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  Reply # 836211 13-Jun-2013 11:04
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I have some of that plastic sheeting you're welcome to. I just have to get it back from lokhor who was going to try it but didn't in the end. Beware, getting it off wooden window frames, it can remove paint or leave a residue.

What's a draft stopper? Where do you get them? Even with retrofit double glazed windows and good seals I feel a bit of a cold breeze falling down from the bottom of the window.




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  Reply # 836216 13-Jun-2013 11:08
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The draft stopper is just a v-shaped tape with glue in one side that put against the window or doors. When the door/window is closed the V will be facing outwards so any incoming draft will atually put pressure in it, opening the V even more, blocking any flow.

Put this in one door and windows around and sure enough the cold draft simply disappeared. It doesn't work for the bottom part of the door though, so the old "snake" is there...





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  Reply # 836238 13-Jun-2013 11:24
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I was referring to an 'old snake' approach, but on top of the curtain rail. Pelmets used to stop/reduce warm air being sucked in at the top of the curtain as colder air 'fell' out the bottom. I'm going to investigate the use of a stuffed sock or similar to recreate the pelmet effect. I suspect resting the bottom of the curtain actually on the window sill would do a similar thing.

The use of floor length curtains is recommended mainly to assist with reducing this natural convection cycle, so I want to find another way to break that cycle also.

Heater placement by/under the windows can assist to ensure this circular cycle is performed away from the children in the room. ie if you put a heater on the other side of the room, the warm air rises to ceiling level, falls by the window and then the cool air passes over the children at low level on the way back to be heated by the heater again ...

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  Reply # 836348 13-Jun-2013 14:42
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FYI - our 1920's house still has it pelmets ( as mentioned previously) and I can vouch they are very effective.

However as a idea - my wife made a second curtain from polar fleece that hangings inside the standard curtain off the same hooks.  Creates a larger air gap than thermal curtains and has been both a excellent insulator and noise reducer.

Out of interest - I read the comments here about floor insulation. However unless you have a vapour barrier, it can reduce the effectiveness of underfloor insulation.
Hence I have covered all the ground under my house with two layers of builders polythene which is taped to the piles and all overlaps are taped.
Its so dry now -  even my  tools stored under the house dont go rusty.

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  Reply # 836437 13-Jun-2013 16:37
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A small 1kW 5-fin oil heater is ideal for a bedroom, and has a switch to select between 500W and 1kW. Lower will lake longer to heat up but cycle less.

Dysan makes great products, but most "efficiencies" are done under ideal conditions like say an empty room (no furniture/obstructions) and doors closed. Or uninsulated so convection heaters perform worse as more heat goes up and then through the ceiling.

Remember my post last year about a cheap oil fin heater and put a CPU fan on top of it to blow the heat down to the floor? I still say that is the ultimate as the heat is distributed where your feet are before rising and not just rises (or blown across before rising). I've used 3 heaters like that, and the fans made a big difference. The thermostat then also senses ambient instead of the heated chassis. A 9V transformer for a 12V fan works fine, not too noisy.

For the ceiling I'd suggest blanket insulation, and if the existing is not good then replace it with polystyrene (and still a blanket over it as polystyrene does not seal well). Just keep wires off polystyrene.





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  Reply # 836620 14-Jun-2013 01:08
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This year, for the first time, we put thick plastic sheeting across the inside of windows in my office. It's a sunroom so has windows for three walls. I *thought* the windows were fitting pretty well but the constant slight movement of the plastic put paid to that idea. Heat is definitely staying around longer. 

I'm running a dehumidifier on cold days, as well as a thermostat/timer-controlled oil heater in the bedroom, a micathermic convection heater in the dining room and gas heater in the lounge. The power bill isn't very nice though. 

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  Reply # 836680 14-Jun-2013 09:33
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Quick reminder on ceiling insulation. You will obtain a higher 'system' R - Value if you use a 'blanket style' insulation that covers the ceiling beams, than if you install the equivalent R value into the cavities between the beams.

Meaning overall the room will be better insulated by wrapping it all up, as you do lose heat directly out through the wooden beams. This is most evident on the flat sides of buildings where you can see the framework pattern in the wall condensation on a colder morning.

Personally I really like the idea of a 50mm batten / fake wall idea, where you can offset the pink batt or polystyrene insulation from the real wall behind it. If I was renovating I might consider having a go at that. Seems a big gain for such a small amount of floorspace lost.

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  Reply # 837116 15-Jun-2013 09:07
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This coming week Fair Go will cover home heating.




