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90 degrees right now

Steve Minnich
Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,652
It’s hot and humid in Chicago. Our windows are closed, two ceiling fans on, shades are drawn on the south and west sides of our home, and we’re cool and comfortable using 5000 btu AC.

We’re empty nesters now and our house is only 1000sf or so, but also a great example of how buttoning up the envelope makes your system more efficient.
Author - Hard Knocks: My Life Inside Boiler Rooms
PHC News Columnist
Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/minnich-hydronic-consulting-and-design
ChrisJCanuckerGordy

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,566
    edited May 2018
    Was 90 here with 40% RH.

    Inside was 71 @ 45%.
    1600 sqft. 3 tons but ran in low stage most of the time.

    My envelope is as tight as a screen door. ;)


    To be fair, 5000 btuh in 1000sqft, something tells me what you find comfortable and what I find comfortable are two very different things. Unless you have 6+" of spray foam and no windows.

    One day I'll improve our house. I hope.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    I just moved and the new house is like a thermos. A little bit of window shade management and open windows at night works. We have only turned the air on twice this year and only for a couple hours each time.

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,566
    > @Harvey Ramer said:
    > I just moved and the new house is like a thermos. A little bit of window shade management and open windows at night works. We have only turned the air on twice this year and only for a couple hours each time.

    What's the humidity like where you're at Harvey?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    edited May 2018
    It hit 90F here to this afternoon when I was installing the minisplit linesets... had to take a break at 2pm when the full sun hit the south side of the house where I was working.. it was brutal. I took three showers today.
    Now I feel like a powertool that needs a recharge :(
    ChrisJ
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    > @ChrisJ said:
    > > @Harvey Ramer said:
    > > I just moved and the new house is like a thermos. A little bit of window shade management and open windows at night works. We have only turned the air on twice this year and only for a couple hours each time.
    >
    > What's the humidity like where you're at Harvey?

    It's sweltering outside. I am at a party right now and the humidity in the pool is right around 100% I guess. :)

    I really don't know what the humidity has been at in the new house. I haven't bothered to check yet because I've been comfortable. I did have to turn the AC on yesterday because the lovely Jen spilled a pie in the oven and was running a cleaning cycle. That brought the house up close to 80.

    GordyRich_49
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,566

    If it were entirely up to me, our house would be cold enough to hang meat from the ceilings. But I’m married, so I compromise.

    I've been lucky in that department.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 657
    Steve, you're sure are right. Our big old frame 2 story we had at 3200 sqft, we only used 1 1/2 tons of window AC to cool it. Most of the time we only ran 1/2 ton. We had upgraded it significantly, but retained the original windows. Windows are almost never worthwhile upgrading in terms of energy savings.... average payback IIRC is abaout 42 years and this was before energy prices dropped the last few years.
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  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,652
    I removed all of the can lights and put a minimum of R-45 batts in the attic above. Complete game changer.
    Author - Hard Knocks: My Life Inside Boiler Rooms
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/minnich-hydronic-consulting-and-design
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,566
    I'm considering spray foam between the rafters.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,652
    @ChrisJ - If I had a 8/12 to 12/12 roof, I would have considered that.
    Author - Hard Knocks: My Life Inside Boiler Rooms
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/minnich-hydronic-consulting-and-design
    ChrisJ
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,175
    One of my rentals is an 1890 farmhouse, 2 story with 1100 sq ft total. Next to no insulation in the walls, but the attic is blown full of cellulose. Last fall I junked all the windows and replaced with new Low-E sliders, and put 1/2" fanfold around the exterior and covered with new siding. Every seam was foamed and taped to tighten the envelope. The renters claim they used less than 400 gallons of propane this winter versus 750 the year before, and judging by my woodpile at home I'd say winter was about 30% longer than last year. My air has been on for 3 months already and they just turned theirs on yesterday. A tight envelope goes a long way if you have little to no solar gain.

    I have 2800 sq ft at home, the lower level is 3" closed cell inside of 12" block with 2" XPS outside while the upper level is R19 fiberglass in a 6" wood wall with 1/2" fanfold outside and an R38 attic but lots of Low-E glass on the south side. Even with thermal blackout curtains on half the windows, I'll never get a call for heat even at 0 degrees if the sun is in full force, which usually causes the house to overheat in the dead of winter. Cloudy days like today, even though it's near 90 degrees, my 2 ton AC runs almost never. Yesterday however, it never stopped because the sun was out with a vengeance. Kind of a tradeoff, either free heat in winter or expensive AC in the summer. No way to lose the glass so I guess it it what it is!
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 657
    Glass... if you have the correct depth overhangs here in Chicago on the South windows (typically about 30 to 36 inches) most of the summer sun is blocked but nearly all the winter sun comes in. You can have your cake and eat it too. The depth of overhang is based upon how low your windows go and your latitude.

