50 Central Street, Sunapee, NH (603) 763-3294
It is amazing the new products coming out to interface your home with the internet.
We have previously blogged on the Nest start thermostat, you can also control door locks, lights and any electrical plug in item with your smart phone.
(from the above referenced article) "The "Internet of things" trend is making all kinds of things IP addressable: appliances, lights and much more. This will enable you to not only control appliances through a computer or smart phone (person to appliance) and to automate them (computer to appliance), but also to enable appliances to connect to one another (appliance to appliance)."
Build a Passive House in New Hampshire call it Net Zero or Off the grid and passive solar with our team.
The German Passive House standard was inspired by the work of early high-performance building pioneers in the US in the 1970s and 80s building super insulated and envelope buildings. The German Passive house movement developed the concept into a system -- an innovative approach to design and construction with an intense focus on minimizing energy needs in a building.
The simplicity and clarity of the standard had an immediate appeal to a core group of US-based architects and builders when Passive House was introduced into the United States last decade. Within a year of the first Certified Passive House Consultants' training program in 2008, multiple projects were already under way, now buildings designed to the Passive House standard have been constructed all over the US.
Every house is different and the best solution is not a formula but sometimes we hit a home run with our Energy Audit advice.
We recently stopped into visit with these folks to see thier new hot water heating system. The house is a classic 1890's house in Vermont that we did an Energy Audit on several years ago. It is a large 3 story home with a barn that has been converted to living space and a second floor apartment. This house had a combination of condtions where we suggested/recommended that the owner consider replacing their oil fired boiler before it died during the critical winter heating period.
If you have natural gas supplied to your home and use it for heating, count your blessings! You still need to pay attention to energy efficiency and indoor air quality/ventilation but currently you have the best deal going for purchasing an energy source.
You can bet that costs will increase in the future but now natural gas is currently such a deal that they plan to build 26 tanker terminals to ship LNG (liguid natural gas) and CNG (compressed natural gas) both for overseas export and for domestic consumption. Just the export portion would increase consumption about 35% more on a daily basis, raising the demand and therefore the cost of natural gas. Don't get too smug in having the lowest priced fuel, BTW, neither of these transportation and storage options work for residential use.
I am not typically concerned with how to survive the great nuclear winter, planetiary disaster and total social collapse BUT I do like to hedge my bets and consider being ready for a big storm.
The federal government and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) agree that there are five separate Low Frequency - High Impact (LFHI) events that could each inflict extended duration grid blackouts, potentially continent-wide including:
what professionals do I need to help with a new house design or addition in New Hampshire? Architect Builder Carpenter Engineer?
There are many areas to pay attention to in a building project and the best investment is to assemble a team of advisors to work with you and your ideas for your special home. After it's all built and you move in, you will always have the "well maybe we could have done this differently" regets but with good advice from experience folks you will rest assured that many good decisions were made.
A building project is always a group effort and the end result will represent the input and advice you recieved from your team. Your budget is also a team member, as it will affect all the decisions you make. Hey, building a house is a group effort. Often a team member has to make a decision on the spot, on what to do next. If the carpenter has a couple of choices on how to cut the board, you don't want him to wait a day or two to contact you on how to proceed!
There is still a misconception on how tight a house should be with some folks saying "I don't want my house too tight, a house has to breathe".
Well a leaky house only has ventilation when the outside weather conditions are just right. If the wind is blowing from the north, the south side of the house will be leaky, what if the wind is still? We still can't control the weather to ensure that the building has proper ventilation. Also the ventilation air can come from places like crawlspaces, attics and between walls which would not be thought of as fresh air.
The modern Builder's mantra is "build it tight and ventilate it right".
Technology marches on..............now you can call your house from your cell phone and check or change the temperature.
Wireless technology allows change without a lot of punching holes to run wires and controls.
You now can wirelessly control:
- thermostats and room temperature (see my blog on the NEST thermostat)
- warm air duct runs by each individual register
- ductless mini-split heat pump inside evaporator unit control fan speed and temperature
- Honeywell has a wireless thermostat that will keep the technician from doing all the wiring fishing and sheetrock destruction/repair work needed to get the wires hidden in the walls.
It's always best to conserve energy where possible.
Lowering the temperature during the heating season when you are asleep or aways has proven to save energy.
Ventilation systems and fresh air is needed for all homes.
The first step is source removal of humidity from bathing, cooking and washing. Remove the troublesome humidity and odors before they can become a problem.
"When warm moist air hits a cold surface below the dew point, you get humidity." I have joked that I have this manta tatooed on my arm (yes, my entire arm) as it is the reason for so many moistue, mold, mildew and rot issues in homes.
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