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Insulation

  • Retrofitting Exterior Insulation

    Adding rigid foam to the outside of the shell dramatically increases R-value while reducing thermal conduction.

     
  • Dow Structural Insulated Sheathing: A Solution for Coastal Walls?

     
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    Home Performance Contracting

    Careful diagnostic testing is the key to cost-effective energy upgrades.

     
  • Retrofitting a Brick Wall With Insulation

    I'm rehabbing an old brick house in Charleston, W.V. I want to insulate the exterior walls, which are balloon-framed with 2x4s, unsheathed, and finished with brick. There's a 1- to 2-inch air space between the 11/2-story-high frame wall and the brick siding, and a weep system at the base of the...

     
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    In the News

    Stringent new energy code offers flexibility; company fined for breaking FTC’s R-value rule; Denver’s moratorium on fees pays off; PV-panel prices decline; more

     
  • R-19 vs. R-20 Wall Insulation

    The federal stimulus plan's energy tax credits for insulation are based on the 2009 IECC, which raises the wall insulation requirement for climate zones 5 and 6 from R-19 to R-20. To meet this requirement, the R-value of the cavity insulation must be at least 3.63 per inch. Does this mean that...

     
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    Installing Exterior Insulation in Cold Climates

    Airtight construction and a thick layer of exterior foam save energy and reduce the risk of rot and mold.

     
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    Products

    Sheathing panels; wood countertops; closet light; extra-thick PVC trim boards; corded housewrap; more

     
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    Products

    Soft batts; fire-stopping hole sealer; efficient furnace; easy-to-program thermostat; expanding fiberglass insulation; more

     
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    Rescuing a Manufactured-Stone Wall

    A properly flashed water-resistant drainage plane is essential when installing stone veneer over a wood-framed wall.

     
  • Is It Safe to Retrofit Exterior Foam Insulation?

    Q: I built a lot of homes in upstate New York in the 1980s using 2x6 studs, fiberglass batts, and a poly vapor retarder for the shell. Given the rising cost of heating and cooling, the owners are asking about energy upgrades to their walls. I'd like to suggest adding 1 or 2 inches of rigid foam on...

     
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    Retrofitting an Insulated Cold Roof

    Installing insulation and ventilation under a new roof can solve heat-loss problems and prevent ice dams.

     
  • JLC Extra Q&A: Compressing Fiberglass Batts

    Q: I've heard that if you use 5 1/2-inch-thick fiberglass batts in a 2x4 wall, the insulation will have a higher R-value than standard 3 1/2-inch batts provide. But some people say that compressing fiberglass batts lowers the R-value. What's the story?

     
  • Does Radiant-Barrier Paint Work?

    Q: My painting subcontractor is recommending Thermo-Tek, a paint the manufacturer says is a radiant barrier. What can you tell me about products like this one or similar coatings made with something called ceramic microspheres that claim to have thermal characteristics and promise significant...

     
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    Innovative Products 2008

    Our annual pick of products designed to help you work smarter, faster, and better.

     
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    A Close Look at Common Energy Claims

    Understanding energy consumption and moisture movement in the homes we build is hard enough; rampant half-truths and misconceptions only make it harder.

     
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    Products

    Housewrap; asphalt roofing

     
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    Air-Sealing Attics In Existing Homes

    For best results, locate the heat loss with a blower door and an infrared camera.

     
  • Glued Wall Sheathing

    Q: Is it okay to glue OSB or plywood sheathing to the wall framing before fastening the sheathing with nails? It seems that this would be a simple and cost-effective way to add strength to a wall assembly while reducing air infiltration.

     
  • Flash-and-Batt Insulation: Good Idea or Bad Practice

    Q: Is the flash-and-batt technique - where an inch or two of spray-foam insulation is applied to the interior side of roof or wall sheathing before fitting rafter and stud bays with fiberglass batts - a good way to insulate?

     
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking