The February 2009 Energy Update

  • Luke L

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 35530

    Didn't really take any of the process, but I basically just framed it out with 2x6 studs, found the smallest decent exterior prehung door (cause really that's where you're losing the most cold air when you go in and out) and used r21 bats with 2in styrofoam on the inside. That plus the reflectix probably has the room to a total r value of r32-33? My cooling unit is just an AC unit hotwired to bypass the internal thermostat plugged into an external therm so that I can take it down below 60 degF without the AC unit shutting down.

    Not much to see there now as it's basically just a lot of beer cases and some kegs stacked on shelves and each other. But if you want I can prolly snap some pics tonight and send 'em to you.

    -Luke.

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  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719935

    Pictures of the beer would be fine. I'm sure lots of jealous DBAs would be interested 🙂

  • mhaskins

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1145

    One of my favourite Canadians is David Suzuki and he did a portion on one of his TV shows on passively heated homes in Germany. I guess this is a big thing there and it is very popular. No furnace. No boiler. What heats your home? You and your appliances (fridge, etc.) and an aptly-placed heat exchanger. Very, very cool.

    http://newenergyandfuel.com/http:/newenergyandfuel/com/2008/12/30/save-almost-all-the-energy-with-passive-heated-homes/

    Mia

    I have come to the conclusion that the top man has one principle responsibility: to provide an atmosphere in which creative mavericks can do useful work.
    -- David M. Ogilvy

  • Jaime Purcell

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 131

    Hmmm.

    I converted my garage into another room, with a laundry area. The other day, while the exhaust was not venting to the outside, one of my children was drying his clothes and the [small] luandry room was very warm.

    Somehow I will rig the clothes dryer's exhaust to also heat the house in the winter.

  • Luke L

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 35530

    Jaime Purcell (2/26/2009)


    Hmmm.

    I converted my garage into another room, with a laundry area. The other day, while the exhaust was not venting to the outside, one of my children was drying his clothes and the [small] luandry room was very warm.

    Somehow I will rig the clothes dryer's exhaust to also heat the house in the winter.

    I know people who do this, you just need to be aware of 2 things, a) the exhaust from your clothes dryer is VERY moist and if you don't do something with the moisture it will cause mold b) you still need to catch the little bits of lint that make it past your lint screen in your dryer. usually an old pair of nylons will work for this purpose. My dad has some sort of vent redirection apparatus that can point the exhaust outside in summer and back inside in the winter. He still hasn't found a decent solution to the moisture issue yet though other than a big thing of DampRid or other such thing.

    -Luke.

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  • Jaime Purcell

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 131

    Thanks for the warning. I was aware of both, especially the moisture/mold issue. I am in Houston after all 🙂 Yes, it does get cold here every once in a while.

  • thelabwiz

    Old Hand

    Points: 389

    Several years ago we moved into an older house (built about 1975) and one of the big energy savers has been plugging up the air leaks.

    - Caulk around windows and doors.

    - Caulk where different building materials meet: found some 1/2" gaps between the siding on bay window and the brick of that wall.

    - Caulk where brick fireplace meets the inside walls.

    - Weatherstripping around doors: including the garage doors, the attic access door, and between double doors (there was none). Weatherstripping around the basement garage door raised the temperature at that end of the basemet by 10 degrees in cold weather.

    - Adding storm windows (good storm windows, properly installed, are almost as good as double pane windows at 1/3 the cost).

    All the above added up to $90 difference in heating costs (natural gas central furnace) from one month to the next.

    The ceiling will get additional insuation when I'm able to remove the attic flooring for access - spinal fusion surgery does slow you down for a while 🙂

    The house is bigger than we need now that the children are out on their own, but since I've become the unofficial patriarch of the clan our house is the family gatherng place. Our children, our grandchildren, even some of the in-laws gather here after family reunions and for holidays. We typically have at least 4 people staying with us during part of the summer and 6 people staying with us over Christmas (12 people for Christmas dinner last year). The upstairs suite (2 bedrooms and a bath) is closed off when not in use and the temperature is kept in a safe range (warm enough to keep pipes from freezing in the winter; cool enough to control humidity in the summer).

    The new and more efficient furnace is on the to-do list, but even with energy tax credits being available this may not be the year for a large expense...

