Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Infrared home heaters?

Infrared home heaters?
Thread Tools
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 22, 2012, 03:15 PM
 
Peeps,

Got an old old house, which means tons of character and very little insulation. Cold Canadian winters means terrible heating bills from December into mid-March of course; it's an oil furnace with hot-water radiation so not terribly efficient in the first place.

I'm looking to supplement the oil furnace for about 7 months of the year (don't need to use anything for the other 5 months). Anyone around here have any experience with infrared space heaters? Stuff like Eden Pure, Dr. Heater, that sort of thing. Do they actually work as they claim to? Any experiences?

The house also has a couple old fireplaces so I'm checking my options with regards to putting them to good use. House is about 1000 sq foot per floor with two floors (basement is used but for storage/laundry only).

Thanks
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Games Meister
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Eternity
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 22, 2012, 03:19 PM
 
Given your last thread, I misread the title as "Infrared home theaters?"

Color me disappointed.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 22, 2012, 03:24 PM
 
We used to own an old farm house close to Lake Huron - it gets cold out there in winter. We supplemented the heating with a wood burning stove, made a huge, cheap difference.

In our Toronto home, built in the 1890's, replacing the windows turned out to be a good idea.

Re fireplaces, it depends how old your house is. If they were designed to burn coal, then they are unusable. The flu isn't wide enough to create sufficient draft to burn wood, leading to potential CO2 buildup. If the fireplaces were designed for wood, then you should be ok. Still, a new chimney lining would probably be a good idea. These can be had for less than 2K and cut down on the potential for chimney fires.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 22, 2012, 03:38 PM
 
Double pane windows make a huge difference.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 22, 2012, 03:47 PM
 
I have a poorly designed and insulated house in Northern VA. I used to spend $450 - $500 a month from Nov thru March to electrically heat the place (old school electric grid in the air handler). I bought a modern Pellet Stove (Harmon P61) and now it costs about 125 bucks a month to heat.
The pellets are made of sawdust from flooring manufacturing which is then squeezed into small pellets. The stove uses about 30 pounds a day to heat 3000 square feet. I get 4 tons for $265 a ton. The hopper takes 60 pounds of pellets. During the DC areas "Snowmageddon" in 2010, I decided to see how hot I could make it. After 3 hours it had gotten up to 86 degrees inside. The built-in thermostat is very responsive. I've done even better $ wise by turning it down to 60 degrees when I'm gone. When I get home in the evening, I put it back up to 75 and the house is warm again w/in a 1/2 hour. A Ceiling fan helps circulate the air.

The stove uses a steel insert inside the chimney, and it sucks air off the floor and through some steel pipes that are positioned over the combustion pot. The exhaust goes up the chimney, The flame is almost white hot, and controlled by a low power fan and 2 oxygen sensors, and the room is heated from a larger fan. Its power requirements are so low, I use a large UPS hooked between it and the wall socket so even without power I still have the stove operating for another 2 hours.
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 22, 2012, 03:54 PM
 
Besides insulation and new windows, etc... If you're going to use electricity, why not just install some 240 V electrical baseboard heaters, with the appropriate thermostats?

Most of those plug-in heaters suck in various ways such as requiring a noisy fan for proper heat dissipation, and usually have lousy temp regulation too. Plus they take up a lot of space and usually look ugly.

A modern thermostat for an electrical baseboard heater is placed in series before the heater, on the opposite side of the room, and can regulate the temp within 0.2 degrees. If say the room is 16 and you want it at 19, then it will run the heater at full power, but if the room is at say 18.5 and you want it at 19, then it will run the heater at 25% power.



See those 2 squiggles? That means it's running at 50% power. Full power is 4 squiggles. The thermostat automatically regulates the power of the heater to compensate as needed. The closer you are to the desired temperature, the lower the power that is supplied to the heater.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Washington DC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 22, 2012, 03:56 PM
 
My mother-in-law replaced her boiler with a wood fired one. Does an awesome job in Northern Illinois while still using the existing radiators (which I, personally, really like; have them in my own house too).
     
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: U.K.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 22, 2012, 04:36 PM
 
If the heaters are the same as UK ones, they are very bright, when used at night.

