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Old 09-15-08, 01:12 PM   #1
truckncycle
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Default Hello from California

Bumped the Esc key when I was about done and have to start over.

My wife and I live in a 1600 sqft house that was built in 1984/1985. Roseville is in the central valley of California about 15 miles North East of Sacramento. We have done a lot of work to the house including insulation, electrical and landscaping. We have also had the roof replaced - from shake to comp. The house has a heat pump which is fairly efficient above 50 degrees. Unfortunately, it is not a ground source unit. We keep the house at 79 during the day in summer and 77 at night. In the winter, we keep the house at 67 all the time. The heat pump is better at maintaining the temp than changing the temp. If you try to change the heat by 2 degrees in winter, the auxiliary heat kicks on and it uses a lot of electricity

To conserve energy and water we have:
- Added extra soffit vents to go with the ridge vent
- Added radiant barrior to the attic
- Replaced the flexible ducting in the attic
- Blew in 6" of insulation in the attic and insulated over the garage
- Insulated the garage door
- Wrapped the water pipes with pipe insulation
- Added a wimpy whole house fan
- Added a ceiling fan to the Master bedroom (which we hardly ever use) and wired and prepared the other bedrooms for fans
- Planted trees on the East, South, and North sides of the house (Roseville and Sacramento both have free tree programs but we bought these to have a better selection)
- Painted the house a lighter color
- Changed the 2 toilets to 1.6 gpf models (Roseville will pay for these too. This is an easy 2 hour job in most cases)
- Changed out the shower head in the Master bath. I figure this will save us at least 300 gallons per month.

Things that I would like to do:
- Change out the other shower head
- Replace 600 sqft of lawn (Roseville will pay $1 sqft for lawn removal). I want to replace half of this with a dry river bed and the other half with xeriscape.
- Replace the inefficient double pane windows with some new ones
- Add another whole house fan to get more of the heat out
- Add a solar attic vent fan

At this point, I wish we had gotten a metal roof instead of comp since they don't retain the same amount of heat.

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Old 09-16-08, 11:04 AM   #2
Daox
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Welcome to the site! It sounds like you've done a good amount of work already. How long have you been in the house? I take it you've already gone to CFL lighting? Do you have any pictures?
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Old 09-16-08, 11:20 AM   #3
truckncycle
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I have been in the house for almost 10 years. My wife has been in it almost 8. Each project seems to take awhile.

I have been adding CFL's slowly. We have them in about four locations. Our kitchen still uses tube lighting that we run daylight or full spectrum bulbs in. We also upgraded the ballasts to electronic from magnetic - big improvement. The CFL's have finally gotten where they are bright enough to be useable. Their color has started to get better too. They still take too long to warm up to full intensity.

I don't have any pictures. I will try to take some and post them in the near future.
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Old 09-16-08, 11:41 AM   #4
dremd
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Welcome!

I was just thinking about your decision to keep your house at 67 all winter. With your current setup I agree with your decision. However what if you had a programmable thermostat that had a heat pump only mode? I have no Idea if such a thing exist, but if it did you could drop the house down to low 60's during the day, and at lets say 4:00 the heat pump could turn on solid for an hour and bring the house back up to your comfort zone. Just an Idea . . . . .
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Old 09-16-08, 12:14 PM   #5
truckncycle
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We have a programmable thermostat that is designed for heat pumps. We just got lazy when the battery went out and left it in manual instead of reprogramming it. I will have to look at it. I don't think that it has the ability to force heat pump only mode without aux heat. My wife has also been at home so she would turn into an ice cube (or more of an ice cube). She's already not allowed to touch me in winter with bare hands . At least not without warning me first.
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Old 09-16-08, 12:41 PM   #6
insaneintenti0n
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We run the same range of temperatures here in MD. I like warmth, so 80 in the summer is comfy. I'll let it get up to 85ish before i even turn on the AC.

I want to cry when the house is 67, but otherwise I'd have $500 energy bills instead of $350.
I let the house get up to about 70 in the morning (via programmable thermo) then at night, unless it's overly cold, we just use a space heater in whatever room we're in. Heat Dishes are great. Just point em directly at you and you stay toasty.

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