Would like to share this with everyone interested.
Fact vs. Fiction…
Common Myths about our Homes
Myth #1: Dry indoor air in the winter is caused by forced air heating systems and a humidifier is the answer.
Fact: Dry indoor air is caused by thousands of tiny holes in the outside walls and ceiling of your house. Seal the holes, and your indoor relative humidity is usually quite comfortable given normal levels of cooking, cleaning and bathing - without additional humidification. In fact, additional humidification can lead to condensation in the exterior walls and microbial growth in the ducts.
Myth #2: **Fiberglass batts are an effective insulation product for walls and ceilings. **
Fact: Fiberglass batts are almost impossible to install without leaving compressions, gaps and voids, which cause extensive heat loss. One of the reasons fiberglass is so cheap is because installations are usually rushed. Also, fiberglass offers virtually no resistance to air flow leading to extensive heat loss through leaky exterior walls.
Myth #3: Traditional framing at 16” OC (on center) is better than 24” OC framing because you get a stronger house, and there are no unsightly waves in the sheetrock on the exterior walls.
Fact: 16” OC framing with 2x4’s has been the standard for years but puts more wood in the wall (up to 25% of the wall), and wood is a poor insulator. 24” OC framing with 2x6’s produces a very strong house and leaves more room for insulation. Upgrading to 5/8” sheetrock (instead of ½”) will prevent waving and reduce sound transmission.
Myth #4:There is nothing wrong with the standard practice of running air ducts in unconditioned basements and attics.
Fact: Testing reveals that forced air systems in the northeast typically leak 20-40% of the air they carry. This leads to much wasted energy, if the ducts are outside the conditioned envelope, and can lead to the distribution of insulation particles, moisture, radon, and mold spores throughout the house.
Myth #5: Natural draft water heaters can be safely used in any home.
Fact: The safety of natural draft combustion appliances is dependent upon the air pressure relationships within the house and between the indoors and outdoors. These pressure relationships can be dramatically affected by range hoods, dryers, and bath fans. Every combustion device should have a dedicated source of combustion air to prevent the backdrafting of combustion by-products, such as carbon monoxide, into the living environment.
Myth #6: **An air-tight home is dangerous because it creates moisture problems and can lead to sick building syndrome. **
Fact: An air-tight home eliminates uncontrolled air infiltration into the exterior walls, which is the real cause of both moisture and microbial problems. Only in an air-tight home are the occupants in control of the air, heat, and moisture flows, allowing for the controlled introduction of fresh air 24/7/365. A home with leaky exterior walls will allow excessive uncontrolled air infiltration in the winter, leading to heat loss and dry air. In the summer, even leaky exterior walls will not admit adequate fresh ventilation air (smaller temperature differences than in the winter create lower air pressure differences, with little air leakage through the outside walls), contributing to stale air and the accumulation of indoor contaminants.
****Myth #7:Oversized heating and cooling equipment is better for your home because it gives you reserve capacity.
Fact: Oversized heating and cooling equipment will not be able to properly control the temperature of the conditioned space because it produces more heating and cooling than the home needs. The unit will cycle on and off frequently (short cycle), continually overshooting the desired set points, and costing more to operate. Short cycling on the cooling side reduces the unit’s ability to remove moisture, leading to air that is both cold and damp.
****Myth #8: Replacing your single-glazed windows with double-glazed can save you up to 50% of your heating bill.
Fact: Your savings will depend on the amount of glass surface area in your home in relation to the size of your home. A typical home will see savings more like 20%. If the windows were poorly installed, then air infiltration around the windows can be a significant energy loss, and proper air sealing will save more energy.