HVAC Flex Duct Question

Kman

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Hey. Got a question for you HVAC guys.

Our house was built in 1987, and the ducts are flex duct with the dreaded gray vapor barrier. Well that barrier has failed everywhere near a light source, of which there are several. I got with the original manufacturer, and they are going to sell me directly R8 (much better) replacement ducting. I'm going to replace the whole house, sealing everything along the way.

My question is this: What do you do about 90s? Five of my 8 vents in the house go directly into a 90 degree bend, two of which are greatly pinched. Looks like I have three alternatives: Flex duct radius devices which clamp onto the duct and give a fixed radius, put in a sheet metal 90 and connect the flex duct to that or put a hanger near the vent to limit the radius. I saw a cool trick where you cut back the inner liner of the duct about a foot and use the excess insulation and outer liner to go over the elbow--love YouTube.

So what's the way to go? Plastic radius device, metal 90 or hanger and hope? I know flex duct performs best when it is pulled tight. Oh, there's also a 12" 90 coming right off the plenum that's currently flex. Is that a good idea?

I've also read where HVAC purists will put in a rigid bend anywhere there is a bend over say 20 degrees. Is that overkill?

After this is done, we're going to blow in a bunch of insulation, covering most of the branch ductwork and some of the trunklines. We are in So Cal (Diamond Bar) so sweating is not an issue.

Thanks,

Kman

PS I'm not against paying someone to install this owner-supplied duct, as being in the attic sucks, so PM me if qualified and interested.
 
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abdiver7777

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The most efficient design is the one with the least turbulence and or turns.... two 45 degree bends are always better than a short radius 90 degree elbow. For every 90 degree elbow in a run you can count on 1/4" of static pressure drop so straight runs are always preferred. Think of airflow as just like water flow... it acts the same way in most cases. Also smooth bore duct lining in lieu of anything with ribs is always better. Cost is almost always the determining factor......

Insulation around the duct is also your friend..... You spend a ton of money heating or cooling the air running through that duct... I think you'd be amazed at how much heat that cold air will pick up as it travels across a hot attic in the summer time. For fun take a digital thermometer and measure the temperature leaving the cooling coil (in either summer cooling or winter heating) and then measure the temperature of the air discharging from the vent in the furthest room..... the difference is what your losing into the attic...

Another thing that most people are not mindful of is having enough free ventilation in their attics. I believe the recommended calculation is 1 square foot of open vent for every 100 square feet of attic space. I doubled mine so the attic cools faster in the summer.

No matter what duct you go with don't cheap out on the insulation and use duct sealant at all the joints..... Use a strip of single ply toilet paper taped to a long stick to look for air leaks.

Good luck with your project..
 
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ConSeaMate

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Hey. Got a question for you HVAC guys.

Our house was built in 1987, and the ducts are flex duct with the dreaded gray vapor barrier. Well that barrier has failed everywhere near a light source, of which there are several. I got with the original manufacturer, and they are going to sell me directly R8 (much better) replacement ducting. I'm going to replace the whole house, sealing everything along the way.

My question is this: What do you do about 90s? Five of my 8 vents in the house go directly into a 90 degree bend, two of which are greatly pinched. Looks like I have three alternatives: Flex duct radius devices which clamp onto the duct and give a fixed radius, put in a sheet metal 90 and connect the flex duct to that or put a hanger near the vent to limit the radius. I saw a cool trick where you cut back the inner liner of the duct about a foot and use the excess insulation and outer liner to go over the elbow--love YouTube.

So what's the way to go? Plastic radius device, metal 90 or hanger and hope? I know flex duct performs best when it is pulled tight. Oh, there's also a 12" 90 coming right off the plenum that's currently flex. Is that a good idea?

I've also read where HVAC purists will put in a rigid bend anywhere there is a bend over say 20 degrees. Is that overkill?

After this is done, we're going to blow in a bunch of insulation, covering most of the branch ductwork and some of the trunklines. We are in So Cal (Diamond Bar) so sweating is not an issue.

Thanks,

Kman

PS I'm not against paying someone to install this owner-supplied duct, as being in the attic sucks, so PM me if qualified and interested.


