Thursday, December 24, 2009

One Step Closer to Toasty Warm

For several days I had intended to take a picture of the radiant system in the basement. We previously posted pics of the pex tubing that's in the floor, which are the veins of the system. but the heart of the system is quite impressive. And it's mostly installed. We purchased the system from Radiantec and they did a fantastic job answering any and all of our questions as we worked with Bernie from Clarke County Plumbing to connect the system. Speaking of Bernie, he claims he's still snowed in, so he didn't show up at all this week to work on our house. Andreas pleaded with him yesterday to come next week - and plan to spend the whole week there.

While the system itself is connected and pressure tested, Bernie hasn't fully installed/connected the Polaris gas water heater. He was supposed to connect the gas line on a previous day, but he deferred that to a future day, and hasn't been back. He also needs to install the expansion tank, a heat trap (as required by Earthcraft for certification) and connect the overflow to the drain pan or sump pump. Today, Washington Gas came to install the meter outside, so as soon as Bernie shows up again, we'll be ready to fire it up and test it out.

Then the other piece that needs to be connected for the radiant system to be operational, is the thermostat controls. Andreas installed all of the thermostats on the walls and now we need Tom the electrician from Creager Electrical to show up to connect the temperature control system (the brain) to the heart so we can control the temperature in each of the five zones.

It will be really wonderful to have heat in the house, since we still have some work to do inside. But I suspect most of our inside work will be complete before Bernie and Tom are able to finish their work.

The outside of the house has been a better situation. Jeff Gunther from Grove Construction and his sidekick Andrew did a wonderful job on the deck, which they finished yesterday afternoon. I'll take some pictures of the final product and post those early next week. Jeff and Andrew need to come back to clean up their work site (which has been in the neighbor's back yard) and Jeff will finish installing the cedar siding that Aaron Holmes's crew never completed. That's scheduled for Saturday, January 2nd since Jeff is taking some well-deserved time off around the holidays. I think the house will look much better from the street once the cedar siding is visible on the Western side of the house.

1 comment:

  1. Earlier you had posted about how warm it was to work in the house without heat...

    So now you've (almost) got passive solar with lots of thermal mass insulated from the outside, an efficient fireplace unit, and 5 zones of gas-fired radiant heat.

    I know Nov/Dec are the cloudier months reducing potential solar gain, but I'm eager to hear about the performance of these systems as you start living there full time. (Your own presence will add some internal heat gain, too!)

    How much are you expecting the passive solar design to offset use of the fireplace and radiant? (Did the architect provide any expected performance on this? And potentially a "break in" period as you build up the stable temperature in the thermal mass and stop having work crews in and out...)