Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Life is strange these days

We have two enormous boxes taking up space in our house right now. One is the Rinnai direct vent propane heater we bought last week, which will hopefully be installed by the end of the week so I will not have to get up at 3:30 AM as I did today to re-kindle the fire in the wood stove. We are finally moving towards winter, it will probably get down into the single digits tonight, and we need an alternative to wood once in a while.

The other box is the water heater we bought from our electric company. It is supposed to be amazingly efficient, and it heats water on off peak hours so we save on our electric bill, and the price is just added to our monthly electric bill, no big cash layout. Yeah, we have sacrificed a lot of our earlier idealism about going solar and being energy self sufficient, blah blah blah. I realize for a few that may be an option, but for a family trying to establish a home without a major endowment it is not an option for now. We are just doing the best we can to save on energy bills.

Our plumber, who is working on our house as a part time gig as he also has this thing called a REAL JOB, was here on Saturday and got the bare skeleton of our household plumbing started. Our main hope for this winter is that we get the well, pump, and pressure tank in, the water heater connected, and at least one fixture (a laundry sink probably) up and running hot and cold. With a drain.

With all this going on, I have had to devote some time to rearranging my utility room and I have not gotten around to any preparations for Christmas. Oh well, the lights and tree will wait until we have a spot for them. We are making progress on what we need in the house, finally.

7 comments:

Madcap said...

That's interesting about the electric water heater and the off-hours. Hmm. I'll have to see if something like that is available in this area.

-40C the last couple nights here. Ouch.

Floridacracker said...

You are still going energy efficient even if it's not solar and personal rocket packs.
In the mean time, we do what we can. Neat cost sharing program.

Deb said...

Madcap- -40C and -40F are about the same. Brrr!

FC- It only makes sense to use energy efficient systems, as long as they don't break the bank for us in initial costs. I'm not convinced that solar is a viable option here in Minnesotarctica. The off peak water heating program is a great option. Of course, I'll be just thrilled to have a hot indoor shower!

cherylhotton said...

Deb as Robert Burns said "the best laid schemes of mice and men " .

Walter Jeffries said...

Huh. I'm surprised about the water heater claim to efficiency. I thought that all electric water heaters were the same efficiency, the only difference being the amount of insulation. Is it that it has a timer on it that they are making the claim? I experimented with putting ours on a timer and found I could cut the electric use significantly by having it only heat the water up starting early in the morning and then turning off for the rest of the day and night.

Deb said...

Cheryl- Yup. There's a reason more people aren't doing it this way!

Walter- Yes, it is on a timer and I think that is the reason for the efficiency claim. It only heats water certain times of the day (overnight maybe?) and it must be insulated enough to store it. We would have gotten a tax credit going with a tankless propane water heater, but that would have been more cash up front. Decisions, compromises...

RuthieJ said...

Congratulations Deb. The hot, running water sounds heavenly!