Archive for February, 2015

Why is My Insulated Shed Cold

lWhy is My Insulated Shed ColdA client was recently asking why his shed was always cold. He had spent over $1000 insulating it with insulation, proper windows and doors. His wife was quite frustrated and felt that he had wasted his money. He was wondering what he should do and how he could recover his investment. The questions of why is my insulated shed cold is a common one. Yet it has a relatively easy answer. Insulation placed in walls, floors and ceilings of any structure do not generate heat. The insulation slows the passage of heat through the wall, preserving the temperature of the room or structure at whatever level it is at.

The key word here is that it slows the passage of heat through the insulated barrier. In the summer time the interior can be cool because the insulation is keeping the outdoor summer heat from penetrating through the walls. In the winter, the reverse is true. However unless you have a heat source there will be no heat to pass through the insulation. Windows and doors have different insulating properties. For example, a window will allow the suns rays to pass through the window. The radiation from the sun will heat up the interior of the room in the winter as well as the summer.

Solutions for Why is My Insulated Shed Cold

In the winter time, use a small electric heater if you are able. It will add sufficient heat to make a small insulated room comfortable. If you do not have an electric heater or there is no electricity, you can use a gas stove, a propane stove or a wood stove. In all cases make sure there is proper ventilation for the stove to the outside. Your shed will remain warm. It will stay that way for a longer period if the walls and ceiling is well insulated.

The summer time is quite different. Your shed will remain cool. It will as long as the doors and windows are closed and the windows do not allow the suns rays to penetrate. The insulation in the walls etc, will prevent the heat of the summer months from penetrating. On cool nights you can open the windows to cool off your shed since some heat will always pass through the walls, windows and doors depending on how well they are insulated.

Should you Buy Electric or Hybrid Vehicles

Electric or Hybrid VehiclesShould you buy an electric or hybrid vehicles? Is it the right time, can you save enough money to off set the higher prices of these vehicles? Are the charging stations convenient enough? Is the technology mature enough as compared to the traditional gasoline or diesel powered vehicles? We think that most consumers are still concluding that the answer is no and it is still not time to make the transition from gasoline or diesel powered cars to an electric or hybrid vehicle. We will examine a few of the reasons why in the following paragraphs. Note that the industry is make tremendous strides in terms of the technology and the all important charging station issue.

Should You Buy an Electric or Hybrid Vehicles Now

We think that the issues can be narrowed down to the following five issues without considering items such as look and feel of the car for electric or hybrid vehicle purchase plans. These can be factors for some consumers over one model vs. another, but the transition to the electric vehicle is controlled by the following.

  • Price
  • Range
  • Charge
  • Power
  • Convenience
  • Upgrades

Price – are still higher for a comparable electric or hybrid vehicle vs the same model gasoline powered car.

Range – for hybrid cars is well up there compared to traditional cars, but battery technology has a long way to go before all electric vehicles will make the grade

Charge – power stations are not frequent enough yet. Consumers driving large RV’s must plan their route around places to stop for the night, electric cars are still in this same planning horizon.

Power – all electric vehicles have excellent ratings for 0 – 60, not so much for the hybrids. If this is important to you then you may want to wait a bit.

Convenience – for recharging to less space inside your car for luggage etc might be an issue for many consumers. The writer found that most hybrids and all electrics cannot carry the luggage for the family without major reductions.

Upgrades – all cars but especially the new all electrics are more and more controlled by computers which will need upgrades from time to time to reflect improvements and glitches that need repairs. A mature vehicle development for the electric car industry still has a way to go.

Other issues that many consumers will also consider include roominess, look and feel of the car, colors, and maintenance costs. Also top speed, resale values (which have not yet been determined for many new vehicles) and a host of other items.

Cold Air Return in Basement

Cold Air Return in BasementThe question many people were asking recently is whether you needed to have a cold air return in  basement. Before we answer this question it is important to understand why you need cold air returns in the first place and whether the basement is finished or not. A cold air return is only used with forced air systems where there is a furnace located within the home. Hot air is forced throughout a duct system by a fan located on the furnace through ducts to every part of the home. The furnace draws air from the cold air return ducts which channel air through ducts that also connect to every room in the house.  This arrangement allows for a continuous feed of air throughout the home.

Cold Air Return in Basement – Unfinished

If your basement is unfinished, there is really no need to be concerned about a cold air return vent. There is usually enough leakage that some air is still drawn from the basement into the system and replaced by heated air from a hot air duct. In fact many people prefer this approach. Since the basement is unfinished and they really do not want to heat it anyway. It is however important to make sure that the temperature is above freezing levels. Staying above freexing avoids water pipes located in the basement freezing and causing water leaks.

Cold Air Return in Basement – Finished Basement

Once a basement is finished, there is a need to make sure that it is warm enough to be enjoyed and that means air must be allowed to flow in as well as out of the room. Air flows in through the hot air duct and out through the cold air duct. The cold air duct should be located at floor level where the cold air settles. It should be open to allow air to enter and return to the furnace to be heated.

In some cases if there is poor air circulation, consumers will install an auxiliary heater. An electric heater or fireplace to heat the basement rooms. Basements are difficult to keep warm since hot air rises and cold air falls. This phenomenon can make basement rooms very cold. A small gas fireplace with a fan will heat up a basement room in no time at all. There is no need to worry about chimneys now with the new high efficiency fireplaces. All you need is a properly installed vent out the side of the house and you are ready to go!


Electric or Hybrid – Buy Now

electric or hybrid vehiclesElectric cars and also hybrids are becoming more popular. More models are available and the charging infrastructure is gradually improving. However charging stations have a long ways to go before they begin to approach the convenience of gasoline and diesel fueled vehicles. So what should you do, electric or hybrid – buy now or wait a while longer. There are a number of variables that we think that most owners will consider before they make a decision. These new style of cars regardless of whether it is an all electric vehicle or a hybrid vehicle. Personally when the writer looked at these set of variables, we opted for a traditional gasoline fueled car that is very efficient on the roads. So what are the variables that you should consider?

Electric or Hybrid or traditional Fueled Cars

  • Price
  • Range
  • Charge
  • Power
  • Convenience
  • Upgrades

Price – is still a major factor with most hybrids and all electrics still higher than their gasoline counterparts. Operational costs not including maintenance are of course lower.

Range – Electric vehicles simply do not have the range so if this is an issue, you may want to consider a hybrid which can obtain much better range at highly efficient levels in terms of miles per gallon.

Charge – although most can be 80% charged in 30 minutes, availability of charging stations and cost of upgrading your power plug at home is an issue for many people.

Power – with direct drive electric motors, electric cars produce excellent acceleration compared to similar models in the hybrid and traditional area.

Convenience – charging is an issue, the cars are smaller  and not having to find a gas station to fill up when all of your trips are short in nature. Take this into account if you are planning to use it for anything more than commuting.

Upgrades – all cars are being upgraded every year, but electric cars are very computerized and now you may need regular software upgrades, firmware upgrades as part of your normal maintenance.

Check out all of the numbers as well as your personal needs and use. Before you make that big ticket decision about electric or hybrid vehicles. We opted for a traditional late model car that is fuel efficient and takes regular gasoline. We think the industry has a way to go before these cars and technology is mature.


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