Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Warm and Cozy

We've been living in our house now for two months and we're loving every minute of it.  As the days get shorter and the sun is lower in the sky, we're really appreciating the solar design of the house...the way the sun comes in the windows and warms the concrete floors.  Our heating system is working really well using the back-up propane water heater.  Paul Martin is our heating contractor and I give him tons of credit for his work.  We had to fire the first heating contractor we chose; he did a terrible job installing the HRV system and we had to hire Beech Air from Torrington to finish installing the system and get it operating properly.  We discovered Paul when he came to Jeremy's business looking for a digital print wrap for a mobile solar hot water trailer that he takes to events/fairs.  Paul was able to take the components of our heating system, previously designed and purchased through Radiant Floor Company, and neatly install them in a very tight space in our mechanical room.  He and our plumber, Lemieux Mechanical, did an awesome job getting the system hooked up correctly.  So far the radiant system is working very well.  I love the "set it and forget it" mentality that comes with radiant heat.  No more huge swings in temperature or dust being blown around like in forced air systems.  Jeremy has been doing all the prep work for our solar thermal collectors which should arrive and get installed next week.  He installed concrete footings for the steel frame and dug the trench for the copper piping from the collectors to the house.  After much consideration, we decided to install the panels on the west side of the house toward the back.    We chose this location because we will get really good solar exposure in the winter, but less (approx. up to four hours less) in the summer when we won't need hot water for heat.  People have been asking for more details on our system so I will try to upload some schematics, photos, and more details on our system soon.