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Building a New Home - Energy Conscious
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Building a New Home - Energy Conscious

  #71 (permalink)
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MWinfrey View Post
Awesome! That is the sort of firebox I've been looking at. One that attracted my attention is ecofirebox.org. 97% efficient. Haven't seen one for real. So hard to know if what they say is accurate. However I like the concept a lot.your description seems to have all the features that I want in my solution; fresh air, thermostat controlled, and heats the whole house and not just the room where it is.

What do you use for cooling?

the central theme of my design so far is passive heating and cooling and supplement with other heating and cooling measures.

I have looked at ecofirebox.org but the system that they use is not 97% efficient I dough if it even gets at 50%! In my opinion it is a dum way to heat up a room. You have to heat up all that concrete before the system is really giving you heat! And when it is warm you can only heat up that room where the system is sitting.

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  #72 (permalink)
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jsengxx2 View Post
Hi,

I can look here for pictures when I was building it and then post the pictures.

For cooling I use the same duct system, but I have to close the hole that goes from outside to inside of firebox and I attach the heat pump that warms my water on the system. Instead of trowing that cool air to the outside I use it for inside the house and cool it at the same time. And in the winter I open the hole that goes inside the firebox and de-attach the hose from the heat pump and attach that to the outside.

I have no airco and do not need it. house is well isolated and double glass and isolated exterior blinds so in the summer I only have to keep the blinds almost close so that the sun is not heating the compartmentīs.
There is glass that can keep out the sun from heating up the compartmentīs but than you can not use the sun in the winter to help heat up your house.

When you are building a new house just keep in mind that you place the fireplace in the middle of the house and not in a corner like most of the people do. If you have rooms upstearīs just pas the duct that transports the exaust true one of the rooms. You can use that passage to heat up that room so you have one more room heat up by the system. The room where the fireplace is is heated just by the traditional form of the fire place. Now you can heat up 4 more compartmentīs. A total of 6 or 7 compartmentīs can be heated up by this way. And you are always getting fresh air in the house!

Thanks again...as I get more familiar with your design I see it isn't what I'm going for. I am after more of a passive design that only uses mechanical means of heating and cooling to supplement in times of severe weather. I have pretty decent plans for achieving this but because I have limited personal experience in this sort of thing is why I intend to implement my plan in a smaller structure initially. This initial structure will eventually be our garage.

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  #73 (permalink)
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This is absolutely cool...

WikiHouse

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  #74 (permalink)
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MWinfrey View Post
This is absolutely cool...

WikiHouse

My dog would love it!

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  #75 (permalink)
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just saw your post

the foam blocks are super efficient but shipping and install cost will probably steer you back to wood. Read in earlier post white roof, umm research shingles today especially med to upper grade no heat sink they deflect almost all heat. I recommend a coastal single they will have a high wind rating and the zero heat sink.... Spary foam spray foam spray foam not only better R value but makes a air tight box!!!! Irrigation pay for underground tank find used one somewhere tie gutters to it or just use 50 gallon plastic drums U can find them cheap everywhere,bury them in ground cheap and easy then have mobile pump to tie into whichever one ur pulling water. when you plumb have hookup T at each tank so you can use your pump at whichever tank ur using.....Wood burning to heat your hot water and heat with it, there the way to go bc hot water heater pull most electrical of anything in your home....Now geo thermal I done units in the states and Europe.....even in texas I dont think youll come out in the long run vs up front cost. I did install geo thermal 4 years ago when i built my home it also heats my hot water as a by product. If you dont go geo definitely invest in the highest seer heat pump you go with cheaper brands will hold up just fine dont pay for the name.....Now have a zoned home break up areas depending on north south east west or by rooms most occupied and control hvac independently for these zones thermostats are cheap and units dont care where there putting heat air to this will save you if your house is average or larger. It ll take a few zone dampers here and there. Exterior concrete is the best but with stucco comes maintenance issues, only go hard coat on residential... If you do go wood fill block foundation with something and then add R-something insulation board to foundation walls , if home has a crawl space do a sealed crawl space, meaning no outside vents the hvac units will control temps under house same as inside this makes for a moisture free pest free environment under your home and then again makes a sealed box, this cost very little vs savings... Solar wont pay off in long run Ive installed them and buy better grade windows as you know...Smart home systems are for you to play with wont save you, but I love my Crestron another story....not going to proof read this... in a few trades just chiming in if you need more info me.....

