January 13, 2010

Renovation Nation

Finally, 14 months after it was shot, our episode of Renovation Nation with Steve Thomas was broadcast on the Planet Green Channel (a subsidiary of the Discovery Network). Anywho, our 30 minute episode was pure entertainment. I was labeled a "green bully", the downstairs neighbor was labeled "unconvinced by the project", while my wife was wise enough to head to work. Both families watched together over pizza and enjoyed our onscreen personas. We could hardly wait to see what we would do next!!

November 16, 2009

Let the Befores and Afters Begin

FRONT OF HOUSE: right view



FRONT OF HOUSE: left view











November 6, 2009

Heat Goes on First Time and other details

The temperature dropped below 62F inside for the first time this year. A combination cloudy weather and lack of cooking drove the fall in temperature while a sick kid, and a wife raised near pineapple farms, drove the raising of the thermostat..........ok, but just one day. A warm weekend is forecast.

I'm continuing to fail getting a whole house electric meter working. The Blue Line Power Cost Monitor is supposed to be fastened outside on the electric meter and then read and transmit wirelessly to a indoor station. Why? Because we can....or thought we could, but so far we can't. I had hoped to be able to nail down what the hardwired and 220V appliances were using (dishwashers, dryers).

The average 12 month oil usage pre-construction was 1300 gallons between the two units.
The June 2008 - June 2009 oil usage was 738 gallons. This was the construction year that started in October and included full removal of roof and siding and windows and doors, and contractors trapsing into and out of the house. The insulation itself was not completed until mid-January. This year should be better, because it couldn't be worse. If we are able to upgrade our heating system with a smaller unit, it could be much better. We'll keep you informed.

Mass. Dept of Energy Resources Commissioner Philip Giudice took his first tour of the house (see VIP link to right for photo). Phil is a special friend of the project having given the final OK for the state's participation.

October 16, 2009

Testing the Heat

With temperatures dipping below 40 F for the first time this year, we experienced our first heating events.
Unit 1 has an oil fed steam boiler which produces both heat and hot water. The hot water component has never shut down, but the heat has been effectively off since March. The thermostat dropped low enough to kick on the steam heat for the first time October 14.

Unit 2 has an oil fed steam boiler, but since November, hot water has been moved to a tankless in-line system. Without it's hot water component the boiler has slept since March. Boilers hate that. The Unit 2 is thermostat driven, but it's been manually shut off as well. Today we turned the unit on for a test, not entirely sure that the boiler was going to be in the "mood" to be "on"........but our worries were misplaced.......our lovable boiler jumped to action and pumped out 30 minutes of heat. We switched the unit back off, hopefully for a few more weeks.

We'd like to keep the heat off until sometime in November.
Temperature October 16
Outside: 35 F
Inside: 65 F