    John

  • ChrisP-374390

    SSC-Addicted

    Points: 498

    A walk-in fridge for the beer? You gotta be kidding. One thing's for sure, Luke L sure as hell ain't a pommmie! 🙂

    Steve, great editorial today. My question to you:

    This information is well off the topic of SQL (that's an observation, not a complaint...) Since I'm reasonably sure you are a busy guy, where do you get the information/links?

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719935

    Chris,

    I collect them over time. I do the auto and energy updates once a month, so as I'm browsing around, I cut and paste links from all over.

    In this case, I found a bunch on insulation from following the Mass. project.

    Anything in particular you're interested in?

  • ChrisP-374390

    SSC-Addicted

    Points: 498

    Hi there Steve

    I'm down under, Sydney area, so I have little need to insulate against the cold, but insulation against heat is another matter. This summer has been quite a sizzler, and my old house is a sweat-box.

    The idea of an energy surveyor locating my in-flows accurately is interesting. Will have to research to see if there is such a beast around here before I spend a couple of grand on a split system aircon...

    Thought you might have had some good RSS feeds or similar that were busy feeding you some good info. Technology review website looks like an interesting area...

    An interesting place you may not have heard of - Centre for Alternative Technology

    Location on Maps:

    http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Machynlleth+wales&sll=-25.335448,135.745076&sspn=41.226783,78.662109&ie=UTF8&ll=52.623321,-3.839797&spn=0.006878,0.019205&t=h&z=16&lci=lmc:panoramio

    Their website: http://www.cat.org.uk/index.tmpl?refer=index&init=1

    Also, something put out by the Aus govt:

    http://www.yourhome.gov.au/technical/index.html

    Enjoy!

  • Luke L

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 35530

    ChrisPapps (2/26/2009)


    A walk-in fridge for the beer? You gotta be kidding. One thing's for sure, Luke L sure as hell ain't a pommmie! 🙂

    Nope, not a Pom, just one of those crazy American homebrewers, although I did just brew an ESB last week. I needed the space to brew lagers and condition my beers in a temp controlled environment. Plus it makes it so I can just grab whatever style of beer that suits my fancy without having to think far enough ahead to pull it out of storage and get it into the beer fridge.

    -Luke.

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  • Richard Gardner-291039

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3603

    Nope, not a Pom, just one of those crazy American homebrewers, although I did just brew an ESB last week. I needed the space to brew lagers

    Obviously not a Pom, and certainly crazy. You live in a country where you can't get a decent beer for love nor money and you choose to brew lager? You go to all that effort just to make more of the stuff?

    I'm never going to understand Americans....;)

  • Luke L

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 35530

    Dunno, I'm thinking there are quite a few Germans out there that appreciate well crafted lagers. Pretty much every famous style that's come from that country is brewed with a strain of lager yeast. Granted I typically brew ales, mostly because I'm lazy and don't have the time to wait for lager yeast to ferment, but a Maibock, Marzen, Hefe, and perhaps a dunkle will undoubtedly find their way into my fermenters at some point this year.

    Please don't lump all lagers into the same category as products from Bud, SabMiller, and Molson-Coors. There are quite a number of really great ones out there, both from the US, and around the world.

    And as for American beers in general, I'm sure many others would attest to the quality of the beers coming out of the American Craft Brewing market segment. All you need to do is take a look at the World Beer Cup Results.

    Cheers,

    -Luke.

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  • Richard Gardner-291039

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3603

    Ah.. Pilsners overrated, but Bud is the epitome of gnats urine and compared to that the Germans do knock out a few good ones, granted (personally I prefer a good dunkelbrau, I spend quite a lot of time in Germany & Austria so it's all well researched).

    Me, I can't go more than a week without a decent pint of IPA, and I stand corrected on the availability of such things in the US of A, I will reconsider my stance on the existence of US culture ;)...

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 719935

    Richard Gardner (2/27/2009)

    Bud is the epitome of gnats urine...

    I'm never going to understand Americans.... [Wink]

    I've never tried gnats urine knowingly, but I have enjoyed a few Buds growing up. Can't complain, beer is beer.

    Chris,

    I'll check out the links. So much energy news around and there's actually the Center for Renewable Energy north of Denver here. I kind of wander around, seeing what is interesting.

    Cooling is hard, but more shading overhangs, and swamp cooling helps. I know there are some ways to use geothermal as well, but it takes deep (read $$ ) drilling, or a lot of space to go horizontal. Actually that's an interesting topic. How do you cool more efficiently.

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