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7 Answers

Where can I get a forced air heating wall vents that can be 100% sealed shut?

What's a good source for forced air wall/ceiling vents that can be 100% sealed off by the building residents (for example if a room is not in use)? The typical wall vent has lovers that only kinds sorta block flow and make a lot of noise doing it.

This would be for forced air systems, for example those with 4" metal ducting, or 4" flexible ducts.

Asked By Bryce Nesbitt | Jan 22 18
8 Answers

Where are commercially available VIG windows? Are they vaporware?

When I first read about vacuum-insulated glazing (VIG) several years ago, I got really excited; R-10+ windows!! I've been checking every couple of months since to see if they were commercially available and they STILL don't appear to be.

I've got my 100+ year old home almost up to passive house standards with air sealing/insulation. The foreclosed-upon house flippers that we bought our home from installed the cheapest builders grade dual pane windows they could. These are the weakest link in our home's energy efficency.

Asked By David D | Dec 12 13
4 Answers

Batts for rough-cut 2x4s?

I have a client that is gutting a house built in 1920. There is loose fill fiberglass between the rough cut 2x4 studs. If she replaces these with batts, the commonly available 3.5" rock wool or fiberglass batts will only partially fill the cavities. Does anybody sell a full 4" batt? Or is there some way this could be done properly? If she scrunches a 5.5." batt into the cavity what R value could she expect from the compressed batt? Is it likely to cause problems with the drywall?

Thank you,

David Baerg

Asked By David Baerg | Jan 22 18
14 Answers

Basement Insulation question


I am planning to finish my basement and need help with what materials I should use.
I live in Ohio (5A as per map). I have concrete walls with 8 ft ceiling.

I have been reading a lot and not sure what I should be using. I need good comfortable basement. I was reading best to use XPS but now after reading more I see it is not a green option. I also read there are few new products coming out with HFO blowing agents (where to buy them from or they are not available yet ?) I also looked at roxul comfortboard 80. Please advice.

Asked By bullet0770 | Jan 17 18
7 Answers

SHGC of north-facing windows?

I'm beginning the search for windows for my new home in Detroit, CZ5. South windows will have a high SHGC. West windows will have a low SHGC. The east windows get summer shading from a large oak tree so will have a high SHGC. My question is about north windows. Of course they won't be subjected to sunlight, but my first thought is that a window with a low SHGC will better reflect indoor heat back inside? I would prefer to be wrong because high SHGC windows let in more light.

Douglas Higden

Asked By Thrifttrust | Jan 13 18
6 Answers

Best hidden fastener system?

I am looking for siding profile to use with a wood siding hidden fastener rainscreen siding system.

I am installing on 4" exterior insulation.

I had initially liked the Climateshield profile until I learn you have to use z-girts on 4" insulation which seem like they'd cause thermal bridging and are more expensive than furring strips (this fastener requires no furring strips) - you can see more about z-girts here:

Asked By J M | Jan 12 18
14 Answers

What have you used for siding/trim/etc?

I am trying to decide on the healthiest product to use for the exterior. I know it won't really affect indoor air quality if our house is air tight (which I hope it is), but I just really want to chose the product that is the least risky in terms of health. Hardie Board makes me leary because of the Silica. I know it is really only harmful when being cut and installed, but it just makes me nervous. What if we need to repair it or remove it and reinstall? I don't really want to worry about silica dust being everywhere with kids.

Asked By Carolyn Farrow | Jan 7 16
5 Answers

Inline Windows shear blocks

I am strongly considering Inline Windows for our home in Lincoln, NE (zone 5). The Inline rep informed me that the shear blocks (see attached JPG) Inline uses to mechanically secure their frames are made of PVC.

Asked By Derrick Krienert | Jan 4 17
1 Answer

Why do SRI ratings differ so greatly from roofing sheet metal manufacturers who appear to use similar products?

Berridge 24ga ratings are higher than Sheffield and and in some cases 40% for same products (pre-weathered galvalume) with Kynar 500 finish. Just wanted to put a good energy saving roof on home but trying to find best product.

Asked By mzgbs2 | Jan 10 18
16 Answers

Typar vs Zip

I was thinking about using the Zip R system sheathing on my house - removing old clapboards, insulating the wall from the exterior and then installing the ZIP R. I just attended a seminar with a Typar house wrap rep who basically said Zip was no good - is not surfactant resistant and not much more that felt paper glued to OSB. But of course this is coming from the Typar rep. Any thoughts on the pros and cons of each?

Asked By Michael Mohr | Sep 13 17
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