The central heater (boiler) in our house is located in a small, separate room that has no insulation. It has a louvered wood door opening into a hallway. The problem is the noise that the heater makes when it cycles on and off. A bedroom that adjoins the boiler room is also cold, even though there is baseboard radiation. What can we do to reduce the noise and warm up that bedroom?
It is not unusual for central heaters to make some noise when they are operating. With hot-water heat such as you have, the burner itself generally makes some noise when it fires up, pipes that carry water to the radiators expand and contract and the radiators themselves can be quite noisy. Some of the noise, and the lack of heat in the adjoining bedroom, is probably due to the lack of insulation in the walls that separate the boiler room from the living area.
The louvered door is also a sieve for noise from the boiler room and also lets cold air from that room pour into the hallway in the living area. One of the first things you should do is replace the louvered door with an insulated, solid-core door that will help buffer both the noise and cold-air infiltration. If the boiler burner needs more combustion air, it should get it from outside, via a tube that can run to the vicinity of the burner. If the wall between the boiler room and bedroom is wood-framed, it can be insulated by pumping cellulose insulation into the wall cavities through small openings cut in the drywall.
These projects should help both noise problem and the cold-room problem.
The glass in a number of double-glazed windows in our house mysteriously breaks and no one, including manufacturers I have contacted, can explain it. It is always the inner glass that breaks, and the same side of the house. No one is breaking it on purpose or by accident. Fixing the glass is expensive, and I am looking for a solution or explanation. Can you help?
I confess I have never encountered this problem before. I have to believe it is either a manufacturing or installation defect. If the glass is too tight in the frames, the stress might cause it to break, especially if there are abrupt temperature changes. Expanding foam is sometimes used to insulate around windows, and if it is the wrong kind of foam (special low-expansion foam should be used), it can cause distortion of the frames and possibly stress on the glass. If you know what company made these windows and when they were installed, you should be able to find out what warranty they have. If that strategy fails, I would consider high-quality replacement windows.
I have about six partly used caulking-gun cartridges in my basement with different kinds of caulk. I always wipe off the nozzle and replace the cap before storing it. When I try to use some of this leftover caulk, I always have a hard time getting it to flow and sometimes fail completely. I hate to waste all that caulk.
This is a problem that most do-it-yourselfers who use caulk will face sooner or later. It sometimes helps if you plug the nozzle with a nail or screw before storing a partly used cartridge. After the caulk hardens, you will often have to pull out the nail with pliers, but the caulk sometimes starts flowing again.
Questions and comments should be e-mailed to Gene Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send regular mail to 1730 Blue Bell Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422.