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  #76 (permalink)
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@MWinfrey wrote" However I will be acting as my own builder." in another thread

I dont blame you one bit, I was my own GC but since i didnt have my license and the Building inspectors were going to give me a fit I had a Licensed contractor pull permits

From my last post here are the power bills for 6000sq home with wood water heater $130 geothermal $165 and heat pump highest seer $180ish guessing on this one others I know to be exact....2000sq wood water furnace I have neighbors paying $70ish not spray foam insulation.... I run 4 zones hvac per 6000sq with swimming pool&waterfall running 5 mths out of the yr I average $200mth . I live in upstairs in winter, heat rises, and main level summer....Something I didnt mention is the inside flooring does help with cooling ie. stone flooring and countertops will reduce temps but winter they have opposite effect hence reason for heated floors system.My second level is carpets etc.....My climate in NC is cold winters 20's average lows summers mid 90ish with high humidity I am almost sea level.....

and last dont go too far outside the box or your end up costing yourself alot for min savings....use Spray foam in your ceiling rafters or trusses right up to sheathing, I didnt have time to explain this in last post, older technology shingles had heat sink where heat passed thru single and heated attic and this is why you had to have ventilation to underneath side of shingles to cool them down and make them last, todays preminum shingles dont allow heat to pass under so no ventilation is needed and you can spray directing under them years past heat sink would burn shingles up from back side. Not sure what type of roofing going with maybe metal, doesnt matter still can spray underneath...ok sorry to be so long winded

hope this helps, look forward to seeing pics as project progresses

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  #77 (permalink)
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@Rad4633

Thank for your comments. I have all but decided to go with high thermal mass construction based on the concepts described in https://www.thenaturalhome.com/passivesolar.html. If you read the part of that website dealing with the slab and surrounding ground you will find out why your slab has the problem you describe. I don't really want to go into a long description because it's detailed at that website. but the problem you have can be overcome so the temperature of the house can remain constant throughout the year without mechanical heating systems.

There is another excellent book on the subject "Passive Annual Heat Storage: Improving the design of earth shelters". Don't let the title mislead you. The concepts described apply to above ground structures as well as buried or bermed houses.

Bottom line is that understanding how the ground conducts heat and the rate of heat transfer is critical to the success of high thermal mass. The temp of ground under and around the house must be maintained at a constant temperature. Failure to include the area around the house in the design will render any HTM ineffective. What we want is the ground temperature to remain a constant temperature of 70 degrees. That is what this design will do. Also use of earth tubes will allow the house to breathe and provide a constant stream of fresh air at a constant temperature all year round. Again, all this is done without mechanical means and is described in detail in those 2 references.

Obviously I don't have first hand experience with this which is why I am using a builder as a consultant and also have an architect who is well versed. Not sure how I will do this yet but I intend to build a much smaller structure using the same design principles prior to going whole hog on the house. We will live in it for probably a year prior to starting the house. This way we gain first hand esperience. Assuming we are successful we will eventually be able to use this smaller house as rental property.

That in a nutshell is what we are doing. I intend to keep a journal of our adventure bbut have not decided yet whether I will use facebook or what. Suggestions are welcome. Right now I'm leaning towards facebook.

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  #78 (permalink)
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@MWinfrey

yes yes I agree with your direction, I have experience with both types-greenhouse effect with panels/shade cloths etc....geo hvac concept is similar to what your going to use, for most of the states you should achieve 50 degrees your 70 I assume your not going as deep and 70 degree register temps is what the best systems output on hot days so your right where you want to be. I like it....

Ill watch as you progress

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  #79 (permalink)
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Rad4633 View Post
@MWinfrey

yes yes I agree with your direction, I have experience with both types-greenhouse effect with panels/shade cloths etc....geo hvac concept is similar to what your going to use, for most of the states you should achieve 50 degrees your 70 I assume your not going as deep and 70 degree register temps is what the best systems output on hot days so your right where you want to be. I like it....

Ill watch as you progress

Actually I'm going deeper because the slab and umbrella around the house stores more heat. That is what cause the temp to be greater than the normal 56 degrees you mention. These concepts are outlined in those references I provided.

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  #80 (permalink)
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Oh yes.. Greenhouse effect is not what I'm after. that is different from HTM. However greenhouses can be constructed using HTM.

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