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Re: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

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  • John and Mia
    Karl, this is John and I m the one who recommended the soffit or ridge vents or both... the soffit and ridge vents along with the plastic round or square domes
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 4, 2006
      Karl,
          this is John and I'm the one who recommended the soffit or ridge vents or both... the soffit and ridge vents along with the plastic round or square domes (the big or little plastic things on top of your roof which replaced the metal spinning things) are all passive devices are the minimum requirements for builders to install... they only work when there is a breeze or alot of heat in the attic and they work on the principle that hot air rises while cold air sinks... so, they only passively remove heat from the attic which can accumulate very rapidly as you well know about Houston area heat... I've seen the solar powered attic fans at Home Depot available with the solar panel for around $150 which moves around 1250 feet of air per minute which would be the equivalent of the entire air content of your attic every 2 or 3 minutes (there is no way to match that kind of performance with any passive device that I know of ) I would think that getting that much air flowing by using a solar powered fan would really help out especially considering how much electricity is going up... a 40% increase for me in Katy within 2 weeks... that would really suck if prices stayed so high during the summer and would really justify spending money on such investments but hopefully as natural gas prices are going down so will electric... just my .02
          one thing I highly recommend for you and everyone else is to look for air leaks in your house that can really increase the amount of money spent to heat homes in winter or cool homes in summer... one real easy way to do this is to go around your house and feel with your hand your electric plugs, light switches and your windows especially around the sides of the windows this works best when there is a good temperature difference between inside and outside and if there is a breeze... when it's cold and windy then you can really feel air coming thru these areas... try to figure out where the air is coming in thru and plug the hole... in my 2005 Energy Star home I've found over 21 areas where air comes in unimpeded which really make a big difference in trying to keep my house warm in the winter... a bunch of little holes add up to one big hole... just because your home is energy star certified doesn't mean you don't have a good amount of air coming thru different areas... and it's not considered a warranty defect unless it causes your home to fail the door blower test used for EnergyStar certification... some things I plan on doing are caulking the entire back and side of my house where the hardiplank boards overlap to help prevent outside air coming in and using the child safety plugs on every single electric outlet to stop air from coming in from outside...
          Karl, just out of curiosity, what type or brand of radiant barrier did you have sprayed in? I plan on doing that soon and am looking for good feedback from actual people who have tried different brands... also out of curiosity, which builder built your McMansion? I've worked as a vendor for new home builders for 4 years all over Houston and my wife currently works for a Homebuilder... we built a Plantation Home and are pretty happy with it... not as big as yours at 2359sqft but plenty of house for us...
       another thing I've done to lower my electric bill was to switch to compact fluorescent lights... they give the same brightness but only use about 25% of the energy as regular light bulbs... the prices have really gone down... you can get great bulk deals on eBay compared to buying them in packs of 5-6 at Home Depot of Lowes... hope this helps. John
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 7:40 PM
      Subject: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

      This discussion is creating a question for me - Robert said "I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s)" 
       
       
       
      I considered adding one or two solar attic fans for my 2004 Energy Star 3,600 sq ft, 2 story "McMansion" in The Woodlands.
       
      I have BOTH soffit and ridge vents.
       
      But I talked to some folks who said that the fans would not be worth it - they wouldn't move enough additional air (given the soffits and ridge vents) to justify the cost.
       
      I did have a radiant barrier sprayed in - couldn't afford to go back in with the perf foil stuff. It has helped.
       
      And I don't want to create a semi-conditioned space up there (and can't afford it, either).
       
      SO - what is the right answer for making my house envelope as energy efficient in these matters as I can ?
       
      And thanks for the great dialogue - I am new to the list but really learning a lot!
       
      karl
       
      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
      Karl R. Rábago
      19 Birchwood Park Pl.
      The Woodlands, Texas 77382
      home tel: 281.298.6429
      cell: 832.723.7443
      eMail: rabago@...
       

      "Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees"

      Schrödinger



      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John and Mia
      Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:15 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors

      this is for Robert Johnston,
          Robert... I've been studying the Green Building Initiative which is the next level above Energy Star (it's a new way of homebuilding that re-engineers every step of home building to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly) as I'm looking into getting a career in that field and while I don't know of any specific professionals in your area but from my research, almost anything else is better compared to paper and rock shingles which doesn't reflect the heat but absorbs it... I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s) and many places on the internet offer good deals on radiant barriers... I don't think you need an architect per say but any good roofer should be able to install a radiant barrier,  and install a good roof with adequate ventilation.... you don't need to re-engineer a roof as in change the slope of the roof unless it has inadequate pitch for water to run off...
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 3:26 PM
      Subject: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors

      My sister recently moved to the Ardmore , OK area from Washington state.  They’ve bought a house that will need a new roof, and while they are at it they want to increase the energy efficiency of their home.  What they need is an architect or other professional that can advise them on (a) the roofing system, including venting, insulation, radiant barrier, metal vs. shingles, etc.; (b) other energy improvements they can make to their house, possibly including solar water heater.

       

      Do any of you know reputable people that can do that kind of thing? 

      Do any of our architects travel that far?

      John Miggins, do you know anybody in that area?  (and do you serve that area with your water heater business?)

       

      Robert Johnston

       

    • John Miggins
      With the radiant barrier you may have already addressed this. I would suggest that you measure the attic temp to see what is riese to in heat of day. Take
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 4, 2006
        With the radiant barrier you may have already addressed this.  I would suggest that you measure the attic temp to see what is riese to in heat of day.
         
        Take your lead from the latest award winning homes in the NAHB contest for energy value award and you will see several trends.
         
        All have no ducts in attics but in conditioned space,
         
        ducts in attics lose 30% or cooling and heat due to hot attic and leaking vents. consequently most contractors oversize the AC to compensate.   Given that most people already have their houses and to rectity they need radiant barrier under roof deck or attic ventillation or both.
         
        savings of 15 to 20% on AC costs, this is science backed up by studies.
         
        Soffit vents are essential but ridge vents are passive and without some force moving air they are not as effecive as a fan in my opinion and exerience
         
        I have documented testimonials of 20 degree drop in attic temp and 2 degree cooler air coming from vents once attic ventillation (solar attic fans) installed.
         
