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  • JLC Magazine Energy Myths

    This month's JLC magazine has an article on Energy Saving Myths:

    I believe that espousing the same "old wives' tale" energy-saving tips that require considerable investment or effort—but net disappointing or no results—is harmful to the public's perception of energy efficiency. The same "tips" frequently show up in various lists, but none make a difference large enough to see or taste or feel—and, equally important, none get you talking about sustainability and wanting more.¹

    Tip 1: Install a programmable thermostat.

    We all knew that, even Martin an energy saving nut has been saying that for years.

    Tip 3: Install new windows.

    I've been telling you guys since 2000 that my Title 24 Consultant refused to give me credit for windows unless they are U-0.20 or less, this was born out in the FDA orders demanding that window manufacturers and contractors stop advertising savings.

    Tip 4: Get new light bulbs.

    I've been saying this for years, first with the toxic CFLs and now with the very expensive LEDs, the last house I built has $17,000 worth of LEDs in it, wonder how many centuries for the pay back there?

    Tip 2: Caulk and seal, baby! Caulking windows and weatherstripping is another common energy-saving recommendation. But as a building scientist, I know that window and door leaks aren't nearly as important as air leaks in basements and attics. The big air leaks occur at the home's top and bottom due to stack effect. A more complete explanation is beyond the scope of this article, but basically, wall air leaks don't matter that much without pressure (namely, wind) acting on them. The savings? Not worth the investment of time spent caulking and foaming.

    I've been trying to tell you guys this and more for years, even posting energy bills from my homes that are unsealed. Look at all the toxic walls that have been built with chemicals sealed in, OSB, ZIP Wall, caulking, styrofoam, etc., and this building scientist says it does no good at all, all that's been accomplished is creating homes that will be rotting out sooner and need replacement, to say nothing of sick people living in toxic homes.


    ¹ http://www.jlconline.com/building-pe...ilding_science
    Last edited by Dick Seibert; 07-31-2014, 06:11 PM.
    You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

  • #2
    Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

    I have read your wise, sage and numerous comments regarding such.

    I have always agreed.

    Now, can we just try to kill this "GREEN" movement, please?

    Point of fact, for the first time in many, many years ... I am not renewing my subscription to JLC ...

    Simply too many "green" articles.

    Blithering idjits they are.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

      I don't understand the beef with programmable thermostats. I think those things are fantastic. In the commercial energy efficiency world the motto is, if it isn't needed, turn it off - they concentrate heavily on controls, to the extend they wire the whole enchilada and run everything with a computer called an Energy Management System.

      I use my thermostats extensively, at home and the office. Before I married my wife her little portugese butt burned throughout tanks of heating oil every month, once I installed a programmable thermostat the costs when way down.
      "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

      Sir Frances Drake

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

        Originally posted by Dick Seibert View Post
        I've been trying to tell you guys this and more for years, even posting energy bills from my homes that are unsealed.
        Dick, you make sense most of the time, but on this one you forgot to think.

        Of course, in a climate that requires no heating or cooling, your energy bills are low and you don't need any sealing or insulation. Dah! Try that in Duluth or Brownsville, TX.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

          Hey Ted!
          once I installed a programmable thermostat the costs when way down.

          I noticed the same thing, but it's because my wife can't figure out how to change them, we use 5 different ones for the zones, although she can raise the temp a little if necessary. To her, she has to be freezin for it to be necessary!
          Take Care

          Jim

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

            Originally posted by dgbldr View Post
            Of course, in a climate that requires no heating or cooling, your energy bills are low and you don't need any sealing or insulation. Dah! Try that in Duluth or Brownsville, TX.
            I was just in Portugal, let me tell you their construction methods are fantastic. All concrete, stone, masonry, even the roof with clay tile. No insulation, house wrap, even the windows are solid metal, no reason for the thermal break there.

            It made me wonder how we fools ended up in such a bad climate. I can see myself partially retiring there later in life.
            "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

            Sir Frances Drake

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

              The author is employed by a university in Cleveland, given the thousands of posts here over the years on sealing up homes I think we should deal with one statement he made:

              But as a building scientist, I know that window and door leaks aren't nearly as important as air leaks in basements and attics. The big air leaks occur at the home's top and bottom due to stack effect. A more complete explanation is beyond the scope of this article, but basically, wall air leaks don't matter that much without pressure (namely, wind) acting on them. The savings? Not worth the investment of time spent caulking and foaming.
              I would have thought that Martin would have challenged this by now, I wonder what Joe Lstiburek thinks? He states: "A more complete explanation is beyond the scope of this article", maybe it would be instructive if someone who believes in air sealing would ask him for the "more complete explanation".
              You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

                Originally posted by Dick Seibert View Post
                He states: "A more complete explanation is beyond the scope of this article", maybe it would be instructive if someone who believes in air sealing would ask him for the "more complete explanation".
                Well, if there is no pressure differential, there is no air movement through the hole. So if the bottom is sucking, and the roof is blowing, the walls would be doing neither, as in no pressure differential, or no leakage through the holes. That's the argument, I don't know if I believe it for several reasons.

