What regular maintenance / preparation for the winter is required for a gas fired boiler (forced air)? Is there a need to call a professional?
Are there guidelines for appropriate attic temps by region? [more inside]
I just moved into a new apartment and there's a huge open attic that's all mine. I'm in the process of turning it into studio space, but as a renter I can't make significant modifications. It's going to get very hot this summer and I'm worried it'll become unbearable. Has anyone used the rolls of radiant barrier foil? It sounds like a good solution, but dropping a bunch of cash on something that might be woo makes me nervous. [more inside]
I've got a crawlspace in a 1940 home that is reasonably warm and dry, but I want to seal against airflow and spiders. Is it crazy not to insulate as well? Everything I've found talks about sealing AND insulating. I feel like I can get the sealing done now, and might insulate at a later date. [more inside]
As a way of remediating our ongoing ice dam/roof leak/no bathroom ceiling woes, we're looking at getting spray foam insulation in the roof. I know a lot of people love it, but my contractor (who is not my spray foam guy) hates it--and thinks its a good way to get your roof to rot. What's the straight dope? [more inside]
I’d like to get a better understanding (or, really, any understanding) of how cats are able to survive under extremes of temperature. [more inside]
What are our options for ceiling insulation for a ceiling that we can't drywall and paint? [more inside]
Going internet on this one, need house help: Problem, cold temps coming, exposed pipes with water in 'em, want to avoid freezing/cracking. [more inside]
My mom is in the Boston area, has an uninsulated exterior wall that is under a roof and needs to put something up. Can she just nail up the insulation or should this be handled differently. [more inside]
Is it a bad idea to fill the air gap in between double brick walls? Our 100 year old house is in need of some insulation so we had a couple of companies give us a quote. One company recommended spraying Air Krete (a kind of foam insulation) in the gap between our double brick walls. The other company said this was a horrible idea and could damage our house! They said to rip out the plaster & lathe and install interior insulation. [more inside]
Our house is a small Cape, with a crawlspace attic. We’re going to get a home energy audit in the next couple of weeks, and the insulation of the attic is of particular concern for us, as it really gets quite warm on our second floor. Can I get your insulation wisdom here? [more inside]
I posted a question last year about safely scraping peeling lead paint from my house and repainting. Pros estimate $25-30K (yikes!). One reply suggested that "It may...be cheaper to just get rid of the old wood siding and just install some new one. If you do that, you might want to look into adding insulation; there could be programs that would provide some financial assistance." Does anyone have a suggestion as to how to find such a program? FWIW I'm in Westchester county in NY state.
Having an outer barrier to wind and a trapped air space inside is the best way to insulate. It's axiomatic for insulating buildings. Impermeable skin on the outside and fur on the inside seems more effecient than fur on the outside. It seems to me that you could wear a less effective insulator, turned inside out as it were, that would weigh less. Why don't people that use animal skins for insulation do this?
With all the cold weather we've been having, the bedroom above our single car garage has been positively chilly. The rest of the house is nice and toasty, but that one room is several degrees cooler than anywhere else in the house. How can we make it better? [more inside]
This thread on the blue inspired me to purchase a toaster oven, and I have it now, and it is amazing. But I have a relatively small apartment kitchen. I would like to be able to store stuff on top of it, and the top gets molten hot, especially when I'm doing pizza at 450F. What can I put on top of it, as cheaply as possible, to provide heat insulation and a solid surface? It's approximately 18" x 24". [more inside]
I currently live on and am restoring an old dutch barge. I started with no idea what I'm doing and am slowly working my way up to lvl 1 boat restorer. The current job is insulating. I need to cover up all bare metal with insulation (I am using expanded phenolic foam board) but I also need to make sure I have sufficient wooden framing to attach walls to (it will be tongue and groove). The problem I am currently having is to the neatest way to insulate around some portholes and also insulate and neatly frame the triangular metal ribs. I'd like to leave the nice shiny brass visible but have everything else covered up neatly. [more inside]
So I have been working on my house and making it energy efficient. It is now time to replace the basement windows in my split level. One double wide window needs to be replaced with one that opens to meet code, but the other three single wide windows do not. Would I be better installing glass blocks in those three, not vented, or installing either a picture, slider, or another type of insulated vinyl replacement window? If I should do a replacement window, which type should I use? [more inside]
I get cold easily. I'd like to buy a new men's winter coat that doesn't look like anything special but is secretly lined with magic warmth nodules. I don't want to be the guy bundled up in a Michelan man snowsuit when everybody around me is wearing hoodies and windbreakers. Help me fit in, fashionably speaking, while still feeling like I'm perpetually cozied up by a roaring fire. [more inside]
Can you share all the information, products, tips, etc., about weatherstripping and all other ways of keeping my house from leaking heat--and letting in cold air--when it's cold? [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations about how to insulate the floor of a sauna on a second-floor porch. [more inside]
We live in a first floor flat with an empty space (the entrance to the under-flat car park) below us. Although it's a modern flat with supposedly high insulation, the floor in the lounge seems very cold and draughty and the heating takes ages to warm the place up. [more inside]