        I think that they are a good investment, some architects disagree but what do they offer as alternative?
         
        if makes no sense to spend your hard earned dolllars to cool air to send it through a 130 degree attic to reach your rooms.
         
        Ultimately it is better to have no ducts in attic but since most homes aleady have this condition you must address this by radiant barrier or attic ventillation or both.
         
        taking the lead from the award winning homes, the winner in texas leads one to say that one must address the heat in the attic to yield the savings from the single largest energy appliance the AC.
         
         
         
        Every winning home had ducts on conditioned space not the attic, since this is not a possibility then you must attack the heat in the attic, stop it or ventillate it.
         
        Create low to high air flow, air in at soffits expelled by some positive device, either AC fans of solar fans.
         
        Skeptics, take the smoke test, go in your attic at peak heat time and use a cigarette or some other smoke device and you will see that ridge vents are passive and will not significantly move air as effective as a fan.
         
        Hot air rises naturally but a solar attic fan moves 850 cfm, much more than a ridge vent will ever do.
         
        John Miggins
        Harvest Solar & Wind Power
        "renewable solutions to everyday needs"
        www.harvest-energy.com
        Phone/Fax 918-743-2299
        Cell: 918-521-6223
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 7:40 PM
        Subject: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

        This discussion is creating a question for me - Robert said "I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s)" 
         
         
         
        I considered adding one or two solar attic fans for my 2004 Energy Star 3,600 sq ft, 2 story "McMansion" in The Woodlands.
         
        I have BOTH soffit and ridge vents.
         
        But I talked to some folks who said that the fans would not be worth it - they wouldn't move enough additional air (given the soffits and ridge vents) to justify the cost.
         
        I did have a radiant barrier sprayed in - couldn't afford to go back in with the perf foil stuff. It has helped.
         
        And I don't want to create a semi-conditioned space up there (and can't afford it, either).
         
        SO - what is the right answer for making my house envelope as energy efficient in these matters as I can ?
         
        And thanks for the great dialogue - I am new to the list but really learning a lot!
         
        karl
         
        - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
        Karl R. Rábago
        19 Birchwood Park Pl.
        The Woodlands, Texas 77382
        home tel: 281.298.6429
        cell: 832.723.7443
        eMail: rabago@...
         

        "Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees"

        Schrödinger



        From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John and Mia
        Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:15 PM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors

        this is for Robert Johnston,
            Robert... I've been studying the Green Building Initiative which is the next level above Energy Star (it's a new way of homebuilding that re-engineers every step of home building to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly) as I'm looking into getting a career in that field and while I don't know of any specific professionals in your area but from my research, almost anything else is better compared to paper and rock shingles which doesn't reflect the heat but absorbs it... I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s) and many places on the internet offer good deals on radiant barriers... I don't think you need an architect per say but any good roofer should be able to install a radiant barrier,  and install a good roof with adequate ventilation.... you don't need to re-engineer a roof as in change the slope of the roof unless it has inadequate pitch for water to run off...
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 3:26 PM
        Subject: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors

        My sister recently moved to the Ardmore , OK area from Washington state.  They’ve bought a house that will need a new roof, and while they are at it they want to increase the energy efficiency of their home.  What they need is an architect or other professional that can advise them on (a) the roofing system, including venting, insulation, radiant barrier, metal vs. shingles, etc.; (b) other energy improvements they can make to their house, possibly including solar water heater.

         

        Do any of you know reputable people that can do that kind of thing? 

        Do any of our architects travel that far?

        John Miggins, do you know anybody in that area?  (and do you serve that area with your water heater business?)

         

        Robert Johnston

         

      • John and Mia
        John, thanks for the link and the info... that s a much better system to have no ducts in the attic as they are wasteful... I m really excited about the future
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 4, 2006
          John,
              thanks for the link and the info... that's a much better system to have no ducts in the attic as they are wasteful... I'm really excited about the future of Green Homebuilding... I guess it's sort of like the new hybrid cars that get around double or more the gas mileage compared to what everyone else is driving... If I remember what I read about EnergyStar homes is that they can allow up to either 10 or 15% loss in the ducts and they are pressure tested so that is better than non energystar homes... another thing I read is that your ducts should NEVER have to be cleaned... having dirty ducts is an obvious sign your ducts are leaking somewhere to allow all sorts of junk in them... instead of getting them cleaned get them tested for leaks and have them replaced with ones that don't leak... you'll save money and have better air in your house... John
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 11:10 PM
          Subject: Re: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

          With the radiant barrier you may have already addressed this.  I would suggest that you measure the attic temp to see what is riese to in heat of day.
           
          Take your lead from the latest award winning homes in the NAHB contest for energy value award and you will see several trends.
           
          All have no ducts in attics but in conditioned space,
           
          ducts in attics lose 30% or cooling and heat due to hot attic and leaking vents. consequently most contractors oversize the AC to compensate.   Given that most people already have their houses and to rectity they need radiant barrier under roof deck or attic ventillation or both.
           
          savings of 15 to 20% on AC costs, this is science backed up by studies.
           
          Soffit vents are essential but ridge vents are passive and without some force moving air they are not as effecive as a fan in my opinion and exerience
           
          I have documented testimonials of 20 degree drop in attic temp and 2 degree cooler air coming from vents once attic ventillation (solar attic fans) installed.
           
          I think that they are a good investment, some architects disagree but what do they offer as alternative?
           
          if makes no sense to spend your hard earned dolllars to cool air to send it through a 130 degree attic to reach your rooms.
           
          Ultimately it is better to have no ducts in attic but since most homes aleady have this condition you must address this by radiant barrier or attic ventillation or both.
           
          taking the lead from the award winning homes, the winner in texas leads one to say that one must address the heat in the attic to yield the savings from the single largest energy appliance the AC.
           
           
           
          Every winning home had ducts on conditioned space not the attic, since this is not a possibility then you must attack the heat in the attic, stop it or ventillate it.
           
          Create low to high air flow, air in at soffits expelled by some positive device, either AC fans of solar fans.
           
