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After YEARS of thinking about it I finally purchased one! So what did I buy. I really wanted the the between the truss system by Century Homestead.  But I had a few problems with that system. First was cost. After tax and shipping, it was going to cost close to $1100. That is a lot of bling! Second, I am the only one that is going to install this. No one is going to help me. The thought of man handling a 78 lbs fan through a very small opening did not sound like my idea of a good time. Next, installation. I am sure I could have handled it fine but for that kind of money I could have something installed by someone else. (That thought still sounds great but I do like the DIY thing, just not as much as I used to.) Having to frame and seal everything is just too involved. Last, this is a big one, free venting area inside the attic. I have tried to calculate my free vent area and I can not be sure I have enough for the 30″ or 36″ fans. I have a ridge vent and soffit vent system. I can easily get the ridge vent number, it is 5 sq. ft. But the soffit vents, that is harder. Common sense tells me double the ridge vent number. That would mean a balanced system but I can not be 100%. This means I have just enought vents (10 Sq. ft.)  to run the 30″ 1/3HP fan. While not bad, it would still cost about $950 and not be equal to the 36″ 1/2HP fan.

So, I decided on the QC 2250. Cost was $550, shipped and it comes with a wireless remote. It moves 2285 CFM of air as compared to 7600 CFM from the 30″ 1/3HP traditional whole house fan. One person reported 3000 CFM, so we will see. The grille size is much smaller, 16″x20″. The other grille 24″ x 38″ The unit should be as quite or quieter then the traditional whole house fan route. Installation should be easier and quicker. The really nice thing is, if I like the unit and I think adding another would cool the house even faster I can just buy another . I would place that one in the hallway between the kids room.

Now, I will have to modify how I use the fan since it is smaller. The plan as I see it now, is to cool the two kids room first by only opening those windows. Then after they are asleep, close them up and open the master bedroom windows. After the master is cooled then open the basement window and let the basement, first floor and second floor cool all night long. Shut the house up in the morning and do it again the next evening. I will post my thoughts and feelings after I get it installed.

But this does have me thinking about a solar attic fan. I think that will have to wait until I replace the furnace with a heat pump. Then the furnace chimney will come down and the solar attic fan can fill the hole in the roof. This will then at least another foot of venting free air. (after the sun sets anyway.)

Really thinking about it. This morning is a great example. The current temperature is not cool by any stretch but 65 degrees is still very nice when you expect a high today of 88 degrees. I am thinking of purchasing a single speed belt drive fan from Triangle Fan. Now comes the crazy part. I am going to replace the single speed motor with a three phase motor off of eBay and then drive that motor with a variable frequency drive, also from eBay. All that costs only a few dollars more then purchasing a two speed fan model. Yes, I am that crazy.

I am also looking at installing everything between the roof trusses. That means I have to angle the fan but I can live with that. It will mean a smaller hole in the ceiling. Since I have decided to place the fan in the upstairs laundry room, the smaller ceiling opening means I don’t have to move the light and I still have enough space to mount cabinets. (I have had that project for almost ten years now.)

If I can just get these sales people to get back with me! I want to buy your stuff. Take my money. If they ever get back with me, I will post a nice how to, no installing a whole house fan.

I still think about a whole house fan every week or so. It is a double bonus, cool air brought into the house thru the windows and the hot air is pushed out of the attic. I know I can not get one that cuts a huge hole in the ceiling. They move a ton of air but a 36″ x 36″ hole is just too big! They are also too noisy from what I have gathered. My mother has a direct drive unit that is very loud on high. (You can not have a conversation under it, for sure.) There are many options to choose from but I keep coming back to a ducted unit by Quite Cool. If fits between the joists. Because it is ducted, it is very quite. I bet if I opened the window in the basement and pulled the cold air (basement is always below 70 degrees) I may not need to run the air until it gets over 85 outside.

I am still thinking about some crazy garage mounted unit. If I sleep on that one then maybe I can figure it out.

Not in a good way. I am going to use 65 kW hours today! We had my son’s birthday party. (12 guests) It was 97 degrees outside. We made two cakes in the oven. The old record was more like 50 kW hours. This cost about $7. By my estimate, I used 30 to 35 kW hours just for air conditioning. One of these days I will replace the old A/C unit but it continues to work well. But, I like to replace before a major failure forces my hand.

