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An Old Debate There are is a very old debate about whether it's better to leave the thermostat at a constant temperature or to turn the temperature down when unoccupied and up when occupied. I am in the heat-as-needed camp that believes in turning the heat up and down. One Argument From a theoretical perspective, I think about it this way: Your furnace ...


9

Like most things, both have their benefits depending on the situation. Personally I'd default to using closed-cell unless there was a specific reason for open-cell, which can include: Open-cell permits drying. If you already have a vapour barrier (eg: below attic rafters) this is good, as multiple vapour barriers can trap moisture and lead to problems (eg: ...


8

Setting back your thermostat to any reasonable temperature for any reason amount of time will only save 5-10% over the course of a season. Apples to apples You can't simply compare your bill to your neighbor's bill. There are very numerous reasons why this is impractical. Different construction, exposure, consumption, equipment and more. Even two houses ...


6

Our heating bills are about 25% higher than our average neighbors according to our bill, yet our temperature is always as low as we can stand it (mid 50's), we have excellent insulation throughout the house, we don't have drafty windows, and our furnace is a brand new natural gas system. The WAY we are heating is one of the last variables to explore. I'm ...


5

My recommendation is to not put in the patio. Your efforts may lower the value to the buyer rather than raising it, especially if what you're planning to put in is the "easiest, lowest cost patio" rather than a landscaping masterpiece. Like many kinds of projects, you will almost never get a financial return from the work and investment unless: you ...


5

And are there any other factors to consider? There is one factor of note that you have attempted to consider: we don't have drafty windows Unfortunately, the idea that windows are a major factor in a house's draftiness (or more technically, air change rate) is a common misconception. The reality is that the vast majority of draftiness is completely ...


4

Electrical baseboard heaters and plug-in resistance heaters are already 100% efficient, in that 100% of the electrical energy that goes into them is turned into heat. Whether it's a ceramic heater, oil-filled radiator, or radiant heater, they all are 100% efficient. However, as you found out, even at 100% efficiency, electrical resistance heating is ...


3

Without knowing more details, any advice is going to be very generic. Preventing Energy Loss Look into weather sealing, if you find windows or doors that are drafty Add attic insulation if you don't already have it (or increase the amount if you are able) Upgrade to double-pane windows with Low-E coatings to minimize heat loss in winter and heat gain in ...


3

As @jphi618 indicates in his comment, glass or sheet acrylic would be thin, fairly strong and fairly cheap, then painted to match the door. There is also sheet steel, which would be much heavier and expensive, but similar in thickness. There are other materials, such as sheet MDF and plywood that are available in 1/4 inch thickness and hardboard that is ...


3

Think about it. If the LEDs were failing, they would fail individually one at a time, not the entire strip at once. (strips typically have many LEDs, but in groups of 3-6, so if an LED was failing, it couldn't take out more than 6 at a time). What's failing is the power supplies And this is typical of the failure mode of cheapie LEDs. The LED emitters ...


3

There are no big secrets to be had here. You start with a full sheet, tongue just inside flush, and run a row, butts centered on your joists. You then use a "beater block" to drive the second row into the first, staggering butt joints at least one joist space (ideally roughly half the sheet's length). I like a 3-4' 2x4 that I can stand on and whack with a ...


2

I had my own "green" start up company that I sold off 10 years ago- and I use the same guys to install most new systems I put in. Really for most cases all the data will come back to is the average temperature that a home is kept (given that insulation and other thermal constraints are constant). Really the most effective thing to do is to always have ...


2

You've ignored two major factors: Batteries don't live forever, and require maintenance as well as periodic replacement - more so if they are abused (typical when people save money on batteries and then over-discharge them.) This is one reason that "grid-tied" solar is far more common where the grid is available - it eliminates the battery storage and its ...


2

Really, it comes down to one simple thing: the lust for square footage and the compromise it takes to achieve it on a particular budget. Home buyers have deliberately traded richness of design and quality of construction for sheer size. Size became the standard for status, real or imagined, and folks decided that they'd trade quality and richness for the ...


