by Admin | January 15th, 2012
Here we are into the new year! While we have only lived in our earth sheltered home for 4 months, it feels like forever! Living here feels like we have lived here forever! That is a good thing!!!!
Here are some things I have learned or experienced that I want to share and possibly ask my readers for their input:
We run our dehumidifier every night! I would probably run it all day but the noise drives me nuts! I have the dehumidifier set at 35% and rarely does it ever shut off at night. Some nights it can’t seem to get below 45-50% yet the bucket hardly ever fills all the way. I am not sure I know why that is. If you have suggestions, please leave a comment. This is a new dehumidifier since our old one didn’t last us long here. This has had an impact on our electric bill…but what can ya do?
I purchased a nifty clothes drying rack that I had big hopes for.
Problem: all the condensation! I have only used it a few times. It just lets off too much moisture. So it was back to the electric dryer. :( If/when I get a wood stove running, I hope to be able to give it a try again.
I tried to put these cool rolls of insulation in our windows.
I was really proud of the price. I was able to do all the windows for about $60. The first time we put them up, we simply velcro’d them to the windows. The next morning, there was water all under the insulation. I texted Adam from Earth Shelter Project Michigan and he suggested I try leaving an air gap between the glass and the insulation. So the next night I taped my insulation sheet to a couple of tension rods. This created the desired gap. The next morning, still had water. At this time we weren’t running a dehumidifier every night. I thought maybe this was contributing. With the new dehumidifier working, I tried it again. Again, both methods produced condensation. Is it the coating on the insulation? If I covered with fabric would it make a difference? Since then, we just haven’t been using any window coverings. This makes me kind of sad as I know that our windows are our weakest point of energy loss.
Our “earth tube” that brought in some of the fresh air to the furnace had to be disconnected. I had a duct cleaner come out in November, before we fired up our furnace, to clean the ducts and mostly to clean that earth tube. We had played around with it and new it was full off sand and probably rodent droppings. After the duct cleaners looked it over, we came to the decision to disconnect it. It is most likely collapsed at some point in the line. It was made out of the black corrugated sewer type pipe so I am sure it could have been eaten through or busted through.
We have a wood stove that came with our home but we have yet to light a fire in it. It needs some repair. My sister has offered us an old wood stove they have and as soon as we get our hands on it, we will fire it up. At last check, we have used about 100 gallons of propane since we turned on our furnace around the 11th of November. I look forward to supplementing with some wood.
That is all I can think of at this point. Over all we are very happy in our little cave. ;) We love our south facing windows, but with all this thermal mass, even on the brightest days we see little change in our interior temperature.
I am sure it is soaking in for later use, but I don’t get to just bask in the heat. I kind of miss that. ~Michelle
P.S. If you are interested in the drying rack or the insulation used in the blinds, just click on the pics. Thanks.