Thursday, May 10, 2012

Door Confusion

Is your door right handed or left handed? No kidding, there is a difference.

click to enlarge

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recessed Lighting

Lately, I 've been seeing a lot of poorly insulated and unsafe recesses lighting. These light fixtures should contain an Underwriters' Laboratory label containing an "IC" rating if installed in a ceiling containing insulation. The "IC" stands for "Insulation Contact". Uninformed consumers increase their chances of a fire because of the excessive heat build up if a non-IC fixture is used. The following link to Capri Lighting offers a easy to understand explanation (IC and nonIC ratings).

Also, if insulation is moved away from a non-IC rated fixture then there is a void in the insulation blanket. This could be a significant heat loss (or heat gain) which obviously affects energy efficiency and increases utility costs. Fomo Products offers a "Recessed Lighting Cover" to solve this problem.

Click to enlarge

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Foreclosure v. Short Sale

Here's a nice little comparison that can help you distinguish between a foreclosure and a short sale (thanks Tom)

click to enlarge

Monday, April 16, 2012

Are Your Walls and Ceilings Ghosting?

Periodically, you will see faint dark lines in ceilings (sometimes walls) that correspond to the hidden framing. This is a condition called "ghosting" or "thermal bridging" and is caused by a difference in temperatures among the framing members and the insulated space. The cooler surface causes moisture to condense which collects dirt particles from the air. This is especially prominent when candles are burned because of the carbon by products of combustion. The easiest solution is to reduce the moisture in the air. Other options are to repair the insulation, reduce the particulate in the air and adjust fuel burning appliances. Read more at the following link (click to enlarge once the page loads)... Ghosting / Thermal Bridging

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reverse the Refrigerator Door

I have recommended to many clients over the years to reverse the refrigerator door. Technically, doing so would improve the triangular relationship between the sink, stove and refrigerator (real geeky stuff...) but it simply makes it easier to access the foods inside. Her is a nice article that explains how and for most models all you need is a screwdriver.

Click to enlarge

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chimney "2-3-10" Rule

The chimney 2-3-10 rule states that a chimney must extend 3 feet from where it penetrated the roof and be at least 2 feet higher than anything within a 10 foot radius. Chimneys that do not meet these minimum requirements tend to experience poor drafting which is an obvious safety issue

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Water Heater Recovery Rate

Most homeowners are simply unaware how important the "recovery rate" is when selecting a water heater. Recovery rate is defined as the number of gallons heated in 1 hour by 90°. In other words, if the incoming water is 50°, the recovery rate would equal how many gallons the appliance can heat to 140° (50°+90°) in 1 hour. Recovery rate and tank capacity are often very close in value for residential units (see photo & click to enlarge).

Tank capacity is somewhat misleading. I have inspected water heaters for 12 flats that are similar in size to a 50 or 75 gallon tank but the recovery rates are 200 gallons/hour! Many home owners believe bigger is better for this appliance and that is simply not true.

Tankless water heaters are coming but thats a completely different discussion. In the mean time, think "recovery rate" and a relatively small tank capacity.

Tank capacity is 38 gallons/hour (blue oval) and the recovery rate is 39.32 gallons/hour (red oval)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Noisy Garage Door?

Here's a PDF to review if you're one of the unfortunate ones who has a noisy garage door. The information if from The Family Handyman (4/2009)

Noisy Garage Door