    Can lights are huge energy wasters, and IMHO, are real fire hazard since the only thing you're relying on is a safety switch to run off the lights if things get too hot. LED is much safer and cooler. The big box stores have all sorts of LED conversion kits for the can lights. Seal up all your electrical boxes and the joint between the base of the wall and the floor. If installing new walls, the joint between the drywall and top plated where interior walls meet the ceiling and where interior walls meet the outside wall should also be sealed.

    Look up air tight drywall technique for pointers... the Canadian were using this constrution practice by the 80's

    The big energy saver is air tightening, insulation is not as important.

    The energy programs for Bungalows here in Chicago usually see savings of about 25% or more by air sealing the top of the gap between the brick and interior plaster and other air leaks and then ceiling insulation ( 8 inches is all that can usually fit under the floor. The other really effective improvement is low e storm windows for your old single pane windows. The payback is about twice as fast as standard aluminum storms. Savings versus single pane were about 20% with low e verses about 11% with standard glass.
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    Gordy
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,918
    > @ChrisJ said:
    > I'm considering spray foam between the rafters.

    Newer construction on the east end of L.I. does the spray foam. Amazing stuff. The attics themselves dont get over 80.
    Just like everything else though, some guys are sloppy.
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 657
    Not a fan of spray foam. Great performance, but very permanent. Some day someone's gonna want to run new cabling, renovate spaces etc, and boy is it going to be difficult with foam holding it all together! Also, any water leaks and you've got major problems. I just don't think it's a good product for the real world.
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  • Canucker
    Canucker Member Posts: 678
    edited May 2018
    I disagree, @The Steam Whisperer Water leaks are a problem no matter what insulation you have. If anything, closed cell spray foam can stand up to water intrusion best. Additionally, I think the best way to find a leak in a roof isn't to wait until you see it inside the building. I don't know if it's cost effective to fill walls with it(I like the flash and batt method better) but renovation projects are a pain, no matter what
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,566
    I said sprayfoam because I'd like to do the underside of the roof and not vent. Sprayfoam gets rid of condensation concerns in the winter.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Canucker
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,652
    I had my crawlspace encapsulated a few years ago. It was so damp our hard floors were starting to buckle. In addition to new drain tile, new wall drain system, and concrete pour; they spray foamed all the walls and all the joist bays around the perimeter. Our floors are so much warmer in the winter and the house is far less humid in the summer.
    Author - Hard Knocks: My Life Inside Boiler Rooms
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/minnich-hydronic-consulting-and-design
    HVACNUT
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 657
    Yes, water leaks are a problem no matter what and its almost inevitable they are going to happen somewhere in a buildings life. Using building systems that are much more repairable for future generations are going to help make sure the building doesn't end up in the landfill, but is renovated as time goes on. There are lots of structures hundreds ( even thousands) of years old that have been renovated over and over to serve new needs as time moves on. I don't think foam is very friendly in the long term. As I said, great performance, but long term not such a good idea.

    I would be concerned about the encapsulation of the foundation walls if you hadn't upgraded the drainage. Sealing the moisture in the wall will cause it to creep up into the framing above and cause rot, unless you have one of those extremely rare houses with a moisture break in the foundation wall. The traditional methods in the old days was a layer of slate built into the wall to stop the rising damp. The foam plate gasket probably does a pretty good job in new construction.
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  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 2,764
    That's what gives me the willies when I think about spray foam too. What's the water going to do once the foam is applied? I've got this picture in my head, a beautiful shell of foam with stud-shaped slots in it!
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,918
    edited May 2018
    I've never seen it used in the vertical, although I'm sure it's out there.
    The high end homes being built use the spray foam between attic and basement/crawlspace joists. ERV's are a must and I can be in an attic in August for over an hour and still be comfortable.
    AeroSeal is being used to seal duct gaps up to the size of a nickel.
    Technology changes. Vent the attic, vent the crawl space they said. And the somebody invented the Zip Lock sandwich bag and the world changed forever.
    Gordy
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,566
    Fresh bread is best in a paper bag because it breaths.

    Just saying.


    ;)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,652
    3-4 years later my crawlspace is bone dry, doesn't smell of mildew, and is not infested with bugs. I could have a party down there if the ceiling height wasn't 31".
    Author - Hard Knocks: My Life Inside Boiler Rooms
    PHC News Columnist
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/minnich-hydronic-consulting-and-design
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    As with any envelope system. “Done correctly” are the key words.

    As with many roof systems. Few install a new roof system until leaks become an issue. Proactive...

    Wall plane assemblies can be victims of driving rains. Even improper cleaning of siding assemblies.

    Then there is the whole condensation issue of improperly done roof, and wall assemblies. Spray foam is very unforgiving to such scenarios as moisture becomes locked into the assembly. Usually once discovered damage can be extensive to wood members, and othe materials.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,566
    > @Gordy said:
    > As with any envelope system. “Done correctly” are the key words.
    >
    > As with many roof systems. Few install a new roof system until leaks become an issue. Proactive...
    >
    > Wall plane assemblies can be victims of driving rains. Even improper cleaning of siding assemblies.
    >
    > Then there is the whole condensation issue of improperly done roof, and wall assemblies. Spray foam is very unforgiving to such scenarios as moisture becomes locked into the assembly. Usually once discovered damage can be extensive to wood members, and othe materials.

