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Old 03-22-2015, 09:35 AM   #1
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Must re insulate!


I'm living in a home built in 1920. My suspicion is that there is very little if any insulation in the walls. Lots of lathe and plaster! My zip is 14711 I'm in Western NY so it gets really cold here!

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Old 03-22-2015, 09:49 AM   #2
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i did the same thing. have fun, its lots of work. the more helpers you have, the easier it will go.

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Old 03-22-2015, 10:18 AM   #3
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+1

Post up a picture of the interior an exterior. What sort of projects do you have coming up. Don't want you to duplicate efforts.
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:23 AM   #4
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I would use this situation to validate the purchase of a cheap bore scope for my tool collection. Never hurts to sneak a peak inside and reconnoiter what's going on. Makes it easier to formulate an effective plan of attack.
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:22 AM   #5
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Guess I need to start rallying the troops!
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:33 AM   #6
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Guess I need to start rallying the troops!
not so fast. first, you need to figure out just what you are dealing with = don't assume anything.

then you need to develope a plan. then gather materials.

what are your windows like ? do you like them otherwise ?
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Old 03-22-2015, 01:52 PM   #7
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1920's makes me think of balloon framing.
If so those walls are open from under the house to the attic unless someones fire blocked and insulated.
Old windows with window weights?
If so there's an open space at least 4" wide by the height of the window all the way to the outside with no insulation in it under the casing.
How much insulations in the attic. In your area it should be R-40 at least which is about 12".
Attic and crawls space or basement ever been air sealed?
Rim joist insulated?
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Old 03-22-2015, 05:33 PM   #8
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I have no idea the windows in the living room have been painted shut for the 3 years I've been here. I had a free energy efficiency test done and was able to get both attic spaces insulated with 18" of blown in insulation. I have storm windows on most of my windows and I always out plastic on them. My house is almost always cold in the winter. I usually have my heat set at 64 or 65 when I'm home 60 when I'm working and sleeping. I received a $300 bill for February so now my thermostat is set at 59 but I cant afford big bills if I want to put money aside to do this re-insulation job!
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:14 PM   #9
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RCB -$300 heat bill for a northeast home after the coldest month in decades doesn't sound completely unreasonable. Of course sq footage and efficiency of heat source are also variables. Along with your other efforts, if offered by your utility company, you may want to consider a budget plan. Your utility co. simply takes your 12 month energy usage, divides by 12 and that will be your year round monthly payment. Your money banks up a little in the summer and then runs deficits in the winter. I also hate lg heat bills in the winter and have been using this pmt method for over 20 yrs. Others hate it and feel their getting the shaft in the summer. But you can follow all the meter reads and usages on the statements. And it all averages out after a 12 month cycle. Good luck with the insul. project!
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:08 PM   #10
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I have no idea the windows in the living room have been painted shut for the 3 years I've been here. I had a free energy efficiency test done and was able to get both attic spaces insulated with 18" of blown in insulation. I have storm windows on most of my windows and I always out plastic on them. My house is almost always cold in the winter. I usually have my heat set at 64 or 65 when I'm home 60 when I'm working and sleeping. I received a $300 bill for February so now my thermostat is set at 59 but I cant afford big bills if I want to put money aside to do this re-insulation job!
post some pics. we'll tell ya.

i can only imagine what the heating bill was for this house, before i started insulating it. i bet it was more than $300.
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Old 03-23-2015, 06:07 AM   #11
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I sympathize, our home is 1950 vintage and was built when heating oil was around 9c a tank truck. Apparently they turned the furnace on at Halloween and let it run nonstop 'til Easter.

You can't just look at insulation as the only or even best answer, you need to assess the whole structure and what it's doing. I spent a ton of time n effort insulating at the start since it was painfully cold, and got only incremental advantages. Last year I took off the siding, sealed/flashed all the window penetrations, repaired exterior issues, etc, and housewrapped the beast. Stopped all the drafts and voila! Instant huge improvement, all the previous insulating work started to pay off, house was massively warmer and more comfortable while the actual heating costs decreased. I had to solve a weird rim joist - crawlspace moisture + duct repairs - drafts X insulation equation to see any upgrade in comfort.
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Old 03-23-2015, 07:55 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the information. It sounds like I'll be doing a lot more necessary improvements than I realized. What do you think would be the first thing to do?
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:42 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the information. It sounds like I'll be doing a lot more necessary improvements than I realized. What do you think would be the first thing to do?
Exploration! The more you know about the structure the easier it will be to determine exactly what has to be done and in what order.
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Old 03-23-2015, 09:23 AM   #14
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Exactly, the more you know! You may want to consider having a home energy audit done. This will give you recommendations on what to do and the potential ROI for each. Should be able to have this svc. done free.

A little off topic but since you mentioned it, inoperable windows are a fire safety issue. I always wonder when I hear of house fire related deaths if someone was fighting with a window. Sorry for being a little morbid!
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:05 PM   #15
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No problem. That's not morbid but a good reality check . Thanks. I'm gonna be doing a lot of research over the next couple of months. Along with filling out an application to maybe get some more stuff done for free!

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