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I took this last night before it got buried again under this mornings little beating from the lake. I thought it showed a pretty good example of what happens when insulation gets old and compresses.

The left side of the house has new insulation. The ceilings are vaulted and that side is wide open from the lower level. The right side has two bedrooms on the first floor and one upper. The insulation is old fiberglass with a black vapor barrier. (asphalt?) If you were to see the house from the front, it's a typical 3/4 cape. I heat the place with a woodstove. That's the chimney in the picture.

Anyway, I thought this would be kind of cool to share, since we don't always get to see working examples of the difference it can make.

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NICE. Can't get the wife to shovel?

No, but she can throw another log on the fire. Then she can cook him up some bacon and some beans, etc. [:)]

There are four identical houses down the road from here. One has a heat pump, the others have electric baseboard heat I believe, only been in one of them. But it is fun to watch the frost melt off the roof of the heat pump house first - they must have it cranked up warm and toasty in there.

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It's also a pretty good indicator of thermal bridging.

Here in China, if you live south of the Yangtze, almost no one has heat. Heating your interior space in winter is a very new concept, almost universally ignored.

It's common (actually, not common....standard) for everyone to dress for the outside even though they will spend their entire day inside. In restaurants, one sees entire rooms of people sitting around laughing and eating wearing full length winter coats with the hoods up, fingerless gloves, boots. Same goes for any retail establishment, hotel, or residence. I was in a "very nice hotel" 2 nights ago where the lobby and all the halls were about 5degC; the room was heated, which when you think about it, is all that matters. Life in a meat locker.

I spent a week in the mountains camping out inside my hotel room; it was about 7degC, see your breath cold. Standard practice for bed is thick flannel pants, thick wool socks, my SmartWool shirt, down jacket, and stocking cap. The hotel provides a hot water bottle for your feet. There is hot water in hotel rooms, but most people exist without it; ice cold showers in an ice cold room is nothing anyone even thinks about; it's what one does.

I've adopted the signature behavior of Chinese living south of the Yangtze, i.e., walking around wherever you are because as soon as you sit down the ice cold furniture sucks the heat out of you. Hanging around with a bunch of Chinese in winter is like watching lost souls circling the room in a repetitive loop...LR, kitchen for more hot water, down the hall, back to the LR, etc.

All those pictures one sees of Chinese wearing 14 layers of quilted everything, and babies being bundled up until they look like they're inflated make sense to me now. Mountain Hardware technical gear is a status symbol, largely because it's Western, but also because it keeps you warm.

Some neighbors of Ms.Wu's took the extreme step of installing heat in their apartment recently (they're expectant parents and like the idea of their child having heat), and hearing that I was a "building expert in America", asked me to weigh in on the install. I was more than a little impressed.

Ariston tankless boiler w/domestic water heat exchange, Frankische AL/PEX pipe, these slick little connectors similar to SharkBites?, and Purmo panel radiators. Very slick. Since this is China, and all buildings are essentially concrete boxes, everything is surface mount including the pipe; no one thinks anything about exposed mechanicals....having a heating system is luxury, and Chinese like to flaunt it when they got it.

The core driller showed up and finished his job in about 2 hours...clean, dust containment, clean up, excellent tradesman, and the following day a 2 man team showed up and did the entire install in one day, no wasted motion, no excuses. One day. Bang. It was brilliant. The walk in at 9am the place is a meat locker, they walk out @ 6pm and it's getting toasty.

I may put a similar system in Ms. Wu's apartment.

Regardless, these new low temperature radiator systems are awesome, and an extremely affordable alternative to radiant floor systems. The low temps make them compatible with eco-source hot water (solar being the big push), unlike radiant floor. Nearly every house in China has a solar water heater/storage system. It would be great to be young and in the heating business in China; there's about 2 companies in all of China doing this stuff.

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All this is starting to make me wish I could visit China.

It was interesting and educational to learn how things are up in northern USA and Canada when I first joined this forum years ago. These posts from our ambassador to China takes it to a whole new level.

Is that PEX encased in PVC?


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It's aluminum sandwiched in PEX and (I think) PVC. It's damn nice stuff. So are the radiators and all the components. All the valves are gates, with the gates being a really nice machined brass design. Nice, heavy, perfect fit kind of stuff. What else would I expect from Germans?

I can't read Chinese characters on the invoice and all the websites are in German, Polish, Arabic, or some other language I can't read.

There's only one PLACE I've found in the US that handles some of this stuff.

The radiators are Purmo from Poland.

Pipe and fittings are Frankeische alpex duo from Germany

Boiler is Ariston from England.

All this stuff is amazingly cheap in China, and I don't think we can even get any of it in the USA.

Internet here absolutely SUCKS....slow, blocked, ridiculously stupid. You can research it better from there than I can from here. I only get to see it.

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The one thing I'm absolutely sure of is.....heat is good and appropriate when it's cold outside.

You'd be amazed at the number of Chinese people and various expats (pretty much everyone) that say no, heat means using energy and that means "pollution" and pollution is bad so heat is bad.

Since I have no plan or desire to change anyone's mind on this topic, I will let dogs have their day and quietly install heat when no one is looking.

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