Solar water heating can provide a substantial savings in many
areas. It can be difficult to find someone to repair/maintain
them. I've tried to avoid solar water heating for exactly that
I haven't tried to track the photovoltaic panel developments very
closely. As of the last time I took a serious look they were
still fairly pricey, weren't anywhere near as efficient as they
needed to become, and (if my understanding was correct) they
produced less and less power as they age.
Here in Iowa, most farm homes are heated with either #2 heating
oil or propane. As the price of #2 goes up so does the price of
propane - and the level of stress and hardship seems to expand
almost exponentially for people already struggling to keep the
family farm operating. The panels I'm producing aren't suitable
replacements for the more conventional heating systems; but a
good installation can significantly reduce (by 1/3 to 2/3) the
amount of fuel burned by #2 and propane heating systems.
And unlike solar water heaters and PV systems, the passive air
heaters only need the same maintenance as windows - keep any
exposed wood painted and wash the glazing when it gets dirty.
Stuff that almost all homeowners can do for themselves.
I'm neither an energy expert nor a "mother-earther"; but I've
been tinkering and experimenting with low-cost passive panels for
more than thirty years now (and have enjoyed working with wood
since I was a small fry). When my digital systems development
consulting market imploded, I decided to switch my focus to
solving the cost-of-heating problem for as many people as I
could. I'm enjoying it.
That seems to be the problem with systems such as this. I got pricing
somewhere and a system to handle my needs would pay for it self in about 10
years. With deminishing effeciency that could equate to never.
On another note, I watched my house being built back in 1981 and have lived
here since. I replaced the original electric water heater last September.
I bought a top of the line Whirlpool. Comparing the energy usage of it and
my old unit indicated to me if my old unit was operating at peek effecency
the new water heater would pay for itself in 3 years. I watch my
electricity usage like a hawk and have done so for the last 12 year or so.
Anyway since the month that I installed the new water heater every month
except 1 has resulted in less electrity usage. In the last 9 month I have
used 11% less electricity compared to the same 9 months of the previous year
and up until that point my usage was increasing at about 2 or 3% per year
for the last 4 years. Now I figure the new water heater will pay for itself
in another 9 to 12 months.
You kept all the scale off that old water heater's elements? If not, your
figures are skewed. Old was at its worst, new now at best. We just
replaced ours, and it was amazing what the old elements looked like. As
cheap as they are, I think it might be worth replacing the lower every two
or so years.
Best energy saver I've found are drapes. Up here the coldest days are the
clearest, so the drapes open to collect heat. Closed now against the same.
Wonder what effect the new low transmission glass would have, though.
Scale nothing, in 2 years time the water heater would fill with lime and
calcuim to the point that the element could be pulled out after unscrewing
it. My was a single element that was long and curved. I suspect this kept
the water from circulating properly and it effectively worked like a 10 or
15 gallon unit with a 50 gallon heating element. In the end It was tripping
its internal breaker monthly. I kinda had suspitions that theis was part of
the problem but never realized that it was costing me an additional $13 to
$18 per month.
I live in Houston TX, so cold is not a real on going problem. I do have
storm windows and realized a 10% reduction in my electric bill right away
after they were installed 10 years ago. But, this was a $5,000 investment
vs. the $300 water heater investment. I doubt that I wall see a savings
fron the windows considering theri cost. We appreciat the storm windows
more for having a quieter house, no dust on the window sills, and no drafts
near the windows anymore. I recently built a storage building in my back
yard and used radient barrier decking for the roof. It is amazing that the
closed up room does not get any hotter than the outside of the building.
That cost me an additional $24 over the regular cost of plain plywood
decking. Additionally I did not use tar paper behind the siding, I used
Tyvec which is a woven plastic water barrier that permits air travel one
way. This does not get hot like the black tar paper will and has no odor
like tar paper does. That cost about $50 more than regular tar paper.
That menacing look is a good thing, as it definitely demands respect.
However, and considering one is used for non-through cuts that can almost
always be safely handled with proper techniques, push blocks, and
sacrificial fences, a dado stack may be statistically less dangerous than a
For dadoes and grooves in casework I almost always use a dado stack, if for
no other reason than the time factor involved over using a router. And it
may well be worth considering that a relatively dangerous operation that can
be done in less time and with less effort, and with the same amount of
safety consciousness, ultimately means less exposure to the danger,
particularly when performing repetitive tasks with woodworking machinery..
Semi-newb here... I recently used my router table for dado and rabbet
work. The results were great. I will continue to do them in this
manner. It did feel a bit safer, but I bet a router injury would be
just as painful as a TS injury. The safest accurate way is probably
with a dado plane.
I suspect the vast majority of people who use a TS and stack for
dadoes do so because of the TS fence and weight. I've used a stack
for dados too, but my stack was a cheapy and now is dull.
I haven't made a hand held router dado jig, but I would make a double
sided one so I won't ruin a board if it drifts. I am interested how
everyone measures dado locations. Do you measure to the center, top,
or bottom of a dado? IE How can you get precise shelf arrangement top
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