Category Archives: Energy Efficiency

Energy star and lowering consumption.

Double Double Toil and Trouble

This old brown pump came with the house (also an 006) but did not pump. I replaced this one with a different Taco 006 that includes a temperature sensor. The new pump worked, however, it broke the flow control switch … Continue reading

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From Simple to Complex

The original boiler piping design was going to be a single loop system. Return water would be pumped through the system to the boiler and hot would flow out to replace it. One Taco 009 pump was chosen for the … Continue reading

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Primary/Secondary Piping Complexities

This is the new primary/secondary piping. It follows several boiler piping rules of thumb, although the 009 pump is now a bit over-sized for the primary loop. There is a secondary 011 pump that also is capable of pumping at … Continue reading

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Potential Energy

I originally thought our remodel was a shoe-in for a LEED gut remodel project. The concrete slab on the floor of most of the home had to be taken out and replaced. This gave us the opportunity to upgrade with … Continue reading

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Chronicle of Errors

I mentioned there were several things wrong with the first installation of boiler piping. When tested, water was not getting through the system and I believed the pump was just not strong enough to circulate through all the radiant loops. … Continue reading

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Web of Wires

Last spring when hopes were high for progress on the house, I had a couple of electricians give bids to rewire the house. We had hoped that by last fall the house would be ready for the rough in wiring. … Continue reading

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Caulking and Insulation

As required by LEED, the outer shell must be fully sealed. All the sills, corners and rafters were recaulked–most were caulked on the original build but there were a few gaps. Much of the Roxul rock wool was installed before … Continue reading

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Hot Water Recirculation Problem

Earlier when I had trouble with the hot water circulation pump breaking the boiler flow control, I decided to install a pressure regulator/reducer between the pump and the cold water input for the hot water side of the boiler and … Continue reading

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Washer/Dryer Temporary Install with Dryer Repair

We are now washing and drying clothes in our unfinished house. Of the appliances that came with the house; dishwasher, stove top, and built in oven, the washer and dryer are the only items that we didn’t donate to Habitat … Continue reading

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Feeding Air to the Fire

The vent piping for the outside air delivery to the wood stove was finished this week. The outside piping was already installed last week. Regular dryer venting was used to connect to the pipe where it enters from outside and … Continue reading

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Used Energy Star Refrigerator

Energy Star has been around long enough that it is now possible to buy very efficient appliances on the used market. Craigslist is an amazing marketplace for this. It takes a lot of vigilance, but eventually many good deals can … Continue reading

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Used Energy Star Dishwasher

Inherently a lazy housekeeper, I am a big fan of dishwashers. I started researching portable models because they are in a covered cabinet and our log cabinets are open below. Our style seems to be a variation on new age … Continue reading

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Used GE Advantium Wall Oven with Speedcook Technology

This is the second week of kitchen set up. We are waiting for a Jenn-Air gas cooktop from someone who is using it until their new kitchen is installed. In the meantime seemed like the next item needed was an … Continue reading

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Used Gas Cooktop

About the same time I was shopping on craigslist for kitchen appliances, I found a 30″ gas cooktop for sale. The owner wanted to wait until it was taken out for their remodel, so we waited until just last week … Continue reading

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Wood Boiler Plumbing

I am currently connecting the plumbing for the wood boiler. I am pretty sure I’m spending way too much money on this system for its value in our super insulated house. But we are used to heating with wood and … Continue reading

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Amory Lovins Home Tour!

We had a great opportunity due to the Roaring Fork USGBC scheduling of a tour of Amory Lovins Passive Solar, Greenhouse Furnace, Net Zero, photovoltaic and thermal solar home in Snowmass, yesterday! It was a large tour group, about 30 … Continue reading

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Completed Crawlspace!

I finished the crawlspace today and replaced all the old pipe insulation with 1″ thick K-Flex R-7 insulation from Supply House. This insulation is a Greenguard certified product for its low VOC and mold resistance. There is over $275 of … Continue reading

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Amory Lovins’ House Systems

The Lovins house tour was most interesting because of the various house systems; heating, water, electricity, etc. I’m sure there was more going on than what met the eye but what met the eye was pretty exciting. First, there is … Continue reading

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Window and Door Decision

I’m in the throes of deciding about the replacement windows and doors. After the total replacement of the slab in the main part of the house, this is the most expensive single energy efficiency upgrade. Our current windows are all … Continue reading

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Local Manufacturers of Windows and Doors

We live near Denver, Colorado. Locally manufactured items qualify for LEED points if they are made within 500 miles of home. There are several local manufacturers of vinyl or uPVC windows in that radius but far fewer for fiberglass.  Milgard, … Continue reading

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