Well AC guys all f%#k differently......:rofl:......I was a commercial guy for 25 years but started the trade in residential.I've only installed about 50 AC systems but I can say this.....I never layed the ducting on the floor,I always hung it along a beam.....I know residential guys don't do this because it's time consuming and a lot of work,but I can say that I never failed an inspection and was always told that my work was admired.most of the times this will eliminate the 90 degree elbows because the air will drop into the register........get a hold of Tommy....I'mOff....he's a very good guy.....
 
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Kman

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Thanks for your replies. I like the idea of using 2 45s.
I'm going to be using R8 insulated ducts. That's the highest R value available, and WAY better than what we have now. We have tons of attic venting including ridge, gable, dormer and soffit vents to accommodate our whole-house fan. The vents are what let the UV in, and that is what wrecked the flex duct outer jacket.

Cost wise, well the OEM really stepped up and is directly selling me replacement ducts at prices Home Depot and the local HVAC house can't touch. It's nice to see a company stand by their products, even ones that failed 20 years after the warranty expired.

As for the 90, this is the gizmo I had in mind. It can go up to 16" duct, which means it probably has a 16" radius--way bigger than a tight-radius metal 90. They're ten bucks for a two-pack at HD. Are they any good?



As for heat loss, I've been tracking our "delta T" from various registers for years to keep track of our system's performance. I also clean the evap & condenser coils every year. Ya, I'm kinda anal...
 
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abdiver7777

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Can't say I have an opinion on the above..... I work specifically on commercial applications and the only residential systems I work on are my own.... I only allow flexible duct the last 6 feet to the register..... almost anything flies in residential installs.....

You can try the above if it's that cheap and if it doesn't hold up replace it later.
 
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Carl

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    If you're going to pay a pro to install the material you buy, you should consult them on what material to buy.
     
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    rojodiablo

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    Thanks for your replies. I like the idea of using 2 45s.
    I'm going to be using R8 insulated ducts. That's the highest R value available, and WAY better than what we have now. We have tons of attic venting including ridge, gable, dormer and soffit vents to accommodate our whole-house fan. The vents are what let the UV in, and that is what wrecked the flex duct outer jacket.

    Cost wise, well the OEM really stepped up and is directly selling me replacement ducts at prices Home Depot and the local HVAC house can't touch. It's nice to see a company stand by their products, even ones that failed 20 years after the warranty expired.

    As for the 90, this is the gizmo I had in mind. It can go up to 16" duct, which means it probably has a 16" radius--way bigger than a tight-radius metal 90. They're ten bucks for a two-pack at HD. Are they any good?



    As for heat loss, I've been tracking our "delta T" from various registers for years to keep track of our system's performance. I also clean the evap & condenser coils every year. Ya, I'm kinda anal...
    In reality, if you do not cut your runs short you can easily make good bends which will not restrict the air flow. The biggest bugger we used to see was guys trying to stretch a run out, and they would cut a crucial 6" of length off. It makes all the difference between a relaxed duct which will not be pinched, and a stressed duct which is forced to take a shitty bend to reach the end of the run.
    No real need for 90's in most cases if you leave some extra duct on the end of the run. And, do not be shy about a well placed strap or 20, to get support if needed, and to keep stuff where you really want it.
     
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    Kman

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    If you're going to pay a pro to install the material you buy, you should consult them on what material to buy.

    If I was loaded, sure. But I'm not. The factory is basically giving me a whole house worth of R8 flex duct (the highest rating you can buy) to replace my disintegrating R4.2 ducts for pennies on the dollar. I can't pass that up.

    I'm already paying a contractor to replace the paper on the roof--friggin tract house! What's the point of putting on cement tiles that will last the life of the house if you're gonna do a shitty job with the felt? 30# felt with a 1" overlap and puddles at the eves. I'm going with two plies of 40# felt for the replacement.

    Geeeeez, just get the house paid for and it starts to fall apart after only ~25 years.
     
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    Kman

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    flexbend.jpg


    th

    Joke all you want but in my readings, devices like these are required in some areas of the country to get energy star ratings. They must do some good.

