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Old 07-15-2010, 08:38 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
5,142 posts, read 13,121,123 times
Reputation: 2515

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba steve View Post
- Running around with foaminacan in the attic taking care of places where I could feel cool air coming in
- Same thing with the foam behind outlets and any penetration in the sheetrock where wiring or a water line came in. This had the nice side effect of taking the indoor bug count down to about zero.
Can you elaborate a bit on this? Where can I add foam in the can in the attic?
How did you do the outlets? I get a bit worried around electricity!
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:44 AM
 
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,884 posts, read 20,405,752 times
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Everyone has given me great ideas! Thank you so much. I had no idea you could even do radiant barrier as a DIY! Awesome. We actually have 4 attic spaces--two are conventional "attics"--above the garage, with a drop down door and above the second floor with a drop down door. The other two attics are more "Texas Basements"--above the master bedroom and accessible via a small door in the upstairs playroom, and the other is above our kitchen dining area and accessible via a small door in the back of my daughter's closet. We're actually considering building that closet out b/c for some reason, Ryland decided it was okay to put the teeniest closet in the world in her room. I mean TEENY...with all that empty attic space behind it. What a waste...
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:19 AM
 
872 posts, read 1,856,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeet09 View Post
Can you elaborate a bit on this? Where can I add foam in the can in the attic?
How did you do the outlets? I get a bit worried around electricity!
One way to help around outlets/light switches is simply to purchase foam cut-outs that are designed to fit over the outlet/switch just like the plastic coverplate. The foam one goes behind the plastic one and helps seal air leaks. You only need to put this on the exterior bordering walls. Its harder to feel the air leak with you hand when it is warm out but when it is cold (colder the better) you can feel the air leak by placing your hand very near the outlet/switch.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,615 posts, read 14,791,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeet09 View Post
Can you elaborate a bit on this? Where can I add foam in the can in the attic?
How did you do the outlets? I get a bit worried around electricity!
The attic part - I noticed while doing the radiant barrier that in a corner of the attic adjacent to conditioned space in the house I could feel cool air blowing in. It's the type of attic with a short door that you walk straight in to (attic above the garage where you enter from the side rather than by pulling down stairs), and the air was coming in along the wall adjacent to the bedroom on the other side of the wall. A can of foam in a can plugged that leak.

The outlets - I unscrewed the faceplate and ran a thin layer of foam on the reverse side of the faceplate. It seals against the wall. You can also buy foam cutouts for this but I kept seeing them for 50 cents for a 2-pack. That would've added up pretty quickly for a 4 bedroom house with loads of switches and outlets. A can of foam was 2 bucks.

Anyway before all this work the attic temp would be 120-140 in the afternoon, depending on which attic you were in. Now it tops out a little over 100.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
5,142 posts, read 13,121,123 times
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Thanks for the tips scuba steve! I have two weeks of vacation to do some of the things you mentioned.
I bought a foam in the can but the stuff goes everywhere; is this normal?

Last edited by skeet09; 07-15-2010 at 01:38 PM..
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Mid South Central TX
3,216 posts, read 8,555,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeet09 View Post
Thanks for the tips scuba steve! I have two weeks of vacation to do some of the things you mentioned.
I bought a foam in the can but the stuff goes everywhere; is this normal?
Are you using the little "straw" that came with it?
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:33 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
5,142 posts, read 13,121,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pobre View Post
Are you using the little "straw" that came with it?
Did both; with and without. I'm missing something!
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:47 PM
 
18,130 posts, read 25,282,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba steve View Post
I cut my peak electric bills by about 40% by
- tinting windows in a south-facing room
Did you tint the windows yourself?
I'm thinking about doing that (I put tinted windows on my car by myself)
Any advice? (color, %, etc)
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,615 posts, read 14,791,891 times
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I did it myself, mainly because replacing the windows would have been too difficult due to the brick construction. It was pretty straightforward - I just went to Lowes and got the best tint they sold. It's not really hard to install and their darkest does cut light by a lot to be honest but this room was consistently 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the house. The room also faces due south, and the three big windows each have a transom above them with no window treatment.

The foam - I got a kind that may be out of production. For the outlet covers I used a kind that doesn't expand as much and comes off easily. Haven't seen it around in a while. For behind the baseboards and other cracks in the attic I used the regular sticky kind. A good rule of thumb is, if you take off a faceplate and there's dust back there you have air going in or out from that point.
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:23 PM
 
Location: 1604 & Potranco Area
314 posts, read 832,405 times
Reputation: 385
Yes they help but I don't think you will ever get your money back if you pay for them to be made. You can make them yourself for about $22-$25 per window from home depot or lowes.
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