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Posted by J. Clarke on January 29, 2008, 4:59 pm
Jeff wrote:

That's adding a room, not decreasing energy consumption by thirty

Most houses built in the US since the '60s (at least in New England)
already have R13 walls.  Upgrading to R19 requires that great deal of
effort, and that alone is not going to save thirty percent.

Yep, air leaks are a good thing to fix.  But fixing them creates other
problems.  If the house is really tight now your range hood stops
working unless you open a window or go to a reciruculating hood that
doesn't remove moisture and does a poor job on smoke and odors.
Bathroom vents stop working effectively too, so you get humidity
building up.  In extreme cases the furnace may not be able to get
enough air to vent properly, leading to carbon monoxide buildup.  Then
there's the whole radon thing .l. .

So don't just seal everything unless you're sure you understand the

Are you talking about putting cellulose or fiberglass over a window?
Yes, that will cut the loss but it also (a) defeats the purpose of the
window, (b) has to be removed to get ventilation through that window
in the summer, and (c) eliminates any possibility of solar gain
through that window.

to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)

Posted by Jeff on January 29, 2008, 7:00 pm
J. Clarke wrote:

In the south you can add a couple decades to that. And I've seen plenty
of northern houses circa '60 that have uninsulated walls.

  Upgrading to R19 requires that great deal of

   Most houses are so leaky that it's very hard to get to 1/2 ACH. And
that is plenty of air.

Both. I have a row of North facing windows that I simply block in the
winter. Sure it defeats looking out that window but it also dramatically
reduces heat losses in a part of the house I don't use often in the winter.

   And it's not hard to add a couple layers of heatshrink to a frame
(felt air seal on the edges) and slide that into your window sash. A
poor mans double pane storm window. Approaching R3 from an R1 window is
a big difference. Or even bubble wrapping a window if you want to keep
the light but don't need transparency. All of which are easy to remove.

Also, many older homes don't have underfloor insulation to an unheated

Depends on the direction. Most people have windows on all sides of the
house and some people have sliding glass patio doors. A couple of patio
doors can easily lose thousands of BTU's/hr.

   Now, you may like to have all those unobstructed windows and that's
fine. I rather like being warm and paying less. It's all a judgement
about what is important to you.


Posted by bealiba on January 30, 2008, 12:37 am

This guy is a complete fuck wit.

Changing a 60 Watt bulb for a 15 Watt compact fluro is a 75% saving.
Doing that across a whole house full of lights is a 75% saving on your
total lighting bill.

A modicum of insulation, a 10 to 15% reduction in energy use.

Pay attention when you buy new appliances, another 10 to 15%

If he can't find a 30% reduction in his energy use he hasn't got the
brains of a cockroach.

He wants a quick fix for a 30% reduction. Well, there isn't any single
fix for the reduction of energy in a house and nobody ever said there

OTOH it's just not that hard to make a lot of little changes that add
up to 30% and save you a small fortune on energy bills.

Posted by Solar Flare on January 30, 2008, 1:58 am
 Education and more study gently eases us into saving energy, not
buying off the electrical utility.

Posted by Tony Wesley on January 29, 2008, 5:07 am

Certainly the typical house in the US in not efficient.  "Most people"
who live in houses could improve their energy efficiency
considerably.  Even when I lived in an apartment, I did.  I put an
insulating blanket over the electric water heater and changed the
lights to CFLs.

I've got a house, built in 1950.  They blew in cellulose back then and
didn't do a good job of it, even by 1950 insulation standards.  Didn't
fill in all the way between the joists.  Half a century and no one
improved on it until I bought the house.  I'm filling in the loose
insulation up to the top of the joists and then add six inches of
fiberglass batts.

More power to you, fix that sucker up.  Right now, sounds like you
have bigger priorities than energy efficiency.  Leaks have to rise to
the top of the priority list.  Water always wins.

But "most people" don't live in houses that leak water.  So your
particular circumstances are irrelevant in a discussion about "most

I'm certainly not a member of George's fan club, but I think he's spot
on in this thread.

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