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Old 11-11-2008, 03:29 PM   #16
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Green is the New Black


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Originally Posted by aaron.klimchuk View Post
It's great to hear all these ideas are working for you Marvin. While most homeowners won't take going green to your extent, we can only hope that they start thinking about the future.
I have a really large family and have 5 nephews in the building trade. One is going to school to be an architect and the other is wanting to build energy efficient homes. Several of the uncles want to finance it for a total of 8 in the whole group.

We are going to build a spec house that will have things like passive heating, hydronic cooling, solar hot water build into the roof and modular so it can be swapped out, a very large underground water storage tank for storing hot water, solar electric with grid tie, whole house exhaust fan with electronic venting that opens and closes, and a few other things.

It will all be run by a Mac that will control all the switches, valves, lighting, heating, cooling, and movement of air from one part of the house to another, and the security system.

The really cool part is that it will be affordable by most people. The initial cost will be about $30,000 higher but their energy bills will be a lot lower. On paper the overall cost of ownership will be the same if you consider the house payments and the monthly energy costs.

With energy costs doing nothing but going up this will pay for itself in less than 10 years.

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Old 12-11-2008, 09:35 PM   #17
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Nice article Aaron! My green blog was getting a little traffic from your resource link and it took me an hour to locate where the link was on this site. If you get a chance look into the solar hot air panels they provide heat as long as the sun is shining. Northern tools are selling them along with a network of furnish and install companies all over the country.
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:09 AM   #18
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Nice article Aaron! My green blog was getting a little traffic from your resource link and it took me an hour to locate where the link was on this site. If you get a chance look into the solar hot air panels they provide heat as long as the sun is shining. Northern tools are selling them along with a network of furnish and install companies all over the country.
Actually, one can purchase solar air collectors direct from certain manufacturers and install them themselves to avoid a dealer markup.

We did just that very thing for our home this past November. At least the model we purchased and installed is easy to do, weighed around 70-ish pounds and fit very nicely on our south facing wall.

If anyone is interested to see how we installed ours we have written a rather extensive series of articles about our experiences, comparison to another manufacturer's model we did, etc. on solar air heaters within our home blog.

Last edited by Educator; 12-16-2008 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 12-12-2008, 05:52 AM   #19
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i went ahead and built a solar air heater recently too. it works.... ummm, ok, i guess.
now to build a giant one to heat the whole house!

DM
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:11 AM   #20
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i went ahead and built a solar air heater recently too. it works.... ummm, ok, i guess.
now to build a giant one to heat the whole house!

DM
That's great! I wish I had the time and the capability to do that myself. Unfortunately, I have neither. But if one does, that certainly is the way to go.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:12 PM   #21
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If anyone is interested to see how we installed ours we have written a rather extensive series of articles about our experiences, comparison to another manufacturer's model we did, etc. on solar air heaters within our home blog.
I made to page 10 and you blog is showing a 404 error when I hit the link to page #11---let me know when you repair the link so I can finish the rest of the story. BTW--Great blog review on the subject, the pictures and spacing make for a very easy read.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:02 PM   #22
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I made to page 10 and you blog is showing a 404 error when I hit the link to page #11---let me know when you repair the link so I can finish the rest of the story. BTW--Great blog review on the subject, the pictures and spacing make for a very easy read.
Hi fhivinylwindows,

Done. Many thanks for letting me know about the broken link.
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:07 AM   #23
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Green is the New Black


I have definitely visited quite a few times. Good site, with some great ideas.

Lets get some more green home improvement ideas, products and projects up here guys! Keep em coming.
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:35 AM   #24
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i built this for free pretty much as i had the stuff laying around anyways. 1" foam insulated chamber with glass over it and caulk-sealed warms the cans up pretty good! i got 100 degree plus readings on the top output hole on the few sunny days we've had! not bad... now we need more sun! anyone wants 'plans' for this, let me know. the holes in the top go all the way through to corresponding holes to the bottom chamber with the fan. so it just collects the heat from inside the cans. did i err? should i add holes to empty the chamber air as well? from outside the cans?

DM
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Green is the New Black-1solarair1.jpg   Green is the New Black-1solarair2.jpg   Green is the New Black-1solarair.jpg  
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:37 AM   #25
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you guys really impress me with these DIY projects!
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:06 AM   #26
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i built this for free pretty much as i had the stuff laying around anyways. 1" foam insulated chamber with glass over it and caulk-sealed warms the cans up pretty good! i got 100 degree plus readings on the top output hole on the few sunny days we've had! not bad... now we need more sun! anyone wants 'plans' for this, let me know. the holes in the top go all the way through to corresponding holes to the bottom chamber with the fan. so it just collects the heat from inside the cans. did i err? should i add holes to empty the chamber air as well? from outside the cans?

DM
The problem with this type of heat is that you need a volume of warm air that is equal to the volume being heated. Plus there is no ability to store the heat.

I prefer solar hot water since I can store it in large tanks and use it at night when I need it the most. On sunny days my home uses solar radiation to heat it up to 70 even in the middle of the winter. It is all in the design of the structure. Yesterday it was 22 and inside it was 72 and almost unbearable. We keep the house at 64 and we have acclimated to that. Now 68 seems hot to us.

Daytime heating is not what I need more of.

For this reason I will have 2000 gallons of water that will store over 1.5 million BTU's of heat that will allow me to go for 4 days without sun and still heat my place.

When the sun does come out I can create over 18,000 BTU's per hour to replenish the system.
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:13 AM   #27
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if i had the financial resources.... well, the utility company would be paying ME! but i make do with what i have, as so many of us do.

DM
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:29 PM   #28
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Green is the New Black


I find it interesting that more and more "green" companies are seeing lots of red. The largest carbon credit offset trader is on the verge of going Chapter 11. Many of the solar panel companies are reporting a big slow down in sales and even the wind generation business is in a big slump.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/174063

Green is only for the rich and when times get tough people go for cheap.
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Last edited by Marvin Gardens; 12-16-2008 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 05:58 PM   #29
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Green is only for the rich and when times get tough people go for cheap.
Hi Marvin,

I can't let that last comment go by. While I do know the context in which you wrote it, I did actually collect numerous energy conservation tips that cost nothing or next to nothing to implement.

Most of these are common sense, naturally.

Aaron and others have made reference more than once to a home blog on this topic. On that blog is an Energy Conservation page where this list can be found. To date there are over 240 home energy conservation tips, the vast, vast majority of which are simple ot do and cost nothing or next to nothing to implement.

Just thought I would share this with the others if interested.

To the board ops, if this is against board policy I sincerely apologize in providing this link.

Dan
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Old 12-16-2008, 06:26 PM   #30
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Hi Marvin,

I can't let that last comment go by. While I do know the context in which you wrote it, I did actually collect numerous energy conservation tips that cost nothing or next to nothing to implement.

Most of these are common sense, naturally.
Dan
Bad times is when I really make my home more energy efficient. Projects get canceled, people go bankrupt, companies overproduce, competition gets stiffer, and maintenance gets costly.

I buy my windows used or projects that got canceled and pay next to nothing.

Next week I am removing some solar hot water panels off a roof in exchange for sealing the leaks around the pipes through the roof. I get 4 panels, the copper pipe, the pump, the bladder tank, the valves and the gages. All for fixing a roof that will cost me about $20 and an hour labor.

When times get hard people cut back on everything. To many it is all about survival and they could care less about green.

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