Distracting whilst watching TV, I stopped using mine.

iMac Intel Core i5, 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB 21.5" Monitor 10.8.3.
iMac 17" 2.0ghz Intel Core 2 Duo w 3gb memory (White one) 10.6.8.
Internal 500gb / 8x external HDD's 250GB - 3TB (4x Time Machine)
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 22, 2012, 08:43 PM
 
Yet another post not about what you asked.

One of these does a good job heating my garage over the winter:

Sunpentown SPT SH-1507 Mini-Tower Ceramic Heater:Amazon:Home & Kitchen
     
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: U.K.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 12:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by MacNNUK View Post
If the heaters are the same as UK ones, they are very bright, when used at night.

Infrared heaters in the UK are different to the Ceramic one you show !
Example...




A link or photo in the OP would have been useful



I don't see the necessity for part of your post, other than to be belligerent.

Your M.O. apparently ?
( Last edited by MacNNUK; May 23, 2012 at 01:09 AM. Reason: To make it simpler to read !)

iMac Intel Core i5, 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB 21.5" Monitor 10.8.3.
iMac 17" 2.0ghz Intel Core 2 Duo w 3gb memory (White one) 10.6.8.
Internal 500gb / 8x external HDD's 250GB - 3TB (4x Time Machine)
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 12:55 AM
 
You know, you're so far off the mark it took me 15 minutes to figure out just what the hell you were talking about.

My comment was in reference to my own post. The OP didn't ask about ceramic heaters, so my post wasn't an answer to what he asked.

Is there something else I've done which makes you go so far as to claim my M.O. is belligerence? While I blow my cool every now and again, I think you have me confused with someone else, and kinda, sorta don't appreciate the accusation.
     
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: U.K.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 01:03 AM
 
Missing:

This is...
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Yet another post not about what you asked.

iMac Intel Core i5, 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB 21.5" Monitor 10.8.3.
iMac 17" 2.0ghz Intel Core 2 Duo w 3gb memory (White one) 10.6.8.
Internal 500gb / 8x external HDD's 250GB - 3TB (4x Time Machine)
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 01:27 AM
 
As I said, I was referring to my own post with that comment.

That's hardly belligerent.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 02:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Peeps,

Got an old old house, which means tons of character and very little insulation. Cold Canadian winters means terrible heating bills from December into mid-March of course; it's an oil furnace with hot-water radiation so not terribly efficient in the first place.

I'm looking to supplement the oil furnace for about 7 months of the year (don't need to use anything for the other 5 months). Anyone around here have any experience with infrared space heaters? Stuff like Eden Pure, Dr. Heater, that sort of thing. Do they actually work as they claim to? Any experiences?

The house also has a couple old fireplaces so I'm checking my options with regards to putting them to good use. House is about 1000 sq foot per floor with two floors (basement is used but for storage/laundry only).

Thanks
Have you looked into the provincial and federal grants and credits to make your home more energy efficient? Depending on which Province you live in it can be as high as 10k. You might be able to improve aspects of your home with those credits and a some personal spending to reduce the fuel usage more then what a space heater can provide for a overall year round reduction. Just a thought.

Oh a plus for baseboard heaters is they help reduce draft if positioned correctly masking the feeling of cold.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 06:31 AM
 
Well, simply put, most baseboard heaters are relatively ugly - this is a bit of a heritage structure period piece, with the old, large cast-iron water radiators that are in very good shape. I've only seen a couple of those portable heaters, but ones like the Eden Pure models don't actually look half-bad and can blend in quite well if some thought is put into the positioning. There are some ugly ones however, so that is part of the consideration as well.

The house has little (if any) modern insulation and we will be having insulation blown into the roof this summer, and possibly the walls if there is access. The main-floor windows have already been replaced with modern vinyl but the upstairs windows are quite old and energy-inefficient - they are fairly ornate and odd-sized so relatively expensive to replace while retaining the beautiful character of the house.

There are a couple lined coal-burning fireplaces (I'm told it's actually relatively inexpensive and safe to burn bituminous lump coal but I haven't looked into it), and a couple wood-burning fireplaces that have not yet been lined. I have checked into the pellet stove option and we're considering whether to put an insert into one of the existing fireplaces this summer as well - of course, for something like the fireplace I'm going to need it to look "old" and in-character, and it looks like it'll cost close to $4000 to get one installed that won't look like a new stove shoehorned into an old fireplace. Imagine that - paying more to have it look older!

