Best Practices (Residential)


Best Practices (Residential)

Best Building, Retrofitting, or even Auditing Practices - what are they, what should change, what needs to find it's way to the dust bin of history?

Members: 323
Latest Activity: Nov 28

Discussion Forum

Vented Soffit! DO or DON'T?

Started by Daniel Baur-McGuire. Last reply by Daniel Baur-McGuire Nov 15. 13 Replies

I am looking for any studies or research on vented soffits. And, what is your opinion on the age old practice of venting a soffit?I personally am not sold on the idea and would look to a more…Continue

Tags: managment, moisture

Water Saver or Gimmick?

Started by Sean Lintow Sr. Last reply by Bob Blanchette Oct 23. 18 Replies

ACI was an interesting conference with a lot of great vendors exhibiting, but one had me stumped. The company was called ShowerStart & they have a product where you turn on the water & as…Continue

Radon - Passive Systems

Started by Sean Lintow Sr. Last reply by Thomas Ailstock Feb 18. 4 Replies

Just curious - many locals (per codes) require passive radon systems be installed in new construction and…Continue

Duct Testing - is a change in order?

Started by Sean Lintow Sr. Last reply by Sean Lintow Sr Aug 6, 2015. 20 Replies

David Richardson posted an interesting piece on changing from % based testing based on conditioned floor area versus the duct area…Continue

Blower Doors & Methods Used

Started by Sean Lintow Sr. Last reply by Colin Genge Aug 3, 2015. 10 Replies

Just curious - what Blower Door do you use, what tests do you do, and do you use software or not?For example it is a mixed bag here as some jurisdictions want a multi-point test while others accept a…Continue

Upgrading a vented tongue and groove cathedral ceiling

Started by Matthew Damon. Last reply by Matthew Damon Nov 13, 2014. 13 Replies

I'm looking for suggestions about how to upgrade a vented cathedral ceiling covered with very nicely finished (albeit leaky) tongue and groove pine. Some specifics: About 1/2 the assembly is vented…Continue

Subslab ventilation

Started by Barbara Smith. Last reply by Sean Lintow Sr Aug 12, 2014. 1 Reply

Does subslab ventilation (Active Soil Depressurization) reduce basement humidity loads and what is the impact on electric loads? These were the two questions Energy Center researchers tried to answer…Continue

Thoughts on Employing Polyiso and UF FGB for Vented Cathedral Ceilings

Started by Patrick Michaelyan. Last reply by Sean Lintow Sr Feb 14, 2014. 3 Replies

I have been going with a relatively unique (and time-consuming) approach to address two similar situations: vented cathedral ceilings and semi-conditioned attics with HVAC equipment.I have been…Continue

Connected home refrigerators - are we excited?

Started by Barbara Smith. Last reply by Curt Kinder Jul 30, 2013. 18 Replies

A read-through of the revisions proposed for ENERGY STAR refrigerators (expected to take effect in March 2014) indicate that "connectivity" capability is included in the guideline. …Continue

Tags: response, appliances, demand, STAR, ENERGY

Systematic Study of Retrofit Practices

Started by John Porterfield. Last reply by Sean Lintow Sr Jun 15, 2013. 1 Reply

I have questions about roof cavity insulation, have input from local experts, though welcome hearing from those who are practicing in cold climate and hopefully near/at the cutting edge of Wx…Continue

Tags: condensation, strategy, dense pack, workforce guidelines, inaccessible

Comment Wall


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Comment by Sean Lintow Sr on June 29, 2011 at 6:10am

Residential Workforce Guidelines Part Deuce:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed a draft Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades with the goal to foster the growth of a high-quality home energy efficiency industry and a skilled and credentialed workforce. 

RESNET and a broad range of contractor associations had serious concerns with the draft and requested a second round of public comments.

DOE has agreed to seek industry input on the draft guidelines.  RESNET has been invited to part of this review process.  This industry review and comment process is open through July 22, 2011.  After the review DOE will make changes to the draft guidelines and open a public review in fall 2011.

