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Help improving our current house  RSS feed

 
Jim Nyberg
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3 years ago we bought house in the middle of Sweden. It's about 1500square feet.

The temps at winter can go down to -22F (-30C)

If I can improve what we got that would be easiest but iam not foreign to change or rebuild.

We have a Air heat exchanger pump. Mitsubishi 6kw but I prefer not using it if I don't have to.

Iam not sure about the English names for these setups.

In the large living room we have the big white(se picture) it retains heat for some time but doesn't give enough to reach comfortable temps at winter.

In the kitchen we have a iron stove also used for cooking. This gives quick heat. But the house is still a little bit too cold =)

The red clay chimneys are I'm the middle of the house with steel pipes inside

Thanks

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Big white
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David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3567
Location: Anjou ,France
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You dont mention insulation.
Have you double glazing ? How good is it ? have you curtains ? What is the roof like ? Curtains on Doors?
How thick are the walls ? Have you dratf proofing ?
These things dont cost that much and can have a great effect before you think about upgrading your fires .

David
 
Jim Nyberg
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The house is built 1790 so a lot of features are to keep the old feel. But it's a double insulated log house.

problem areas are the living room floor. Wide board wood planks single insulated from the basement with 50mm brown pressed fiber boards (?). At winter times there is a lot of draft between the planks. Beneath the living room is the cold cellar which is very moist. I want to add insulation to the ceiling of the cellar but don't want to create a mold growing ground. So iam not really sure how to go about it.

Second problem area is the air duct between the main house and the pre-house(don't know the term) which is uninsulated. And the doors are really old wood doors.




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Width of walls
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Wooden floor
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House doors
 
Jim Nyberg
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The doors
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Doors
 
Jim Nyberg
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We don't have insulation curtains on windows. Didn't even know they exist. Would be an idea. Recommended material? Felt is kind of expensive here. We have 2-3 thick cotton curtains on the doors but plan to add even thicker ones.

Double glazing from the 90s.

Haven't crawled the crawling space on the attic but it was insulated in the 90s, I recon it would need some looking in to.

 
David Livingston
steward
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Location: Anjou ,France
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I think that a look in the Crawl space of the Attic might certainly tell you if there is enough insolation in the roof and also doing something about the floor might help too . Why do you think that mold in the celler might be an issue ? Since it is already damp down there in the celler not sure how both insolation and draft proofing could make things that worse . Stopping drafts is a very good way to maintain heat and save money.
Looking again at what I assume is a mass heater you have in the lounge I notice soot marks above the door . That does not seem right to me as these things should burn both very efficiently and cleanly have you thought of getting it serviced ?
As for curtains mine are a couple of layers of cotton but thick stuff not sure what the correct name for it is .

David
 
Bill Bradbury
pollinator
Posts: 684
Location: Richmond, Utah
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It looks like air sealing is your biggest challenge. Air is coming in around your windows and doors, gaps around masonry heater, floor cracks and probably many other places as well. My guess is that cold attic air is coming down between the 2 walls and entering your home through these cracks and gaps. Caulk the windows and floor, weatherize your doors and lime plaster the gaps in the walls and ceiling. webpage
You may have to bring in make-up air from outside when burning the masonry heater to avoid backdrafting after you have air sealed.
Insulating the floor can have negative consequences, so I generally recommend sealing and insulating the exterior of the crawl space(under house) instead.
 
Jim Nyberg
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The soot above the masonry doors are from opening the doors and adding wood when needed when in full fire mode.

Iam filling the cracks between floor and cellar now with polyurethane foam. The rats seems to love that stuff.

Thinking about stacking some hay bales or loose hay beneath the out-hall(pre-house) floor.

Certainly draft is my biggest issue.



Regarding the moist. My worry is that the moist will create a breeding ground for mold in my cellar roof insulation.

I will also have to seal the small draft windows better in the cellar
 
Jim Nyberg
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Renovation of outer doors
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New outer doors
 
Brian Knight
Posts: 554
Location: Asheville NC
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I agree with the airsealing comments. Hard to know your situation from my desk chair, but I would look into sealing the cellar walls. The masonry to wood transition should be an area of focus. You might need to run a duct from the heat pump or add a dehumidifier down there.

Dont forget about your roof/attic. Where is the insulation? Roof deck (underneath finish roofing material) or on the attic floor (above finished ceiling). If the latter, you could consider peeling it back and finding airleaks before covering it back and adding more. This could be the best possible improvements you could make.

 
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