Eug, I've currently got one of those digital thermostats for the furnace and have it preprogrammed for the entire week (e.g. higher temperatures for morning and evening, low for day and at night). It's made a difference over the old thermostat that the previous owners used. But for comparison purposes, during the December-mid-March period the oil bill for the house is still around $750/month. (Although it's not terribly cold out here, we get a lot of wind so that's terrible for heating.)

The rest of the year there's not much problem with energy costs. We don't need (or have) air conditioners as it never gets above 30 C and cools down every night - so for at least 3 months of the year there are no heating/cool costs at all, and the furnace is very sparingly used for another 4 months at least.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 08:22 AM
 
When I lived in England, I owned a house with coal-burning fireplaces - we burned something called "Smokeless Fuel", which as far as I remember was some sort of treated coal. It gave a lovely heat. When I purchased the house, build in the early 1800's, the central heating was broken - in the middle of winter. UK winter, so not comparable to what we've got here, but cold and damp nonetheless.

Because the house was so old, every room, including the bathroom, had a working fireplace which I used for heat until the boiler was fixed. It was a really interesting experience, to see how houses of the period were built with zone heating in mind, rather than having one uniform temperature across the entire building. I also learned that wingback chairs reflect the heat from a fire back onto your neck and shoulders, which is fairly awesome.

We're thinking about having insulation blown into our roof cavity next year, but be careful with walls. If you've got Victorian double-brick, then filling the gap can cause serious issues with moisture build-up.
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 08:41 AM
 
I haven't seen an infrared heater yet that wasn't ugly (IMO), plus they're very conspicuous in the room. The baseboard heaters aren't beautiful either, but they're less conspicuous. Also, if you're willing to spend the money, you can get ones that might fit better in certain homes. Too bad they might cost you many fold more, compared to a basic white baseboard heater.



$750 a month for heating in the winter is crazy. Not unexpected for an old home, but crazy nonetheless.

As for the thermostat, my point was that you would install a separate thermostat for every single baseboard heater. My basement is a few degrees colder than top floor, where our master bedroom is. If I set the temp for 19C in the winter, it might be 17 in the basement. During my last reno, I insulated, but I also installed baseboard heaters in the two basement bedrooms. (Actually before the reno, there was very almost no insulation down there, which meant that if I set the temp for 19 in the winter, it might be 14-15.

Because these bedrooms are not used most of the time, I have them set cooler than the rest of the house, which effectively means those heaters are off, and the rooms are dependent upon the usual forced air heating. However, when guests visit, they can set the temp to whatever they please. Most may set it to say 19-20. However, one elderly guest might set her bedroom to 22C, heating just that one room. However, because these thermostats are accurate and variable power, the temp when set to 22C stays at exactly 22. Not 21-23, but 22. The rest of the house stays at 19, as set, with my forced air systems.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 09:15 AM
 
Yes, a lot of them do look fairly old-fashionedly cheap or conspicuous. We've matched the heritage look with an ultra-modern decor (minimalist white/glass/metal look, which is more to my taste) and the main floor has had some walls knocked out and is a wide-open space, so I thought there might be a way to introduce an industrial-looking heater box into an empty space without it looking too out of place (perhaps as a stand for some weird piece of art, etc.). To be honest perhaps I haven't put enough effort into looking at non-fugly baseboard heater models - I didn't know there were any.

House is all wood - no brick except for the chimneys (moisture may still be an issue but we'll try to address that). Actually, the low basement is currently unfinished poured concrete foundation only (used for furnace/storage/workspace, so no heat except for that produced by the furnace); I've already started to frame up the walls myself so once those are properly insulated it should make a little difference upstairs as well.

As for $750: the price of oil hasn't helped, right? The previous owners were about $1000/month for 4 months of the year, so we've already made a significant improvement in that regard (much of it to better heat management I think, e.g. the electronic thermostat instead of the old slider one they used).

The "smokeless coal" and pellet stove ideas are good ones - I just need to find out a bit more about my options with them. I've also just been told that new wood stoves are quite efficient and cheaper than pellet stove inserts - I do like the idea of using such a renewable source, but I suspect that lining the fireplace will cost a couple grand on top of that expense.