    I see these are being specified by some engineers:

    http://www.thermaflex.net/pdfs/FlexElbow.pdf
     
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    BiggestT

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    If I was loaded, sure. But I'm not. The factory is basically giving me a whole house worth of R8 flex duct (the highest rating you can buy) to replace my disintegrating R4.2 ducts for pennies on the dollar. I can't pass that up.

    I'm already paying a contractor to replace the paper on the roof--friggin tract house! What's the point of putting on cement tiles that will last the life of the house if you're gonna do a shitty job with the felt? 30# felt with a 1" overlap and puddles at the eves. I'm going with two plies of 40# felt for the replacement.

    Geeeeez, just get the house paid for and it starts to fall apart after only ~25 years.

    Try a house that's 40 to 60 years old. You'll pay for it twice.

    This summer insulated the crawl space under our house at Big Bear which was built in 1975. I also completely redid all the flex ducting under the house, working alongside a pro who was doing it on the side. He rebuilt the intake plenum so that we could grab 20" of wasted space between walls under the old installation, this allowing for a much bigger 4' x 7' shower in the master bath and making my wife happy.

    We bought our flex duct from HD and R6 was the highest rating they had. Ferguson's would have R8, but they're maybe 50% more than HD.

    90s are not good, but we had floor registers and that is all that worked. If the 90 is a the end, you won't lose as much as the middle. If you're in the attic, the suggestion to drop down from a rafter or joist is a good one.

    Duct paste + zip tie on inner sleeve (get the zip tie cinching pliers to make life easy), good quality tape on outside.

    I had 16" of space to work in, some places less. There were beams I had to exhale and swim for it to get past. We had to build it out from the farthest corner of the Plenum because once the duct was in, it was near impossible to crawl under. This was not a job for the claustrophic. Your attic crawl space sounds much easier. This was my summer........

    image.jpg

    Frankly, it's not rocket science. You're just connecting tubing. DIY.
     
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    wils

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    If I was loaded, sure. But I'm not. The factory is basically giving me a whole house worth of R8 flex duct (the highest rating you can buy) to replace my disintegrating R4.2 ducts for pennies on the dollar. I can't pass that up.

    I'm already paying a contractor to replace the paper on the roof--friggin tract house! What's the point of putting on cement tiles that will last the life of the house if you're gonna do a shitty job with the felt? 30# felt with a 1" overlap and puddles at the eves. I'm going with two plies of 40# felt for the replacement.

    Geeeeez, just get the house paid for and it starts to fall apart after only ~25 years.

    25 years between roofs? in SoCal? and youre complaining about it.................

    Actually, an even better way to do that roof is a built-up 90# - at a minimum of "cold rolled" 90# over a 30# base. cement tiles are just a "sun block" for your paper underneath it.

    Why were you getting puddles at the eaves? The pitch on your house is a minimum of 3/12 - probably more? There should be absolutely ZERO puddling. Did you fix THAT problem.... properly....... before proceeding?

    After you finish your ducting, have a company perform a "suck" test on the entire house to see where next you will be headed in your quest for perfection.
     
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    Kman

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    Why were you getting puddles at the eaves? The pitch on your house is a minimum of 3/12 - probably more? There should be absolutely ZERO puddling. Did you fix THAT problem.... properly....... before proceeding?

    Wils:

    There are places where the roof decking doesn't line up with the fascia. The fascia is ~3/4" higher. One roofer said it's something about making the first course of tiles have the proper slope. I'm not buying it. Over time, the single ply of 30# felt formed a trough there, and is disintegrating. Since my home has a paltry 6" eave, the leaks are showing up at the walls. My fix over the years has been to bridge that gap with nailed metal flashing, and paper over that. Every eave and valley leak I've fixed over the many years (we bought the house new) have not come back, so I must have been doing something right.

    Every valley on my roof has leaked from the get go. The paper was torn in the lowest part of the valley. Bad installation. I already replaced them years ago.

    The measly 1" overlap is what's also failing now--so now the fields have spot leaks--more than I can handle. The paper is still in pretty good shape where it wasn't pulled tight in the valleys. Had the roofers weaved the valleys properly, done a decent overlap, and dealt with the deck not meeting the fascia flush, the roof would be fine now, saving me $7,500.

