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The Oak Leaf – July 2010

By July 1, 2010March 22nd, 2024Newsletter

Welcome to the July 2010 issue of The Oak Leaf! For new readers, this is a monthly newsletter that is sent by e-mail to those that have expressed an interest in Gastineau Log Homes. We use this as a way of communicating technical, design and industry information. For more information, check out our web site at

Save energy with an old school clothes dryer: By hanging clothes out to dry rather than using an electric or gas clothes dryer, you will save both energy and water. The energy savings is obvious but what about water savings? The average clothes dryer uses about 800 kWh of energy annually, and it takes about 35,000 gallons of water to produce that energy in a fossil fuel powered power plant, according to studies that have been done by Virginia Tech grad students. Hanging laundry outside is not always possible (Maine in January for example) but everyone can use them at some times of the year. Check out this product that provides 140’ of clothes line in a retractable unit.

HVAC systems for log homes: Installing a forced air HVAC system can be difficult in any two story home that has an exposed beam floor system and vaulted ceilings on the second floor. Check out Unico systems. This small duct high velocity central HVAC system may be the answer. Manufactured in St Louis, MO but distributed throughout the U.S., it has been featured many times on the PBS show This Old House.

Comparison of GLH standard building specifications to the guidelines for more earthquake resistant home construction:

  1. Guideline: Exterior walls should b securing to the foundation using anchors, bolts, etc. GLH System: We are the only log home company in the nation that anchors the first log directly to the foundation vs setting logs on top of the subfloor.
  2. Guideline: Metal strap ties or hold downs to connect the second floor to the first floor. GLH System: Our second floor beam hangers attach the second floor to the log walls.
  3. Guideline: Beams and joists are joined together with metal connectors and fasteners. GLH System: All our beams for floors, walls, and ceilings have metal connectors included in the package.
  4. Guideline: Post-to-beam connections reinforced with metal connectors. GLH System: All post to ridge connections in our designs specify metal connectors and they are included in our package.
  5. Guideline: Minor foundation wall cracks are repaired with epoxy. GLH does not provide foundations but we recommend this practice.

Importance of sealed ducts in an HVAC system:

Most homes with central air conditioning and heating systems have ducts that were never properly sealed . The average home’s ducts leak around 30 % of the conditioned air outside the home. (Some experts say as much as 40%!) These leaks are taking money straight out of your pocketbook. Properly sealed ducts will lower your energy bills and reduce pollution inside your home.

What are sealed ducts?

Ducts are a system of tubes that distribute conditioned air to rooms throughout a structure. Sealed ducts have properly installed joints and connections to minimize leakage air. Air leaks cannot be seen, and so diagnostic testing verifies leakage. The use of a fog machine in conjunction with the Duct Blaster¨ can help to locate them. These leaks can then be addressed by using approved tapes, mastics, and mechanical fasteners.

What is a “Duct Blaster?

A Duct Blaster® is a tool used to test the air leakage rate of forced air duct systems. The equipment consists of a calibrated fan, tape to temporarily seal all the registers, flexible duct to connect the fan to the central return of the duct system; and a digital meter to measure fan flow and duct pressure. Duct leakage is measured by pressurizing the duct system and precisely measuring the fan flow and duct pressure. Duct leakage measurements are used to diagnose leakage problems and certify the quality of duct system installation.

What does this mean for new construction?

When you visit with the HVAC contractor for your new home, ask him if he will perform a test for duct leaks as part of his bid and provide you with results. Make him agree that ductwork that leaks of15% of more will be replaced or repaired to reduce the leaks.

Log Raising in Ava, MO on July 10, 2010:

Ava, MO is located southeast of Springfield, MO and just northeast of Branson. A customized Lakeview plan is being built on the family farm as a retirement home for a couple from Louisiana. The log raising will be from 8 to 3 on Saturday, July 10th. Bring your lawn chairs, spend the day and learn how a log home is correctly built. For directions or more information, call 800-654-9253. The day of the log raising, call 888-255-0523.

2010 Upcoming Building Seminars at GLH:

July 24, 2010 September 25, 2010 November 23, 2010

Customized Caroline on the Osage River in Missouri.

Answer to the Trivia Question: The 56 signers did not sign at the same time. The official event occurred on August 2, 1776 when 50 men signed. Thomas McKean was the last to sign in January, 1777. The names of the signers were withheld from the public for more than six months to protect the signers. If Independence had not been achieved, the treasonable act of the signers would have, by law, resulted in their deaths.

Quote of the Month: “We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. “ ~Robert J. McCracken