Tons of noob questions with many photos!


Old 10-06-15, 10:15 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Question Tons of noob questions with many photos!

Hi all,

I bought my first place about 1 year ago and I知 trying to lower my heating bill since this past winter in Canada it costed me $230 on Jan and Feb each (We did have a longer and cold winter), I知 on Natural gas and rent the furnace and water tank so the rental is included in the cost per month. Those two rentals are about $70 per month so the actual gas I知 using costs about $160. I would like to try and lower the cost by looking for places where I can put more insulation or fix air leaks. I bought some great stuff (1 for large gaps and 1 for smaller gaps/cracks), I also bought some foil duct tape. Basically I知 looking for advice as to what I should be sealing with the great stuff and some advice regarding my attic. I took some pictures below and will explain my issue with each one.

Electrical Panel:
I do have some pics but for some reason I cannot attach them, maybe 4 pics max? While the electrical panel does have a wooden cabinet around it to look more appealing and seal in some air, in the finished basement there are still those large gaps where the different wires go into the wall to different parts of the house. There is defiantly leakage here as I felt during the last winter.

Plan to fix/Questions
Go outside to the electrical conduit coming into my house and seal up with great stuff. Should I first try to remove the old caulking or whatever was used first?

Should I attempt to fill the gaps where the wires are leading all over the house?The only downside I see here is that it might take a lot of foam and the wires would be a pain to move around when the foam hardens.

Furnace Room (Air intake/exhaust):
Attached is a picture of what I presume is my furnace air intake. Again in the winter I feel the cold air coming out of this pipe but there are also 2 other pipes on the outside.

Plan to fix/Questions
One most likely is the exhaust from the furnace but the other one would be for hot water tank exhaust?

I presume that since that furnace intake will pull in cold air then I should put some effort into sealing my furnace room so cold air does not leak into other parts of the basement right?

Should I try and remove the cover to the furnace intake/exhausts on the outside to check for leakage? If I see any then use great stuff?

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Old 10-06-15, 10:50 PM
PJmax's Avatar
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Welcome to the forums.

As a new member you are limited to five pictures per post until you reach ten posts. It's part of the spam reduction system.
Old 10-07-15, 05:28 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
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Also it's best if you limit yourself to one or two questions per post and put them in the relevant section of the forum. Keep in mind that the plumbers tend to look at questions in the plumbing sections. Electricians tend to look at posts in the electrical sections. You posted in the "insulation radiant vapor barriers" part of the forum which is fine for your first paragraph but then you have an electrical question and a furnace HVAC question. So, your furnace and electrical questions probably won't get much attention hidden in the insulation section of the forum. Also, breaking up and posting your questions individually will allow you to only post those pictures pertinent to that subject and you shouldn't have trouble with the picture limit.
Old 10-07-15, 11:06 AM
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His questions appear to be all related to weatherproofing and insulating.

In your first picture that is a fresh air intake line. It supplies fresh air to a fossil fuel burning appliance so that heated air is not drawn from the house. If it is needed... you can seal that room better to keep the cold air contained.

It looks like in your pictures you have a sealed combustion furnace by the PVC fittings. You may no longer need the fresh air line.

You may want to stuff some fiberglass insulation in with the electrical wires so that you can use those holes in the future. Sealing the service to outside is a good idea. If there is any loose crumbling caulking/insulation.... remove it first.

How is your furnace vented.... with a PVC line ?
Is there one or two PVC lines ?
Is there a gas water heater in that room too ?
Old 10-07-15, 02:16 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
The main issue I have is keeping heat inside my house and making it as efficient as possible. So I try to keep my questions related to insulation which touches many aspects of the house, I have not even posted about attic or garage yet.

PJmax: Thanks for the response.

I will get some insulation and try to stuff it in behind the wires in the electrical closet and use great stuff to seal outside. I think I will need to break the insulation to fix it inside.

Yes there is a gas water heater in the furnace room but I don't think it has a fresh air intake for it.

The 3 photos are of the only 3 vents I can see from the back of my house near the basement level. I suspect one is fresh air intake for the furnace room and the other 2 for gas exhaust from furnace and hot water tank. I will need to confirm with my gas company who I rent the furnace and water tank from to see if they know how its setup and what other tips they can give me.
Old 10-08-15, 12:03 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Batch of questions part 2

Outside Conduits (Electricity/Gas/others):
Below is a picture of the majority of connections coming into my house. From right to left they are
Electrical for AC, main electrical, small fibre for internet, small cable, Old electrical for hot tub from previous owners.

Plan to fix/Questions
The last box I知 not sure what it is, any ideas? My gas connection is further down the side of the house. Water perhaps?

Should I bother removing the old hot tub electrical wire? The electrical inside the house has already been disconnected and breaker removed but now just the big cable is just left. It seems pretty solidly sealed to the outside of the house then goes into the ground.

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Sealing House exterior:
I致e been reading that rim joists should be insulated so cold air does not leak into the walls and basement. I only have about 10% of my basement unfinished (furnace room) and the only wall it shares is the wall I share with my neighbor (My place is a semi-detached). Below is a picture of the unfinished part.

Plan to fix/Questions
Hot air can also leak from basement to attic, so I will use great stuff and some pink insulation that I can cut to size to seal the gaps (hard to see in picture) but of course I cannot go all around my basement since it痴 finished.

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Below is another picture of the outside wall of my home looking up the wall siding. I assume that wood that is showing is the sill plate. It looks like a gap, which would allow cold air inside. Some spots are worse than others (pic was worst spot). I was thinking of using great stuff to seal these gaps all around my house.

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