          Skeptics, take the smoke test, go in your attic at peak heat time and use a cigarette or some other smoke device and you will see that ridge vents are passive and will not significantly move air as effective as a fan.
           
          Hot air rises naturally but a solar attic fan moves 850 cfm, much more than a ridge vent will ever do.
           
          John Miggins
          Harvest Solar & Wind Power
          "renewable solutions to everyday needs"
          www.harvest-energy.com
          Phone/Fax 918-743-2299
          Cell: 918-521-6223
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 7:40 PM
          Subject: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

          This discussion is creating a question for me - Robert said "I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s)" 
           
           
           
          I considered adding one or two solar attic fans for my 2004 Energy Star 3,600 sq ft, 2 story "McMansion" in The Woodlands.
           
          I have BOTH soffit and ridge vents.
           
          But I talked to some folks who said that the fans would not be worth it - they wouldn't move enough additional air (given the soffits and ridge vents) to justify the cost.
           
          I did have a radiant barrier sprayed in - couldn't afford to go back in with the perf foil stuff. It has helped.
           
          And I don't want to create a semi-conditioned space up there (and can't afford it, either).
           
          SO - what is the right answer for making my house envelope as energy efficient in these matters as I can ?
           
          And thanks for the great dialogue - I am new to the list but really learning a lot!
           
          karl
           
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
          Karl R. Rábago
          19 Birchwood Park Pl.
          The Woodlands, Texas 77382
          home tel: 281.298.6429
          cell: 832.723.7443
          eMail: rabago@...
           

          "Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees"

          Schrödinger



          From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John and Mia
          Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:15 PM
          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors

          this is for Robert Johnston,
              Robert... I've been studying the Green Building Initiative which is the next level above Energy Star (it's a new way of homebuilding that re-engineers every step of home building to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly) as I'm looking into getting a career in that field and while I don't know of any specific professionals in your area but from my research, almost anything else is better compared to paper and rock shingles which doesn't reflect the heat but absorbs it... I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s) and many places on the internet offer good deals on radiant barriers... I don't think you need an architect per say but any good roofer should be able to install a radiant barrier,  and install a good roof with adequate ventilation.... you don't need to re-engineer a roof as in change the slope of the roof unless it has inadequate pitch for water to run off...
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 3:26 PM
          Subject: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors

          My sister recently moved to the Ardmore , OK area from Washington state.  They’ve bought a house that will need a new roof, and while they are at it they want to increase the energy efficiency of their home.  What they need is an architect or other professional that can advise them on (a) the roofing system, including venting, insulation, radiant barrier, metal vs. shingles, etc.; (b) other energy improvements they can make to their house, possibly including solar water heater.

           

          Do any of you know reputable people that can do that kind of thing? 

          Do any of our architects travel that far?

          John Miggins, do you know anybody in that area?  (and do you serve that area with your water heater business?)

           

          Robert Johnston

           

        • Karl Rabago
          Very helpful stuff - thanks! karl ... From: hreg@yahoogroups.com on behalf of John and Mia Sent: Sat 04-Feb-06 11:34 PM To: hreg@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re:
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 5, 2006
            Very helpful stuff - thanks!

            karl


            -----Original Message-----
            From: hreg@yahoogroups.com on behalf of John and Mia
            Sent: Sat 04-Feb-06 11:34 PM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

            John,
            thanks for the link and the info... that's a much better system to have no ducts in the attic as they are wasteful... I'm really excited about the future of Green Homebuilding... I guess it's sort of like the new hybrid cars that get around double or more the gas mileage compared to what everyone else is driving... If I remember what I read about EnergyStar homes is that they can allow up to either 10 or 15% loss in the ducts and they are pressure tested so that is better than non energystar homes... another thing I read is that your ducts should NEVER have to be cleaned... having dirty ducts is an obvious sign your ducts are leaking somewhere to allow all sorts of junk in them... instead of getting them cleaned get them tested for leaks and have them replaced with ones that don't leak... you'll save money and have better air in your house... John

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: John Miggins
            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 11:10 PM
            Subject: Re: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????


            With the radiant barrier you may have already addressed this. I would suggest that you measure the attic temp to see what is riese to in heat of day.

            Take your lead from the latest award winning homes in the NAHB contest for energy value award and you will see several trends.

            All have no ducts in attics but in conditioned space,

            ducts in attics lose 30% or cooling and heat due to hot attic and leaking vents. consequently most contractors oversize the AC to compensate. Given that most people already have their houses and to rectity they need radiant barrier under roof deck or attic ventillation or both.

            savings of 15 to 20% on AC costs, this is science backed up by studies.

            Soffit vents are essential but ridge vents are passive and without some force moving air they are not as effecive as a fan in my opinion and exerience

            I have documented testimonials of 20 degree drop in attic temp and 2 degree cooler air coming from vents once attic ventillation (solar attic fans) installed.

            I think that they are a good investment, some architects disagree but what do they offer as alternative?

            if makes no sense to spend your hard earned dolllars to cool air to send it through a 130 degree attic to reach your rooms.

            Ultimately it is better to have no ducts in attic but since most homes aleady have this condition you must address this by radiant barrier or attic ventillation or both.

            taking the lead from the award winning homes, the winner in texas leads one to say that one must address the heat in the attic to yield the savings from the single largest energy appliance the AC.


            http://www.nahbrc.org/evha/

            Every winning home had ducts on conditioned space not the attic, since this is not a possibility then you must attack the heat in the attic, stop it or ventillate it.

            Create low to high air flow, air in at soffits expelled by some positive device, either AC fans of solar fans.

            Skeptics, take the smoke test, go in your attic at peak heat time and use a cigarette or some other smoke device and you will see that ridge vents are passive and will not significantly move air as effective as a fan.

            Hot air rises naturally but a solar attic fan moves 850 cfm, much more than a ridge vent will ever do.

            John Miggins
            Harvest Solar & Wind Power
            "renewable solutions to everyday needs"
            www.harvest-energy.com
            Phone/Fax 918-743-2299
            Cell: 918-521-6223

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Karl Rabago
            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 7:40 PM
            Subject: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????


