I strongly urge everyone who is involved in remodeling, retrofitting, weatherizing, or any other construction related project with a StLouis Building review and practice these must do activities when working on the typical StLouis brick or masonry building.
Improper Building or Retrofitting Techniques could lead to: Respiratory Problems, Indoor Pollution, Combustion from Natural Gas Appliances, as well as the further deterioration of your brick building.
If you are reading this I’m going to assume that you aren’t a google bot or bing bot and wear clothes in your daily activities. You are an actual human being who wears clothes.
Besides the obvious fact we wear clothes to cover our nakedness.
We humans wear clothes for protection: protection for our bodies: from the heat, from the cold, from rain and snow-summed all up from the Elements.
We protect ourselves with clothes against the Climate and Elements we live in.
Just as you wear clothes to protect yourself from the elements the various parts of a properly constructed energy efficient building are there to protect it from the elements while keeping the inhabitants comfortable.
While it may sound complex in Nature it’s really rather simple in content when talking about a Building.
The simple comparison in how warm and dryan Insulated Wind Breaker is to aSimple T-Shirt.
The Windbreakerstops theCold Airfrom reaching your skin and the Insulationis the stuff that keeps the cold from creeping close to your body.
While a T Shirt lets in both Air and Cold thus failing to keep you warm and dry. (This is the Framing of your Building. )
A Sweatshirt will help seal out a little cold but not for long. (This is the Insulation in your Building. )
But when a Windbreaker is put on over the Sweatshirt and T-Shirt it is such relief to be warm- almost anything is tolerable when in a Cold Windy Environment. (This is the Air Barrier in your Building.)
Caps or Hats (The roof of your Building see upcoming post-seeking sponsors)
Shoes and boots (The Foundation / Basement of your Building see upcoming post-seeking sponsors)
Examples 1 thru 5 when applied to a Building is your Buildings Envelope or Outer Shell.
The buildings we live and work in need protection too. Just as you will add layers against the cold to stay warm in today’s extreme climate. Your Building needs the same protection against the Elements of Heat and Cold.
The best protection against the Elements cold and heat from entering your building is: Insulation.
Insulation is your Number One Sourcefor keeping your building’s energy consumption as low as possible while staying comfortable.
Insulation keeps the Heat and Cold from creeping in your Building.
While building Insulation comes in many forms it basically performs the basic action that I mentioned above when talking about wearing a sweatshirt.
Insulation is there to keep out the heat and cold that make life uncomfortable– (to include the uncomfortable feelingyou get when you pay your local monthly Gas and Electric utility bills- for the over priced services they provide your building.)
Just as the Windbreaker stops the Wind from interfering with your body. The Air Barrier does the same for your Home or Office. Normal construction techniques have various Air Barriers All of which are designed to eliminate and reduce the cold or warm air from entering and leaving your Building. This is the second most crucial step in protecting a building against the Elements of heat and cold.
So what is the T-shirt used in this examples place in a building. The T Shirt in this example is the Buildings Walls and Roof. See the bare wall in this photo of the Benton Rehab Project
while the crew and I were rehabbing this building in St Louis. This is the framing without layers of Insulation or Air Barrier. It’s obvious that these walls will not keep out any heat or cold. Just as a t-shirt performs.
The Air Barrier and Insulation coupled with a few other areas of your building is your Buildings Envelope.
Scotty, Scotts Contracting St Louis Renewable Energy 4/2/13
Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP. Company Web Address: http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com
POll-How can I help you Save Money on your Winter-Time Heating Bills?
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Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter and can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weatherstrip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. You can save on your heating and cooling bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.
Hint: Use Fire Rated: 5/8″Fire Rated Drywall or Sheetrock with Fire Proof Caulking to Create the Air Tight Seal
How Does the Air Escape?
Air infiltrates into and out of your home through every hole and crack. About one-third of this air infiltrates through openings in your ceilings, walls, and floors.
First, test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.
Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose.
Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists. These joints can be caulked.
Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with more efficient windows, such as double-pane. See Windows on page 18 for more information.
When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes—24 hours a day!
