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INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
ACOUSTICAL SEALANT CHOICES
AIR LEAK DETECTION TOOLS
AIR LEAK MINIMIZATION
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR SEALING STRATEGIES
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
BASEMENT CEILING VAPOR BARRIER
BASEMENT HEAT LOSS
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BRICK LINED WALLS
BRICK VENEER WALL AIR LEAKS
BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION?
CATHEDRAL CEILING INSULATION
CATHEDRAL CEILING VENTILATION
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
COOLING LOAD REDUCTION by ROOF VENTS
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
FRAMING DETAILS for BETTER INSULATION
FRAMING DETAILS for DOUBLE WALL HOUSES
FRAMING METAL STUD PERFORMANCE
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
FROST HEAVES, FOUNDATION, SLAB
GREENHOUSE DESIGN for SOLAR HEATING
HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
HOT ROOF DESIGNS: Un-Vented Roof Solutions
HOUSEWRAP AIR & VAPOR BARRIERS
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
INSULATION R-Values & Properties
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
SOUND CONTROL in buildings
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
THERMAL MASS in buildings
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in buildings
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WIND WASHING INSULATION At EAVES
WINDOWS & DOORS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
WOOD, COAL STOVES & FIREPLACES
WOOD STOVE SAFETY
ZONE VALVES, HEATING
This article describes a real world approach to finding and sealing elusive air leaks in older buildings in order to gain the most heating or cooling energy savings. Sketch at page top and accompanying text are reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
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Illustrated in the sketch at left, air and heat loss leaks in old building floors can be tricky to seal - particularly with board-type subflooring. If the building is built over a vented crawlspace or an unheated basement, the floor should be sealed as well as possible from the prime living space. This limits air infiltration and keeps moisture (and possibly airborne mold or radon gas if present) out of the living space. If the basement is finished and heated, it is usually sealed at its walls, not at the floor above.
Stack effects and convective loops chill the building's interior walls
Second, as we detail at Convective Loops & Thermal Bypass Leaks, stack effects in buildings chill the interior walls - increasing conduction (heat) losses through them. Sealing in the home's interior will reduce infiltration, but it won't stop partitions and plumbing or electrical chases that are open to the attic from filling with cold air. Only sealing in the attic will help.
In addition to increasing fuel bills, drafts and cold walls make it hard for the building occupants to feel comfortable no matter how many BTU's the heating system is churning out.
Basement thermal bypasses increase the stack effect in buildings
Basement air leaks and thermal bypasses increase the stack effect and carry moist air (or mold, gases, or other airborne contaminants) into the building occupied spaces above where they cause problems.
The collection of sketches (above left) show typical attic and floor air leaks and thermal bypasses and how to seal them.
While the principles apply to all buildings, each structure will demand creative solutions.
Superinsulating a sprawling fuel-gobbling building was not enough: finding and sealing elusive air leaks was a vital second step in gaining major energy savings.
See ENERGY SAVINGS RETROFIT CASE STUDY for an updated online version of the original articles (below)
Here we include solar energy, solar heating, solar hot water, and related building energy efficiency improvement articles reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
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