2

I think it's primarily cost. When I built my addition I put in hardwood stairs - just a simple straight run, wrought iron balusters. It easily cost me $1K-$2K in materials and a few weekends labor over what it would have taken to do the standard tract home staircase (OSB, carpet & drywall). With hardwood, everything has to be perfect - you'll see ...


2

Getting rid of the kids would be fairly simple if you put them to work as indentured carpentry apprentices making all those beautiful banisters. Honestly the answer is several fold: 1) stately homes like that require immense upkeep and refurbishment which means money that most people don't have; 2) wear, tear, termites, and age don't mix well; 3) design ...


2

You have to look at the assumptions they make when determining the annual energy and water consumption. It could be 2 loads of laundry a week, or it could be 2 a day. Without knowing that, you don't know if you do more or less than their assumption, and thus whether you'd use more or less energy / water each year. For example, in the US, Energy Star washers ...


2

The molding that holds the glass in place probably is held in place with small nails. Just gently pry up the molding with a wide (1" or even wider) wood chisel or screwdriver. Try not to dent the molding so you can reuse it. The wider the tip of the tool you use to pry it up, the less likely it is that you will damage the molding. Remove the old glass and ...


2

It is a myth that furnaces need to work "harder" if turned off for a while or if the room cools or heats too much. This has been tested and is recommended even by the government: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/thermostats https://blog.powerley.com/mythbuster-using-a-thermostat-setback-for-energy-savings/ You should have your thermostat as cold as ...


2

You could use a drywall screw adapter: This one is for drywall. It does not limit torque, instead there is a clutch inside which disengages when the metal "tube" around the screwdriver bit in the center hits the workpiece, and that prevents screwing all the way through the drywall. It works pretty well, with reasonable accuracy. You can also change the ...


2

They make variations on drills called "drill-drivers" specifically for this purpose. However, having done tongue-and-groove roofs using screws, in cases where plunge depth really mattered, I prefer a speed wrench and a bit holder. source In my case the other advantage also lets you use the drill for pre-drilling holes so things don't crack.


2

I guess it depends what you mean by quality. It seems like the only thing you are interested in is the frame. You have no requirements around the glass? I've bought windows from a small manufacturer before - they forgot to drill the weep holes. Post drilling the weep holes look pretty rough. One of the triple GUs had a 2' long scratch on the interior ...


2

As you've seen, prices vary widely. That's why it's a good idea to shop around and ask for references. Some operations just don't want to bother with small jobs like yours, so they quote you a high number in the hope that you'll pick someone else. If you pick them, you pay for the "privilege". Some quote low-ball prices and I'd be wary of them. ...


1

Good question. Lots to consider. In most jurisdictions you will not be able to build back EXACTLY what was destroyed, unless it’s less than 25% of the value of the house. (See ICC Chapter 26.) If the loss is greater than 25%, you’ll need to consider upgrading to meet current Code and Zoning standards, including: 1) Structural, 2) Energy, 3) Height ...


1

Your insurance coverage should be sufficient to cover whatever loss you are expecting it to cover. If you carry homeowners insurance in case of fire, then it probably makes sense to ensure that the limits are high enough to replace the foundation and everything on it. If you carry homeowners insurance solely for liability reasons, it doesn't really matter ...


1

A floor lamp is a consumer product sold loose with an electric cord. It plugs into a receptacle. It has a light switch on the lamp. It takes up space, people knock the lamp over and trip over the cord etc. A ceiling lamp is built into the ceiling with special wiring in the wall and ceiling. It is expensive to install the wiring, more expensive to buy, ...


1

I'm sorry, but I can't give generic conservation advice. For the kind of money you're spending, it's crazy to take blind shots and pray. You need whole house power monitoring This is a system that installs in your service panel and clamps onto the ammeters. It listens to the electrical noise and current flow from each device, and makes educated guesses ...


1

The amount of heat going out of your house has to be made up by your heating system. When its cooler inside(winter) there is less temperature difference from inside to outside and therefore less pressure to move heat out. Therefore heat loss is lower. Looking at run times and saying savings are uncertain is disingenuous at best, except on a heat pump. ...


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