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qchawkfan 01-10-2010 07:31 PM

new furnace - house is STILL cold
obviously the new furnace is great - so it's not the lack of proper equipment...
Our living room is cold, it's where our bay window is that I posted about to get insulated, but that project is going to have to wait until spring. Another wall in the living room is the same wall as the garage. I found that the drywall in the garage overhangs the brink interior and I bought great stuff to fill that gap (the window/door kind so not to kill my drywall).
So there are two problems - the other is that it is just cold in here - almost like a breeze - I can't find where it's coming from.
Any suggestions to check?
This winter has been about efficiency and comfort - and I really would like to enjoy this new furnace more than I am

Billy_Bob 01-10-2010 08:56 PM

Well it got a lot colder in my area last month than I ever remember it being. And my old house is just not built for it to be that cold!

Global warming? Global cooling if you ask me!

Anyway you can get more heat, or you can insulate better. I prefer the insulate better option because that is a one time expense. The heating more will cost you each winter.

The 1st thing to do is seal all air leaks. When it is windy, maybe use a candle and hold it around electric outlets, windows, pipes which go through walls like under the sink, etc. Find those air leaks and plug them up! Whatever it takes. Duct tape, masking tape, spray foam, whatever for now.

Windows are a BIG source of heat loss. You can tape clear plastic over the windows and that will help to keep the heat in. Also heavy drapes will help to insulate the windows.

They sell 4 ft by 8 ft Styrofoam insulation boards at home improvement stores. You could put these against a cold wall (for now). That might help to warm things up a bit.

Then in the spring, you can tear out the drywall and install better insulation in the walls. Or install energy star windows. And seal leaks with caulking.

Also they sell sealing kits in some home improvement stores to seal electric outlets on outside walls (keeps the air from leaking through).

More tips...

Just Bill 01-11-2010 05:41 AM

Is the bay insulated, top and bottom. How old is the window?? Lo-E argon glass?? If no high performance glass, consider using that plastic film to cover the opening for the winter. Pull off the interior trim and seal air gaps with insualtion or NON-expanding foam, such as DAP foam. How old is the house?? Might be worth pulling drywall off outside walls and reinsulating.

qchawkfan 01-11-2010 08:18 AM

thanks for the replies
i've placed foam inserts inside all my outlets - there was some air coming in. i don't think the insulation in the exterior walls is great - minimal pink fiberglass. 2 years ago we had insulation blown in attic.

the bay window is a concern - i think come spring it will be replaced.
i've done the plastic film inside each crank window (2) behind the screen, helped alot - but still a little air coming in through the handle - don't want to go outside and plug that up in any way - concern of ruining the crank.
the trim around is tight - might remove side trim and see what i've got going on there - i did the bottom piece and it's sealed tight.

thanks for all the advice - it sure is cold this year - can't remember cold like this!

ccarlisle 01-11-2010 09:40 AM

Well, Billy Bob is right on about one thing: air sealing...He's absolutely right about everything connected with insulation but now - with the temperatures you're experiencing - maybe you'll get an idea of why we - up here in the cold zone - put so much stock in air sealing.

We get what you're getting every year for something like 5 months per year so we're keen on air drafts that make your warm house feel cooler. Because you see it has nothing to do with the quality of the furnace nor the output...sure you can crank it up all the way, but if you have drafts, they'll just get you cool again - a bit later, that's all. And where you get drafts, you get condensation leakage and mould. So we're a bit more aware of continuous 6 mil poly vapour barriers for that reason. Everything is a bit more obvious in our zone.

If you look at energy audit reports - and there's one in a recent thread - the one thing they are 'big' on is air-sealing, going as far as to tell you how big a "hole" you have in your house due to insufficent air-sealing. That's their focus: energy wasted due to air infiltration. Fortunately, the solution is well within the DIYers scope...a few cans of foam, caulk and a few pieces of fibreglass - and you're away.

You may just have to suffer through this winter but know that whatever measures you do, use this winter as a reference because there's no telling what'll happen in the future; but you can rest assured that it's not getting warmer and energy prices aren't going down. So it means that you ought to do things right, now. So air-seal and insulate well to keep the warmth in during the winter and the warmth out during the summer.

Look into spray-foam too as a very good option.

Gary in WA 01-11-2010 03:25 PM

"obviously the new furnace is great - so it's not the lack of proper equipment... " -------- Check the floor grill for hot/warm air, maybe the ducting is torn if flex or the joints are bad if steel and need sealing (lack of volume). Check the register/duct joint for quality sealing, perhaps the basement/crawl space is letting air into your conditioned, different pressurized space. Did the installer check or replace the flex ducting because when it first entered the market, many didn't know to over-size the diameter because of turbulence. (And the runs were too long). Did he check for volume if farthest from the furnace, or is it that room only?

Don't line your inside walls with foam board as it requires a fire barrier over it due to it's flammability and toxic smoke when burning. You want every second and minute when leaving the house in a fire. ) Against minimum safety code for that reason.

"Another wall in the living room is the same wall as the garage." ----- much easier to insulate that wall first, from the garage side. Then fire-tape the joints where you accessed 2' from the ceiling and floor to install the faced insulation towards the warm side. An easy fix if it is the walls you'll notice a difference there.

Be safe, Gary

II Weeks 01-11-2010 09:30 PM

there are companies out there that do a Thermal Audit where they'll test your whole home with infra red and using a door fan system, they suck the air from your home and check for leaks around windows and doors which is something you can do. In a room you feel is insulated well, put a box fan in a window and blow the air out then walk around the windows and doors and feel for air coming in. The pros use smokers but you'll figure out something.

G _luck

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