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The February 2009 Energy Update


The February 2009 Energy Update

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The February 2009 Energy Update

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Steve, I can't remember if geo-heating/cooling has been mentioned before in your energy update posts. Is that something you've thought about? It generally pays for itself in a few years.

http://www.geo-heating.com/
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=geo_heat.pr_geo_heat_pumps

Can provide heat, cooling, and hot water. And it's more reliable than solar/wind.

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Steve Jones
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Actually I had considered that before, though since we just put in a furnace, I'm not sure we want to tear that out here in the house. It's something I've considered for an outbuilding, and if I put up a shop, I think I'd be looking to do a geo-thermal system with wind/solar for the power to run it Smile

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Retro-fitting insulation is an established practice in some parts of the world.

In Switzerland, the government periodically raises the insulation requirements for offices and apartmement blocks. Compliance with the new standard is optional for existing buildings, but after the date given in the legislation you are not allowed to use any form of central heating unless you do comply.

If you spend much time in Switzerland, you will realise that a number of buildings are having additional insulation added. The standard practice when I lived there was to attach a layer of insulating blocks (often up to 0.5m thick) to the outside of the building, cover this with a render and then paint it. Often the windows get upgraded at the same time.

Upgrading insulation in this way is relatively cheap and definitely effective.

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I'm just looking at getting my roof redone. As we have attic rooms I want to put some insulation under the tiles (we need all the space we can get so I need something thin that'll go between the tiles and the roof).

Anyone had any experience of this kind of stuff? I know various different things have different problems, for instance foil loses effectiveness after a few years as the shiny surface flakes off, and foam loses effectiveness when it gets saturated....

Any ideas?
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You can get some multi-layer insulation that may do what you need. It is similar in concept to what NASA use to insulate spaceships. There are a lot of people in the industry who say it is wonderful, and some who say it is next to useless. I sugest you find some forums concentrating on home insulation to learn more.

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For those that have the trees, I can't recommend an outdoor woodburning furnace enough. We've been toasty through one of the coldest winters I've ever experienced. Of course, when we built the house we used six inch walls instead of the standard four, low-e double paned windows, lots of windows on the south facing side of the house for passive solar heating, and it all adds up.

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Steve,
Did you ever investigate insulating paint? Not sure if it really works or not, but it's said to add some level of insulation.

http://www.hytechsales.com/ceramics/

Mark
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Here is a great article about how to insulate a basement.
www.buildingscience.com/documents/reports/rr-0202-basement-insulation-systems

A lot of energy is lost by a unfinished basement.

Here in Quebec we had a frozen january. 1 week it was -30 F without counting the wind. With wind it was like -50 F.
Im redoing right now my basement, i put 2 inches foam (R-10) and a batt insulation (R-14) for a total of R-24.
Bob Lee
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Just curious about your comment about electric heat.

I don't understand if I generate my own electricity why shouldn't I heat with it?
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