So Much $$ to Insulate

Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: Dirty Steve On: Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:27 pm

:shock: Certainly get more estimates!
Dirty Steve
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Oil- Off line
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6


Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:43 pm

STOP. THINK. BENEFIT.

Get an air pressure/infiltration test first. Seriously.

Take it from someone who added lots of insulation to the drafty attic and didn't reap near the benefits...until reading about air infiltration and addressing those.

Steps to insulation are:

1. Stop the air infiltration and escape.

2. Slow the thermal escape

3. Increase the size of your thermal barriers.

Where to start:

1. Upper envelope. Make a "hat" for your house using the upstairs walls and attic/top ceiling/whatever you have. Stop the air, increase your thermal barriers.

2. Extend the envelope downwards, one level at a time.

Heat efficiently:

1. Zone, Zone, Zone. It doesn't matter how much or how little your heat costs, if you are heating an area unnecessarily, and are cold in your house, you ain't doin' it right ;)

2. Join Nepacrossroads and make sure you are heating with coal :D

The main point is...if you add "insulation" to a leaky house, you won't get the full benefit. Insulation's main purpose is to TRAP AIR to decrease the thermal transfer. If air is moving due to leaks, not only are you losing the heated air, your "insulation" can't do its job.

Foam is different. Loads of benefits there, including stopping air AND getting to the critical 2" of foam for the required thermal barrier in our area to prevent condensation on the inside space.

FWIW, we're not done by a long shot and we've dropped from almost $4000 in oil (pre-F-U price jumps) and always cold to about $850 last year with anthracite on our boiler.

Sure, last year was mild, etc, but it's safe to say we've cut our heating costs by 50%-75% AND heat our hot water. We were paying about $220/tn delivered last year.

I have some sources to back this info up, but been away from it for a bit. Let me see if I can find some of that reading for you. BTW, it was a REVELATION to me. I felt so STUPID afterwards because it makes sense and NOBODY talks about it ;)
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler

Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:56 pm

CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler

Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: KLook On: Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:28 pm

Trust me on this one, it's not so simple.


Been there many times with old houses. Nothing like experience.

Kevin
KLook
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF 3000
Coal Size/Type: rice, bagged, Blaschak
Other Heating: Gas boiler backup/main
Stove/Furnace Model: VF 3000

Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: ShawnTRD On: Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:53 pm

Hey guys,
The company is looking to do a nyserda paid for home energy audit. I guess this includes a blower door test and thermal imaging. My first problem with this all was the delay in getting people to my house. Now my second problem was the lady I was talking to told me insulating an attic runs about $8,000. I told the guy that came out Friday that I felt that that was ridiculous, and he seemed to think that that was a little extreme. He took some pictures I'm a attic and said he will be back with an emailed quote by Monday. The third problem is they want me to fill out loan application information and I don't even know what I'm going to be filling this out for.

This is for a 1750 square foot modular Ranch built in 2005 with full basement. With coal it cost me $1200- $1500 year to heat. I would like to see it go down to maybe $800- $1000. But not if it's going to cost me like $20,000. Maybe I'm looking too much into it. But that lady is first price of $8,000 got my head spinning. I'm moving forward will be getting the rest of the estimates. I will update this post when/as I know more.
ShawnTRD
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6 (New in April 2014)
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice
Other Heating: Weil Mclain WGO-2 (Net 75k BTU)

Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:52 am

The blower door test will be worth it to find the large air leaks. As suggested earlier in the thread, reducing the air leakage out of the top of the living space is where the savings are at.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Coal Size/Type: Lehigh Rice
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: titleist1 On: Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:03 am

I would not fill out the loan application until I knew what the estimate amount was and if I knew I wanted them to do the work. Otherwise my cynical brain would be thinking they want to find out what amount loan I qualify for and then they figure their price to meet that amount.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: michaelanthony On: Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:48 am

titleist1 wrote:I would not fill out the loan application until I knew what the estimate amount was and if I knew I wanted them to do the work. Otherwise my cynical brain would be thinking they want to find out what amount loan I qualify for and then they figure their price to meet that amount.


...and if I may add to that, 6 yrs ago I was laid off and had an energy audit performed and paid for by "Efficiency Maine" They insulated my crawl space and caulked the sills in my basement. My crawl space had 6 inches of paper backed pink stuff and the contractor added approx 14 inches of blow in insulation. The contractor recieved $1400.00 for their efforts

I was told I needed a bathroom exhaust fan per code and they would install it...well my home was built in t he '50s, it is a brick faced ranch in central Maine. The walls are as follows: 2 layers of sheetrock, 3/4 inch air space caused by vertical furring strips approx every 16 inches, cinder block, 1 inch air space and finally brick face. The walls are about 10 inches thick and no formal type of insulation, needless to say the bathroom exhaust fan was never installed when the contractor realized skill was involved, The bathroom was done the old fashion way and not a spec of mold the plaster is still perfect!