    Every sub who built my house back in 1987 went tits up right afterwards. If you see a house built by Anden, run. At least I only paid $150K for it.
     
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    Kman

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    We bought our flex duct from HD and R6 was the highest rating they had. Ferguson's would have R8, but they're maybe 50% more than HD.

    HD now has R8 online, and will ship for free. R8 10" flex is about $10 more than R6, but still way more than I'm paying from the OEM.

    If you're in the attic, the suggestion to drop down from a rafter or joist is a good one.

    The higher up you go in the attic, the hotter it gets. I understand the need to hang the duct over obstacles as I can see where the existing duct has collapsed where it got pinched crossing a truss. I'll be using plenty of hangers on the runs crossing the trusses. Most of our runs though are along the trusses, and the plan is to just lay the duct on the existing insulation, then cover it with additional blown insulation once we determine there are no leaks. I've been reading the best practices in various hot climate building codes, and in dry (non-humid) areas, this encouraged.

    Duct paste + zip tie on inner sleeve (get the zip tie cinching pliers to make life easy), good quality tape on outside.
    Got that covered. Have the adjustable tensioning tool w/auto cutoff and a bag of 50 UL 181 ties. Still need to get the mastic.

    I had 16" of space to work in, some places less. There were beams I had to exhale and swim for it to get past. We had to build it out from the farthest corner of the Plenum because once the duct was in, it was near impossible to crawl under. This was not a job for the claustrophic. Your attic crawl space sounds much easier.

    My house was built with trusses and half the house has a vaulted ceiling, so getting around is a pain. I will be doing plenty of swimming. Worse, there are roof tile nails protruding down everywhere, so you have to keep your head down. At least it won't be hot...

    Frankly, it's not rocket science. You're just connecting tubing. DIY.

    Copy that. I was just looking to get some tips about doing the best installation and maximizing airflow and insulation.

    Speaking of maximizing airflow, how does a homeowner measure it? I don't have any static pressure tools. For years, I've been measuring the amp draw on the fan to know when it is time to service the filter. I know this seems counterintuitive, but Squirrel cage fans (and centrifugal pumps) amp draw is related to flow, not pressure, so if your amps are down, so is your flow. When all this is done, I would expect my fan's amp draw to go up slightly, indicating I am moving more air. This could be negated, though, if I find and seal leaks in the attic. The goal here is to move more air and keep the heat/cold IN THE HOUSE--not the attic. Just for giggles, I ordered an anemometer (wind meter) so I can measure the air velocity inside my vent boxes before and after. I know there will be an improvement in one bedroom, as when I reached up the vent to measure the duct size, I was appalled to feel a super-tight 90 in the flex duct that basically had collapsed it.

    The final test is to measure the "delta T" (temp change) at each vent with the AC on in stable, repeatable conditions before and after the installation. Right now, I have a 22 degree delta t at the closest vent and 10 at the farthest as measured by a K thermocouple on my Fluke meter. The farthest vent's ducts are in really rough shape as they are near a gable vent that let in UV that destroyed the outer vapor barrier and loosened the insulation. I hope to improve on that. Ya, I'm a nerd. Hey, my dad was a rocket scientist (worked on the Apollo J2 engines) and my oldest daughter went to and taught at MIT :).
     
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    BiggestT

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    Big Bear was heating only :-).

    We have two large AC units on our Fullerton home, but rarely run them. Weprefer the whole house fans at night as they're much cheaper and we get cool ocean air at night. Diamond Bar is just up the road but the hills must block the ocean breeze. I hear people that have $1,000 a mont electric bills from running AC, but our August bills are around $10. Our AC units are on SCE remote shut off, so we get that discount applied to our bill. Our winter bills are $80 to $90 and I'm picking fly shit to try and squeeze that down much further.

    I always wondered how those homes with minimal eaves would hold up.

    Homes are like boats in terms of maintenance. Anyone who tells you how much they made or lost on their home, never factors in the maintenance, property taxes, insurance, interest carry, broker commissions. If they did, they'd be reall disappointed in the true outcome.
     
