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Old 02-15-13, 10:48 AM   #81
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Nice, tight job of the basement, it must be somewhat sound proof as well,which is a bonus if you have children or loud friends over perhaps with music..Nice job.

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Old 03-04-13, 10:41 AM   #82
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Oh yeah. The heat pumps failed in January. Not in a mechanical sense. In a financial sense. $380 electric bill. I have never seen anything like that. Those damn things are off until it gets hot out. I guess they don't like the way I ask them to bring the house up to temp twice a day.
Did you notice if it was defrosting often that month? I have a Fujitsu system, 8.6HSPF, heating my home with a Manual-J load of about 20k @ 15F. I keep the tstats at 70F day & night.

I don't any way to measure power consumption of only the heat pump, but my total electric usage hasn't been over $150 for any month, including a resistance water heater and lots of computer & electronic equipment that's always running.

You should try keeping them running non-stop and see what your consumption is. Running it intermittently might cause excessive defrost cycles which cause a huge reduction in efficiency. Also, a heat pump efficiency is max when the delta-T is minimal.

So, the savings of permitting heat loss at mid-day and night is countered by a loss of efficiency when it is heating with greater delta-T, especially if more defrosting occurs. We don't know the exact numbers involved so I could be very right or very wrong.

Also if outdoor temps are close to the manual-J design temps, and your heat pump capacity is close to your home's design heat loss, then leaving them run 24x7 would have them just meet your needs. Turning them on & off at these temps would push them past their capacity limits, as they can only put out so much btu/hr.

Hope you get it worked out!
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Old 04-11-13, 09:49 AM   #83
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Any updates on the house?
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Old 04-13-13, 04:54 PM   #84
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No. Nothing really exciting happening on the energy efficiency front here. I have been still doing some work in the attic. I'm installing whole house audio and three rooms upstairs are getting ceiling speakers. Obviously these are giant holes for energy and moisture to move through so I've made drywall boxes to cover them and air sealed the bejesus out of them. I'll take a picture of one soon. I had an unfortunate incident with the U.S. Dept. of Ed. mistakenly hijacking $8,000 from me so just about everything is on hold until they get of their keisters and reimburse me, which they said could be 60 days. As soon as that happens I'll be finishing the attic. I'm going to have the 2 part guys where I work seal the eve top plates and propa vents and then I'm going to blow about 18" more cellulose on top of my existing 7".
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Chipping away on a daily basis.

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You know you're an ecorenovator if anything worth insulating is worth superinsulating.
Quote:
S-F: "What happens when you slam the door on a really tight house? Do the basement windows blow out?"

Green Building Guru: "You can't slam the door on a really tight house. You have to work to pull it shut."
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Old 04-13-13, 05:15 PM   #85
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Sounds like a good plan. Keep us updated.
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Old 04-14-13, 11:43 AM   #86
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...then I'm going to blow about 18" more cellulose on top of my existing 7".
As I recall, you installed a mini split or two. This insulation you've put in should bring your house to within 'shooting range' of your mini split(s).

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Old 04-17-13, 02:43 PM   #87
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As I recall, you installed a mini split or two. This insulation you've put in should bring your house to within 'shooting range' of your mini split(s).

-AC
I'm already within shooting range of their capacity. The load of the house at -5 as it stands is 18,750 BTU/hour and my heat pumps are each 3/4 ton. I think the stupid electric bill I got for January had more to do with how I ran them; that is only for a little in the morning and evening. It works fine for line gas. The mini splits don't seem to like (or rather my electric bill doesn't seem to like) raising the temperature. The thing is that line gas is so cheap these days that using the heat pumps doesn't make financial sense. I'm just going to insulate the house so much that I don't need to think about heat. Hopefully by next winter heating DHW will use more energy that heating the house. At least that's what the estimates I've gotten tell me. I have two things going against me. The first is that the orientation of my house is East/West so solar gain is sub par. The second is that I'm a penniless philosopher in the slow (well maybe not so slow) process of becoming indigent because I currently hold the not so remunerative occupation of "Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Installer". Basically I get paid in good will and four figures annually with the occasional case of beer or home made brownie.

My electric company has a DER rebate program. I'm going to see if I can borrow money from.... well, someone.... to finish the top floor this summer with the hopes that the National Grid DER incentive will reimburse me for most of it. There are 0% loans one can take to do certain kinds of work on their houses in New England. It would be great if it were easier for those of lower incomes to get these loans. The payment would be less than most utility bills in the winter and the ROI would probably only be a decade or so! A great quote I saw on GBA recently (I forget who said it. One of the long time green builders out here) "In 20 years your $100,000 kitchen looks 20 years old. In 20 years your super insulation looks better and better".

But! For the faint of heart, I have know how and I have gumption!
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Chipping away on a daily basis.

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You know you're an ecorenovator if anything worth insulating is worth superinsulating.
Quote:
S-F: "What happens when you slam the door on a really tight house? Do the basement windows blow out?"

Green Building Guru: "You can't slam the door on a really tight house. You have to work to pull it shut."
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Old 04-17-13, 05:45 PM   #88
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"Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Installer"
Careful, sounds like you are installing whole house air leakage into residential building envelopes.
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Old 04-18-13, 04:27 PM   #89
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...The thing is that line gas is so cheap these days that using the heat pumps doesn't make financial sense...
Is this really true?

What is the price of electricity in your area, and what is the price of gas in your area?

Did you try the BuildItSolar Fuel Calculator? You can plug in your local values...

I'd be very interested to know your results.

Best,

-AC
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Old 04-21-13, 05:00 AM   #90
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I use this one:

http://www.maine.gov/energy/fuel_pri...atorMEv3_1.xls

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