            This discussion is creating a question for me - Robert said "I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s)"



            I considered adding one or two solar attic fans for my 2004 Energy Star 3,600 sq ft, 2 story "McMansion" in The Woodlands.

            I have BOTH soffit and ridge vents.

            But I talked to some folks who said that the fans would not be worth it - they wouldn't move enough additional air (given the soffits and ridge vents) to justify the cost.

            I did have a radiant barrier sprayed in - couldn't afford to go back in with the perf foil stuff. It has helped.

            And I don't want to create a semi-conditioned space up there (and can't afford it, either).

            SO - what is the right answer for making my house envelope as energy efficient in these matters as I can ?

            And thanks for the great dialogue - I am new to the list but really learning a lot!

            karl

            - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
            Karl R. Rábago
            19 Birchwood Park Pl.
            The Woodlands, Texas 77382
            home tel: 281.298.6429
            cell: 832.723.7443
            eMail: rabago@...

            "Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees"

            Schrödinger





            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
            From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John and Mia
            Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:15 PM
            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors


            this is for Robert Johnston,
            Robert... I've been studying the Green Building Initiative which is the next level above Energy Star (it's a new way of homebuilding that re-engineers every step of home building to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly) as I'm looking into getting a career in that field and while I don't know of any specific professionals in your area but from my research, almost anything else is better compared to paper and rock shingles which doesn't reflect the heat but absorbs it... I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s) and many places on the internet offer good deals on radiant barriers... I don't think you need an architect per say but any good roofer should be able to install a radiant barrier, and install a good roof with adequate ventilation.... you don't need to re-engineer a roof as in change the slope of the roof unless it has inadequate pitch for water to run off...
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Robert Johnston
            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 3:26 PM
            Subject: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors


            My sister recently moved to the Ardmore, OK area from Washington state. They've bought a house that will need a new roof, and while they are at it they want to increase the energy efficiency of their home. What they need is an architect or other professional that can advise them on (a) the roofing system, including venting, insulation, radiant barrier, metal vs. shingles, etc.; (b) other energy improvements they can make to their house, possibly including solar water heater.



            Do any of you know reputable people that can do that kind of thing?

            Do any of our architects travel that far?

            John Miggins, do you know anybody in that area? (and do you serve that area with your water heater business?)



            Robert Johnston





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          • Karl Rabago
            Thanks John. My house was built by Lennar/Village. The windows are double pane, but not filled. The insulation is good, but I wish I could have come round
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 5, 2006
              Thanks John.

              My house was built by Lennar/Village. The windows are double pane, but not filled. The insulation is good, but I wish I could have come round before the sheet rock went in with a can of expanding foam - not the tightest house in the world.

              I found an aftermarket provider for the barrier - it was "Radiance," I think - paint with fine aluminum mixed in. The brochure said 75% effective (compared to 95% for the perf foil). Was advised against touching it - would reduce reflectance, they said. (I don't know, but I don't have much reason to touch it anyway.) They said my performance would be ok, but not as good cuz the house is well insulated. I think I note a diff and have lower bills than any neighbors (only 4 models in our subdivision all built within a year or so of each other, so we have a good data set).

              My big savings come from chosing a house with good orientation - kitchen and living and MB are on the North side - cool and comfy in the summer. MB down is easier to cool. House is way too big for us, we know. We are starting to look for downsizing, but not in a real rush.

              And I have CFLs everywhere - includng the floods.

              Also, got the LG horizontal axis washer - it is great!

              And I am a fiend about keeping my programmable thermostat programmed!

              We don't have beer fridge, but do have a small chest freezer.

              I will look into the fans - and the tip on the air leaks is a great one!


              -----Original Message-----
              From: hreg@yahoogroups.com on behalf of John and Mia
              Sent: Sat 04-Feb-06 9:31 PM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

              Karl,
              this is John and I'm the one who recommended the soffit or ridge vents or both... the soffit and ridge vents along with the plastic round or square domes (the big or little plastic things on top of your roof which replaced the metal spinning things) are all passive devices are the minimum requirements for builders to install... they only work when there is a breeze or alot of heat in the attic and they work on the principle that hot air rises while cold air sinks... so, they only passively remove heat from the attic which can accumulate very rapidly as you well know about Houston area heat... I've seen the solar powered attic fans at Home Depot available with the solar panel for around $150 which moves around 1250 feet of air per minute which would be the equivalent of the entire air content of your attic every 2 or 3 minutes (there is no way to match that kind of performance with any passive device that I know of ) I would think that getting that much air flowing by using a solar powered fan would really help out especially considering how much electricity is going up... a 40% increase for me in Katy within 2 weeks... that would really suck if prices stayed so high during the summer and would really justify spending money on such investments but hopefully as natural gas prices are going down so will electric... just my .02
              one thing I highly recommend for you and everyone else is to look for air leaks in your house that can really increase the amount of money spent to heat homes in winter or cool homes in summer... one real easy way to do this is to go around your house and feel with your hand your electric plugs, light switches and your windows especially around the sides of the windows this works best when there is a good temperature difference between inside and outside and if there is a breeze... when it's cold and windy then you can really feel air coming thru these areas... try to figure out where the air is coming in thru and plug the hole... in my 2005 Energy Star home I've found over 21 areas where air comes in unimpeded which really make a big difference in trying to keep my house warm in the winter... a bunch of little holes add up to one big hole... just because your home is energy star certified doesn't mean you don't have a good amount of air coming thru different areas... and it's not considered a warranty defect unless it causes your home to fail the door blower test used for EnergyStar certification... some things I plan on doing are caulking the entire back and side of my house where the hardiplank boards overlap to help prevent outside air coming in and using the child safety plugs on every single electric outlet to stop air from coming in from outside...
              Karl, just out of curiosity, what type or brand of radiant barrier did you have sprayed in? I plan on doing that soon and am looking for good feedback from actual people who have tried different brands... also out of curiosity, which builder built your McMansion? I've worked as a vendor for new home builders for 4 years all over Houston and my wife currently works for a Homebuilder... we built a Plantation Home and are pretty happy with it... not as big as yours at 2359sqft but plenty of house for us...
              another thing I've done to lower my electric bill was to switch to compact fluorescent lights... they give the same brightness but only use about 25% of the energy as regular light bulbs... the prices have really gone down... you can get great bulk deals on eBay compared to buying them in packs of 5-6 at Home Depot of Lowes... hope this helps. John
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Karl Rabago
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 7:40 PM
              Subject: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????