Thanks for these tips guys. It's a gorgeous old house that we're slowly restoring to showroom condition, and we knew the heat would be an issue when we bought the place. Now it's just a matter of putting our money into what will give us the best results for our buck in this regard.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 10:43 AM
 
Lining the chimney cost us less than $1000.00 - in Toronto, where things tend to cost more. The guys were done within a couple of hours.

And you're right, modern wood stoves are energy efficient and clean burning. The benefit of pellets is that you can "set it and forget it". They've got a thermostat, and the hopper holding the pellets can last up to three days. A wood stove needs more attention.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 12:50 PM
 
I guess I'll have to shop around - two friends of mine had their chimneys lined last year and it ran about $2k. Perhaps the type of chimney (or our location) has something to do with it.

Yes, that was also my main motivation - something the wife doesn't have to fuss about. She'd probably go down to the coffee shop or maybe even just freeze instead of having to light and then maintain a fire.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 01:00 PM
 
Blown insulation is garbage, and creates all sort of air pockets and voids no matter how good the installer says it is. I know dropping the plaster and insulating proper seems like a lot more effort, but it's worth it IMO. I rip apart houses with blown insulation in the walls all the time, and after a few years the blown crap settles and creates huge voids. Basically just a giant waste of money.

Family friend of mine burns alot of wood (about 4 cord a winter) and supplements the rest with infrared heaters and are very happy with them. Lots of effort to split 4 cord (unless you enjoy that sort of thing, or have a splitter) but nothing, and I mean nothing, coms close to the warmth of a cranking woodstove in the middle of winter.
     
Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: inside 128, north of 90
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 01:18 PM
 
We had our chimney lined and I also don't think it was that much.

Growing up you couldn't go wrong with a Vermont Castings. Many people converted fireplaces with woodstoves, plus they look nice. I used to come home from school and stoke up the fire again. My dad put in 11 cord one winter.

Defiant Two-in-One Wood Burning Stoves by Vermont Castings
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 01:19 PM
 
"He who chops his own wood warms himself twice."
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Blown insulation is garbage, and creates all sort of air pockets and voids no matter how good the installer says it is. I know dropping the plaster and insulating proper seems like a lot more effort, but it's worth it IMO. I rip apart houses with blown insulation in the walls all the time, and after a few years the blown crap settles and creates huge voids. Basically just a giant waste of money.
Kindasorta thread hijack, but what sort of blown insulation is this? One of those PUR foam things, or the one where you basically blow in solids (low density etc, but still) particles?

I have also heard about one where the insulation is sort of a viscous liquid, where the installer starts by inserting the hose all the way to the end, starts filling and pulls the hose back step by step. Any experience with that?

I'm interested in insulation for noise rather than heat (this is a thirties house in Sweden - these walls are THICK, and we have replaced the windows), but air bubbles would be terrible in that situation as well.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great White North
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 01:24 PM
 
Hey, post a picture of the house I'm just curious what style it is.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 01:47 PM
 
Agreed it's tough to guarantee effectiveness in the walls, but should be a little easier to ensure proper coverage in an attic, right? We're moving a couple walls upstairs so will already have access to the attic - it's a low-slope hip roof with little if any crawl space however. Between that and going in through the roof if necessary, I think we should be able to cover the attic and that's probably the biggest heat-loss culprit in any case.

Ripping down walls and insulating from the inside is simply not an option. Partly because I'm pretty much scared to find out the problems we'll discover in a hundred-year-old house - what you don't know, etc. etc. - but also because the cost, timing and mess to do so would be atrocious.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 03:13 PM
 
There are different kinds of blown in insulation.

One option I'll be exploring is soy-based, solvent-free foaming insulation that gets hosed in, fills the available space and then hardens. One of the things I like about this solution is that, while it traps heat, it allows moisture to dissipate, so no problems with condensation.

What I really want is a green roof (our roof is mostly flat) but even with a provincial rebate, that's prohibitively expensive.
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 03:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Ripping down walls and insulating from the inside is simply not an option. Partly because I'm pretty much scared to find out the problems we'll discover in a hundred-year-old house - what you don't know, etc. etc. - but also because the cost, timing and mess to do so would be atrocious.
Heh. I did just that for my basement reno.

The basement was already finished, but we decided to reno, both to improve the layout but also to add insulation, etc. This was even a relatively recent house too. It was a 50s bungalow teardown, rebuilt in the 90s. The build quality was mediocre in the main part of the house, but the basement was very poorly done.

