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Old 01-03-11, 07:17 PM   #1
RobertSmalls
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Default RobertSmalls - now with 350ft!

I rearranged my house slightly to colocate the rooms I use most frequently, provide more room for the new television, and maybe save some energy too. I really don't have a need for more square footage, so I don't heat it.

Here's the new layout:



The old layout had the room labeled "living room" and "workshop" closed off, and "was dining room" crowded with living room furniture.

What's to stop my bathroom pipes from freezing? The vacant apartment downstairs is heated to 40F now, and I've validated that the pipes are at no risk of freezing in single-digit F temperatures, and colder temperatures are unlikely to be an issue. Buffalo seldom gets that cold, anyway.

I find it more convenient than a larger house. Before, I was keeping the bedroom door closed to keep that room the warmest, and it was a pretty long walk to the kitchen. Now, it's not a long walk to anything.

Interestingly, I'm heating ~350ft of my house, and my garage is 320ft. If I were building a new house now, would I end up with a garage larger than the house?

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Old 01-03-11, 09:29 PM   #2
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So you don't heat the bathroom?
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Old 01-04-11, 12:30 AM   #3
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So you don't heat the bathroom?
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Old 01-04-11, 05:24 AM   #4
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What Piwoslaw said. Showers aren't cold, and for anything else, I'm in there for less than a minute. I could heat it easily enough, but it has an awful lot of surface area compared to the benefit I'd derive from a heated bathroom.

My next house will be insulated, and that will change the math on localized and transient heating. The interesting observation here is I'm happier with less square footage.
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Old 01-04-11, 06:14 AM   #5
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Interesting new setup. I wonder if heating the living room will loose more heat now since it was previously some fairly decent insulation?
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Old 01-04-11, 10:07 AM   #6
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and for anything else, I'm in there for less than a minute.
You poop in less then a minute?!?!?!
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Old 01-04-11, 11:16 AM   #7
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So you don't heat the bathroom?
I don't heat my bathroom either, not since I discovered that bathrooms are not usually heated in Japan. One thing that is popular in Japan however, is heated toilet seats. That is on my must-have list.

And my big project of last summer was an ultra-compact bathroom. 32" x 51", and includes shower, sink & WC all in one common space. Tiled walls & stone floor, all water proof.

I have even been pleased to discover that when I take a shower, the water warms the stone floor instantly.

-AC_Hacker
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Old 01-04-11, 05:49 PM   #8
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You poop in less then a minute?!?!?!
You call yourself "the gardener", and you don't?

But enough about poop.

Daox has a good point, but I've traded unheated rooms at the front of my house which act as insulation, for unheated rooms at the back of my house that do the same. In all, it's a big reduction in surface area.
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Old 01-04-11, 09:16 PM   #9
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An old northern Michigan custom is to bring the toilet seat into the house with you, and set it next to the woodstove, so it is warm when you take it back out to the outhouse.
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Old 01-06-11, 12:20 PM   #10
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Default 180 sq ft full time heat...

350 sq feet, now that's getting compact.

My house is small too, around 700 sq ft, and the only full-time heating I'm doing is my living room which is 12 x 15 = 180 sq ft.

I'm heating it to 66-68 F with a 9000 BTU mini-split (which just barely turns over) and the energy cost of heating is crazy low, typically $3.25 per week. I have the door covered with a quilt and that works out very well to keep heat in.

Most of the heat from the living room eventually make its way into other parts of the house, and usually that's usually enough unless I'm in that particular space for an extended period.

If I'm working in the shop, I have a big-butt electric resistance heater which really chews up huge watts, but I am now able to use my ground source heat pump to keep the shop warmish. The shop HP is so small that it really takes a long time to bring the shop up to temp, so my latest scheme is to use the resistance heater to get it warm quick and the little HP to keep it warm. That seems to work out pretty well. I have a lot of insulating to do in the basement ceiling (more layers of EPS) but when that's in, I'm planing on experimenting with some of the HW solar panels in the backyard. My idea is to pull out the copper exchanger plates from the panels and mount those on the basement ceiling as radiant heating devices. Anything for science...

In the kitchen (16' x 16' = 256 ft sq), I have a gas cooking stove with a standing pilot in the oven. Since I have been on an insulating jihad for the last several years, I have put 6 inches of EPS foam in the walls and ceiling (floor still to go). The insulation is so good that the pilot alone is usually enough to blunt the chill of a normal Portland winter day. When the thermometer really takes a dive, I turn the oven to warm.

I don't heat my bedroom at all unless I'm working on some project there. I have a thick down comforter and I open the window at night.

Sleep so well...

-AC_Hacker


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