To view the draft DOE Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades click on

If you are a member of RENET - send comments to by Monday, July 18, 2011

*** At first glance, it appears they listened to many of our comments & have eliminated a lot of the duplicate material & created a global section. Unfortunately they still have plenty of issues - like all fans WILL be orientated to final termination point (Nice but not doable in all cases) & hardly any mention of building codes, or using anyone licensed  trades (electricians are covered - not HVAC, plumbing, gas)

Now even if you don't belong to RESNET or your group has not sent out an email, I would encourage you to read through them & forward any comments you have to any "industry association" you belong to. If all else fails - create a thread above & I will add it to my comments & it may also get picked up by others


Comment by Sean Lintow Sr on March 19, 2011 at 5:58am

As an FYI, a new group has been created on here for historic homes by my good friend John D. Poole. It's mission is "Historic and vintage homes are significant to our cultural heritage, yet often lack energy efficiency and comfort. Our mission is to identify key issues, solutions, and best practices when retrofitting much older homes."

As some of us know from experience, what might be a best practice or a semi-easy fix on say a ranch house, becomes a totally different animal when you are dealing with a Victorian house built in the late 1800's, etc... So if historic homes are in your area, you are just interested, etc... I encourage you to check it


Speaking of items to check out, I also encourage everyone to check out the discussions above, add in your 2 cents or create a new discussion on

Comment by Sean Lintow Sr on January 18, 2011 at 4:55pm

John most of the larger foam companies offer a system like that - to my knowledge this is Demilec's version which I have not used nor heard about.

I have heard some great things about Icenyne's version. I should also mention though - a few of their installers won't use it based on concerns of drywall popping off the walls (same issue with dense packing cellulose - if the wall panel isn't attached properly, it can blow off and make a big mess)

Comment by John Nicholas on January 18, 2011 at 4:20pm


Do you have a link to the slow rise foam.  I haven't heard about that approach.



Comment by Sean Lintow Sr on January 18, 2011 at 3:41pm
John in many cases, those area's are so messed up around here, we end up rebuilding the exterior walls & occasionally the floors in those "porch additions". I remember one that still had the original railing and they framed above it with 2x2's. In those cases and it is still in good condition you are probably going to have to add it from the outside (i.e. foam panels) or consider using slow rise - pourable foam if you can from the inside
Comment by John Nicholas on January 18, 2011 at 3:20pm

I've done several audits on houses built between 1900 and 1930.  They all have an area that is now either kitchen, bathroom or both. These areas look like they were a back porch originally. 

The construction seems to be lacking, no insulation, and 3 of 4 no room for insulation, and very thin.

I've been working with taking a window or 3 out of the wall. Trying to build insulation into the wall and doing some air sealing at the same time.  This seems to just be standard 2x4 and insulate then drywall.

Does someone have a different material approach or a different approach to these types of construction?


Comment by Sean Lintow Sr on January 9, 2011 at 6:11am

First I hope everyone is geared up & ready for a great New Year. I did change one option on this board which is the "send message to the group" has been disabled. This was done for two reasons - number one is to eliminate anyone using this for spam purposes, and the second is if you post a message there, no one can really answer it. So if you do have a question, best practice, etc... please post it in the Discussion area above so we can help you out or even learn something new. 


Now if you do have a question, comment, etc... and wish to post it anonymously, you can always add me as a friend & send it to me - I will gladly post it for you.

Comment by Sean Lintow Sr on December 24, 2010 at 6:02am

I would like to wish you all a Safe & Merry Christmas along with a bountiful New Year:

Happy Holidays to all and to all a little festive cheer… 

Festive cheer = links to Martin Holladays 4 Christmas Carols, Energy Circle signing the Blower Door Man is coming to town, a few parodies of the Twas the Night before XMas, and some great LED Christmas Light Displays

Merry Christmas everyone & thanks for joining in the discussions & emphasizing Best Practices

Comment by A. Tamasin Sterner on December 8, 2010 at 8:08am
Yep. We ask them what they think is going on that is causing the issue they are concerned about. We ask them how they feel about their energy bills. Mostly we listen.
Comment by Dennis McCarthy on December 8, 2010 at 6:18am
A good point ; wanting to know a homeowners expectations.
We ascertain the customers goals right away defining if they are trying to get 10% or 30% energy savings . Since getting 30% savings is more involved people appreciate choices ol what it cost to get 10- 15% Energy Consumption cuts.Ultimately its up to a home owner to decide what gets tended to . Weather stripping & use of quality Leds
Just these two combined tasks would save the ave h/o about 20% real costs- Both those tasks are something everyone can & should do.
As a solution provider I get paid to make the intel & insights I gather
come together to give people choices . Making the improvements
whether DIY or thru pros, what I think we would all agree with is that
now is the time to be making all of our bldgs more energy efficient,
using all the tools and talent we have!

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