Besides knocking down support walls and putting in new support beams (huge PITA), we ended up redoing the basement plumbing, pulling up some of the slab and replacing it, and then putting down a subfloor. We also replaced a bunch of wiring that wasn't done to code. We even replaced the furnace and A/C and redid the duct work.

Major headache... but ultimately way, way, way better than it could have ever been with just a superficial reno. Our basement heating issue is now mostly solved, and the livability is way better.

Similarly, a friend with an 80-year old house decided to reno the living room and an adjacent sun room, and ended up redoing a support wall, the floors, and insulation of both of the roof and the walls. But it's way better than it would have been otherwise. All the heating issues have been solved.

Unfortunately, in your case if you wanted to do it properly, it'd probably cost you several hundred thousand dollars. Basically a complete gut.

As for your green roof, that seems like a bad idea in your case. There are way better things to spend money on for your house. A green roof is the last thing you should be considering with your hard-earned cash if you can't even heat the home properly.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 03:39 PM
 
Yup. It's also difficult to maintain the character aspect of these old houses when you do a complete regut - well, you can, but you pay a shitload to make things look old or reclaim original fixtures. Figure we'll just keep it old in the first place and figure out the most effective way to patch the existing problems.

At the end of the day you've got to be satisfied with the inherent flaws in these old houses. The people I've known who ended up tackling big problems have quickly found that one leads to another that leads to another - and next thing they know they're completely redoing the place!
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 03:41 PM
 
Here's a link to the Harmon Pellet Stoves. Some even burn corn!

Harman Stoves | Built to a Standard, Not a Price
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 04:36 PM
 
Agreed with the gut. Our house had been abused as a rooming house for 30-odd years, with four small apartments carved out of it. When we renovated it back to a family home we had to decide on whether to remove the original Victorian fittings that were showing signs of that use - mouldings with locks cut into it etc - or keep them. We found cool stuff when peeling back the walls, cast iron radiator covers, marble tops, plaster mouldings, all preserved under layers of crap.

In the end we decided to keep originals wherever possible and match the look with new/reclaimed materials where that just wasn't feasible. It's ok for an old home to show signs of its history.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 04:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Kindasorta thread hijack, but what sort of blown insulation is this? One of those PUR foam things, or the one where you basically blow in solids (low density etc, but still) particles?
The only ones I have come across, in both walls and attics/ceilings are the solid particulate kind. Some of the older stuff even had asbestos in it (didn't everything?) The only spray foam insulation I have personally seen was a high-expansion spray foam applied directly to the outer sheathing between the studs, but that was done in new construction where the walls were all exposed.

Originally Posted by P View Post
I have also heard about one where the insulation is sort of a viscous liquid, where the installer starts by inserting the hose all the way to the end, starts filling and pulls the hose back step by step. Any experience with that?
Not at all, but that sounds like the only way to insulate an enclosed space with any level of certainty the voids would all be taken care of, of course as a renovation man primarily the thought of ripping apart a wall with that system seems terrifying! Very neat idea though, I'll have to check it out, where did you see it?

Originally Posted by P View Post
I'm interested in insulation for noise rather than heat (this is a thirties house in Sweden - these walls are THICK, and we have replaced the windows), but air bubbles would be terrible in that situation as well.
Sound deadening is best achieved with a medium-density foam board that also doubles as a heat barrier. It has reflective foil on both sides and comes in thicknesses from 1/2" to somewhere around 3" I think. Of course, this is also only able to be installed with the interior sheetrock/plaster/lathe removed.

Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Agreed it's tough to guarantee effectiveness in the walls, but should be a little easier to ensure proper coverage in an attic, right? We're moving a couple walls upstairs so will already have access to the attic - it's a low-slope hip roof with little if any crawl space however. Between that and going in through the roof if necessary, I think we should be able to cover the attic and that's probably the biggest heat-loss culprit in any case.
First off, you are one-hundred percent right with the majority of your heat is going right out through your roof. Now, are you talking about insulating the roof itself I.E. between the rafters, or insulating the uppermost ceiling I.E. between the floor joists that make up the attic 'floor'? If there is enough room to move about, albeit cramped, then a blown installation will be fine, as long as your company isn't a bunch of hack-job assholes and make sure to blow it everywhere and nice and thick.