I got a crazy idea. Well not original but still crazy. Back in college we use to put out a small pool every summer. At night it would get cold in that pool. So we would duck tape the hose to the kitchen sink and turn on the hot water. It was a complete waste of natural resources and we did not have a clue about it, we were kids in school. Sooo, some time later I can use that experience with my kids. As we all know the water from the hose is very cold. Why not fill the pool with hot water? Because that would be a waste right. No, not in my case. Why? Because I have a hot water heat pump. That’s right. Heat goes into the water and cold air comes out the top. Since that cold air is going to offset my whole house AC system it does not waste anything or cost anything extra.

So I heated the pool for my 4 year old daughter. She loved it! No, I did not duct tape the hose to the kitchen faucet. I went to the store and purchase a boiler valve and a tee brass fitting.  I did it the right way.

I also drained the pool with a pump and used that water to water my garden and plants. Double bonus! That is why  my kids call me crazy daddy.

So the well is a bust, for now. Link for the history. I know I have water down at 11 feet. I have checked two different ways. But the cheap pump I purchased ($100) just does not want to work. I had thought about using a Shurflo DC pump. Then, I could try a solar setup. But since it is only 15 feet from the house an AC pump makes more sense. The issue I have now is the cost of a new, good, well pump. They cost in the mid $200 range and that is a good chunk of change for something I cannot be 100% will work. I think what I need to do is buy something from the local store and check on the return policy. Then if it works I am in business. If not I could just return it and get my money back. At least I can use the old pumps accumulator tank. So it is not a total lose.

Too bad I can’t get a larger diameter well down in the ground. Then I could get a Grudfus deep well pump. I could water to his heart’s content and still have plenty to go around. O’ well, wishful thinking.

If I ever take the next step I will let you know. I think when all the rain is over and I have to water, then I will look at this again.

I finally got a new toilet! Home Depot had a 1.0 GPF on sale for $98. The nice thing about this toilet is that it is a plain old fashion gravity toilet. It has fewer things to go wrong and it is very quite.

It has been working great for about a month now. Only one time have I had to use the plunger. That is good because the old one was once or twice a week. I did receive my latest water bill. We only used 2050 Gallons. The pervious month was 2700 gallons. Remember, this also involves the new low flow shower head too.  (That is most of the reduction.) But I figure the new toilet saves at least 10 gallons a day. FWIW, my bill was still $39.56. We have a high fixed charge now. 😦

You have saved 8,026 sq. ft. of rainforest.

The Juicy Rewards program is over now. I collected dozens of points and used all of them to save the rainforest. Very easy to do since I already drink Orange Juice. Just trying to do every little bit that I can.

I hope they run the same program in the future. Then I can save another 8,000 sq. ft. of rainforest.

Have you ever wondered how much electricity the self clean cycle uses on you electric oven? I finally found out. Since I have my TED5000 it was very easy. The cycle runs for five hours. The internal temperature gets up to somewhere around 800 degrees F. I can’t be exact (should have used my TED1000 tied directly to the circuit) but I figured I used between 10kWhrs and 12 kWhrs for the entire five hours. That is equal to a little over a dollar!

I received a new shower head for Christmas this year. The Evolve low flow shower head uses only 1.5 gpm @ 85psi. I think my pressure is lower so that means it uses slightly less. My old shower head used 2.5 gpm. Since my water/sewer bill has just about doubled I think this should help to reduce the overall impact of the increase. The increase is NOT from usage it is from flat-out utility robbery. Nothing I can do about it other than conserve.

My wife and I have been using it for over two weeks now. After getting use to the lower water volume it has been very nice. You just turn on the shower and walk away. After the shower gets to temperature it shuts itself off automatically and stays that way until you plug the chain to start the flow of water.

How much could it save me. I take about a twenty-minute shower and my wife, about the same. In a week that adds up to over 250 minute of showering. Now that is equal to 250 gallons of water! (2.5 gpm-1.5gpm = 1gpm) I am figuring that is mostly hot water. (75% is a good number) The amount of hot water saved is close to 200 gallons! WOW! I had no idea. 1000 gallons a month and 50kWhrs a month. (63 degree rise of 800 gallons of water. 1 gallon = 8.33 Heat pump is about 250% efficient. 3413 BTU per kWhr)

Only time will tell if I see this in my utility bills. I would hope I could see 1000 gallons since I only use an average of 4000 a month now. I really need to replace my toilets now and see what happens.