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tomf
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I would have to ask him. There is also a styrofoam form you pour cement in that works well, so I hear.

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digitS'
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I think I may have found it!

There is something called "Timbercrete" which is a brandname. Everything I could come up with seems to be associated with Australia or New Zealand. Even 1 video was for the Australian product but obviously narrated by an American for US consumers.

Here is a webpage (link).

(An Australian video had a guy shooting at the bricks! Apparently, the strict Aussie gun laws allow for gun purchases for shooting bricks :wink: .)

Steve

edited to add: retaining walls and pavers are uses for these bricks. Moisture must not be much of a problem.

Dillbert
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>>problems with moisture

mega-sized issue with ultra "tight" aka "sealed" homes.

and some that are not with such full intent "sealed"
10+ yrs ago we were looking to buy/build - the mortgage people warned us: they would not finance stucco-over-rigid foam - too many mold problems.....

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tomf
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That looks like it may be what he used on his house. His house is stuccoed outside and inside with nice wood trim. The floor has radiant heat tubes in it. He had the neatest wood heat system put into it, the wood stove has a large amount of cement block and stone around it, and it sends the heat out through a cement and stone bench and back. The rock holds the heat for most of the day and keeps the house warm with one or 2 fires a day.

Photo of his house.

Image
Last edited by tomf on Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lorax
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OK, I have to say it, because all of this talk of house heating and snow and whatnot is making me feel chilly.

The best way to keep warm in the winter is to live in the tropics. :twisted:

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jal_ut
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The best way to keep warm in the winter is to live in the tropics.
Good point!

OK, here I am looking at 5 more inches of snow that needs to be moved off the walks and driveway. :)

DoubleDogFarm
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lorax wrote:OK, I have to say it, because all of this talk of house heating and snow and whatnot is making me feel chilly.

The best way to keep warm in the winter is to live in the tropics. :twisted:
Crawl inside a Tauntaun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXmp1hLK0tY

or go to the Dagobah system.


Eric

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lorax
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
lorax wrote:OK, I have to say it, because all of this talk of house heating and snow and whatnot is making me feel chilly.

The best way to keep warm in the winter is to live in the tropics. :twisted:
Crawl inside a Tauntaun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXmp1hLK0tY

or go to the Dagobah system.


Eric
Yeah, well, I was actually proposing something do-able. It's not like I'm going to end up on Hoth any time soon, although I wouldn't say no to Han if he asked me, despite how much I hate the cold....

DoubleDogFarm
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lorax wrote:
DoubleDogFarm wrote:
lorax wrote:OK, I have to say it, because all of this talk of house heating and snow and whatnot is making me feel chilly.

The best way to keep warm in the winter is to live in the tropics. :twisted:
Crawl inside a Tauntaun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXmp1hLK0tY

or go to the Dagobah system.


Eric
Yeah, well, I was actually proposing something do-able. It's not like I'm going to end up on Hoth any time soon, although I wouldn't say no to Han if he asked me, despite how much I hate the cold....
Ok, Make it a llama. :lol:

Eric

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tomf
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My issue is keeping my wife's 93 year old father who lives with us warm, often the house is too warm for me.

For the most part we live in 1/2 of the house, I put a door between the two sides, the door was put in for sound isolation of the music studio. By closing the door or keeping it just a little open I keep the studio side cooler. The studio side has its own wood stove, but mostly I burn only one stove at a time and let the air from one side flow to the other.

The house has an oil boiler that sends hot water to some heat exchangers for forced air heat, and gives us our hot water as well. This system is rather industrial looking and scared me at first, but it is somewhat efficient. I try to burn as little oil as I can, oil is not a renewable resource and cost money, money is of course a semi-renewable resource. I am sure we all wish it was more renewable.

I am thinking of getting one of the hybrid hot water heaters to give us hot water so that I can shut down the boiler in the summer time. They say they save a lot of energy, has any one got any knowledge of them?

Bobberman
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I guess I am repeating myself bt Its ashame that more people do not realize that you feel cold more in the winter for several reasons. Two of the main reasons are! Radiant energy leaves the house through the walls unlss there is a barrier to stop it like foil in the walls. The main reason is that the humidity is lower from the dryness most of the time. You can turn the temp down a few degrees just by adding a humidifier. Get a barometer and you will see about 4o percent or lower when 60 or above will make it feel much warmer!
Last edited by Bobberman on Fri Dec 28, 2012 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tomf
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We have a kettle for the wood stove, but humidity is not the problem in the NW, ask Eric, it is even wetter where he lives.

I just saw this about a snow storm in the Midwest that has killed 17 people so far, this is why we have a back up generator and can heat with wood, when you live out here you need to be ready for power outages; https://news.yahoo.com/storm-rakes-half- ... 08974.html

Dillbert
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making blind generalizations with regard to energy efficiency about any specific structure is really difficult-to-not applicable.

