420 Tip of the Day: How to Eliminate Home Odors

by Cody Farmer

It’s quickly becoming that time of year again. Spring is inching in, people are planting seeds, kids are getting super excited to be outside, spring skiing, Lent, soccer, Easter, baseball, EARTH DAY and the newest Holiday of All: 420.

Yup... I’m going there today folks! We can’t avoid it any longer because we are clean air people!

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Why Bathroom Fans are a Bad Idea

by Cody Farmer

We are always ranting about how our ERVs clean up the interior air all the while saving up to 90% of the energy. In our application of the Passive House principles, we replace the bathroom fan with a recovery exhaust duct. We’ve not really discussed how this works, where the bathroom fan does not. It is our opinion that the bathroom fan removes one pollutant while bringing in another.

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Surgery for Your Home

by Cody Farmer

I watched a movie a while ago where the hero had multiple bullet wounds and knife wounds but he makes it home to patch himself up. He pulls out all the bullets, dumps alcohol on it, and then puts a bandage on it. Sounds logical, right? Of course not. I’m being facetious. That doesn’t sound logical at all. In reality, if someone has a bunch of bullet wounds, he/she is probably not going to be able to repair all of that internal damage with just alcohol and a bandaid.

If you’ve done a blower door test as we suggested in last week’s blog, you’ve probably discovered just how leaky your home is. Maybe your home has been shot full of holes for a while. You’ve done your best to patch it and take good care of it, but, like the example above, your home may have serious trauma. It may need more than a few bandaids – it may need professional help.

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Is your home leaky?

by Cody Farmer

  • - Can’t maintain even temperature throughout the whole house.
  • - Heater or AC comes on frequently throughout the day to compensate.
  • - You sometimes feel a draft for no reason at all.
  • - Your 12-year-old thinks the cold spots are ghosts.
  • - Your seasonal allergies seem the same or worse while inside.

These are all signs of a leaky house, but even without noticing these symptoms, most homes have several leaky areas they’re not even aware of.

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Log Cabin vs Moisture Build-up Part II

by Cody Farmer

Last week, we looked at rain inside a non-vented vaulted roof cavity in the Rocky Mountains. This week we’ll delve into the proper roof assembly. By following the 7 Passive House Principles we’ll see that Step 1 would have shown us that there was a dew point risk under the wood decking, a lack of insulation, a large thermal bridge with the 2x12, and an air gap between the roof decking and insulation allowing for moisture to really collect and saturate the deck.

Press on to step two we would find that the climate zone is a 7 and instead of r-38 the roof assembly would need to be R-70 without framing thermal bridges and an interior vapor barrier Intello plus taped and sealed with Tescon Vana to all penetrations. The traditional can lights were encouraged to be changed to the shallower LED look-a-likes to keep the intelligent vapor barrier, Intello consistent. An example from our supplier below.

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Log Cabin vs Moisture Build-up

by Cody Farmer

I got that call again yesterday. The type us building geeks don’t want to hear about.  A brand new custom log cabin sweating to death from the ceiling. Looking at the pictures the owner emailed me, I could practically smell the fresh chink outlining the logs. I love Log Cabins!

Many Log cabins have full vaulted ceilings, however. On top of the exposed ceiling logs is a 2x12 frame, non-ventilated space filled with fiberglass batt insulation at R-38. Which doesn’t fill completely the 11.25” cavity of the 2x12.  So this particular phone call isn’t un-common in the Rocky Mountain Region.

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7 Ways to Make Your Older Home More Energy Efficient

by George Sickler

 

So, you or your client are interested in going green for the sake of the environment or to help save money on utility bills….or both! The problem is you, or your client, love your/their old home and have no desire to move. This may seem like an impossible situation, but there are several ways you can improve the energy efficiency in that older home:

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