This is part three of a continuing series of posts to document what some of the work we’ve been doing around our house. If you’ve been keeping up with the blog you’ve seen that we’ve been exploring options to fix some of the heating and cooling fluctuations. you’ll recall that I had to call 911 after I had an accident in the attic.
Lauren took over the insulating duties and we finished patching up the attic insulation. We also checked our recessed lighting to make sure they were rated and could be covered by insulation. She even scheduled a visit from an HVAC specialist to come and check everything out. We later canceled it and decided to move forward with some free advice from the HVAC guy gained over the phone instead of paying him to come over here and tell us the same thing.
The advice was to install an attic fan to clear the attic of all the hot air that was just sitting up there. Both sides of the house already had vents installed for passive ventilation and so we began to research gable fans. We decided to go with a solar panel-powered gable fan. We’ve found that this is more expensive than a regular gable fan, but our hope is that it will not only save us the energy of running the fan but also save much more by using the AC less. Coincidentally it has not been dreadfully hot since we put it in, so it seemed like it was working like a charm. However, my fear is that it may stop running in the late afternoon and allow the house to heat up in the evening. It operates on a thermostat in the attic and the solar panel is not connected to a battery to store any of the energy (think of your solar-powered calculators that would shut down when you cover the panel with you hand). We’ll see how it goes.
Given the current drought and our plans to try and create a garden in the backyard next year, we decided to invest in a rain barrel for the house. It’s equipped with a spigot, and such incremental investments are key to motivating me to research and maintain the focus required to make the garden happen. At the moment the barrel is simply sitting out under the open sky. Not bad for collecting rainwater but if it rains 1/8″ you get 1/8″. Now we need to hook it up to the refurbished gutters so that 1/4″ of rain turns into 55 gallons of water. As with anything you see on here, your suggestions are welcomed. One down side to the whole thing, no rain so far.
So, as always there is much going on and much left to do. Tonight we host a Halloween campfire (ghost story session) in our back yard and hopefully get some trick-or-treaters from the neighborhood. We may even try to throw together a trip down the block to Sylvester Cemetery, or as it will be called tonight, The Old Graveyard.