tyvek alternatives


Old 01-06-03, 11:58 AM
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tyvek alternatives

I just had my home built in Northern Virginia. The builder is reputable but he did not use the "standard" tyvek wrap that I see everywhere else. The wrap on my house seemed to be generic type and had the words "infiltration barrier" written on it, along with the name of the lumber company. Is the wrap on my house just a good or did the bldr cut corners here? I've noticed another builder in the area using the same wrap on a fairly expensive custom housing.

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Old 01-08-03, 05:37 AM
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I'm sure your home will be quite fine.

"Tyvek" is only a brand name, like "Kleenex" which is not the only nose blower out there.
Old 01-08-03, 12:20 PM
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thanks Greg....
Old 01-11-03, 07:36 AM
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Are Tyvek or similar products there to conserve energy?

The following was a reply I gave on the heating forum and it discusses the purpose of Tyvek and similar products. These products were designed to address air infiltration for homes in warm climates, even though vapor barriers and radiant barriers were being installed on the outside of walls in those areas. In my opinion, it does not address the source of the problem.

You don't need the diffussers if you're putting the pex tubing in floor. But if you're going to install it under floor, which in my opinion is the best way because you have easy access to it if something should go wrong, the diffussers are the best way to hold the tubing up against the floor without piercing or crimping the tubing.

I would recommend the boiler because it gives you a lot of options among other things. You could have an indirect domestic water, baseboards to heat the basement and easier to add a zone if you ever decide to add an addition to the home.

The 3" diameter ducts are known as a "mini duct system". Search the web for it and you'll see a lot of companies and look for some reviews on it. Mini duct systems, just like radiant floor systems, cost considerably more than a conventional or low velocity system. One of the reasons is because it is a high velocity system and the ducts must be well sealed and secured where they connect. This makes the installation more expensive. It is also an advantage because there is little air leakage, unlike most low velocity systems, they usually leak a lot. I use a "Duct Blaster" to measure duct leakage on forced air systems. 99 out of 100 homes tested that had low velocity systems in attics, the air leakage of the ducts were 5 times more what they were supposed to be.

Now if you ask a HVAC person they will say, "So What!", You can't make duct absolutely air tight!", "What's the problem? and so on. Try telling that to someone who is being told to leave their home because we just condemned it. There is a simple rule with the volume of air in a home and that is it remains constant. You cannot let air out of the home without letting the same volume air into it. Cold air entering a wall during the winter will actually dry out the wall, in the summer warm air will condense. Therein lies the problem with leaky low velocity systems in attics. When the air leaks in the ducts in the attic, it depressurizes the home. This sucks warm air from outside into your walls.

When air infiltrates the home because of depressurization, the vast majority of the air comes in from your windows and doors. A very small percentage will actual enter your walls. So how big of a problem is this? Have you ever heard of "Tyvek"? It is an air infiltration barrier applied on the outside of walls on a home. I am an Energy Conservationist and I can tell you the reason Tyvek was invented and its primary purpose is not to conserve energy, it is a side effect of the product.

So what's the problem? You can't make ducts air tight. Or better yet, "Who cares? It's not my house."

Last edited by resercon; 01-11-03 at 07:54 AM.
Old 01-13-03, 04:48 AM
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thanks greg.
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