                My main beef is with the programable thermostats, the author should date a Portuguese woman, then I am sure we'd see a retraction.
                "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                Sir Frances Drake

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

                  Originally posted by Ted
                  My main beef is with the programable thermostats, the author should date a Portuguese woman, then I am sure we'd see a retraction.
                  We first had to put them in in 1981, I remember because I built a home for a guy with 5 zoned furnaces and they made us put them in, they were a couple that was never home and never ate at home, they came home at night and immediately went up to the master suite and wanted to turn that one on when they came in and turn it off when they left in the morning, I finally told him just to leave them all off and turn the one they used on and off as necessary. I tell my customers to operate theirs manually and we do the same thing, who wants heat coming on when you are not home? I guess for people on a rigid schedule they can be programed to work right, but most of us come and go as we please. I do believe in them for office settings, we actually have to put locked plastic covers on them if there are women present, no way you can program a thermostat to multiple women's hot and cold flashes.

                  If air sealing walls does no good there is no reason for plastic wraps, styrofoam, caulking, and a host of other things that are talked about here constantly.
                  You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

                    Dick the programmable t-stats don't work any better in an office situation than they do at home unless everyone works the same hours. Plus they have the same shortcomings in the morning as they do at home, where all the thermal mass in the home has stabilized at the uncomfortable set-back temperature, which necessitates a different ambient air temperature to achieve comfort until the thermal mass catches up.

                    I used to come in early to work once in a while and it would not be very cozy in the office. I still work late or pop in late and the office is never comfy then. If you really want to save money on energy just skip using and HAVC system altogether...makes about as much sense.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

                      I guess you are right, all I know is building owners want them turned down and women want them turned up, I've had women break the seals on the plastic covers to turn them up.

                      Originally posted by Ted
                      It made me wonder how we fools ended up in such a bad climate. I can see myself partially retiring there later in life.
                      I've wondered that too, why is it that most of the complaints here about "using energy" come from people living in cold climates, why don't they just move to a place with a better climate? In 1978 I was building a home for Rick Barry the basketball player, he got traded from the Warriors to the Houston Rockets, I asked him how he was going to live in all that heat and humidity, he said: "Easy, I fly into Houston in an air-conditioned airplane, I go into an air-conditioned terminal, I then go into an air-conditioned parking garage and get into my air-conditioned car. I then drive to the air-conditioned garage in my air-conditioned home, when it comes time to go to work I get into my air-conditioned car and drive to the air-conditioned parking garage, I go to work in an air-conditioned arena and reverse the process when I'm done working, there is no need to ever go outdoors".

                      There are places in Mexico where they don't even put windows in houses, they put the window holes int he walls and extend porticoes around the homes, they put open cupolas in the roofs so the air comes in through the open windows and goes up and out through the cupolas.
                      Last edited by Dick Seibert; 08-02-2014, 11:16 AM.
                      You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

                        Let's throw a real good myth out there:

                        Spray foam doesn't save energy any more that any other insulation. I can do the same, if not better with fiberglass or cellulose. All day long.

                        Judge me by infiltration an overall UA - not by some opinion formulated by reading blogs.
                        "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                        Sir Frances Drake

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

                          Originally posted by Dick Seibert View Post
                          There are places in Mexico where they don't even put windows in houses, they put the window holes int he walls and extend porticoes around the homes, they put open cupolas in the roofs so the air comes in through the open windows and goes up and out through the cupolas.
                          There are many a cafe in Portugal where you sit outside for hours enjoying an expresso, fine cognac, or beer, until 1-2 am socializing. The climate there is spot on. Life is lived much more outdoors.

                          It's funny because we think we have so many freedoms here, we are just fooling ourselves.
                          "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                          Sir Frances Drake

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

                            Originally posted by Ted S. View Post
                            There are many a cafe in Portugal where you sit outside for hours enjoying an expresso, fine cognac, or beer, until 1-2 am socializing. The climate there is spot on. Life is lived much more outdoors.

                            It's funny because we think we have so many freedoms here, we are just fooling ourselves.
                            Good bloody grief.

                            The geezees are the absolute worst. If we know they are geezees, we won't even bid the job. If we win (because we didn't know that they were geezies) .. when we find out ... we will not do the work.

                            And, your comments are coming from someone that slams Asians (who ALWAYS pay) ... you are hopeless.

                            By the way, it is "espresso" not "expresso" [SIC)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: JLC Magazine Energy Myths

                              Originally posted by Ted
                              Spray foam doesn't save energy any more that any other insulation. I can do the same, if not better with fiberglass or cellulose. All day long.
                              If the "building scientist" who wrote the article is correct sealing up walls with anything is a waste of money. Besides, spray foam has been illegal for over a year and a half now:

                              Originally posted by Stockholm Convention
                              Despite intense pressure from the chemical industry, formaldehyde and styrene have been added to a government warning list of known and potentially carcinogenic compounds. Released June 10--four years late because of the opposition--the 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC), compiled by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) under the aegis of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), also adds six other substances to its list of 240 compounds.¹
                              All this talk about banning lead and nobody talks about other chemicals and metals banned by the EPA. That's okay, anybody getting any form of cancer in a home with spray foam has a dead bang winner in a lawsuit against the builder who used a chemical banned by the EPA.


                              ¹ http://sc.bcrc.cn/col/1253668419437/1309411996724.html
                              You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

                              Comment

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