    And.....where do you stand on the paper vs plastic for fresh bread?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,918
    > @ChrisJ said:
    > Fresh bread is best in a paper bag because it breaths.
    >
    > Just saying.
    >
    >
    > ;)
    >
    >

    Ok, not the best analogy, but you get the gist.
    R70 Zip Lock with a 10% per hour exchange.
    And downstream of the UV light and Merv 16.
    And I know you like dehumidification, so well pipe in an Aprilaire 1850A set to 42% for the finest Semolina.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Depends on the bread type, and duration before eaten........

    Example fresh baked Italian bread. Paper. Crusty outside warm soft inside. With soppressatta, and Gorgonzola, or hard Parmesan.

    Wonder bread. Plastic.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,566
    > @Gordy said:
    > Depends on the bread type, and duration before eaten........
    >
    > Example fresh baked Italian bread. Paper. Crusty outside warm soft inside. With soppressatta, and Gorgonzola, or hard Parmesan.
    >
    > Wonder bread. Plastic.

    Mmmmm fresh Italian bread with a hard crust......
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Gordy
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,315
    40+ years ago while in Europe for 3 years or so.
    The long bread French type loaves were carried home with no bag, only stuffed up under one's armpit so you still had two hands for other needs.
    I had done that myself as I returned from the Greek bakery, it seemed to add some patina to your loaf. ;)
  • The Steam Whisperer
    The Steam Whisperer Member Posts: 657
    I've always said that is why French and Italian bread is so good.... it's that added natural flavor.

    I've seen spray foam used in sidewalls too here in Northern ILL. In the one I remember, they did an inch or so on the backside of the sheathing and filled the rest with batts.....Probably not a good idea unless the dewpoint temperature was reached somewhere inside the foam.

    With foam, even if all the framing rots away, the building will probably still stand since the sheathing and interior drywall are all bonded together. This is like the stress skin panels used on high rises or steel framed buildings.
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  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 324
    Gordy said:

    Wonder bread...

    That's an oxymoron.
    ChrisJ said:

    Mmmmm fresh Italian bread with a hard crust...

    Please don't talk like that. Other than on trips back to visit family, I haven't had good Italian bread since moving 3,000 miles away from New York 40 years ago. :(
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514

    Gordy said:

    Wonder bread...

    That's an oxymoron.
    ChrisJ said:

    Mmmmm fresh Italian bread with a hard crust...

    Please don't talk like that. Other than on trips back to visit family, I haven't had good Italian bread since moving 3,000 miles away from New York 40 years ago. :(

    It’s around. You just have to know where to find it Sal.......
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 324
    Gordy said:

    It’s around. You just have to know where to find it Sal.......

    OK Gordy, how about a hint. Where? I live in San Clemente. Retired after 33 years of commuting 100 miles each day round trip on the 405, I'm reveling in not turning an ignition key any more than absolutely necessary. If there's some fantastic Italian bread at a bakery in, say, the San Fernando Valley (a two-hour drive north of here), I'll just have to keep on eating the least bad stuff available from Trader Joe's. :)
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,566
    When I went to bed last night, it was 79F @ 59% RH outside.

    Still not sure what I need to open windows for. :)
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    ^ An all day chili cook off could facilitate that need with a weak fart fan in the house........
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514

    Gordy said:

    It’s around. You just have to know where to find it Sal.......

    OK Gordy, how about a hint. Where? I live in San Clemente. Retired after 33 years of commuting 100 miles each day round trip on the 405, I'm reveling in not turning an ignition key any more than absolutely necessary. If there's some fantastic Italian bread at a bakery in, say, the San Fernando Valley (a two-hour drive north of here), I'll just have to keep on eating the least bad stuff available from Trader Joe's. :)
    Lol, now you want to find it with in walking distance. Maybe I’m just lucky. If your go to is Trader Joe’s I understand your agony .........

    I can remember some very old school Italian neighborhoods in my area. Fresh made Sopressa aging hanging from the floor joists in the basements. The small Italian stores stem from there. Sadly those numbers are in decline.



  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 324
    Gordy said:

    ...Lol, now you want to find it with in walking distance...

    Not walking distance, but I'm unwilling to drive anywhere approaching the length of my old commute on a regular basis for bread.
    Gordy said:

    ...I can remember some very old school Italian neighborhoods in my area. Fresh made Sopressa aging hanging from the floor joists in the basements. The small Italian stores stem from there. Sadly those numbers are in decline...

    My grandfather, who died in 1938 long before I was born, owned and operated one of those stores in Manhattan some years after he arrived at Ellis Island in 1907. I have pictures of the establishment. My mouth waters looking at them. :)
    Gordy
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    I,was fortunate to get another bottle of Grappa from my Uncles visit this month. Made in Bassano del grappa. Expresso, and a splash of grappa. Whiskey of the grape :)
    Sal Santamaura
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