I live in a one-floor condo unit that was, to put it mildly, poorly built. I, and all my neighbors, have dealt with too many issues to count regarding insulation, wiring, and even window and door frames. I'm no longer satisfied fixing things one at a time... [more inside]
Am I losing all my heat through a large glass block window? [more inside]
What's the best way to insulate my Quonset hut? [more inside]
Are turbine vents (aka whirlybirds) useful for attic ventilation? [more inside]
I live in a 1993-construction modified cape-style house, in New England. Three floors, ~1900 square feet. The rim joists in the (unfinished, unheated) basement have been air-sealed with Great Stuff expanding foam. Do I really want or need fiberglass batting in the basement ceiling joist bays? [more inside]
I share a wall with my roommate, which isn't as acoustically opaque as I would like (I'm occasionally woken up by late-night activities). What's the best/cheapest way to soundproof it? [more inside]
We live in a 160 year old stone house in Scotland that is really cold in winter. Please help me make it warmer? I've been told it's easy to take down the drywall/plasterboard, install insulation, and put more drywall/plasterboard up again. But is it? [more inside]
Calling all home improvement gurus and energy efficiency wizards--help me figure out how to better insulate my attic! I've read through a bunch of information on energystar.gov and other websites about insulating attics, but the more I read the more confused I get about how to do this, because I have the world's weirdest attic. HELP. [more inside]
Experiences and techniques for dealing with noise mitigation in an apartment with only partial bedroom walls? [more inside]
Just replaced a 50-year-old tar/gravel roof with white shingles. This is in Florida. But now the house is hothothot, heat keeps rising, air-conditioner runs constantly but can't keep up! It's just after noon and 84 degrees in here! The roof is low-hip, the attic is a crawl space insulated to about R-30, there's a turbine on the roof and three passive vents. Still hot! Depressing after writing such a big check. Capable roofer says previous thick layer of tar/gravel probably insulated a lot. But now what's my next step? 1. Would a white latex coating be more cost-effective than a solar-powered vent? 2. Any other suggestions? Whew, and thanks!
Low-tech DIY internal skylight covers. Help? [more inside]
How to go about insulating an 100 year old house? [more inside]
Will black plastic sheeting insulate my windows as well as the commercial shrink-wrap stuff? I've used window insulator kits like this and they work great. I was wondering if I could skimp. First, would any plastic do as well? I already use this stuff to block light while I sleep. If that's not as good, is there something special about shrinking the commercial kit plastic with a hair dryer, or is that just for looks? I'd rather not borrow one every year.
We just had an energy audit done for our 104 year old house and 3/4 of the heat loss was coming from the uninsulated walls. I was advised to get cellulose insulation. I've heard bad things about blowing insulation into old houses like mine, but the auditor said it would be densely packed and not be a problem. I've been reading up and haven't been able to find any definitive answers. Is it okay to have cellulose insulation blown in to my old house if it is densely packed?
How can I insulate under my front door? [more inside]
hi, i live in south west victoria, Australia. i am about to put a color bond roof on my weather board house, has any one done this lately? I am at a loss, of who to start shopping with for the sheets, hardware needed and the insulation. Which is my other problem i have been told to use sisalation (not right spelling i know) but i have had good reports on foil board, what have others used? i do have fiber blow in insulaion, but some of its damaged due to rain getting in, would it be better to replace this with pink bats or more fiber fill or what? i hope some one can help thanks
Should we sand and prime patched-up holes in our walls or hire someone to do it? [more inside]
Sound engineers, please give me some great ideas for making my home studio acoustically stable on a budget. [more inside]
Removing blown in insulation easily? [more inside]
Once we get rid of all the mold, what's the best way to moisture-proof our crawlspace? [more inside]
Give me your best machine-washable sound-dampening technologies. Curtains, mostly. [more inside]
When apartment-hunting, how can you tell if a place has good inter-unit sound insulation? [more inside]
When can I fix this hole in my house without killing the baby birds? [more inside]
Technical question for architects / builders / roofers about attic ventilation in a southern zone. I'm renovating a house in south/central Texas (Brazos County), and I need some advice on how to properly ventilate my roof, as the original soffit/gable ventilation now seems quite messed up. [more inside]
Apartment rental. Subdivided house circa 1910. Help us tweak these original single-pane wood frame windows so as not to freeze. [more inside]
[DIY-Filter] What is the best material to use for hanging partitions from a garage ceiling if the goal is to provide the most insulation/highest r-factor? [more inside]
Does anyone have comparison info between UltraTouch and T.A.P. (Thermal-acoustical-pest control) insulation? [more inside]
The fake plastic double glazing we put over our kitchen door worked great for one day but then started to fall off. How can we do better when we replace it? [more inside]
What's the cutting edge in gloves that allow for high levels of dexterity in extreme conditions (e.g. north pole). A colleague and I have been thinking up creative ways to allow high levels of dexterity while keeping the insulation factor high. Say you're a worker that has to work outdoors in extreme conditions for periods of up to an hour, yet you need to be able to work with hand tools, press buttons, etc. Is there an industry standard for this sort of thing? Anyone have any info on state of the art (or near future) technology in this area?