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7 Answers

Vapor permeance of thick foam sheathing and board seams

I have read that at a certain thickness, all foam boards (eps, xps, and polyiso) lose their vapor permeance, effectively rendering them vapor retarders with very low perm ratings. Does anyone have a link to the research behind these findings and if so can I be pointed in the right direction?

I am hopeful that the effective thickness at which this condition occurs for each foam is stated on the research but I will hold further questions till I have read up on it.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Sash057 | Jun 18 18
11 Answers

Anyone use Dennyfoil to block fumes from a renovation?

A Contractor is renovating two walls in my apartment near the windows. I’m very chemically sensitive. one suggestion is to place dennyfoil on the wall to block the fumes from coming into my apartment.

Has anyone used it successfully for this purpose and have any suggestions
On how to reduce the risk of mold growing. One person suggested applying the foil tightly to the wall using tape. To not use the air conditioning. And to consider getting a dehumidifier when it’s humid in my apartment.

She also recommended I consult with a building science expert. Any advice or feedback?

In Green products and materials | Asked By Daisy63 | Jun 5 18
6 Answers

Circulating air between floors

I don't see a lot of air mixing between floors in my (partly finished) house. We had a hot day here yesterday (34C / 93F), and by sunset the first floor was 22C / 72F while the upstairs was around 24.5C / 76F. This doesn't surprise me, as hot air obviously rises, plus the 1st floor has the benefit of the slab heat sink. What surprised me is that this morning the temperatures were the same. I would have thought with minimal heating going on during the night, they would have equalized at least somewhat.

In Interior design | Asked By Trevor Lambert | Jun 18 18
9 Answers

Ceiling insulation for a room addition to my house

I'm planning a room addition, 16 x 16 with a 6/12 gable roof and cathedral ceiling, zone 6. I'm not yet committed to anything specific so would like to run this scenario by folks for advice and opinion. I'm wanting to avoid the 5-6 inches of exterior foam (R-25) that would be needed if I went that route. And, I would like to go unvented. Would the following scenario work?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Howard Gentler | Jun 16 18
5 Answers

HVAC duct size versus grille size

For proper air being returned to the HVAC unit that is the size of the duct have to correlate to the size of the grille for the return air? So for a 12 inch air filter grille what is the largest size return duct that could be attached to that for proper operation?

I’m getting air pressure coming from the attic through the switches ,outlets ,and around the drop ladder in a different zone than the one with what I believe is undersized return.

Thanks Rich

In Mechanicals | Asked By Richt1022 | Jun 18 18
6 Answers

Exterior vs Interior blinds

I know exterior has superior performance, but can anyone quantify how much? The latest heat wave has me lamenting the fact I didn't go with motorized, exterior blinds for the four east/west windows. Original plan was interior blinds. It's not too late to change plans, though the timeline is getting pretty tight.

Can anyone recommend a place to get these at a reasonable price? I priced them out locally last year, and they were a lot (I think four of them came close to the cost of a ductless minisplit).

In Mechanicals | Asked By Trevor Lambert | Jun 18 18
40 Answers

Brick house insulation

All,
First of all, I wanted to wish everyone Happy and Prosperous New Year!
I would like to ask for an advice regarding a wall cavity composition. I am in Westchester County, 30 miles north of New York City, climate zone 4. I am about to acquire a brick house (tiny brick, maybe 2-3 inches thick). Single wythe, I believe. I think that brick is just decorative and is not load bearing at all. Only cinder blocks in the basement support the floor joists. Second floor ceiling joists are supported by wood framing.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Sebastian Smith | Dec 29 17
6 Answers

Bonus room temperature and humidity

We just moved (CZ4, humid) and have a finished bonus room above our unconditioned garage. The insulation is poor. Heat is electric baseboard. AC is currently none. The room is not in regular use. For example, we did not turn on the heat this winter.

If the room were in use, it would be ideal for a minisplit. But, we rarely use the space. Other than a large tub of DampRid, there is nothing up there to protect the space.

What do we need to do to avoid problems from seasonal temperature swings and/or humidity? Can we simply leave it closed and locked, excepting when we have houseguests?

In General questions | Asked By FrankFulton | Jun 15 18
8 Answers

Room over garage

Hi

Climate zone 4c / Seattle / New construction

We are building a new house which has a studio over the garage deck. The raised subfloor of the studio is built with 2x4 sleepers over garage deck. The subfloor sheathing for the garage deck and studio is Advantech.

How do we detail the void spaces between the sleepers? I am worried about moisture getting in there either through condensation or leaks. Currently, the plan is to fill the voids with XPS and tape the seams. However, I don’t trust this solution to get rid of all air pockets.

In General questions | Asked By Jay Raja | Jun 16 18
3 Answers

Replacing R410a minisplit: Lineset cleaning, pressure testing, and purging

Should I use a cleaner designed for converting from R22 to R410a linesets to clean a lineset that will only replace a R410a mini split?

I am replacing a 7.5 year old Samsung 1 ton unit with a Fijitsu 1 ton unit. These are both single units. They both require 1/4" and 3/8" lines.

I've gotten mixed answers from many HVAC professionals on this question. It seems like the wild west here in Wisconsin on mini-splits (and other HVAC subjects).

In Mechanicals | Asked By Resilient_Kevin | Jun 14 18
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