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    Kman

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    Big Bear was heating only :-).

    We have two large AC units on our Fullerton home, but rarely run them. Weprefer the whole house fans at night as they're much cheaper and we get cool ocean air at night. Diamond Bar is just up the road but the hills must block the ocean breeze. I hear people that have $1,000 a mont electric bills from running AC, but our August bills are around $10.

    Homes are like boats in terms of maintenance. Anyone who tells you how much they made or lost on their home, never factors in the maintenance, property taxes, insurance, interest carry, broker commissions. If they did, they'd be reall disappointed in the true outcome.

    Our neighbors just had a slab leak. Ouch!

    We're on a west-facing hill at 1,100' and get a decent sea breeze. We don't use the AC much. We have a monster 24" whole house fan that cools the house at night, and the house usually stays cool till the temps drop and we can open the house back up. The downside (and they're big ones) are noise and dust, and the need to dust/vacuum often when we use the fan. Our typical electric bill is $30-50, with the worst being last August at $130 with moderate to heavy use of the AC over our failing ductwork. I'm hoping to get our attic up to R50. That should negate some of the temp swings. Nothing I can do about the walls or windows. Changing windows on a stucco house has about a 30-year ROI and is a terrible investment--no matter what the contractors tell you.

    Weird, but our interior walls have cinder blocks in them. This is a heat sink that keeps the temps from rising or falling too fast. I guess these blocks saved enough energy credits that the cheap-ass builder could use the worst, single-pane glass windows available. Our typical electric bill is $30, with the worst being last August at $110 with moderate use of the AC. My neighbor just added a 5.5KW solar array to his house. His electric bill is now a credit, plus he gets a big ol tax break this year.

    Nobody up here has a $1000 electric bill. That's for people in San Diego county that got hosed on their rates in some snafu. Our estate has a big ol rancher in La Habra Heights with a pool and 1200 sq ft shop/office and that house's electric bill runs around $300 in the summer. Anybody want to buy a really cool house on 1/2 acre in the hills of la Habra? It's for sale.

    Our biggest bill this time of year is water ($65). I have drip watering everywhere possible and .6/1.2 gal toilets, but they keep raising our rates while lowering the quality (more percentage Colorado River, less Sierras). Like Twain said: Whisky's for drinking; water is for fighting over ;).

    Don't get me started on heating. I used to live in Fullerton, and our nighttime temps here are probably 10 degrees cooler than yours. Our bills are not bad at all. That what wifes (snuggling) and setback thermostats are for.

    The pisser is the price of natural gas. It keeps going up. This is perplexing to me as we own a piece of a gas well in Texas, and the price paid to us per 1000 cu ft has plummeted over the years due to the incredible efficiency of hydraulic fracturing and the bonanza of new gas sources it has created. Why are they raising rates when their supply costs are dropping?

    As for property taxes, thank God for Prop 13 and staying put all these years. Paid the mortgage off early, and am using the money to now to fix things. It never ends eh?
     
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    BiggestT

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    Our neighbors just had a slab leak. Ouch!

    We're on a west-facing hill at 1,100' and get a decent sea breeze. We don't use the AC much. We have a monster 24" whole house fan that cools the house at night, and the house usually stays cool till the temps drop and we can open the house back up. The downside (they're big ones) are noise and dust, and the need to vacuum often. Our typical electric bill is $30-50, with the worst being last August at $130 with moderate to heavy use of the AC over our failing ductwork. I'm hoping to get our attic up to R50. That should negate some of the temp swings. Nothing I can do about the walls or windows. Changing windows on a stucco house has about a 30-year ROI and is a terrible investment--no matter what the contractors tell you.

    Weird, but our interior walls have cinder blocks in them. This is a heat sink that keeps the temps from rising or falling too fast. I guess these blocks saved enough energy credits that the cheap-ass builder could use the worst, single-pane glass windows available. Our typical electric bill is $30, with the worst being last August at $110 with moderate use of the AC. My neighbor just added a 5.5KW solar array to his house. His electric bill is now a credit, plus he gets a big ol tax break this year.

