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Old 12-09-11, 10:25 PM   #41
warmwxrules
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I've got to run to Menards tomorrow, so I'll check those boards out. I doubt the termites would bother with them because the soil is very dry near the house (large overhangs) and I've read they prefer moist conditions, but the possibility is always there. I can't imagine how much that uninsulated wall has cost me a season of heating (8F right now outside).

I just read that 80% of the heat loss is through the top 4 feet of the basement wall. Not sure the accuracy of that, but pretty impressive.

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Old 12-09-11, 11:29 PM   #42
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Maybe 80% of the heat in the basement but certainly not for the whole house. Most of the HVAC guys I work with though do tell me that for the average house they work on about 10% of the heat loss is through the above grade masonry.
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Old 12-10-11, 05:17 AM   #43
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Well, it depend: In continental climate at about 45 latitudes (La Crosse WI, and Montreal,QC certainly are in that zone) An older house build around 1950 with no insulation and original Windows; the lost via the ceiling is usually about 30%, the wall/windows 50% and the basement 10 to 20%. But, this is almost 3500$ in heating for a 2500SF house. You may also fell the child anytime you get close to some area of the house. The floor is cold too. When the temperature drop bellow 0F, it seems you need to heat the house to 80F to fell any type of comfort in these house.

Luckily, many of these house have been retrofit with new windows and R20 in the Attic. Consequently, the heat lost proportion change: Like 20, 45, 35. The cost of heating the house is likely closer to 2500 to 2700$

Finally, some house have seen significantly retrofit and can show as low as 15% Ceiling lost (R 60), 25% Walls (R34 Wall)/Windows . The heating bill is now at 2000$ to 2500$ a years ... but the house is at least comfortable except for a cold floor. In these scenarios, the rim joist and the basemen wall start to eat a lot of the heating bills.

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In coastal area like Seattle, WA and Vancouver BC... the proportion of heat lost by the basemen is much more important: More like 20% (Ceiling),35(Wall),45 (basement). Simply because they still need to heat in June (and as early as September) -- largely because of the earth inertia in that type of climate. In Seattle, the temperature never drop bellow 24F in winter... but it seems to stay around 55F for most of Mai, June, September, October -- just a little too chilly at night and when you wake-up in the morning.
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Old 12-10-11, 08:01 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JYL View Post
But, this is almost 3500$ in heating for a 2500SF house. You may also feel a chill anytime you get close to some area of the house. The floor is cold too. When the temperature drop bellow 0F, it seems you need to heat the house to 80F to feel any type of comfort in these house.
Who is paying $3,500 a year to heat a 2,500sf house? I live a bit north of La Cross WI and I'm paying $600 a year to heat a house that size! but I do agree that insulating your rim joists will do wonders for keeping your floors warm allowing you to keep your thermostat set cooler.
We have 3 types of insulation in our sill boxes because our foundation walls are 16" thick stone walls, so where the ends of the joists sit on top of the foundation we have spray foam, the spray foam also comes down on top of the stone wall sealing off drafts there, a large source of drafts, just like the open tops of cinder blocks or open top of a brick wall would have, but where the joists run parallel to the foundation wall we ended up with that area boxed in as well, in the areas that are above grade and stay very dry we had that filled in with cellulose, in the corner of the house that is closer to grade, where water might be an issue, we had it filled with a flowing foam that they pour in and it stays somewhat soft, it can shrink a little over time so it is not ideal but when you need to seal a large enclosed cavity like that with something that will not react with water it seems like a good choice.
So if you are just insulating your sill boxes and wanted a much higher R value, air sealing the cracks and seams then walling off the opening with a chunk of foam, or even ply wood, then filling the cavity with dense pack cellulose seems like a great route to go.

Last edited by Ryland; 12-10-11 at 08:04 AM..
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Old 12-10-11, 09:24 AM   #45
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Ryland-

My biggest heating bill EVER since 2006 was around $170 (for 30 days) and that includes electricity. That is in a 1000sq ft uninsulated (walls/attic is fine) ranch with attached garage and unfinished, uninsulated basement.

I will really be interested in seeing how many less therms I use after I get some of these projects taken care of.

I also been reading carpenter ants will make tunnels through foam board (i have those too...i found them in a wood pile...they were everywhere).

Cold this morning. I had 5F at the airport here.

