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The Home Improvement Thread. Successes and Failures

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  • Kepler
    replied
    Originally posted by burd View Post

    Bigazz ants that looked exactly like cockroaches?
    LOL, no. I had those in Boston though.

    Jesus, the first time I saw Big City Roaches I wanted to use a flamethrower.

    Leave a comment:


  • burd
    replied
    Originally posted by Kepler View Post

    In Ithaca I remember they were 365, but that probably says more about my student level of cleaning.
    Bigazz ants that looked exactly like cockroaches?

    Leave a comment:


  • state of hockey
    replied
    We gets ants for about a month in our house. Month of May, mostly.

    Leave a comment:


  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    About a month from now through September October

    Leave a comment:


  • Kepler
    replied
    What is ant season in your neck of the woods?

    It has begun in DC, and usually takes all of April, as the temperatures ride the roller coaster above 70 and below 40.

    By May they are only outside where they happily build their hills all summer long. Then we have another brief invasion in October, and then they vanish until next April.

    In Ithaca I remember they were 365, but that probably says more about my student level of cleaning.

    Leave a comment:


  • BassAle
    replied
    Originally posted by walrus View Post

    Back up heat of any kind? Mini splits lose efficiency as temps go down, especially older ones. Still can move heat but spend more time on defrost where you don't get any heat and therefore efficiency drops.
    the mini split is the only source of heat for my home office / bonus room over the garage which is a pretty large room, for the rest of the house propane is the "primary" heat source, although it's essentially a backup for the minisplit

    Leave a comment:


  • Swansong
    replied
    Originally posted by dxmnkd316 View Post
    I installed the new ecobee. Pretty cool. I wish it were a hair easier to just press a single button to turn on the fan, but probably just learning curve.

    Two things I learned tonight:
    1. I have a C wire! I didn't even notice it a few weeks back when I did an inspection behind the thermostat. It was tucked back into the wall and wasn't landed on the furnace.
    2. I've owned this house for 11 years. Had the same thermostat the whole time. Previous owner was the original owner. When I pulled the backplate off the thermostat, there were THREE other mounting hole sets. One with anchors, two without. So all from different installs. Jesus..
    I live in a house built in 1928, so I feel you there. 96 years of upgrades and maintenance. Some of the houses I looked at before buying this one were... yikes. As if I had done a century of work, instead of actual professionals. One of the big reasons we bought this one was that the previous owner had lived here almost 40 years and used professionals for everything (even left a lot of receipts and permits).

    Leave a comment:


  • walrus
    replied
    Originally posted by BassAle View Post

    we almost did a ducted solution for our first floor to distribute the heating/cooling better and the ductless in the bonus room (they make a ducted indoor unit we could have installed in our basement for one of the zones on our multi-zone mini-split system). I think the ductwork added around 2.5K to the cost, but we ended up not pulling the trigger on it because our main living area is open concept and we decided we would be fine with the wall mounted ductless indoor unit. I think we have 12k indoor unit for the bonus room, and 18k btu for the living room area. Had we done the ducted, we would have gone with a larger outdoor unit and bumped the 18k up to a 24k to cover the entire first floor (including master suite).

    We've found the mini-splits operate pretty well, even with temps that are in the single digits (it's supposed to be 'efficient' down to -14F, and includes a drain pan heater so the defrost cycle still works). Being coastal, our winters are usually a little more mild compared to inland Maine. Our exterior walls are 1.5 of foam plus R-21 of fiberglass so I think that puts the walls around R-30. I think the attic is something like R-50 of blown insulation.
    Back up heat of any kind? Mini splits lose efficiency as temps go down, especially older ones. Still can move heat but spend more time on defrost where you don't get any heat and therefore efficiency drops.

    Leave a comment:


  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    I installed the new ecobee. Pretty cool. I wish it were a hair easier to just press a single button to turn on the fan, but probably just learning curve.

    Two things I learned tonight:
    1. I have a C wire! I didn't even notice it a few weeks back when I did an inspection behind the thermostat. It was tucked back into the wall and wasn't landed on the furnace.
    2. I've owned this house for 11 years. Had the same thermostat the whole time. Previous owner was the original owner. When I pulled the backplate off the thermostat, there were THREE other mounting hole sets. One with anchors, two without. So all from different installs. Jesus..

