Insulate and Weatherize

Insulate and Weatherize

SKU# 070649

Expert Advice from Start to Finish

Bruce Harley

Paperback

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Details
  • Product # 070649
  • Type Paperback
  • ISBN 978-1-56158-554-0
  • Published Date 2002
  • Dimensions 9-1/4 x 10-7/8
  • Pages 176
  • Photos color photos
  • Drawings and drawings
In this complete do-it-yourself guide to home insulation and weatherization, engineer Bruce Harley offers solutions that will make your home more comfortable in all seasons. Using his troubleshooting advice, youll be able to identify the hidden energy wasters and moisture problems that can do serious damage in your home. Clear explanations, hundreds of photos, and detailed illustrations will guide you step by step through the process of upgrading both structures and systems. Implementing even a few of these sensible solutions can result in real savings in your energy bills.

This book brings you information on:
  • finding and sealing sources of air leakage
  • choosing the best insulation materials
  • preventing costly moisture damage
  • troubleshooting windows, doors, and skylights
  • maintaining heating and cooling systems
  • using electricity and heating fuel efficiently
  • curing foundation problems
About the author
Bruce Harley is an engineer who has been involved in energy efficiency for the last decade. His field experience includes testing, diagnosis, and remediation of air leakage, duct leakage, airflow, combustion safety, and indoor air quality in residential buildings, as well as efficiency testing and troubleshooting of geothermal heat pumps. He has conducted training in energy-efficient residential construction, building science, mechanical systems, diagnostic techniques, and energy codes for designers, builders, building officials, and tradespeople. He currently lives in Stamford, Vermont, in an energy-efficient solar/electric house, which he designed and built.
Table of Contents
Introduction

How to Use This Book

1. Energy Basics
Understanding Heat Transfer
Defining the Thermal Boundary
Energy, Moisture, and Building Durability
Air Barriers and Indoor Air Quality
Weighing Costs and Benefits

2. Sealing Air Leaks
Air-Sealing Priorities
Attic Air-Sealing
Basement/Crawl Space Air-Sealing
Sidewall Air-Sealing
Weatherstripping Doors and Hatches

3. Ventilation Systems
Do I Need a Ventilation System?
Simple Ventilation Systems
Central Ventilation Systems

4. Insulating a House
Attic Insulation
Sloped Ceilings
Insulating Walls
Insulating Floors
Insulating Foundation Walls

5. Windows
Window and Energy Basics
Replacing Windows
Improving Existing Windows

6. Heating Systems
Simple Conservation
Furnaces
Heat Pumps
Electric-Resistance Heat
Hot Water and Steam Boilers
Upgrading or Replacing Heating Equipment

7. Air-Conditioning
Cooling Basics
Reducing Loads
Maintenance and Upgrades
New Air-Conditioning Systems

8. Heating Hot Water
Hot Water Conservation
Maintenance and Efficiency Upgrades
Replacing Hot Water Systems

9. Renovations
Air-Sealing
Insulation
Built-Up Walls and Roofs for High R-Values
Moisture Control
Mechanical Systems (Heat, A/C, Hot Water, Ventilation)

10. Appliances and Lights
Determining Consumption
Appliances
Lighting

Resources

List of Contributors

Index
Introduction
Why is energy efficiency so important? You can't see energy efficiency, but it can make a big difference, both for your budget and for the environment. Here's how. First, increasing your home's energy efficiency puts money right back in your wallet. The average American family living in a single-family home spends $1,500 on energy for the home every year. How much of that can you save? From a few dollars per year to more than 50%, depending on the existing condition of your home and the level of weatherization you undertake. And an investment in energy savings not only reduces your operating costs but also helps shield you against future price increases. In addition, the money saved generally benefits the local economy, helping neighbors and local businesses rather than oil and utility companies.

Of course, comfort is important, too. Weatherizing does not mean turning down the thermostat and freezing in the dark. It means using less energy for the same level of comfort -- or even more. My customers are often amazed to discover how much more comfortable they are when their energy culprits are found and fixed.

Indoor air quality is a big deal. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency studies have found that indoor air pollution levels are typically two to five times worse than outdoor air pollution levels. This book emphasizes the concept of the home as a dynamic system. Chapters 1 and 3 cover the basics of energy, moisture, air quality, combustion safety, and ventilation in houses. Other books may focus only on energy savings, but careless weatherization can aggravate or create moisture, air quality, and combustion safety problems. I try to show you how to avoid those problems and provide guidance about when to get professional help.

Building problems related to energy, moisture, and airflow can lead to chronic paint problems. Condensation in wall and roof cavities may lead to mold growth and structural damage. In cold climates, ice dams on roof eaves and freezing pipes are commonplace; they are often caused by hidden air leaks. The house system approach and weatherization techniques that form the foundation of this book can help you reduce or eliminate those problems.

Energy, moisture, combustion safety, health, and indoor air quality are all interrelated. Although this book is intended to provide a balanced, overall view of managing the interactions among these factors, and to point out areas of concern, it is impossible to anticipate all possible situations that could lead to trouble -- including structural failure, carbon monoxide poisoning, or chronic indoor air problems. Because of the potential moisture issues involved, you should not undertake any of the projects outlined here unless you are sure that you have a sound, reliable roof and a solid structural frame. If you feel that the descriptions and background information offered here are not adequate to understand your situation or do not cover the specifics of your home, hire a professional who is skilled in building science, diagnostics, and/or building performance to evaluate your home.

This book shows many practical ways to improve your home's energy efficiency, ranging from small, simple projects to comprehensive weatherization. The subject of energy conservation is too large to fit into one book. I hope that this volume provides enough information so the advanced do-it-yourself homeowner can make substantial improvements. I also hope it will steer you to professional help when that's appropriate. Weatherization can be very satisfying. Although the results are largely invisible, the increase in comfort and the decrease in monthly costs are well worth the effort.
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Great book Review by Milford
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Easy to read and well organized. I thought I had a good understanding of this topic, but this book changed some preconceptions I had and gave a lot of very practical tips.

(Posted on 2/14/12)

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