New Construction Tip: Have Your Builder Plan for Water Management

- Instead, builders do what you see below.  .  This happened after a very light rain. Click on the photo below to see a large version of it, so you can really see all of the wood chips washed away. ..More

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An Over-sized Furnace Will Not Heat Your House Better

- When a furnace constantly cycles on and off, the life of the furnace is dramatically reduced.  Guaranteed.  Heat exchangers on furnaces fail from the metal heating and cooling repeatedly; when a furnace is over-sized, the furnace turns on and off constantly, putting all ‘city miles’ on the furnace.  City miles involve a lot of starting and stopping, which is what puts a lot of wear on a vehicle.  The best analogy I can think of is a car with all city miles and no highway miles.  This is not a good thing, and will lead to premature failure of the furnace. ..More

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Combustion Air Ducts, Part II: Problems and Solutions

- Solution: When the combustion air inlet is installed this close to the ground, it’s usually done because that’s where the rim joist was located, so making a higher hole in the side of the house isn’t an option.  I think the photo below is pretty self-explanatory.  I laughed the first time I heard this, but I like this term.  The solution is to install what Milind calls a ‘snorkel’. ..More

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Roof Vents: Problems and Solutions

- .  I’m not saying it will, but it might.  Take it or leave it.  The same thing goes for frost in the attic; as I mentioned last week in my post about frost in the attic, proper ventilation may reduce frost accumulation in attics, but it won’t prevent it.  Let me say that again; proper ventilation may help prevent ice dams.  Asphalt shingle manufacturers require roof ventilation to help preserve the life of the shingles, despite the fact that the color of shingles will have a greater effect on their life expectancy than roof ventilation will.  Proper ventilation will also help to keep the attic space cooler during the winter, which may help to prevent ice dams. Today I’m much more ho-hum on roof ventilation.  An attic with insufficient ventilation will get warmer than a well ventilated attic, which may increase the temperature of the shingles, which may decrease the life of the shingles… just a little ..More

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A DIY Test for Furnaces

- .  That’s when it’s time to call a good HVAC contractor out for the annual furnace inspection you’ve been putting off for the past several years.  While the focus of this post has been on airflow problems with a furnace, an excessive temperature rise could also indicate a combustion problem. If it’s neither of those things, you probably have a problem with your system ..More

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