Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category
Our partners at South Sound Ductless have been busy this summer, installing ductless heat pumps (a.k.a. min-splits) throughout Thurston, Mason and Pierce Counties. Helping home owners beat the heat, heat their homes with improved customers, save money and breathe easier. A big thanks to our new customers in Shelton, Roy, Olympia, Tacoma and the surrounding areas. Here’s a few photos show casing the team’s great summer. And don’t forget to check out the South Sound Ductless Blog at http://www.southsoundductless.com/blog.html
For a limited time, South Sound Ductless, in partnership with Generations Credit Union is also offering 2.9% financing (O.A.C.). Contact the professionals at SSD to learn more.
On March 12, 2012, South Sound Ductless installed a new ductless heat pump for a customer in Olympia, WA (Thurston County). The primary heat source at the time was a fourteen year old forced air electric furnace. An original heat pump, which was installed at the same time as the furnace, had quit working two years earlier. Although the furnace kept the home heated, it was expensive to run and blew air out of the ducts at 74 degrees, making the home feel drafty and cold.
The first thing the homeowners noticed was the fact that the house was now warm, comfortable and much quieter (due to the noisy, drafty furnace being shut off). A month later they decided to wash the filters, as you should each month. Although the filters didn’t look dirty at all, the homeowners were very surprised to see the color change as they washed the filters. They were amazed at all the dust and particulates that washed way. Although these were all great, positive, changes to the comfort of the home and air quality, the best was yet to come.
On May 1st the homeowners received their first power bill from PSE since the installation. By using the PSE web site they were able to analyze their power bill. According to PSE, the bill should have gone down $33.00 to $55.00 due to warmer weather and $16.00 due to a shorter billing cycle. All things being equal, as a best case, the bill should have dropped $71.00. The bill went down $226. The PSE web site could not account for the $155.00 dollar decrease. Since the customer had not made any other changes to the house or their lifestyle, the only explanation for the decrease was the ductless heat pump.
As of July 5th, two more months have passed and the homeowners recently received their second power bill since installing the ductless heat pump. Compared to the June 2011 bill, they saved $92. Not as much as the March/April bill, but the weather has been warmer, so the demand for heat is less. What was interesting though is that according to the analyses from the PSE website, the homeowners actually spent more money on hot water then on heat for this billing period. The first time that has ever happened.
Our customer couldn’t be more pleased with the Ductless Heat Pump. For the first time their home isn’t noisy and drafty, and instead is extremely comfortable and quiet. The air that used to be blown through dirty ductwork is now clean and pleasant to breath. And they’ve saved $247 in just three months. When we last spoke with them, the homeowners joked that the next bill may not show as much of a savings, since they are planning to run the air conditioner and live comfortably in the heat of the summer.
To learn more, or if you’re already familiar with Ductless Heat Pumps and are ready to experience your own “case study,” be sure to call South Sound Ductless at 360.529.7567 or feel free to send a note.
This is the last day this house will be open to the public. Come out today between 10am and 4 pm to see this amazing one of a kind house with the round front door. Whimsical and charming, this house hides the fact that it is on the cutting edge of Built Green and sustainability. I will be hosting the house all day along with Diane Gassman of Interior Dimensions. It’s a house everyone should see. From Rainer rd, turn right on Steadman, right on 103rd and left on Katie Ann. From Hwy 99 turn left on Waldrick, left on Steadman, left on 103rd and left on to Katie Ann
It was very exciting yesterday to attend the 2nd annual regional meeting of Passive House Northwest held at Evergreen State College. Last year at the 1st one, we had about eighty people attend. This year my guess would be well over three hundred. This didn’t surprise me because the movement is really picking up steam in the US. And why not, who doesn’t want to live in incredible comfort, have a home with minimal carbon foot print, as save a ton of money in the process. And because they are so energy efficient they only require about a quarter of the solar panels of a code built home, to supply all of you energy needs. Imagine never haveing to pay a power bill again.
The conference featured several talks on methodology, along with case studies of actual homes that have been built in the northwest. The speakers ranged from building scientist, builders and passive house consultants, to even the home owners of Passive House’s. The talks were very detailed, and incredibly informative. Also there where many vendors promoting the latest advances in things like windows, Heat Recovery Ventilators and air sealing tapes and fabrics. For me the most telling reason of why this is the right approach to home building was hearing the home owners, the folks who actually paid for and live in the homes, explaining how wonderful there new homes where.
I celebrated having attended the conference by meeting with my design team and the homeowners of what will become our first Passive House. We settled on a floor plan and will meet at the Patterson Lake site next week to review elevations and exactly how the home will sit on the sight. It very exciting and I will try to keep you updated as we move through the process.
Recently we completed a shower remodel at a home in Tumwater. The old shower, built in the early 60′s, had seen better days and needed an upgrade. The faucet and door were worn out. The original ceiling was at 6’6″ even though the rest of the bathroom had 8’0″ ceilings. Because the ceiling was low the shower head came out of the wall at 6’0″ makeing it uncomfortable for any very tall to shower.
After demolition and some bug repairs to the framing members, we discovered we could easily lift the ceiling to the 8’0″ level. Actual we left it down just a few inches to accommodate our tile layout. We then built into a wall a soap and shampoo cubbie, that allowed large bottles of shampoo on top and still had a 6″ area for the hand soap . we added blocking in the locations where we wanted to add Grab Bars. We moved the faucet to be near the door, so you could turn on the water without getting in, yet put the shower head on the side wall, which made the most sense with this shape of shower.
After the tile was all set and grouted, we installed the grab bars, plumbing trim and a new shower door. The homeowners tell me they cant believe how much bigger it feels with the taller ceiling. And for the elderly mother the two grab bars offer a lot of support and ease of mind for everyone.