Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Building Buildings?

Just playing with the aerial shot of my property and laid out a casita along with a 500 SQFT garage and driveway that could be built to my fence line.  Just something to keep in mind for the future.

Red = 1000 SQFT house
Purple = 500 SQFT Garage
Green = 20 Foot Driveway

Monday, January 28, 2013

R60 Attic Update #1

After getting two quotes at $2100 and $3000 for R48 attic insulation only, I decided to let EnergyPro do my attic at R60 for $2175.  Additionally they leak tested my house, leak tested my ductwork, installed weather stripping at 3 doors, insulated all my wall outlets, and spot seal my attic; canned lighting; ductwork & plenums.

All in all, I think it was a good deal.  Turns out I had a wide open vent at my kitchen hood vent.  I plan to replace the entire hood and install an internal damper.  Currently I have removed the fan and just taped off the open 8" duct.  This duct was responsible for the previous posts super high CFM in the leak test.

This new test I believe is more accurate result of my "loose" house which really was not that bad.  This tested value was 2400 CFM @ 50 Pascals.  Not too far from an Energy Star compliant home!   We shall see if I get there after all sealing is complete.

Both my heat pumps were leak tested at a 25 Pascals and found to be leaking at around 250CFM each which when divided by their 4 Tonnage size results in the calculated loss of about 14% (anything over 20% is considered faulty)

For more details:

Bedroom Unit: 224 CFM@25Pascals / 1600 = 14% leakage

Kitchen Unit: 214 CFM@25Pascals /1600 = 13.4% leakage

Sealed up many openings in attic and all around the chimney:

 12 Canned Lights Throughout House

Chimney Perimeter Had Clear Openings to Living Room


Although Not Energy Improvement, Possible Leaks Prevented At Roof Openings 

Bathroom Fans Too

Filled up the attic with CertainTEED blown fiberglass to a height of 22 inches getting a maximum of R60.

Filling In Around Chimney Area - Voids of Chimney Sides Also Filled In.

The workers said this was a really big house and they used 6 cans of foam sealant when they normally use 1 or 2.  They worked until about 8pm and had to close up before finishing.  They will need to come back to "pooky" seal up the rooftop AC plenums and perform their final pressure tests to verify the sealing improvement to the house and ducts.  

Truck Pumping Fiberglass

Friday, January 18, 2013

Attic Work

Started getting my house checked out by Energy Pro's who tell me I can get a $3000 rebate of weatherizing my house. They performed a blower door test creating a pressure differential of 50 pascals which required 6000 CFM of air to maintain. That's a pretty leaky house. We will be reducing this leakage by sealing openings around the ceiling at the chimney and canned lights.

 So at Q=6000 CFM @ 50 Pascals, this puts my ACH@50 (Air Changes per hour @ 50 pascals) equal to 15.1 for my 3100 sqft house (about 23,800 interior cubic feet).

 My ACHnatural (natural air changes per hour) = ACH@50/20 = 0.756 changes per hour. A tight house should be at 0.4-0.5

 My house ACH@50 = 15.1

Energy Star 2.0 requires ACH@50 < 5
Energy Star 2.5 requires ACH@50 < 4
PassivHaus requires ACH@50 < 0.6

So in order to obtain the "good" energy rating for my house tightness, I need to reduce leakage down to the following to meet said standards.

Energy Star 2.0 < 1983 CFM @ 50 Pascals
Energy Star 2.5 & 3.0 < 1586 CFM @ 50 Pascals
PassivHaus < 238 CFM @ 50 Pascals (not gonna happen)

Door Blow Test 1/16/2013

We also were plannint to put in R-60 insulation which is a blown fiberglass depth of 22 inches.

While they were in the attic they discovered potentially unsafe wire conditions with connections made outside of J-boxes.  Yesterday I hired an electrician to install J-boxes at all exposed connection points.  This was due to the removal of the utility room and transfer of the water heater to the outside back side patio.

New Water Heater J-box

J-boxes installed over new extra room in-place of old Utility room.

J-boxes installed over office area

Another New Rear Tire on Bike

At 8400 miles I've replaced another tire on my bike. Brand new Metzler Marathon bought at below website and had them price match a competitor at $261.64


Old tire had worn on left side to show steel bands.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

New Years

Party at Claudia and Brian's house then to Rancho & Sahara to watch the fireworks.