U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Happy Halloween!
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary
 [Register]
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-12-2011, 06:43 AM
 
2,091 posts, read 3,882,768 times
Reputation: 1275
Lots of pros and cons here ...
I would give an edge to a location with natural gas because it gives you options for the future including the use a dual fuel heat pump. Natural gas pricing is very cost effective and looks poised to remain so. Using gas, as opposed to a straight heat pump/electrical strip heat, also allows optimum use of a programmable thermostat. Dual fuel allows you to run each "system" in their most efficient ranges.
An Energy Star rated home is another plus. We recently added about $2,000 of insulation upgrades in our attic - essentially bringing it slightly above the Energy Star guidelines. Based on four months of energy usage, I'd expect a payback in about three years.

Frank
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-12-2011, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Moncure, NC
74 posts, read 71,824 times
Reputation: 140
Energy Star is changing over the next couple of years so that if your home is rated Energy Star (can be given to new homes during building, only) your home will be 30% more energy efficient than code. Now I think it's 15% or so - still significant, but 30% is much better.
For older homes it's very possible to add a lot of energy efficiency measures fairly inexpensively. You should get an energy audit when or even before you buy the house and it will tell you the issues as well as what you can do to address the issues. It's not really the type of heating/cooling you use, but how tight and well insulated your house is that will make the bigger impact.
If you are thinking of Chapel Hill (can't remember where you said you were looking), they have a huge rebate program right now for energy audits and weatherization - $50 professional audits and half off weatherization up to $5000 (which is way more than enough for most homes) as long as you achieve 15% energy efficiency improvements. Look up the Chapel Hill Wise Buildings program for details. It's an amazing deal for people w/in CH town limits. They got a grant from SEEEA that passes the $ directly to homeowners.
Just so you know: our family business is a pre-approved contractor for the program, as are 3 others.
Adrienne
(Home Performance NC)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2011, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
542 posts, read 918,565 times
Reputation: 734
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducter View Post
New tightly built house in Ralegh are? They dont build them like they used to!
New Homes are much tighter than they have ever been. Old houses leak like a sieve, with ACH (air changes per hour) numbers many times higher than a new home "just" built to code. While the craftsmanship of older homes is often better than new homes, old homes are notoriously inefficient regarding their energy use. Also, while insulation is important, it is useless without effective air barriers.

Michael
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-14-2011, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
921 posts, read 986,631 times
Reputation: 935
While new homes may be constructed tighter than the old homes, there is a need for the new homes to get some outside air mixture. This is to help dilute the chemical vapors that slowly come out of the materials used in the house. For example: carpets and padding often have formaldehyde outgassing for several weeks after they are installed, even water based paints give off fumes (and oil or epoxy paints are really noxious!), and particle board (most plywood) is held together with a glue that gives off fumes.

I'm not trying to scare anybody into leaving their windows open, but just saying that some infiltration is not only a good thing, but most cases necessary.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-15-2011, 10:07 PM
 
6,311 posts, read 10,069,174 times
Reputation: 4028
Insulation is ridiculously cheap. I went from R25 to R50+ in my attic on a 2000 sq ft home for $280 after the 30% tax credit.

I would go with Nat gas for heating, as you can turn it off at night and turn it on full bore in the morning and have it be toasty hot real quick. Then turn it off (or down) during the day and then up in the evening. Programmable thermostats will save a ton of $$.

Electric must be kept on and running basically the entire night, and when you turn it up too fast it turns on the electric heating strips which quite literally are like lighting cigars with $20's.

I don't put much stock in these fancy pants "energy star" ratings, my Brother in law's house is 20+ years old, made with cement block, has 20 year old single pane windows, yet uses very little electricity to heat/cool in SE FL. In fact his pool pump seems to be the biggest electric draw they say.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2011, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
542 posts, read 918,565 times
Reputation: 734
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_RDNC View Post
While new homes may be constructed tighter than the old homes, there is a need for the new homes to get some outside air mixture. This is to help dilute the chemical vapors that slowly come out of the materials used in the house. For example: carpets and padding often have formaldehyde outgassing for several weeks after they are installed, even water based paints give off fumes (and oil or epoxy paints are really noxious!), and particle board (most plywood) is held together with a glue that gives off fumes.

I'm not trying to scare anybody into leaving their windows open, but just saying that some infiltration is not only a good thing, but most cases necessary.
You bring up really good points! Ventilation is very necessary especially in new homes as they are tighter than they have ever been. Thankfully, most Energy Star Qualified homes have fresh air ventilation built into the HVAC system, and as of January 1, 2012 all Energy Star homes will be required to have fresh air ventilation. The idea is that you build a house tight and you ventilate it right! Otherwise, how would you ever build a house that is "just the right amount of leaky"? By building a house tight and ventilating it right, you can control where your outside ventilation is coming from and you'll know with some certainty, that you're not ventilating your home with attic or crawlspace air.

Michael
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Cary
1,075 posts, read 872,636 times
Reputation: 1115
Along the lines of increasing efficiencies to reduce energy useage.. I figured I'd check my soffit vents last week. House is 15 years old. Much to my surprise I found that of the 5 that I've replaced so far all were clogged to the tune of > 60%. Not with insulation/cellulose like I expected, but with dust like particles, cobwebs, and probably spider poop (extremely small black dots about this size of this dot >.< ) I also found one hole beneath a vent that was cut way too small. At $2/ea I'll be replacing the 14 that I can comfortable reach.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-16-2011, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Morrisville
1,168 posts, read 1,218,717 times
Reputation: 1075
Insulation is also a great way to reduce your heating and cooling costs. Regardless of the R-value make sure it's installed CORRECTLY! You could install R-100 into your walls but if it's not installed correctly you might as well not put anything in there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2011, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
921 posts, read 986,631 times
Reputation: 935
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggJoe4181 View Post
Insulation is also a great way to reduce your heating and cooling costs. Regardless of the R-value make sure it's installed CORRECTLY! You could install R-100 into your walls but if it's not installed correctly you might as well not put anything in there.
Very true, (of course there is a point of diminishing returns, R-40 probably being beyond that), but also it's absolutely vital that when modifying existing and/or adding new insulation that you pay attention to any vapor barriers.

Most residential insulation have a layer designed to be the final layer where moisture vapor, (as it naturally migrates from the moist side to the dry side in the same way heat migrates from the hot to the cold), is abruptly halted, in a location within the wall system where the insulation will always keep it warm enough so that it doesn't condense out into liquid moisture.

It takes some specialized knowledge to know where that barrier needs to be. A common mistake is to add a layer of batt insulation manufactured with an integral vapor barrier (IE: foil facing) into an existing wall system that already has a vapor barrier such as plastic house-wrap. This new barrier might be the location within the wall system where moisture would condense in the cold, and cause moisture damage, which could also lead to mold problems.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:



Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top