              This discussion is creating a question for me - Robert said "I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s)"



              I considered adding one or two solar attic fans for my 2004 Energy Star 3,600 sq ft, 2 story "McMansion" in The Woodlands.

              I have BOTH soffit and ridge vents.

              But I talked to some folks who said that the fans would not be worth it - they wouldn't move enough additional air (given the soffits and ridge vents) to justify the cost.

              I did have a radiant barrier sprayed in - couldn't afford to go back in with the perf foil stuff. It has helped.

              And I don't want to create a semi-conditioned space up there (and can't afford it, either).

              SO - what is the right answer for making my house envelope as energy efficient in these matters as I can ?

              And thanks for the great dialogue - I am new to the list but really learning a lot!

              karl

              - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
              Karl R. Rábago
              19 Birchwood Park Pl.
              The Woodlands, Texas 77382
              home tel: 281.298.6429
              cell: 832.723.7443
              eMail: rabago@...

              "Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees"

              Schrödinger





              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John and Mia
              Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:15 PM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors


              this is for Robert Johnston,
              Robert... I've been studying the Green Building Initiative which is the next level above Energy Star (it's a new way of homebuilding that re-engineers every step of home building to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly) as I'm looking into getting a career in that field and while I don't know of any specific professionals in your area but from my research, almost anything else is better compared to paper and rock shingles which doesn't reflect the heat but absorbs it... I'd recommend soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s) and many places on the internet offer good deals on radiant barriers... I don't think you need an architect per say but any good roofer should be able to install a radiant barrier, and install a good roof with adequate ventilation.... you don't need to re-engineer a roof as in change the slope of the roof unless it has inadequate pitch for water to run off...
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Robert Johnston
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 3:26 PM
              Subject: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors


              My sister recently moved to the Ardmore, OK area from Washington state. They've bought a house that will need a new roof, and while they are at it they want to increase the energy efficiency of their home. What they need is an architect or other professional that can advise them on (a) the roofing system, including venting, insulation, radiant barrier, metal vs. shingles, etc.; (b) other energy improvements they can make to their house, possibly including solar water heater.



              Do any of you know reputable people that can do that kind of thing?

              Do any of our architects travel that far?

              John Miggins, do you know anybody in that area? (and do you serve that area with your water heater business?)



              Robert Johnston





              SPONSORED LINKS Houston texas attorney Houston texas bankruptcy lawyer Houston texas web site design
              Houston texas mover Houston texas swimming pool builder Houston texas apartment


              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS

              a.. Visit your group "hreg" on the web.

              b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              hreg-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

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              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            • John and Mia
              Karl, thanks for the info... my house is the same way... the best orientation as far as the sun is concerned kit, BK, Living room and Master bath all on north
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 5, 2006
                Karl,
                thanks for the info... my house is the same way... the best orientation
                as far as the sun is concerned kit, BK, Living room and Master bath all on
                north side bottom story... so the back of the house where most of my windows
                are constantly in the shade. we just enjoyed breakfast outdoors in the shade
                and after 6 years of living in an apartment it's a great thing to enjoy your
                own home... is your washer one of the front loading ones? I like the
                programmable thermostat in my home as well it's so high tech with a touch
                screen but my favorite setting is off with cool fresh air coming into the
                house thru open windows... I'm taking advantage of that while the weather is
                still so favorable... I love Houston, Texas winters... I'd consider waiting
                on downsizing as the technology is really improving in the Houston area in
                the building industry... more and more builders are changing to a Green
                Building program which re-engineers every single aspect of building homes to
                benefit both the environment and make homes more energy efficient... you
                wouldn't have to worry about sealing anything in these homes as that is a
                standard consideration in this program..that's what we plan on doing with
                our next home... I'd love to buy a "zero energy green building" in the next
                5 or so years... I also think it's great you have other similar homes where
                you can talk to your neighbors to compare results... see how much more they
                are paying... and then feel good when you take the difference and throw it
                to your mortgage to build more equity instead of giving it to the power
                company...
                my wife and I looked into Lennar homes when we were looking into
                building a home but couldn't find a model or location that we were both
                happy with... I think it's a mixed blessing on how they offer "everything
                included" into their homes which can be good but also limiting... especially
                considering that builders mark up everything they install atleast 35% so
                they profit in everything that's included which really adds up... and if you
                are a do it yourselfer you can save a good amount of money by installing
                your own fans and blinds among many other things... I worked as a
                vendor/outside sales for a blinds company for 4 years and if anybody is
                curious as to which types of blinds/ window coverings are the most effective
                in keeping heat out of a home here is my list from personal experience.
                from best to worst:
                1. Plantation Shutters (they are pricey but add elegance to a home normal
                blinds can't and block heat as nothing else can)
                2. Vertical Blinds (they block almost all light and heat very effectively
                but I don't think they look as good as horizontal blinds)
                3. 2" Horizontal blinds ( by far the most popular... in every house I've
                ever installed blinds in, and that is many hundreds of homes, once I put
                these blinds in a closed them I Instantly felt atleast a 10 degree
                difference in the room)
                4. Plastic redi-shades I put these in the windows where my showers are as
                they have no metal parts which can be damaged by very high humidity (rust is
                an ugly thing to deal with in your shower)
                5. Mini blinds (they are cheap and the plastic ones are a joke... the metal
                ones block light but are no where near as good as the above mentioned blinds
                use as a last resort)

                also available are "honeycomb" shades which vary in thickness and ability to
                block light and heat... I have not installed many of these so I didn't put
                them on the list a I don't have enough experience with them to properly rate
                them especially since they are so customizable in thickness but I'd say they
                are atleast as good as the 2" horizontal blinds...

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Karl Rabago" <krabago@...>
                To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 8:11 AM
                Subject: RE: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????


                Thanks John.

                My house was built by Lennar/Village. The windows are double pane, but not
                filled. The insulation is good, but I wish I could have come round before
                the sheet rock went in with a can of expanding foam - not the tightest house
                in the world.