    Our biggest bill this time of year is water ($65). I have drip watering everywhere possible and .6/1.2 gal toilets, but they keep raising our rates while lowering the quality (more percentage Colorado River, less Sierras). Like Twain said: Whisky's for drinking; water is for fighting over ;).

    As for property taxes, thank God for Prop 13 and staying put all these years. Paid the mortgage off early, and am using the money to now to fix things. It never ends eh?

    I've looked at solar, installing a 5KW unit myself. Have plenty of room to install it behind my garage. Even if my annual bill went to zero and factoring in the tax credit, it would still be a 7 to 8 year pay off.

    Everytime someone puts in solar, the bills with SCE will go up for everyone else. In effect, the rate payers are subsidizing the people installing solar. Those who are paying an electric bill are covering maintenance of the grid that the solar people are tapping into.

    I installed double paned windows up at Big Bear and it makes a Big difference in how much heat is used. Down here near the coast, meh. I'm with you. I may use the heat for a month of the year and the AC for a week or two. For people that run AC full bore, they'd see some benefits.
     
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    Kman

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    I've looked at solar, installing a 5KW unit myself. Have plenty of room to install it behind my garage. Even if my annual bill went to zero and factoring in the tax credit, it would still be a 7 to 8 year pay off.

    Everytime someone puts in solar, the bills with SCE will go up for everyone else. In effect, the rate payers are subsidizing the people installing solar. Those who are paying an electric bill are covering maintenance of the grid that the solar people are tapping into.

    My neighbor (the one who just added solar) is one of those grossly overpaid (I looked him up) LADWP workers. $180K for a high-school required job, really? He told me so many DWP homes have been converted that DWP is now selling electricity to Edison. That's good, because Edison lost 10% of its generating ability with the loss of San Onofre. Many homes are now being built with solar panels in the spec, and it's a no-brainer as you can roll it into the mortgage. Something like 40% of the homes in hot areas are being built with solar roofs. Not sure what kind of fees the utilities have in store for them. Seems only fair they should contribute to the grid cost. They should not be able to free load off the benefits of the grid while we pay for it.

    I installed double paned windows up at Big Bear and it makes a Big difference in how much heat is used. Down here near the coast, meh. I'm with you. I may use the heat for a month of the year and the AC for a week or two. For people that run AC full bore, they'd see some benefits.

    I should have qualified my statement. Anyone in Zone 3 will not get a good ROI by upgrading windows. How's that? Still, I wish our house was built with dual pane windows like the better builders were doing at the time. I upsized our kitchen window with a monster (took three guys to hold it) bay window. It has dual pane low e glass and some sort of gas between the panels. The lack of heat transfer is stunning compared to a similar-sized adjacent window in the dining room facing the same direction.

    PS All this writing is fun. It's giving me a reason for not going into the friggin attic and watch the Ohio State/Asshats and USC/UCLA games instead.
     
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    Kman

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    Our winter bills are $80 to $90 and I'm picking fly shit to try and squeeze that down much further.

    This seems high. Do you turn off your heater at night? Our bills are a third of yours, and we're in a colder climate. We're only a single-story 1,800 sq ft house though. We use a setback thermostat that shuts off the heater till a little before wake up time. Ya the temps plummet--sometimes to 59 degrees as it regularly drops to the 40s or even 30s here . But that's what blankets and wifes are for. I'm hoping that increasing the attic insulation to R50 and filling in all the gaps and exposed wood with blown insulation will reduce the temp drop. I've already sealed all the ceiling penetrations and wall outlets years ago with expanding foam. Won't know until we try.

    I hear working the nozzle of the insulation blower is as nasty as can be. I may upgrade from the P95 filters on my 3M respirator for that one. Can't wait.

    Oh, forgot to mention one cool thing about winter. This time of year, we can use the AVR (home theater) amp with wild abandon. It can almost heat a room by itself while immersing you in really cool sound. We use the regular TV speakers during the summer except for the occasional movie.