    Leave a comment:


  • BassAle
    replied
    Originally posted by walrus View Post

    Depends on floor plan, my house is open, one heat pump(12k Fujitsu) heats my main living area. Living room, dining room , kitchen and master bed and bath. Master bed and bath has no heat source other than the doorway and south facing glass. The walls in bedroom(a newer addition) are 6.5 inches of foam, ceiling is too. You pay for insulation once, you pay for heat the rest of your life. Too bad you can't post pics on here.

    www.buildingscience.com if you want to understand what to do in your zone
    we almost did a ducted solution for our first floor to distribute the heating/cooling better and the ductless in the bonus room (they make a ducted indoor unit we could have installed in our basement for one of the zones on our multi-zone mini-split system). I think the ductwork added around 2.5K to the cost, but we ended up not pulling the trigger on it because our main living area is open concept and we decided we would be fine with the wall mounted ductless indoor unit. I think we have 12k indoor unit for the bonus room, and 18k btu for the living room area. Had we done the ducted, we would have gone with a larger outdoor unit and bumped the 18k up to a 24k to cover the entire first floor (including master suite).

    We've found the mini-splits operate pretty well, even with temps that are in the single digits (it's supposed to be 'efficient' down to -14F, and includes a drain pan heater so the defrost cycle still works). Being coastal, our winters are usually a little more mild compared to inland Maine. Our exterior walls are 1.5 of foam plus R-21 of fiberglass so I think that puts the walls around R-30. I think the attic is something like R-50 of blown insulation.
    Last edited by BassAle; 03-14-2022, 12:56 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Swansong
    replied
    This weekend I spent like $250 on spring lawncare items. Seed, fertilizer, weed killer, etc. Ugh.

    Leave a comment:


  • walrus
    replied
    Originally posted by dxmnkd316 View Post

    Yeah, you?d definitely need multiple units. WHich is way more expensive up front, but better for the planet most likely.
    Depends on floor plan, my house is open, one heat pump(12k Fujitsu) heats my main living area. Living room, dining room , kitchen and master bed and bath. Master bed and bath has no heat source other than the doorway and south facing glass. The walls in bedroom(a newer addition) are 6.5 inches of foam, ceiling is too. You pay for insulation once, you pay for heat the rest of your life. Too bad you can't post pics on here.

    www.buildingscience.com if you want to understand what to do in your zone

    Leave a comment:


  • dxmnkd316
    replied
    Originally posted by walrus View Post

    How to design a house where a ductless mini split can handle the load, polyurethane foam is the answer. Attention to details on the tightness of the home. It ain't rocket science and you don't have to wait for the codes to "force" you to do it. Its easily done now.
    Yeah, you’d definitely need multiple units. WHich is way more expensive up front, but better for the planet most likely.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scarlet
    replied
    I have a heat pump that is for my heat and A/C. When I bought this place, someone had said to me that heat pumps are more prevalent in the south where the temperature swings aren't as big. The only thing I don't like about it is that my two bedrooms don't get as warm, or as cool, as my living room does. I literally just had someone here to look at it because it was leaking yesterday. We had some wind whipped wet snow Wednesday night and they think some got into it and melted.

    Leave a comment:


  • walrus
    replied
    Originally posted by dxmnkd316 View Post

    When my wife and I start a family, I've retained the right to be the "Put on a sweater" jerk dad. Honestly, I prefer wearing a comfy sweater and flannel pants than shorts and shirt in the winter. Saves the planet, lowers costs, etc.

    Very jealous of your setup. Seems like the way of the future TBH. Heat pumps and ductless are going to become more and more important in the design of homes as energy becomes more expensive and efficient design becomes more entrenched in the codes. The older I get, the more I want to design our dream house my/ourselves. I've lived through enough of other people's ****ty design decisions at home and at work. I'd love to have a design that can properly use ductless and heat pumps.


    (Yes, I know I couldn't design a house myself. Akin to representing yourself in court. "A gal can dream" (C) kepler)
    How to design a house where a ductless mini split can handle the load, polyurethane foam is the answer. Attention to details on the tightness of the home. It ain't rocket science and you don't have to wait for the codes to "force" you to do it. Its easily done now.

    Leave a comment:

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