use the kits with crystal clear plastic and some use the opaque sheet plastic which comes in rolls, an economical option. Don't forget to check around your plumbing pipes for gaps, they can let a lot of cold air in but are easily sealed with great stuff. Also insulating your pipes will help prevent them from freezing.
    I hope this helps;
  19. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    The insulation in the roof needs to be R30 or above. Summer you need it for cooling, winter you need it for heat. R30 level would mean about 9 inches of many types of insulation. Many/most rafters are 2x6 if this is what you have then it is not enough. You need at least a 2x10 rafter and uncompacted insulation.

    You can add reflective foam board to the ceiling to up the rating but be aware that this application can cause other problems.
  20. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    FWIW, I used 9 inch Polyurethane rigid panel for my walls and roof.

    Also understand that the rafters conduct heat in or out so the true average of a ceiling insulation rating, when you discount the rafters, can be 10% less than you might think.
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