    We also have a wood-burning fireplace with a fan kit that blows air around the combustion chamber. The fan makes all the difference, blowing tons of hot air out the top vent. We have A LOT of fires, and screw the AQMD for their "no burn" bullshit. The combustion air comes from outside, so it will actually add heat to the house--unlike many fireplaces. It heats the main living area (1/2 the house) so well that we turn on the air handler fan to distribute the heat to the bedrooms before going to bed. I think we've burned through 2 or 3 metal grates over the years. I burn excess construction lumber. There's a mill near here, and I've been getting cuttings from them for years. Love the smell of Doug fir smoke!
     
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    wils

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    Wils:

    There are places where the roof decking doesn't line up with the fascia. The fascia is ~3/4" higher. One roofer said it's something about making the first course of tiles have the proper slope. I'm not buying it.

    Buy it. ;)
    Your sheet metal fix is a good one.

    At least I only paid $150K for it.

    and you quickly discovered why.

    1987....that was back when developers were responsible for only 1 (or 2?) years. Contractors only 1 year. now its 10 years and 2 years respectively. so they create an LLC and then dissolve it after they are done building.
     
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    Kman

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    Buy it. ;)
    Your sheet metal fix is a good one.

    Thanks.

    So the deck is supposed to be below the fascia? What is to stop the felt from sagging, forming pools which will disintegrate the felt over the years? When I put on the rolled metal flashing to bridge that gap, I overhang it just enough to drip into the rain gutters.


    1987....that was back when developers were responsible for only 1 (or 2?) years. Contractors only 1 year. now its 10 years and 2 years respectively. so they create an LLC and then dissolve it after they are done building.

    Dealing with the contractors and their crappy work was more stressful than the whole home buying experience. There seems to be a rule that a contractor fixing his screw up must destroy the work of another contractor. What a clusterfuck it was. I still have stains in the ceilings from the roofer neglecting to flash ANY of the mechanical protrusions and when I pointed out the electrical problems, the electricians pulled up half the insulation batts in the attic and left them all screwed up. Even though they came back and replaced them, it was never the same--gaps everywhere.

    I could go on and on. I did learn an important lesson, and that is to watch any contractor I hired like a hawk, even if it meant missing work. Inevitably, they would disappear, leaving a couple non English speakers who didn't know how to use a transit or even a level. I put the kibosh on that stunt right quick and demanded the owner direct with the work or he was fired. I also got a list of all their suppliers and would not make the final payment till I got releases from each of them stating the materials for my job had been paid for. Saved at least one lien that way.
     
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    Bubba

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    frankly, it's not rocket science. You're just connecting tubing. DIY.[/QUOTE]

    Bingo! You're over thinking this Kurt. Been in the business for over 30 yrs, pm me if you need help.
     
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    wils

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    So the deck is supposed to be below the fascia? What is to stop the felt from sagging, forming pools which will disintegrate the felt over the years?

    That has been a common practice in tracts all over SoCal, Kurt. I've had to repair other foolishness, too. Who knows if its NOT going to work if you never try it....eh? :rofl:

    To paraphrase:
    "Mine is not to question 'why?'. Mine is but to scratch my head and think, 'WTF?!?!?' "


    Dealing with the contractors and their crappy work was more stressful than the whole home buying experience. There seems to be a rule that a contractor fixing his screw up must destroy the work of another contractor. What a clusterfuck it was. I still have stains in the ceilings from the roofer neglecting to flash ANY of the mechanical protrusions and when I pointed out the electrical problems, the electricians pulled up half the insulation batts in the attic and left them all screwed up. Even though they came back and replaced them, it was never the same--gaps everywhere.

    Civil Servants (Building Inspectors) were not responsible for their own actions (signatures approving the work) until AFTER the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Now, they are personally responsible if they approve work that does not meet minimum codes.....and your description contributes to the reason why.

    Good Luck with your ducts. You've had some excellent replies.
     
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    Kman

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    Civil Servants (Building Inspectors) were not responsible for their own actions (signatures approving the work) until AFTER the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Now, they are personally responsible if they approve work that does not meet minimum codes.....and your description contributes to the reason why.

    How about when the city signs off on building plans in error?