The estimate does seem high, and if they are selling low interest loans there my be some caveats in the fine print like living there for a specific number of years or the loan gets called in. Thanks for listening.
michaelanthony
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Vigilant 2310, gold marc box stove, vogelzang pot belly coat rack
Baseburners & Antiques: Home Sparkle 12
Coal Size/Type: Coal Contractor's stove, a little Kimmels 'nut
Other Heating: Very cold FHA oil furnace


Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:50 am

ShawnTRD wrote:Hey guys,
The company is looking to do a nyserda paid for home energy audit. I guess this includes a blower door test and thermal imaging.


The blower door test will give you an idea of the size of your air leaks, but the thermal imaging (on a cold day while you have the heat way up) will tell the tale.

The notorious spots include the top floor walls near the ceiling where it joins to the attic.

In our old farmhouse, the ceiling layer was actually part of the vented attic space due to building methods.

We extended the side wall envelop up to the roof line on the outside walls using 2" foam insulation and spray foam to seal it right up against the new insulation baffles we put on the inside of the roof, between the rafters.

Then we brought the ceiling down into that envelope using 2" foam and new quality fiberglass insulation and sealed the corners.

MOISTURE is something you always want to think about, too. Especially when re-insulating and air sealing.

For us, we added a layer of OSB on the inside of the foam and 3/4" tongue and groove pine, installed horizontally to mimic the inside of a log cabin.

Those layers combined not only provide the required fire barrier for the foam, they help equalize and manage moisture levels as we only sealed the one side of the TnG. Wood breathes. The 2" foam provides the necessary thermal break to prevent in-wall condensation in our zone.

FYI, drywall is a normal firebreak for foam, but not what we were after on the walls, though we did use it on the ceiling over the new foam, osb, adding drywall instead of TnG. Didn't want to feel like a cave, LOL.

1600sq ft avg is 40x40, about 10 sheets of 4x8 foam per wall. 40 sheets at $35/sheet = $1400. Ceiling would be 50 sheets, another $1750. So about $3k, plus whatever you want on your walls (osb, Tng, drywall, etc) and you would have the "ideal" envelope.

If you want to get into the $8k range, you could "have it all" with insulation, new interior walls, etc.

The other option, depending on the outside walls (what is the exterior- brick, siding, wood?), is less labor intensive and preserves the inside wall sizes and finishes, is to add 2" foam (or even 1-1.5" but I'd go 2 in if you plan to stay in this house) to the OUTSIDE and then add new siding- at least on the top floor.

New siding and exterior paint and weather sealing adds curb appeal and value to most homes. Downside is scaffolding or lift rental and handling.

You will still have the ceiling in the top floor to deal with and connect to the outer envelope, but depending on how your attic joins the walls, it can be done on the attic side, or better IMHO, by simply doing new ceilings. Usually minimal wiring to deal with there (no thicker outlet boxes like in the walls ;) )

Are you single floor or two?

Hope this helps. Take advantage of the mistakes I've made and the things I learned along the way. Takes the shorter road with faster returns ;)

Our interior needed redone and "straightened" anyways....old farm houses ;)

Good luck and let us know what you decide
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: old Sears rebuilt, bituminous- offline as of winter 2014
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Buckwheat
Other Heating: Oil Boiler

Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: waldo lemieux On: Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:16 am

Shawn, quit e'ffn around with Snug Planet. $8k to supplement an 05 modular ranch is ridiculous. Call Blair at Energy tec and have him come by. He can do a blower door and seal the air leaks if there is any. A good mod company would sealed any attic penetrations to start with. Too, 1200-1500 doesnt sound too bad for 1700 sq ft of ceiling .... waldo
waldo lemieux
 
Stove/Furnace Make: efm
Stove/Furnace Model: s-20

Re: So much $$ to insulate

PostBy: ShawnTRD On: Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:32 pm

Got the email quote today.

----------------

Hi Shawn,

It was great to meet you on Friday.

Here is the work scope I am proposing:

1. Seal major sites of air leakage between house and attic (module seam, plumbing vents, etc.).
2. Box and seal 4 recessed lights with nonflammable covers.
3. Replace existing hatch with ¾” plywood, insulated with 2” rigid foam.
4. Install depth markers.
5. Add approx. 12” cellulose to attic to achieve uniform R-60 throughout.

This will help with comfort, both summer and winter. You will see some savings on your coal and/or oil bill as well.

Total cost would be $3900. With Home Performance with Energy Star financing, your payments could be $32/month or less.

Please let me know how you’d like to proceed. Thanks,
ShawnTRD
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA6 (New in April 2014)
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice
Other Heating: Weil Mclain WGO-2 (Net 75k BTU)