                I found an aftermarket provider for the barrier - it was "Radiance," I
                think - paint with fine aluminum mixed in. The brochure said 75% effective
                (compared to 95% for the perf foil). Was advised against touching it - would
                reduce reflectance, they said. (I don't know, but I don't have much reason
                to touch it anyway.) They said my performance would be ok, but not as good
                cuz the house is well insulated. I think I note a diff and have lower bills
                than any neighbors (only 4 models in our subdivision all built within a year
                or so of each other, so we have a good data set).

                My big savings come from chosing a house with good orientation - kitchen and
                living and MB are on the North side - cool and comfy in the summer. MB down
                is easier to cool. House is way too big for us, we know. We are starting to
                look for downsizing, but not in a real rush.

                And I have CFLs everywhere - includng the floods.

                Also, got the LG horizontal axis washer - it is great!

                And I am a fiend about keeping my programmable thermostat programmed!

                We don't have beer fridge, but do have a small chest freezer.

                I will look into the fans - and the tip on the air leaks is a great one!


                -----Original Message-----
                From: hreg@yahoogroups.com on behalf of John and Mia
                Sent: Sat 04-Feb-06 9:31 PM
                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

                Karl,
                this is John and I'm the one who recommended the soffit or ridge vents
                or both... the soffit and ridge vents along with the plastic round or square
                domes (the big or little plastic things on top of your roof which replaced
                the metal spinning things) are all passive devices are the minimum
                requirements for builders to install... they only work when there is a
                breeze or alot of heat in the attic and they work on the principle that hot
                air rises while cold air sinks... so, they only passively remove heat from
                the attic which can accumulate very rapidly as you well know about Houston
                area heat... I've seen the solar powered attic fans at Home Depot available
                with the solar panel for around $150 which moves around 1250 feet of air per
                minute which would be the equivalent of the entire air content of your attic
                every 2 or 3 minutes (there is no way to match that kind of performance with
                any passive device that I know of ) I would think that getting that much air
                flowing by using a solar powered fan would really help out especially
                considering how much electricity is going up... a 40% increase for me in
                Katy within 2 weeks... that would really suck if prices stayed so high
                during the summer and would really justify spending money on such
                investments but hopefully as natural gas prices are going down so will
                electric... just my .02
                one thing I highly recommend for you and everyone else is to look for
                air leaks in your house that can really increase the amount of money spent
                to heat homes in winter or cool homes in summer... one real easy way to do
                this is to go around your house and feel with your hand your electric plugs,
                light switches and your windows especially around the sides of the windows
                this works best when there is a good temperature difference between inside
                and outside and if there is a breeze... when it's cold and windy then you
                can really feel air coming thru these areas... try to figure out where the
                air is coming in thru and plug the hole... in my 2005 Energy Star home I've
                found over 21 areas where air comes in unimpeded which really make a big
                difference in trying to keep my house warm in the winter... a bunch of
                little holes add up to one big hole... just because your home is energy star
                certified doesn't mean you don't have a good amount of air coming thru
                different areas... and it's not considered a warranty defect unless it
                causes your home to fail the door blower test used for EnergyStar
                certification... some things I plan on doing are caulking the entire back
                and side of my house where the hardiplank boards overlap to help prevent
                outside air coming in and using the child safety plugs on every single
                electric outlet to stop air from coming in from outside...
                Karl, just out of curiosity, what type or brand of radiant barrier did
                you have sprayed in? I plan on doing that soon and am looking for good
                feedback from actual people who have tried different brands... also out of
                curiosity, which builder built your McMansion? I've worked as a vendor for
                new home builders for 4 years all over Houston and my wife currently works
                for a Homebuilder... we built a Plantation Home and are pretty happy with
                it... not as big as yours at 2359sqft but plenty of house for us...
                another thing I've done to lower my electric bill was to switch to compact
                fluorescent lights... they give the same brightness but only use about 25%
                of the energy as regular light bulbs... the prices have really gone down...
                you can get great bulk deals on eBay compared to buying them in packs of 5-6
                at Home Depot of Lowes... hope this helps. John
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Karl Rabago
                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 7:40 PM
                Subject: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????


                This discussion is creating a question for me - Robert said "I'd recommend
                soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s)"



                I considered adding one or two solar attic fans for my 2004 Energy Star
                3,600 sq ft, 2 story "McMansion" in The Woodlands.

                I have BOTH soffit and ridge vents.

                But I talked to some folks who said that the fans would not be worth it -
                they wouldn't move enough additional air (given the soffits and ridge vents)
                to justify the cost.

                I did have a radiant barrier sprayed in - couldn't afford to go back in
                with the perf foil stuff. It has helped.

                And I don't want to create a semi-conditioned space up there (and can't
                afford it, either).

                SO - what is the right answer for making my house envelope as energy
                efficient in these matters as I can ?

                And thanks for the great dialogue - I am new to the list but really
                learning a lot!

                karl

                - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                Karl R. Rábago
                19 Birchwood Park Pl.
                The Woodlands, Texas 77382
                home tel: 281.298.6429
                cell: 832.723.7443
                eMail: rabago@...

                "Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to
                think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees"

                Schrödinger





                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John
                and Mia
                Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:15 PM
                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors


                this is for Robert Johnston,
                Robert... I've been studying the Green Building Initiative which is
                the next level above Energy Star (it's a new way of homebuilding that
                re-engineers every step of home building to be more energy efficient and
                environmentally friendly) as I'm looking into getting a career in that field
                and while I don't know of any specific professionals in your area but from
                my research, almost anything else is better compared to paper and rock
                shingles which doesn't reflect the heat but absorbs it... I'd recommend
                soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s) and
                many places on the internet offer good deals on radiant barriers... I don't
                think you need an architect per say but any good roofer should be able to
                install a radiant barrier, and install a good roof with adequate
                ventilation.... you don't need to re-engineer a roof as in change the slope
                of the roof unless it has inadequate pitch for water to run off...
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Robert Johnston
                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 3:26 PM
                Subject: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors


                My sister recently moved to the Ardmore, OK area from Washington
                state. They've bought a house that will need a new roof, and while they are
                at it they want to increase the energy efficiency of their home. What they
                need is an architect or other professional that can advise them on (a) the
                roofing system, including venting, insulation, radiant barrier, metal vs.
                shingles, etc.; (b) other energy improvements they can make to their house,
                possibly including solar water heater.



