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Old 12-31-2008, 05:08 PM   #1
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best bang for general heating efficiency?

I have a 1918 townhouse, pretty s olidly constructed, balloon framed.
It has thick board sheathing, with red rosin paper on top of that, then clapboard.

I have an older Burnham Jubilee boiler which works, however inefficiently, and I don't necessarily think it's worth replacing right now.

The house has virtually no insulation, besides a few fiberglass bats thrown haphazardly into the attic floor probably 50 years ago. Can't imagine it's doing anything, it's so thin and not only covering a small section above one room on the second floor.

The house has knob and tube wiring with circuits spanning all three floors, just a total tangled web.

I had CET come by for an energy audit, and they basically wouldn't do anything in the way of insulation because of hte knob and tube.

I've just had a new 200amp service installed, and I've rewired the bathroom and kitchen, as I'll be renting out the upstairs.

I guess my question is: what can I do in the way of insulation now, without ripping out all the knob and tu be wiring? I'm not ready to do that, but would certainly like some benefit from partial insulation sooner rather than later.

My rough thoughts:

By about 20 cans of the spray foam from the hardware store and blast all eaves in the basement, around the perimeter of the house.
Maybe hire an icynene/spray foam guy to blast my attic ceiling (either do an inch and fill the rest with fiberglass, or fill the whole thing with foam).

Down the road, as I gradually rewire, I don't see wanting to gut my fine horsehair plaster walls. I could foam under the first floor once I disconnect all the knob and tube, and just call it good enough with the basement and attic sealed?

I would consider blowing cellulose from the outside, but for some reason I'm reluctant to, and I consider the foam far better.

I also want to insulate my pipes in the basement.

Any other, more thorough, cohesive ideas for getting my house a little more efficient?

I'm also curious to hear opinions on getting a new boiler. One cool idea is to convert to natural gas and direct vent it, then all of a sudden I have a chimney at my disposal to install a wood stove inside the house!

(I have triple track storm windows, so that's pretty decent.)

As always, I'm looking for the biggest bang for the least amount of buck.



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Old 12-31-2008, 06:38 PM   #2
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(hicop) shounds goood to mee ~urp~


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Old 01-01-2009, 03:06 AM   #3
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If you spray foan the roof deck, you also need to spray the gable ends, and seal all of the vents.

Caulk around all windows.

You can seal all the switches and receps on the ouside walls.
Along with resealing all the outside doors.

Becarefull sealing the basement.
You need combustion air for that old Jubilee(built like a tank, and made to last).

Keep in mind. When you insulate the heating pipes in the basement.
You will have a cooler floor on your first floor. This sometimes makes people feel colder.

Depending when you are going to replace the boiler.
If it still has its original burner.
You might want to have a new burner installed on it.
That will reduce your oil consumpsion a lot.
Probably in the 20% range.
Could pay for its self in one heating season.
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