Insulating the roof, between the rafters, will have an added benefit of increasing the longevity of the roofing material itself (asphalt?) Of course provided there is adequate ventilation of the attic space. If the attic is not vented, it will turn into a furnace in the summer months and basically slow cook the roofing to death. Insulation works both ways, keeps the heat in or out as required.

Basically, if you are going to pay men to scramble around in your cramped attic (labor is always the most money) then might as well have them insulate both the ceiling joists and the rafters at the same time. Of course this is all advice given without really knowing what your house is like. Old houses may be my speciality, but one thing I've learned is that nothing can ever be expected to be 'normal' or 'standard' in a house that was most likely built custom.

Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Ripping down walls and insulating from the inside is simply not an option. Partly because I'm pretty much scared to find out the problems we'll discover in a hundred-year-old house - what you don't know, etc. etc. - but also because the cost, timing and mess to do so would be atrocious.
If you have old horsehair plaster over wooden lathe then yes, that is a freaking atrocity of a mess. Not necessarily a large amount of time to rip down the old and stick up new sheetrock, in fact, should be quite quick but I totally understand not wanting to see wat lurks behind. The shit I've seen in some old walls can be quite jarring, not to mention the dust...good god the dust.
     
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Chicago, Bang! Bang!
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 23, 2012, 07:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Sound deadening is best achieved with a medium-density foam board that also doubles as a heat barrier. It has reflective foil on both sides and comes in thicknesses from 1/2" to somewhere around 3" I think. Of course, this is also only able to be installed with the interior sheetrock/plaster/lathe removed.
We use this shit as ultra-cheap (and light) reflector boards for photography.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 24, 2012, 06:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
First off, you are one-hundred percent right with the majority of your heat is going right out through your roof. Now, are you talking about insulating the roof itself I.E. between the rafters, or insulating the uppermost ceiling I.E. between the floor joists that make up the attic 'floor'? If there is enough room to move about, albeit cramped, then a blown installation will be fine, as long as your company isn't a bunch of hack-job assholes and make sure to blow it everywhere and nice and thick.

Insulating the roof, between the rafters, will have an added benefit of increasing the longevity of the roofing material itself (asphalt?) Of course provided there is adequate ventilation of the attic space. If the attic is not vented, it will turn into a furnace in the summer months and basically slow cook the roofing to death. Insulation works both ways, keeps the heat in or out as required.

Basically, if you are going to pay men to scramble around in your cramped attic (labor is always the most money) then might as well have them insulate both the ceiling joists and the rafters at the same time. Of course this is all advice given without really knowing what your house is like. Old houses may be my speciality, but one thing I've learned is that nothing can ever be expected to be 'normal' or 'standard' in a house that was most likely built custom.
Roof is torch on asphalt, yep. There is no attic hatch and it looks like the attic will be no higher than a few feet at most, in the centre of the house (hip roof has quite a low slope - everyone thinks it's a flat roof until they get up there). Hence why we may need holes on each side of the roof/house to ensure adequate coverage.

I'm not sure if there'll be enough space to insulate between the roof joists as well - one thing about our climate is that it is not hot in the summer. We top out around 25 C in the summer with a couple days close to 30, usually with wind, and we always cool off considerably in the evening. So I wouldn't have quite the same worry with roasting the roofing as I would anywhere else (I doubt it would considerably shorten the lifespan).

There should be adequate ventilation via soffit vents (obviously a later addition) but we're going to need to take a look.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 24, 2012, 02:29 PM
 
I do envy you your cool-night summers. Toronto turns into a fricking sauna from June to September. I can't stand the humidity.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Isle of Manhattan
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 24, 2012, 02:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Given your last thread, I misread the title as "Infrared home theaters?"

Color me disappointed.
holy crap, me too.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 24, 2012, 02:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
The only ones I have come across, in both walls and attics/ceilings are the solid particulate kind. Some of the older stuff even had asbestos in it (didn't everything?) The only spray foam insulation I have personally seen was a high-expansion spray foam applied directly to the outer sheathing between the studs, but that was done in new construction where the walls were all exposed.
That's what I thought, I just wanted to check that I understood you. I've used expanding PUR foam (and also a variant that didn't expand crazy much) to close holes, both indoors and outdoors.

Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
Not at all, but that sounds like the only way to insulate an enclosed space with any level of certainty the voids would all be taken care of, of course as a renovation man primarily the thought of ripping apart a wall with that system seems terrifying! Very neat idea though, I'll have to check it out, where did you see it?
I first heard about it from a coworker, but I've heard about it from more people so it seems to be real. I don't have a link though - my coworker promised to get me a contact, but he's not the reliable sort.

As I understand it, it is basically old cardboard that has been shredded and mixed with water, the idea being as you say that it should fill out all voids. The usage in this case was in floors, and they had to do some sort of scan first to be able to know the volume exactly - I guess they also didn't want to rip apart anything...

Thanks for the tips about sound isolation. I have to do something about the floor in two rooms, and I'm considering ripping up everything and replacing the insulation first. Not decided, though.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 24, 2012, 03:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
As I understand it, it is basically old cardboard that has been shredded and mixed with water, the idea being as you say that it should fill out all voids. The usage in this case was in floors, and they had to do some sort of scan first to be able to know the volume exactly - I guess they also didn't want to rip apart anything...
Most awesome would be adding some green food colouring and then telling your kids that "the Hulk is in our floorboards!"
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 24, 2012, 04:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The usage in this case was in floors, and they had to do some sort of scan first to be able to know the volume exactly - I guess they also didn't want to rip apart anything...
That would be my main concern with any expanding foam-based spray. That stuff can be surprisingly powerful if not given enough space.

They do have the regular BATT insulation specifically designed for sound deadening, my father used it in our house between the first and second floors. Only thing is the floor joists are 10" wide and the insulation was also very thick. In older houses having 6" floor joists is not uncommon.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 08:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
[QUOTE name="ShortcutToMoncton" url="/t/491491/whats-everyone-doing-today#post_4185283"]
**** man. I've been thinking of removing the oil furnace as well....problem is, it would have to be electricity (no NG city hookups in my area), and I'm not sure if would be that big an improvement.

Anyways, I've been tearing out much of the inside of this place - walls are horsehair plaster over wooden lath, original 19teensish. Brutal. I've got plenty of beer if you want a "vacation"....
Eh, I'm no expert, but I don't think electric heat is really worth the hassle. Unless your boiler is already pushing 30 years old and you were going to need to replace it anyways.

I've torn down more horsehair plaster/lathe than I care to remember, find any treasures yet? I did a house once where we found a newspaper from 1904 in the walls, one of the pages had an article about a local problem with 'negros.' It was surreal.
[/quote]
[From the other "what are you doing today" thread]

Yeah, the boiler is early to mid 90s-ish - a big thing would be the size advantage of electric boiler, of course. No oil tank, smaller footprint, etc. - would open up a lot of space in the basement. But from a cost perspective, apparently it wouldn't make a huge difference (other than likely moving to a higher-efficiency unit) - so 3-4 grand for a replacement isn't really turning my crank.

So far I've managed to keep renos to interior walls (moving a few around)...a lot of old houses around here also had paper for "insulation" so that doesn't surprise me. On the other hand, that means I haven't had an opportunity to find out about insulation - but we weren't tearing everything out anyway, so that might be a moot point as I doubt spot-insulating would accomplish much. But no, no discovered treasures, unfortunately - other than knob and tube wiring, that is. Not a treasure. At all.

It's a slow process. The mouldings are classic and very wide, and there's a large detailed header over each doorframe - I've been gently prying them off for re-use, as there's no easy way to find a replacement (each header is made of 5 different glued-together pieces of wood). Same thing with the mouldings - other than reclaiming, the only way to get the same weird size would be to rip down existing lumber for each one. It's painstaking work, and then banging out all the nails will also be incredibly painful. But hopefully we can keep the same classic look of the house for all our new improvements.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 08:10 AM
 
So sub-question for you: tiled showers. The wife wants a tiled floor that runs directly into a 48" x 32" shower area. The walls will also be tiled (different tile of course), with a 48" glass sliding door for the front.

So I looked at shower bases that can be tiled over....holy shit. About $750. I can get those white acrylic ones for less than half of that - but they are, admittedly, ugly and cheap-looking in comparison.