For new construction, reduce exterior wall leaks by installing house wrap, taping the joints of exterior sheathing, and comprehensively caulking and sealing the exterior walls.
Use foam sealant around larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where warm air may be leaking out.
Kitchen exhaust fan covers can keep air from leaking in when the exhaust fan is not in use. The covers typically attach via magnets for ease of replacement.
Replacing existing door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets is a great way to eliminate conditioned air leaking out from underneath the doors.
Fireplace flues are made from metal, and over time repeated heating and cooling can cause the metal to warp or break, creating a channel for hot or cold air loss. Inflatable chimney balloons are designed to fit beneath your fireplace flue during periods of non-use. They are made from several layers of durable plastic and can be removed easily and reused hundreds of times. Should you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate within seconds of coming into contact with heat.
Sources of Air Leaks in Your Home
Areas that leak air into and out of your home cost you lots of money. Check the areas listed below.
Water and furnace flues
Electrical outlets and switches
Plumbing and utility access
Scotts Contracting is available to assist you in improving your Home or Business Energy Demands. Please use this form to Contact Scotty, Scotts Contracting to schedule a FREE Energy Analysis for your Property.
Heating and cooling account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average American home. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Insulation:
saves money and our nation’s limited energy resources
makes your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house, and
makes walls, ceilings, and floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
The amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use.
Once the energy savings have paid for the installation cost, energy conserved is money saved -saving energy will be even more important as utility rates go up.
This fact sheet will help you to understand how insulation works, what different types of insulation are available, and how much insulation makes sense for your climate. There are many other things you can do to conserve energy in your home as well. The Department of Energy offers many web sites(http://ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/insulation/ins_07.html) to help you save energy by sealing air leaks, selecting more energy-efficient appliances, etc.
How Insulation Works
How Insulation Works
Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In winter, the heat moves directly from all heated living spaces to the outdoors and to adjacent unheated attics, garages, and basements – wherever there is a difference in temperature.
During the summer, heat moves from outdoors to the house interior.
To maintain comfort, the heat lost in winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in summer must be removed by your air conditioner. Insulating ceilings, walls, and floors decreases the heating or cooling needed by providing an effective resistance to the flow of heat.
Reflective insulation or Radiant Barriers works by reducing the amount of energy that travels in the form of radiation. Some forms of reflective insulation also divide a space up into small regions to reduce air movement, or convection, but not to the same extent as batts, blankets, loose-fill, and foam.
If you have the question: Why is my house so Cold? Why are the walls so cold? Why are the outer rooms of my house so cold? Where are these cold air drafts coming from? Why is it costing me so much to heat my house? Why is my Heating Bill so high? How do I lower my heating bills? What are the recommended ways to lower my heating bills?
Answer: I’ve designed this CAD Diagram to explain how hot & cold temperature seeps into a building and vice-versa
Example: a home with 2×4 walls with 0 (zero) insulation.
You can see by the blue areas how solid materials transfer the hot/cold temperature.
Standard Minimum Code Wall Framing consisting of
Siding on Exterior of Building
1/2 in Plywood or OSB Particle Board
2×4 Framing Member Wall Stud
1/2 in Drywall or Sheet Rock
The hot/cold temperature (Blue Areas in Diagram) on the Exterior of the Building is transferred to the Interior of the Building by Conduction. This works both
The simplest explanation I can use to demonstrate and explain this is too use this example: when you are using a Metal Cooking Utensil to stir a pot of chili. If the utensil is left in the pot of chilli for any length of time. The heat will eventually transfer up the utensil handle and will usually burn your hand or fingers. Heat and Cold enter a Building in the same way; unless, there is some form of Insulation or Thermal Break to prevent the conduction of energy.
Attic Insulation-I’ve put a little information to explain Attic Insulation for a Home. It takes a whole house approach to Reduce a Home’s Energy Needs.
The Attic Area and Attic insulation being just one area. When Combined with a Green Roofing System- The pair combined are your First Defense Against Rising Energy Costs.
Air Infiltration areas be resolved before adding insulation- Stop the Air (Hot or Cold) From Entering or Leaving a Home.
