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Utility projects around our home

I spend a fair amount of time maintaining and improving our home utilities.  In many cases the projects help improve our comfort and in some cases save us energy and therefore save money!  We have gone from baseboard heat to central air and heat with a heat pump.  I am working on a hot water heat pump as well.  A simpler, though larger project was insulating our basement, a big chore but it really improved the comfort level.  Also simple things like insulating all of your outlets.  The first project I will document is our heat pump installation.

Don't forget our government has allowed deregulation of the electric utilities, and to date, I believe everyone's rates have gone up considerably in states that are now deregulated.

Our Trane heat pumpInstalling "cheap" electric heat.

Well, a heat pump is not a do it yourself project, but I was heavily involved with the entire installation and most importantly to us, getting the installation of the heat pump to meet our initial requirements and also making sure the installation was complete and proper.  There were several aspects of the installation that were not correct, some so subtle I am not sure the typical home owner would even know there is a problem.  Some issues were electrical, others setup, some mechanical as well.  Please check out our heat pump installation.

Install Heat Pump Water HeaterInstallation of a 200% efficient Hot Water Heater

Another way to save money on utilities is to use a heat pump to heat your home's hot water.  There are quite a few retrofit products available to upgrade your hot water heater to modern energy efficient technology.  They've turned a dehumidifier into a dehumidifier, an air conditioner, and a hot water heater; amazing!  Low cost hot water.

Install DTV Antenna

Well we are finally moving into the brave new world of digital TV.  We have amplified rabbit ears, but, I just cannot get all the stations all the time.  Plus, I believe even with sufficient signal strength "ghosting" of signals may still cause picture breakup, instead of the obvious echoes ("multi-path distortion") of analog TV.  So a directional UHF antenna with a homemade VHF folded dipole added will be the way to go.  Please read Roof Antenna.

Some Energy resources:

DOE Water Heater guide 

Home Energy Saver from the DOE Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  This calculator appears slightly dated but seems useful. 

 

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BHT Created: 18 Mar 2008

BHT Revised: 22 Oct 2016

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Copyright 2003-2016 Robert Matheson.  All rights reserved.  Email Bob at BobsHowTo.com - . 

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