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Old 06-26-11, 02:25 AM   #1
orange
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Default Just Bought a House. Another Canuck from Ecomodder

Hi everyone,

At ecomodder I am orange4boy here I'm just orange.

Just bought an old timer 1049 sq foot home in Port Hammond BC. That's a part of Maple Ridge near Vancouver BC. Buying a house here has become extremely difficult due to skyrocketing prices so this deal was a small miracle.

Like Daox, I'm near a railway.

It's in great need of insulation and efficient appliances. Roof is basically uninsulated and walls are 2x4. Floor and crawlspace are also bare. We may raise the house and add a floor. I need to build a garage workshop asap. Have nat. gas so some electric appliances will be replaced with gas. I want to get an on demand gas water heater.

That's the short list.

Good to see so many familiar faces here. Can't wait to get started.

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Old 06-26-11, 08:41 AM   #2
Ryland
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I always like to see people get a blower door test done as the first step before starting any projects, that way you find the weak spots and can start your projects well informed.
It took me years of working on houses to learn this, but when using caned expanding foam, the application gun is well worth the money, the foam costs more and the gun can cost $50 or so, but if you are going to be doing alot of projects where you need to do air sealing then it is well worth it, the control you get makes it worth it alone.
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Old 06-26-11, 09:16 AM   #3
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Welcome to ER, its good to see you over here. Congrats on the house! Sounds like it'll keep you busy. (I know the feeling!)

I agree with Ryland, air leaks are the biggest waste of heat even if your insulation stinks (mine does and air sealing is still my first priority).
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Old 06-26-11, 12:04 PM   #4
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Thanks, Daox,

I was beginning to think it would never happen but then one day we took a different route and there it was.

It was a vacant investment property in foreclosure and had been on the market for about 6 months. It's a little rough around the edges but it has a good size lot for a city lot.

We got it for about 10% below assessed value which may not sound like much to you Yanks for a foreclosure but the laws are different here and we only had a little dip in prices when your whole market went south.

Benchmark price for a detached home in Greater Vancouver is $890,000

Air test would be good to get a baseline. Right now, I'm sure it's a sieve. I'll look into it. When I got the gas account set up they said the average gas cost for this house was $150 a month! For a 1050 sq foot house that seems nuts.
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Old 06-27-11, 01:51 AM   #5
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Hi Orange, nice to see you over here

Once you get the blower door test done (or maybe before?) what about an energy audit? It should point you in the direction of the most needed renovations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orange View Post
I was beginning to think it would never happen but then one day we took a different route and there it was.
Sounds familiar, only the Wife and I haven't found that different route yet... Until we find our little spot on the planet we're nesting (and investing) in her Dad's house.
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Old 06-28-11, 11:20 PM   #6
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the feds are bringing back the ecoaction plan and there will be money from them for doing the fixes if you go through the correct channels. definitely worth looking into. I'm not sure if the budget got passed yet or if we have to wait until the fall. When it's passed the first step is to find one of the guys certified to do the energy audits. they'll be something like $300 but you get a credit from the feds that mostly covers it. They can give you a report, make recommendations and then when all of the changes are finished you call them back in then measure how effective you are and give you a piece of paper that says you did A,B and C and improved this much qualifying you for a rebate of X. Then you just send that in and get your money back.

I was seriously looking at buying an old house needing tons of work and had worked all this out back then.
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Old 07-04-11, 11:48 AM   #7
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Welcome!

Bought a house in Rmd South just shy of 8 mnths ago:, a 7yr old 2story bldg with decent (or 1/2 decent insulation) and in-floor 3-zone hydronic radiant floor heating (natural gas hot water storage tank). I've been frantically trying to cut down on energy consumption and have made some progress on that since the house already built to the most recent housing code already.

Things done so far:

1. Upgaded all 26 - 6" project style pot lights to using CFLs (with proper reflectors). Since my wifey tends to be very absent-minded (left lights on all the time), the electricity and the associated heating when using conventional filament light bulbs savings well worth the 200+ bucks spent.

2. upgraded the dreaded mercury switched analog thermostat to digital. Got some seriously good deal for rite-temp from ePrey online, and even though they are programmable type, I set them to the same temp over the day-week profiles to be exactly the same all across and in an essence: serves like a manual switch. Saved over 60bux/month over the heating bills due to the rather bad mercury switch.

3. upgraded 2 of the 3 ventilating fans to Panasonic. Well worth the money spent.

4. replaced some door seals and re-caulk some vinyl window seams, etc.

Things to consider down the road:

(1) install a Panasonic ERV fan (FV-04VE1) to further cut down on heat loss during winter months.

(2) revise the attic blown-in insulation, particularly the stretch where the master bedroom (2nd floor, slightly protruded outside of the building structure).

(3) do a digital thermometer (those digi-thermo gun with laser aiming) to see where I the heat leaks/drafts coming in

Projects on the backburner:

(a) consider raising a solar panel (have a 20Watt Coleman in storage) on the roof of my separate 2-car carage for general automobile/backup battery charging, etc.

(b) a solar water heater (or instant on heater to replace my storage tank heater)

More to come.

Quest
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Old 07-05-11, 09:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quest View Post
3. upgraded 2 of the 3 ventilating fans to Panasonic. Well worth the money spent.
Please elaborate on these fans...
What model?

Why you got them?

What makes them better?

How much did they cost?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quest View Post
(1) install a Panasonic ERV fan (FV-04VE1) to further cut down on heat loss during winter months.
I'm very interested in these...

More info if possible...
What problem were you trying to solve?

How large an area are you ventilating with this HRV?

How well did they solve the problem?
Regards,

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Old 07-05-11, 12:16 PM   #9
Quest
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@ AC_Hacker:

These ventilating fans are:

Panasonic FV-08VQ5, 80cfm, approx. 0.3sones, around 13 watts@120VAC.

Panasonic FV-11VQ5, 120cfm, approx. 0.3sones, around 20watts@120VAC.

The 80cfm is "always on" per housing code here: to expel stale air and pollutants to the outside. Previous one (the one that I removed) was rated 80cfm @ 130Watts, made by Broan/Nutone and it's noisy as hell.

the 120cfm is for my master bathroom (next to the master bathroom) where there exists a standup shower stall + a small jacuzzi kinda deal. Previously, it was a 50cfm crappy Broan that doesn't vent moisture at all.

the 120cfm is hooked up to a moisture detection switch with timer built-in (30mins).


Because of the most recent housing code changes where houses are supposedly built to have a much higher thermal efficiency (double-glazed windows, >R40 on the attic, thicker walls with proper insulations, etc.), thus it calls for an "always-on" ventilating fan to be running 24/7/365 on the highest part of the house (in my case: the 2nd bathroom on the upper level of our 2-storey house).

There's a fresh air inlet (mandatory, per housing code requirements) in the lower section of the building. In my case: it was routed into the boiler(hot water storage heater + hydronic radiant floor heating boiler) room where it needs it the most. It also gently serves to warm up the incoming air (somewhat) during winter months but not ideal.

Because of the constant running of the 80cfm ventilating fan esp. during winter months where it also "draws" the heated air away from the house (heat loss), I like to add an ERV to the house on the 2nd floor ceiling and configure it so that it will rotate between the ERV (when it's running, this will turn off the 80cfm fan and vice-versa) and the ventilating fan.

I know this is not ideal but to strike a balance between my family's health and comfort and energy efficiency during winter months.

Hope that helps (in explaining what I'm trying to achieve here).

Q.

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