Monday, October 18, 2010


The thermometer shows the temp outside (48.4), the temp inside (61), the humidity inside (55) and then the time and date

This whole super-insulated house project is one big experiment in heating and energy use and I'm curious to see how the experience pans out. I'm also not sure what to expect. And so it is that I've been watching with interest how the house has been maintaining temperature over the last couple of months as the fall has progressed and the outside temps have dropped.

We have not yet turned on the heating system or started a fire in the woodstove, but I suspect we'll be doing so pretty soon. This morning was the first time the house dipped into the 50's after bumping around the the low 70's and into the 60's over the last couple of weeks. I'm pretty happy that we've been able to get into the second half of October without feeling the need to heat the house. I've lived in houses in Massachusetts where getting though September was always the big challenge, so being where we are I am pleased that we've not needed to heat yet.

To actually fire up the radiant heat system we need to get the boiler to sense demand via a thermostat which we have not yet installed. I'll be working on that tomorrow.

Today's weather held out the possibility of being sunny, which could warm the house up through solar gain, but at the end of the day it was still only around 61. I look forward to doing some solar gain experiments to see how much increase in house temperature we can expect on a sunny day.

On a related note, I've been keeping an eye on the temperature of the root cellar. Through the summer months of July and August the root cellar pretty much stayed constant around 60 degrees, but started to cool off through September down through maybe 55, and now in October has dropped a few more degrees. It seems to me that the root cellar responds pretty readily to changes in air temps outside, so I'm thinking that it might make sense to install smaller diameter inlet and outlet fittings on the air supply and vent pipes. They are currently 4" pipe and I think we could go down to 1" pipes and still provide enough air movement while constricting the rapid movement of large quantities of air.

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