    I had friend build a two story commercial building on Beverly & La Brea. It's mixed commercial/residential area. He got the approvals, then built the building and passed all his inspections. This was around 1996.

    Then the residential neighbors complained. The building was too big and too close they said.

    The city declared his brand new building was indeed too close to the houses and had to be demolished, despite the fact that the city had approved the plans. They settled on only demolishing half the building (the half near the houses) and moving the parking lot back there. He then built out what was left of the building to the sidewalk, requiring major structural changes.

    When this new new building was almost done, the city then decided he had to rip the concrete floors up to put in a methane gas removal system!

    Lawyers were consulted, but none would take the case. The short of it was that the city of LA is not liable for any errors from their building department or inspectors, and my friend was out seven figures.

    So if you're driving in West LA and see this goofy-looking building built out all the way to the sidewalk at Beverly and La Brea, you know the story...
     
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    BiggestT

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    This seems high. Do you turn off your heater at night? Our bills are a third of yours, and we're in a colder climate. We're only a single-story 1,800 sq ft house though. We use a setback thermostat that shuts off the heater till a little before wake up time. Ya the temps plummet--sometimes to 59 degrees as it regularly drops to the 40s or even 30s here . But that's what blankets and wifes are for. I'm hoping that increasing the attic insulation to R50 and filling in all the gaps and exposed wood with blown insulation will reduce the temp drop. I've already sealed all the ceiling penetrations and wall outlets years ago with expanding foam. Won't know until we try.

    I hear working the nozzle of the insulation blower is as nasty as can be. I may upgrade from the P95 filters on my 3M respirator for that one. Can't wait.

    Oh, forgot to mention one cool thing about winter. This time of year, we can use the AVR (home theater) amp with wild abandon. It can almost heat a room by itself while immersing you in really cool sound. We use the regular TV speakers during the summer except for the occasional movie.

    We also have a wood-burning fireplace with a fan kit that blows air around the combustion chamber. The fan makes all the difference, blowing tons of hot air out the top vent. We have A LOT of fires, and screw the AQMD for their "no burn" bullshit. The combustion air comes from outside, so it will actually add heat to the house--unlike many fireplaces. It heats the main living area (1/2 the house) so well that we turn on the air handler fan to distribute the heat to the bedrooms before going to bed. I think we've burned through 2 or 3 metal grates over the years. I burn excess construction lumber. There's a mill near here, and I've been getting cuttings from them for years. Love the smell of Doug fir smoke!

    Those are my electric bills, the biggest drain being the pool pump (changed to more efficient one this spring dropped bill by $40) refrigerator and two chest freezers. Have over 100 recessed lights in the house, currently halogen but will be changed out to LED as they go out. That should save me 0.5 kWh per night.

    Winter gas bills are $30 to $40. Summer they're $10.
     
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    Kman

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    frankly, it's not rocket science. You're just connecting tubing. DIY.

    Bingo! You're over thinking this Kurt. Been in the business for over 30 yrs, pm me if you need help.

    I like to over think stuff :). I've got a good handle of what I've got to do.

    I was thinking about replacing the fiber J boxes with Ys (seems more efficient in terms of flow), but I think I'll let sleeping dogs lie and just seal them up and insulate them real good.
     
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    abdiver7777

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    I've looked at solar, installing a 5KW unit myself. Have plenty of room to install it behind my garage. Even if my annual bill went to zero and factoring in the tax credit, it would still be a 7 to 8 year pay off.

    Everytime someone puts in solar, the bills with SCE will go up for everyone else. In effect, the rate payers are subsidizing the people installing solar. Those who are paying an electric bill are covering maintenance of the grid that the solar people are tapping into.

    I installed double paned windows up at Big Bear and it makes a Big difference in how much heat is used. Down here near the coast, meh. I'm with you. I may use the heat for a month of the year and the AC for a week or two. For people that run AC full bore, they'd see some benefits.


    Just wondering if most people are aware of the near future rate changes....... basically your rates are going to be premised on the average mean temperature of the area that you live..... enjoy the attached link to the article...

    http://kfwbam.com/2013/10/07/bill-gives-puc-leeway-to-restructure-utility-rates/
     
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