Post image for Problems with Crawlspaces – Venting and other Underhouse Ills

  Crawlspaces are like the Loch Ness monster; talked about, rarely seen and potentially a bit scary. The crawlspace is that empty, barely accessible pit under the house filled with swampy water, cobwebs and spiders the size of dinner plates (that was the Google result for ‘spiders the size of dinner plates…enjoy). At least that’s […]

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Ice dam

  When my wife and I bought our current house, one appeal was that it was largely uninsulated. Given the choice between somewhat insulated and uninsulated, give me the blank slate every time. We moved in September and between the start of a super busy audit season and unpacking, any desired projects were temporarily back-burnered. […]


Should I Insulate My Garage Door?

by Erik North on June 14, 2013

Post image for Should I Insulate My Garage Door?

    One of the core questions an auditor asks themselves during a home inspection is ‘Where is the thermal boundary?’ and ‘Where is the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts?’ Those two questions run neck and neck. The thermal boundary is the demarcation line for energy movement between the unconditioned exterior and conditioned interior air. This can […]


Does More Wall Insulation Reduce Cooling Cost?

by Erik North on June 10, 2013

Post image for Does More Wall Insulation Reduce Cooling Cost?

      Hey, hey…It’s warm enough so that I can get back to publishing those air conditioning articles from last summer’s backlog. Does More Wall Insulation Reducing Cooling Costs? A little but way less than you think. That’s the short answer. The long answer will take…a bit longer. Adding insulation reduces heat flow. That’s […]


How Much Insulation Do You Need?

by Erik North on June 8, 2012


  OK…We’re back after that brief incident of real life. Besides the obvious answer – MORE (but you knew that just based on your heating bills, didn’t you?), how much insulation do you need? There are loads of different standards from Energy Star to PassivHaus to your dad (“about this much” … holds hands apart). […]


Can I Install Insulation Over Vermiculite?

by Erik North on May 8, 2012

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  I often say my blog is about answering common customer questions, and in any home where we discover vermiculite, the customer asks whether you can just blow insulation over it. I was thinking of just writing ‘No’ for this entry and calling it a day. Maybe I could send it to Guinness to see […]


New Feature – Cool Pics

by Erik North on April 25, 2012

Post image for New Feature – Cool Pics

  In putting together some info this weekend for an Earth Day conference event, I realized…I have a LOT of photos. So I’ll be posting cool photos that illustrate real world examples from audits of things I’ve written about here. And first up is a photo that isn’t even mine. But I got it today […]

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Blown In Fiberglass vs. Fiberglass Batts

by Erik North on December 29, 2011

Blown In Fiberglass vs. Fiberglass Batts

    I suppose it was only time before insulation manufacturers realized they could forego the expense of all that kraft paper binding the fiberglass batts. At first blush, it seems like blown in fiberglass and fiberglass batts ought to be very similar. I mean they’re both fiberglass, right? However, it’s like saying glass shards […]


Fiberglass vs. Cellulose

by Erik North on December 22, 2011

Fiberglass vs. Cellulose

  The two least expensive and most commonly used residential insulation are fiberglass and cellulose. Granted fiberglass is about 50 times more common but a distant second is still second. Unless the homeowner opts for spray foam, their insulation choice usually comes down to fiberglass vs. cellulose. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of […]


What is Dew Point?

by Erik North on December 16, 2011

What is Dew Point?

  I’ve mentioned dew point in passing many, many times. You can tell from the name it has something to do with moisture. And moisture is a problem flash point in homes so it might be worth knowing a bit more about dew point. So what is dew point? How is it a driver of […]