This includes: proper attic ventilation, ceiling protrusions(Light Boxes / Ceiling Fan), access points, mechanical and electric points, Attic Knee Walls, Obtrusion’s-
Anything that will allow the unconditioned air from the Exterior of the Home
Adding Radiant Barriers for Existing Buildings-in a nutshell this bounces the Exterior Temperature back outside. Radiant Barriers are being used in more Construction Projects in today’s construction techniques to assist homeowners with additional savings on utility bills.
Attached to the Underneath Side of Existing Rafters- Best Option for Retrofits
Reflective Radiant Barriers have R-Values that range from R-3.7 to R-17
Prior Experience: R30 2×4 Vaulted Roof System Example #105:
Light Color Shingles on Exterior
1 in roof decking
2×4 Rafters 16″ Space
R13 Batt Insulation
Double Sided Radiant Barier
Also Acts as Vapor Barrier
Adequate Ventilation Provided by
Automatic Power Attic Fan Peak of Roof
Proper Vents in Soffits and Gable Ends
Reduced the Need for 1 window AC unit in Typical Two Story Stick Built Home-
This translates to a Savings of $30 / Month during Cooling Months or $120-$160 / Year.
This Application Payed for itself in the 1st Summer 06. At the time of writing this article the estimated savings for 5 yrs is $600. This Pays for 100% of the Materials used in the Green Roof System for the Upstairs Bedroom Remodel.
The Only drawback reported by owner (which wasn’t really a drawback since it was his teen-age sons room) was the decrease in cell phone reception,
This is caused by the Reflective Nature of the Reflective Foil Radiant Barrier.
Attic Add Insulation to meet Suggested Guidelines for the St Louis Area
Energy Star, Department of Energy, US Government Suggestions for Optimum Home Energy Savings (Reference Links Below)
w/ no insulation Add Insulation to achieve=R38 to R60
If existing 3-4 inches Add Insulation to achieve=R38
Suggested needed R value of Insulation on Attic Floor=R25 to R30
Insulation when used in conjunction with a Radiant Barrier can lower the Cost of Insulation by reducing the Amount of Insulation Needed
Scotts Contracting is Available to assist you in improving your “Homes Energy Efficiency”
When Scotty comes over to perform an estimate.
He will inspect for the above mentioned problem areas.
Discuss the various solutions.
Next-Determine the Materials and Labor Needed to Complete and Fix the Areas Quoted in the Project.
I’ll then submit a Project Proposal that will discuss project in detail.
Answer any Questions, Explain Procedures, and determine the least obtrusive time to Weatherize your Home.
Computerized Energy Audits for your Home for Estimated Energy Savings are also available- [Equest, Sam, HEED are just a few of the programs I am currently using. The Latest Simulated Advisory Model Beta is in the testing stages and being offered by the US Department of Energy].
Looking forward to meeting you and discussing the ways I can help with Lowering your Energy Bills for your Home or Business.Green Me UP-Scotty
Feel free to utilize the above information to Weatherize Your Home or Schedule a Free Green site evaluation-
Scotts Contracting will Weatherize Your Building Against the High Energy Costs of the Summer Time Cooling Costs
On the Frosty Mornings when you are outside your house scraping your cars windshield to prepare for your drive to work. Take a look at the Roof of your Home. -Lack of Frost or Snow on your Roof is a sure indication that it was melted by the Heat as it rises from the Interior of your House into the Attic Area-
Frost on Roof or Lack of Frost is a sure sign…
Does the Frost or Snow cover the whole roof?
Are there places where the snow and frost melt first? (not caused by the Suns Rays)
Is there Frost and Snow on the Garage Roof but not on the House Roof?
Does your Neighbors House have Frost and Snow on their Roof- but-Your Roof Doesn’t?
Any or All the above may mean that:
Lack of Insulation In the Attic
Air Infiltration from the Interior of the House into the Attic Area
Uninsulated Heating Ducts inside the Attic
Scotts Contracting can Inspect your Attic for Proper:
Uninsulated Heating Ducts
Email scottscontracting and Scotty will provide a Free Estimate to Fix any of the Above Issues on your Home. I will also provide a Cost Saving Analysis that will provide a ROI on your Investment.