My basement as it sits now:
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Old 12-10-11, 10:56 AM   #46
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Who is paying $3,500 a year to heat a 2,500sf house? I live a bit north of La Cross WI and I'm paying $600 a year to heat a house that size!
In New England, we pay higher energy costs than most of the US. My last tank was at $3.65/ gallon, heating oil. I am averaging ~$700 / year for heating oil (800sf heated). I have a few friends paying over $400 / month for heat. I've tried to enlighten them, but....
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Old 12-10-11, 11:43 AM   #47
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Who is paying $3,500 a year to heat a 2,500sf house? I live a bit north of La Cross WI and I'm paying $600 a year to heat a house that size!
Remember he is in canada. Right now diesel is $1.25/liter where I am. Fuel oil won't be much behind that so I'd guess $4-$5/gallon. My brother heats with oil, his house is about 1200 sqft, two stories built in the late 40's. He'll burn $1200 worth of oil in a winter and our climate is far warmer then montreal.

Warmwxrules - that wall looks easy to insulate with big sheets of rigid. It should go quick.
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Old 12-11-11, 03:59 AM   #48
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Early 1950 original houses are the worst to heat. Some are merely made of a sandwich of 1/2 Inch cider clapboard, 2X4 and a single layer of 1/2 inch Gypsum board. No sheeting material, no plastic and no insulation at all.

The ceiling is often limited to a single layer of 1/2" gypsum board mounted on 2x4. The roof made with tongued and grooved 1x5 or 1x6 mounted on 2x6. They sometime have a cathedral ceiling.

The windows are usually fit in framing with at least 1/2 Inch all around the windows frame. The only insulation is often the 3/8" of pine molding on the interior and some storm plank on the exterior.

More often then not, to reach the 2500 SF mark, they did build an add-on (such as a dinning room or an extra bedroom) that is almost impossible to heat.

These houses are actually pretty well build with floors that are still level. The foundation are often of high quality poorer concrete They are just using a minimum of material for the wall and roof. The energy consumption was not very high on the agenda.

Their is a lot of them to retrofit on the market.

Those house (often call Rambler/Bungalow/or American Dream development) have been build in large quantity (development of 20 or more for a single location) in Seattle (WA), Surrey (BC), Toronto(ON), Burlington (VT) and Montréal (QC) Area (and I am sure in others area in Canada and USA).

It is true that I know little about WI. The only thing I ever did in that state was to hit a deer in Ashland... and because I had an Honda Civic Hybrid, it took some time to get the spare part. However, I thanks RED Rent a Car to provide me with a Chevy so that I could finish my trip to Montana.


IMG_2199.JPG by JYL.CA, on Flickr
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Old 12-11-11, 04:48 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by strider3700 View Post
Remember he is in canada. Right now diesel is $1.25/liter where I am. Fuel oil won't be much behind that so I'd guess $4-$5/gallon. My brother heats with oil, his house is about 1200 sqft, two stories built in the late 40's. He'll burn $1200 worth of oil in a winter and our climate is far warmer then montreal.

Warmwxrules - that wall looks easy to insulate with big sheets of rigid. It should go quick.
Well, my Girl Friend live in Seattle, WA , USA. She have a 2900SF rambler house build in 1953.

Her heating bill is about 3200$ per year. This is pretty much the medium size house were she live... and that also pretty much the average heating bill for these older houses. Ok, they have a lot more windows then the average house in Montréal (QC) and Burlington (VT).

However, if you live in Vancouver Island, BC -- You might know that Seattle is generally very temperate... and that the lowest temperature you see is generally about 24F (-5C). Ok, last year, she was still heating the house in June because it was still around 50F outside... never the less. These oil boiler are terribly inefficient.

In this neighbourhood of houses build in the 1950's, this is what I see: 1 Prius, 1 Honda Odyssey for mom... and they call the insulation/heating efficiency people when their Heating Bill reach 4000$

Too bad, I can't really work on her house since I am Canadian (and I don't have a green card yet).
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Old 12-11-11, 12:20 PM   #50
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Well, my Girl Friend live in Seattle, WA , USA. She have a 2900SF rambler house build in 1953.

Her heating bill is about 3200$ per year. This is pretty much the medium size house were she live... and that also pretty much the average heating bill for these older houses. Ok, they have a lot more windows then the average house in Montréal (QC) and Burlington (VT).

Thats a lot of sq. ft. for a rambler. I imagine if she had a ASHP instead of a oil furnace, she would save more than half in just the winter. This climate is a good match for a ASHP too. Now if she went had the walls and attic insulated up to today's standards, she would even realize more savings potential not to mention the sound deadening. What did they even use in the walls in 1953?

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