I've had a couple people tell me that if I used some plywood and angled my cemember (i.e. made it thicker around the outer edges I suppose) that I might be able to approximate enough angle for water drainage. But that seems dubious. Are there other, cheaper ways to tile in a shower base, or is it actually that expensive?
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Professional Poster
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Nashua NH, USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 09:07 AM
 
My mom has a walk in shower like that. There were sloped foam pieces used to set the angle i'm not sure what the waterproofing was or were it was in the layers.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 09:08 AM
 
My limited understanding is that you want a waterproof membrane somewhere.

Take a look here:

http://bathroom-engineering.co.uk/products.php
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 09:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
if I used some plywood and angled my cemember (i.e. made it thicker around the outer edges
lol? Why does "angled my cemember" seem delightfully dirty?

*cement
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 09:42 AM
 
For "treasures":

I found a cross on the cinderblocks behind the drywall. I believe the construction workers back in the 1950s felt it was a good luck charm. I also found whiskey bottles below my basement cement floor slab.

Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
So sub-question for you: tiled showers. The wife wants a tiled floor that runs directly into a 48" x 32" shower area. The walls will also be tiled (different tile of course), with a 48" glass sliding door for the front.
So I looked at shower bases that can be tiled over....holy shit. About $750. I can get those white acrylic ones for less than half of that - but they are, admittedly, ugly and cheap-looking in comparison.
I've had a couple people tell me that if I used some plywood and angled my cemember (i.e. made it thicker around the outer edges I suppose) that I might be able to approximate enough angle for water drainage. But that seems dubious. Are there other, cheaper ways to tile in a shower base, or is it actually that expensive?
Yes, if you want to properly waterproof it, it's damn expensive. We used Schluter-Kerdi:

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/kerdi-shower-kit-48-x-48-in/928352





I have another shower that was built before I moved in, and I know they didn't use this membrane. It leaked to the other wall beside it, until I sealed the grout. However, since I don't like the tile anyway I will eventually just rip out all the tile and have it done properly with the waterproof membrane and sloped foam. I may have to rip out some of the wood there too, if there's mold from the previous leaking.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 09:53 AM
 
Yeah, I saw those kits;unfortunately our space requires 48" by 32" - and they don't seem to come in that size.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Eug
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Caught in a web of deceit.
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 09:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Yeah, I saw those kits;unfortunately our space requires 48" by 32" - and they don't seem to come in that size.
They're foam, and can be cut to size. However:

Ideally, the tray should be cut by equal amounts on all four sides to ensure a consistent height of the first course of wall tile.

http://www.schluter.com/5302.aspx

In that context you have two options, as I understand it:

1) Just have different heights for the bottom of the shower walls. Not ideal, but probably the easiest. Nothing wrong with that, but it could look a bit funky in certain setups.
2) Try to use the thinset to even out the height. I would guess this is very hard to do.

Or else just spend $$$ on the perfectly sized 48x32 pan, and buy the membrane separately for the walls.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 10:12 AM
 
MF! I specifically asked the Home Depot guy if that was possible and he said it wasn't. I just called the company directly and lo and behold, you can easily cut down the 32x60 model to fit 32x48. I think....you may have just solved all my problems?!

MacNN comes through for me yet again! And sometimes I forget why I still post here.....
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Cape Cod, MA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 10:56 AM
 
We do it old-school, and pay a tin-knocker to make a copper pan for our shower bases. Not cheap, but it'll last hundreds of years.

Then we have the tile-guy just mud the base with a proper slope and use a small enough tile to conform to the shape.

Custom shower enclosures are usually mucho bucks when compared to a Home Depot plastic jobby, but the biggest plus, IMHO, is the ability to use an ultra low-profile shower threshold so steping in an out is effortless, and more importantly, safe.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: The Rock
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Aug 22, 2012, 11:24 AM
 
Yeah. I love the walk-in showers where the tile floor just extends through without a threshold, but my understanding is that it would be difficult to implement that without "cutting down" into the existing floor joists? These are 8", so there's not really much room to play with on that front. (Alternately I suppose plywood could raise up the rest of the bathroom floor?)

That link/pictures Eug had shows the "curb".......looks to me as though that could be shaved down to as low as necessary. I'd personally prefer a very low profile. Eug, any comment on that? What about not using a curb at all?

We'll have a modern-ish roller shower glass door over some old-fashioned basketweave and subway wall tile.
Mankind's only chance is to harness the power of stupid.
     
 
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:17 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2014 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2