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  Reply # 837610 16-Jun-2013 14:13
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Whatever you do, if you have an old wooden house and consider insulating the walls, do some research. Our local council refused building consent for us to insulate the walls as BRANZ has proven that the loss of ventilation in the wall cavities can lead to rot. I personally thought that the refusal for building consent was a load of rubbish BUT...
We had done some renovations and a new bathroom had to have insulated exterior walls. That was the only part of the house where walls were insulated. I noticed some dry rot on an exterior weatherboard outside this bathroom and got a builder in a month ago to deal to it. On taking the weatherboard off he found that the framing inside was rotting. We have had boards removed all around the house and all the framing checked. The only place with any rot was around the bathroom. Dwangs and studs were starting to rot out and have had to be replaced. You can imagine the cost involved with doing this check, and with replacing framing in the area around the bathroom. We've had two inspections and two separate opinions on the cause of the damage and both stated that the lack of ventilation due to the insulation was the cause. 

Ironically, I wanted all the walls insulated but wasn't permitted to. Thank heavens they didn't permit it as the frame of the entire house could have been compromised. 

Based on everything I now know about the issues of wall insulation in old houses, I won't buy an old house that has had this done. 

It's a catch-22: ventilation can be improved when insulation is inserted but doing so reduces the effect of the insulation. In an old house with timber that has not been treated rot can set in pretty quickly. 

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  Reply # 837672 16-Jun-2013 16:46
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Elpie: Whatever you do, if you have an old wooden house and consider insulating the walls, do some research. Our local council refused building consent for us to insulate the walls as BRANZ has proven that the loss of ventilation in the wall cavities can lead to rot. I personally thought that the refusal for building consent was a load of rubbish BUT...
We had done some renovations and a new bathroom had to have insulated exterior walls. That was the only part of the house where walls were insulated. I noticed some dry rot on an exterior weatherboard outside this bathroom and got a builder in a month ago to deal to it. On taking the weatherboard off he found that the framing inside was rotting. We have had boards removed all around the house and all the framing checked. The only place with any rot was around the bathroom. Dwangs and studs were starting to rot out and have had to be replaced. You can imagine the cost involved with doing this check, and with replacing framing in the area around the bathroom. We've had two inspections and two separate opinions on the cause of the damage and both stated that the lack of ventilation due to the insulation was the cause. 

Ironically, I wanted all the walls insulated but wasn't permitted to. Thank heavens they didn't permit it as the frame of the entire house could have been compromised. 

Based on everything I now know about the issues of wall insulation in old houses, I won't buy an old house that has had this done. 

It's a catch-22: ventilation can be improved when insulation is inserted but doing so reduces the effect of the insulation. In an old house with timber that has not been treated rot can set in pretty quickly. 


It's not sensible to generalize your situation across the board. There may be many reasons you experienced this problem. As, discussed in another thread, almost all moisture in walls is a result of external sources ( for NZ conditions) so it is important that weathertightness is assured when adding any insulation to walls. A moisture barrier added as a minimum.

You would expect an old house to be gibbed, as well, as a air barrier for external vapour drive.


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  Reply # 837678 16-Jun-2013 16:55
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I had the walls of my very old house filled with that expanding foam stuff. Since then we've taken the walls off in three places, including the bathroom (which wasn't insulated as they said they couldn't there), we haven't found any areas that were rotten. We did find a rotten bottom plate, but it was sitting in the dirt. We also found borer (treated now).




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  Reply # 837686 16-Jun-2013 17:16
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Stopped at LV Martin today and got a dehumidifier. Turned it on around 2pm and half of tank full when we came back around 4pm.

We do have DVS, but a bit tired of pushing cold air inside the house - keep it dry or cold, or warm and damp?

We can't retrofit the DVS tempervent because our DVS is an old model. They obviously asked a horrendous price to have it replaced, so we declined. Tempervent could probably be something interesting since heating the incoming air to 15c before pushing inside the house would be better than pushing colder air. But still, trying to charge full price for this, a felt a bit bad.






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  Reply # 837697 16-Jun-2013 17:33
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If your house isn't well sealed then you're trying to dehumidify the world. It's pretty wet in our area today too.

DVS/HRV are the brand names who seem to charge hefty sums. I like this firm. It was between $3K and $4K depending on the model you want, options, etc. Looks like a nice system too.




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  Reply # 837748 16-Jun-2013 18:47
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Well, the house was pretty dry today (no water in window sills, glass, etc) before I brought it in but that dehumidifier seems to be doing some work to.

I think the main source of our water is cooking really...




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  Reply # 837752 16-Jun-2013 19:25
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Bitt late on this input Maurico but worth posting in the thread for others.

Have be using a Dyson heater (to suplement the heat pump) for the last week. Its ability to move the warm air through the house means we've been able to keep the entire home warmer than we did previously using the heat pump (which is at one end of the place) and an oil column heater, or simple fan heater.

(FWIW In an earlier house I also used a portable heat pump. ... too noisy unless I directed air thru from it and put it in the garage)

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