                Do any of you know reputable people that can do that kind of thing?

                Do any of our architects travel that far?

                John Miggins, do you know anybody in that area? (and do you serve
                that area with your water heater business?)



                Robert Johnston





                SPONSORED LINKS Houston texas attorney Houston texas bankruptcy lawyer
                Houston texas web site design
                Houston texas mover Houston texas swimming pool builder Houston
                texas apartment


                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS

                a.. Visit your group "hreg" on the web.

                b.. To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                hreg-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                c.. Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                Service.


                ------------------------------------------------------------------------------





                Yahoo! Groups Links
              • Karl Rabago
                John, The washer is a front loader - both water and energy efficient. We don t do the loads we used to now the kids are gone, but it cleans better, too. I can
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 5, 2006
                  John,
                   
                  The washer is a front loader - both water and energy efficient. We don't do the loads we used to now the kids are gone, but it cleans better, too.
                   
                  I can echo the blinds comments. I had good success with the honeycomb shades in Minnesota - properly sized and installed, they create an insulating layer of  dead air. The nice thing about the orientation decision is that with the South side facing the street, we get the appearance and energy benefits of full plantation shutters - but only need them on the street side. Ordinary 2-inch blinds on the north side give us privacy and access to opening windows.
                   
                  Waiting for the new tech makes a lot of sense - I will discuss with the boss ("She Who Must Be Obeyed").
                   
                  karl
                  --------------------------------------------------------
                   
                   


                  From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John and Mia
                  Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 12:10 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

                  Karl,
                      thanks for the info... my house is the same way... the best orientation
                  as far as the sun is concerned kit, BK, Living room and Master bath all on
                  north side bottom story... so the back of the house where most of my windows
                  are constantly in the shade. we just enjoyed breakfast outdoors in the shade
                  and after 6 years of living in an apartment it's a great thing to enjoy your
                  own home... is your washer one of the front loading ones?  I like the
                  programmable thermostat in my home as well it's so high tech with a touch
                  screen but my favorite setting is off with cool fresh air coming into the
                  house thru open windows... I'm taking advantage of that while the weather is
                  still so favorable... I love Houston, Texas winters... I'd consider waiting
                  on downsizing as the technology is really improving in the Houston area in
                  the building industry... more and more builders are changing to a Green
                  Building program which re-engineers every single aspect of building homes to
                  benefit both the environment and make homes more energy efficient... you
                  wouldn't have to worry about sealing anything in these homes as that is a
                  standard consideration in this program..that's what we plan on doing with
                  our next home... I'd love to buy a "zero energy green building" in the next
                  5 or so years... I also think it's great you have other similar homes where
                  you can talk to your neighbors to compare results... see how much more they
                  are paying... and then feel good when you take the difference and throw it
                  to your mortgage to build more equity instead of giving it to the power
                  company...
                       my wife and I looked into Lennar homes when we were looking into
                  building a home but couldn't find a model or location that we were both
                  happy with... I think it's a mixed blessing on how they offer "everything
                  included" into their homes which can be good but also limiting... especially
                  considering that builders mark up everything they install atleast 35% so
                  they profit in everything that's included which really adds up... and if you
                  are a do it yourselfer you can save a good amount of money by installing
                  your own fans and blinds among many other things... I worked as a
                  vendor/outside sales for a blinds company for  4 years and if anybody is
                  curious as to which types of blinds/ window coverings are the most effective
                  in keeping  heat out of a home here is my list from personal experience.
                  from best to worst:
                  1. Plantation Shutters (they are pricey but add elegance to a home normal
                  blinds can't and block heat as nothing else can)
                  2. Vertical Blinds (they block almost all light and heat very effectively
                  but I don't think they look as good as horizontal blinds)
                  3. 2" Horizontal blinds ( by far the most popular... in every house I've
                  ever installed blinds in, and that is many hundreds of homes, once I put
                  these blinds in a closed them I Instantly felt atleast a 10 degree
                  difference in the room)
                  4. Plastic redi-shades I put these in the windows where my showers are as
                  they have no metal parts which can be damaged by very high humidity (rust is
                  an ugly thing to deal with in your shower)
                  5. Mini blinds (they are cheap and the plastic ones are a joke... the metal
                  ones block light but are no where near as good as the above mentioned blinds
                  use as a last resort)

                  also available are "honeycomb" shades which vary in thickness and ability to
                  block light and heat... I have not installed many of these so I didn't put
                  them on the list a I don't have enough experience with them to properly rate
                  them especially since they are so customizable in thickness but I'd say they
                  are atleast as good as the 2" horizontal blinds...

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Karl Rabago" <krabago@...>
                  To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, February 05, 2006 8:11 AM
                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????


                  Thanks John.

                  My house was built by Lennar/Village. The windows are double pane, but not
                  filled. The insulation is good, but I wish I could have come round before
                  the sheet rock went in with a can of expanding foam - not the tightest house
                  in the world.

                  I found an aftermarket provider for the barrier - it was "Radiance," I
                  think - paint with fine aluminum mixed in. The brochure said 75% effective
                  (compared to 95% for the perf foil). Was advised against touching it - would
                  reduce reflectance, they said. (I don't know, but I don't have much reason
                  to touch it anyway.) They said my performance would be ok, but not as good
                  cuz the house is well insulated. I think I note a diff and have lower bills
                  than any neighbors (only 4 models in our subdivision all built within a year
                  or so of each other, so we have a good data set).

                  My big savings come from chosing a house with good orientation - kitchen and
                  living and MB are on the North side - cool and comfy in the summer. MB down
                  is easier to cool. House is way too big for us, we know. We are starting to
                  look for downsizing, but not in a real rush.

                  And I have CFLs everywhere - includng the floods.

                  Also, got the LG horizontal axis washer - it is great!

                  And I am a fiend about keeping my programmable thermostat programmed!

