Hello blogworld. Ryan here fully recovered from my rear-end collision Friday afternoon.
Thank you everyone for your kind words and for your concern. I would also like to thank God for relaxing weekends every now and then! Over the course of the next week we will be be focusing our energy on installing temporary power and getting our slab in for our living/dining room floor, but over the weekend we have been focusing on how we will be heating our home (and our water).
After many discussions on the matter, Brook and I both decided early in the game that we wanted to purchase a on-demand electric tankless water heater for our home (see Apartment Therapy for a pro/con analysis). Unfortunately upon inquiring with our electrician about this, he informed us that Duke/Progress energy (the only power company available in Asheville, NC.) usually requires you to pay for a transformer. I called the power company and indeed… they say that due to extremely high energy draws from tankless water heaters they would require us to pay over $1700 to add a transformer on the power-pole for our home. They suggested a natural gas tankless water heater which we will be researching on Monday. Otherwise we will have to figure out how to be as energy efficient as possible with an electric water-heater.
In other news we have also been researching the best method for heating our home. At this point we are 90% sure we will be installing a mini-split system. We love the fact that this system is extremely energy-efficient, heats and cools, can be split into different rooms/parts of the home, and acts as a dehumidifier. We will also be installing a wood-burning system in our home. Initially we were planning on purchasing a wood-burning stove and building a wall between it and our island-bar to act as a thermal-mass. Buying a normal used wood-burning stove would be very simple and easy to do… but we have been researching other methods of wood-heaters. The Russian Stove is very efficient, but also very complex and involves a lot of masonry expertise. The Rocket Stove is the variation that we are interested in the most… it is relatively simple to build, CHEAP, EXTREMELY efficient, and very low-maintenance. In a nutshell, the Rocket Mass Heaters:
- heat your home with 80% to 90% less wood
- exhaust is nearly pure steam and CO2 (a little smoke at the beginning)
- the heat from one fire can last for days
- you can build one in a day and half
The rocket stove has three essential parts… a combustion chamber, insulation, and an external body. Small kindling is place in a vertical chamber and fed in through the top. The fire burns sideways and then the smoke is burnt as it rises through the combustion chamber and heats a stove-top. It them travels down the internal side walls of the barrel and the exhaust is directed through flue piping (usually set within a bench) which will absorb the last vestiges of heat before CO2 and steam vents out the chimney. Cob is the most common element in the construction of the Rocket Stove and I believe we would build ours out of clay.
We hope that you all had a wonderful weekend and thanks again for your support!
Until tomorrow… goodnight!