I've seen older houses built with zero insulation - none - absolutely nothing.
then the 50-80's "standard" stick built 2x4 exterior walls stuffed with fiberglass.
80-90's saw the advent of "house wrap" - Tyvek - wide rolls of spun bond polyester that prevents wind / air infiltration but allows moisture to escape.
newer 'quality' construction of stick built 2x6 exterior walls - more room for insulation
pre-fab exterior panels with foamed in insulation.

windows are a major heat loss area - seals around the edges, double/triple pane, whole host of options available. old wooden windows with no gasketing / sealing would be the #1 heat loss in an old house due strictly to air infiltration.

triple pane insulated windows are the norm in some places - like Scandinavia . . .

air infiltration? when the wind is blowing pretty good:
- hang a sheet of plastic over a window - see if it billows out/in - that's heated air exiting the structure....
- put your hand over an electrical outlet and see if you feel cold air blowing in.... (they sell gasketing kits for outlets.....)

insulation? for 'open' / unused attics - get some additional blown in insulation - double / triple the amount installed by the builder. hot air rises, the ceilings on upper floors are the warmest walls of the house and lose a lot of heat to the attic. btw, if you air condition, it's a double savings - I presume one is familiar with "hot attic" - summer heat from that hot attic is transferred to the room...upper floors are warmer in the a/c not only because heat rises, environmental heat from the roof / attic is assisting greatly in making them warmer.

humidity - measured by a hygrometer, not barometer - does indeed make a difference to creature comfort. low humidity in the summer (perhaps a dehumidifier) means less a/c cost. higher humidity in the winter means less evaporative cooling from the skin, aka lower air temp is comfortable.

"forced hot air" - whether the air is heated by gas, electric, heat pump, oil, coal, whatever - it always the 'most drying' a humidifier installed in the central air handling system is best, room humidifiers less best but work with attention to detail/refilling/etc.

some humidity is good, too much humidity in the winter is not good. the moisture can condense in walls, etc., and driven to excess, you've got a mold problem right quick. if the drawers are sticking or you've got dew/frost/moisture on inside of windows - you're overboard on the humidification thing.

for hot water - prior to last decade energy standards, the major of energy consumed for domestic hot water got wasted in heat loss from the 30-40-50-60-80 gallon tanks themselves. new hot water heaters are better insulated; aftermarket insulating blankets available.
the most "energy efficient" hot water providers are the "instant" types - gas & electric available - they have no tanks, they do not store heated water. they heat the water on demand - meaning you never run out of hot water - downside: they cost - plus install costs for multiple baths/kitchen/anyplace else you want hot water - adds up quick.
the extra equipment/install costs for a 2.5 bath + kitchen + laundry exceeds the breakeven point by about 350% - which explains why the world is still installing central hot water heaters.

>>heating for the elderly:
this is problematic. the elderly are generally less physically active and more comfortable with higher ambient temps. been there, done that. the "best" solution is additional heating in the spaces/rooms where they spend most of their time. 110v oil filled portable radiators worked for us, your mileage / in-laws may vary.

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digitS'
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tomf wrote:We have a kettle for the wood stove, but humidity is not the problem in the NW, ask Eric, it is even wetter where he lives. . .
It depends on how you define "NW." Do you know that I live only about 30 miles from where there is so little soil moisture that even pine trees cannot grow? Further into the desert, no one lives! I mean it is entirely devoid of human life! Dry bleached bones! Then one comes to Moses Lake - where Moses came down from the Mountain . . .

Here this morning, there seems to be some kind of dense fog . . .

Steve

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tomf
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OK, the Pacific North West, if you drive two hours from my house and you'r in the desert.

Very true Dilbert, my wife's 93 year old father mostly sits at the TV. We have on of those 110V oil heaters in his room and our also.

My mother's house is a post WW2 house and has old windows, so us three kids are going to have new windows installed in her house.

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ElizabethB
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Chenille socks, high top fleece lined slippers and layers. 2 years ago we had our A/C Heat system replaced with a high efficiency heat pump system. The duct work was also replaced with insulated ducts. My favorite part of the system is the humidity control. Makes a HUGE difference in the overall comfort. I wish we could have natural gas heat (much more comfortable) but our early 80's home is all electric. 5 years ago we converted our wood burning fireplace to LPG> We both have sinus problems and suffer from alergies. The LPG conversion has been a blessing. Because of our mild winters a 69.2 lb tank will last all winter. The fireplace keeps all of the living area comfotable. The heater is set on 65 degrees. The thermostat is in the hall so as long as the fireplace is on the heater does not go on. When the fireplace is turned off at night the heater takes over. Honestly - I sleep better with colder temps so when G is out of town I set the thermostat down to 60. Wen I get up in the morning I scramble to set it up to 69 to get the chill out of the house. Once that is done I turn on the fireplace and I am good for the day. That is unless we have our crazy 80 degree plus winter days in which case the A/C goes on. Oh well - Gumbo knows what I am talking about. Nuts!



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