                  We don't have beer fridge, but do have a small chest freezer.

                  I will look into the fans - and the tip on the air leaks is a great one!


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: hreg@yahoogroups.com on behalf of John and Mia
                  Sent: Sat 04-Feb-06 9:31 PM
                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????

                  Karl,
                      this is John and I'm the one who recommended the soffit or ridge vents
                  or both... the soffit and ridge vents along with the plastic round or square
                  domes (the big or little plastic things on top of your roof which replaced
                  the metal spinning things) are all passive devices are the minimum
                  requirements for builders to install... they only work when there is a
                  breeze or alot of heat in the attic and they work on the principle that hot
                  air rises while cold air sinks... so, they only passively remove heat from
                  the attic which can accumulate very rapidly as you well know about Houston
                  area heat... I've seen the solar powered attic fans at Home Depot available
                  with the solar panel for around $150 which moves around 1250 feet of air per
                  minute which would be the equivalent of the entire air content of your attic
                  every 2 or 3 minutes (there is no way to match that kind of performance with
                  any passive device that I know of ) I would think that getting that much air
                  flowing by using a solar powered fan would really help out especially
                  considering how much electricity is going up... a 40% increase for me in
                  Katy within 2 weeks... that would really suck if prices stayed so high
                  during the summer and would really justify spending money on such
                  investments but hopefully as natural gas prices are going down so will
                  electric... just my .02
                      one thing I highly recommend for you and everyone else is to look for
                  air leaks in your house that can really increase the amount of money spent
                  to heat homes in winter or cool homes in summer... one real easy way to do
                  this is to go around your house and feel with your hand your electric plugs,
                  light switches and your windows especially around the sides of the windows
                  this works best when there is a good temperature difference between inside
                  and outside and if there is a breeze... when it's cold and windy then you
                  can really feel air coming thru these areas... try to figure out where the
                  air is coming in thru and plug the hole... in my 2005 Energy Star home I've
                  found over 21 areas where air comes in unimpeded which really make a big
                  difference in trying to keep my house warm in the winter... a bunch of
                  little holes add up to one big hole... just because your home is energy star
                  certified doesn't mean you don't have a good amount of air coming thru
                  different areas... and it's not considered a warranty defect unless it
                  causes your home to fail the door blower test used for EnergyStar
                  certification... some things I plan on doing are caulking the entire back
                  and side of my house where the hardiplank boards overlap to help prevent
                  outside air coming in and using the child safety plugs on every single
                  electric outlet to stop air from coming in from outside...
                      Karl, just out of curiosity, what type or brand of radiant barrier did
                  you have sprayed in? I plan on doing that soon and am looking for good
                  feedback from actual people who have tried different brands... also out of
                  curiosity, which builder built your McMansion? I've worked as a vendor for
                  new home builders for 4 years all over Houston and my wife currently works
                  for a Homebuilder... we built a Plantation Home and are pretty happy with
                  it... not as big as yours at 2359sqft but plenty of house for us...
                  another thing I've done to lower my electric bill was to switch to compact
                  fluorescent lights... they give the same brightness but only use about 25%
                  of the energy as regular light bulbs... the prices have really gone down...
                  you can get great bulk deals on eBay compared to buying them in packs of 5-6
                  at Home Depot of Lowes... hope this helps. John
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Karl Rabago
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 7:40 PM
                    Subject: [hreg] Soffit Vents AND Fans?????


                    This discussion is creating a question for me - Robert said "I'd recommend
                  soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s)"



                    I considered adding one or two solar attic fans for my 2004 Energy Star
                  3,600 sq ft, 2 story "McMansion" in The Woodlands.

                    I have BOTH soffit and ridge vents.

                    But I talked to some folks who said that the fans would not be worth it -
                  they wouldn't move enough additional air (given the soffits and ridge vents)
                  to justify the cost.

                    I did have a radiant barrier sprayed in - couldn't afford to go back in
                  with the perf foil stuff. It has helped.

                    And I don't want to create a semi-conditioned space up there (and can't
                  afford it, either).

                    SO - what is the right answer for making my house envelope as energy
                  efficient in these matters as I can ?

                    And thanks for the great dialogue - I am new to the list but really
                  learning a lot!

                    karl

                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                    Karl R. Rábago
                    19 Birchwood Park Pl.
                    The Woodlands, Texas 77382
                    home tel: 281.298.6429
                    cell: 832.723.7443
                    eMail: rabago@...

                    "Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen, but to
                  think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees"

                    Schrödinger





                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John
                  and Mia
                    Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 6:15 PM
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors


                    this is for Robert Johnston,
                        Robert... I've been studying the Green Building Initiative which is
                  the next level above Energy Star (it's a new way of homebuilding that
                  re-engineers every step of home building to be more energy efficient and
                  environmentally friendly) as I'm looking into getting a career in that field
                  and while I don't know of any specific professionals in your area but from
                  my research, almost anything else is better compared to paper and rock
                  shingles which doesn't reflect the heat but absorbs it... I'd recommend
                  soffit or ridge vents or both along with a solar powered attic fan(s) and
                  many places on the internet offer good deals on radiant barriers... I don't
                  think you need an architect per say but any good roofer should be able to
                  install a radiant barrier,  and install a good roof with adequate
                  ventilation.... you don't need to re-engineer a roof as in change the slope
                  of the roof unless it has inadequate pitch for water to run off...
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Robert Johnston
                      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Saturday, February 04, 2006 3:26 PM
                      Subject: [hreg] Southern Oklahoma architects/desigers/contractors


                        My sister recently moved to the Ardmore, OK area from Washington
                  state.  They've bought a house that will need a new roof, and while they are
                  at it they want to increase the energy efficiency of their home.  What they
                  need is an architect or other professional that can advise them on (a) the
                  roofing system, including venting, insulation, radiant barrier, metal vs.
                  shingles, etc.; (b) other energy improvements they can make to their house,
                  possibly including solar water heater.



                        Do any of you know reputable people that can do that kind of thing?

                        Do any of our architects travel that far?

                        John Miggins, do you know anybody in that area?  (and do you serve
                  that area with your water heater business?)



                        Robert Johnston





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