Sunday, November 20, 2011

Water Heater Upgrade: The first month

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In an earlier blog entry I covered our purchase of a new hybrid water heater which has now been running for a full month and we're starting to realize some of the power savings.  

We finally received our first PG&E bill with this new water heater.  As mentioned I had measured my electrical usage on the water heater circuit for 19 days prior to the installation.  For those 19 days we used 197 kWh of power just on the water heater.  The 19 days after the installation, we used 117.60 kWh, a 40% savings in power usage.  

Now, the original water heater was about 20 years old (best guess, it came with the house) and was set at 130 degrees, the new one we have set at 140 degrees, so we had a 40% drop in power even though we are running it 10 degrees hotter.

I also had a full month PG&E bill (it was installed on the 19th, billing period started on the 20th).  The month prior we used 1,988 kWh of power, the first month with the new water heater we used 1,366 kWh, roughly 32% less, which roughly correlates with my water heater circuit measurements.  We did use the heater a little this month too (it's an electric heat pump) and hardly used it the month before.  

Just one months data, but I'm thinking it would be safe to say a 30-35% drop in power use is easily achievable if you're moving from a standard water heater to this one.  The tough thing is figuring out how much dollars that equates to because of PG&E's tiered billing.  If I look at last months bill it was $505 for the house, this month was $306.  Can I say that’s all due to the water heater, I'd like to think so, but we’ll see how it goes after a few months usage.

Other than that, it's been uneventful, hot water has been plentiful, no issues with hot water supply, recovery, etc.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Color starting to take shape...

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The colors are starting to be applied to the house so you can get an idea as to how things will look (of course the colors on your monitor may not look right, but you'll get a rough idea).  Unfortunate thing is we are hitting weather issues which we were trying to avoid.  They had to stop early today, will have a short week next week too.  But we're getting close to wrapping up!

By the way, we're using Kelly Moore Paint Colors.

The main body color is Voysey Gray (has a greenish tint)
The trim is their Navajo White
And the accent is Ruskin Bronze (a dark greenish tint)

Click on the pictures for a larger view....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Almost ready for paint

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We're hoping that some paint will be put on the house this week, so these are the last photos prior to color changes.  You can see the changes we made to the front of the house with a more "formal", clearly identified front door and now the mudroom entrance comes in the side.  All of the window and door trim has been replaced and we added the gable roof over the front entrance.  All of the gable spaces will be treated with redwood shingles for accent after the paint is done.  Additionally the railings have been redone front and rear, we'll be coming back with some wrought iron accents between the rails later.

Click on the photos for larger versions.

The newly re-designed front entry

Full front view
Side entrance to mudroom

Side entrance

Back railing, we have gone around the tree growing through the deck to give it more room too.  Had to rebuild a bit of the deck back here to make it safe until we can completely rebuild the deck, but that is a much bigger job.