Improving household efficiency
can just hear Roland
now --- "All of this talk about insulating the
home is great, but you shouldn't be using electricity for heat
anyway. What did Zimmy do to lower his non-heat electricity use
before going off the grid?" Well Roland-in-my-head, I'm glad you
asked that, because Zimmy went all out.
Zimmy installed aluminum
bars on his baseboard heaters as a thermal
heat sink and bought a Geyser heat pump water heater. In the
kitchen, he put in a Sunfrost refrigerator, an induction cook top, and
a vent to channel excess heat to the water heater (or outside.)
switched over to Energy Star appliances, buying a new freezer among
other things. Finally, he installed a dual flush conversion on
the toilet to help save water.
I wasn't surprised to
see fluorescent and LED lighting on Zimmy's list,
but I did get hung up for a moment on what a solar tube is. These
special skylights use a combination of a domed "daylight capturing
surface" on the outside of the house and a lens on the inside of the
house to maximize the amount of sunlight you receive through a small
skylight. Solar tubes are sure to warm the inventive cockles of
Mark's heart, but at a few hundred dollars apiece, we won't be
installing them anytime soon.
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