I was crunching numbers on our house, trying to figure out where all our money was going. Granted our electricity isn’t TOO bad per month, average bill $70. However, we’re pondering whether to go with geothermal for heating / hot water. With Geothermal is the fact that electricity will double basically as the heat pump runs off electricity, and usually you need to supplement your hot water with an electric hot water tank.
Below is our current consumption in a 4 bedroom house (must be around 1700 sq ft)
As you can see, many things like the dishwasher don’t seem like much (its run every day basically), but things like the lights in the house do start adding significantly to the overall usage. The furnace is huge too, at 15 bucks, considering that you ALSO have to pay 2500 – 3000 a year for heating oil 🙁 (This amount is ZERO with geothermal).
Another cool thing is that if you have running water (in the form of a stream or river) you can VERY easily create a hydro electric turbine quite easily from an old car alternator and a pelton wheel and some piping. They will not break a sweat producing 600 watts all day long, 24 hours a day. This adds up to 14.4 kWh. The chart above shows that we’re using 12.16 kWh a day so one hydro turbine would power our entire house, electric range and all. Add to that some solar PC, hot water, and wind generation and you are good to go. In fact, if you do have a good water source like that, you probably don’t even need the extra sources as water turbines are the most efficient all year around assuming it doesn’t freeze over in the winter.
So some thoughts on energy in and around our home. As suggested on an earlier post by Matt, the best way to do all this is to conserve as much energy as possible. Seal cracks, prevent drafts, keep lights turned off if at all possible, dial down your thermostat at night (which I would do if our landlord would let us put programmable thermostats in 🙁 ).
We got winter tires for our car. Bout $1200 gone for those. It helps hurts that we have a caliber SXT with 17 inch wheels. Sure, I could have went with 15inch tires and rims but then we lose an inch and a half of clearance (not the correct direction to go when trying to get through snow) and the tires would just look goofy. Each tire alone cost $169 :S And the rims $70. Our hope is that it will be worth it to have WINTER tires as opposed to all season. We’ll see, PEI is supposed to have messy winters, blowy, snowy, and wet winters.
Having a complete set of winter tires also saves money and time down the road. I can swap off my all seasons with the winters and that allows us to squeeze a bit more life out of the all season set.
So stay tuned, once the snow flies, I’ll try to get detail up here about what winter tires are good for, if they are worth it and all that. NOTE: These are the cheapest winters I could find, so I’m hoping they aren’t just all seasons with a winter label on them. The reviews aren’t horrible… so we’ll see.
This past weekend was our 4th wedding anniversary. Oct 1 and the 4th is of course my birthday. We spent our anniversary on friday night in a light house (West Point Lighthouse). So that was very maritime-ish and cool! The ceilings were 12 feet high! So much for energy conservation while heating it. But then its only open in the summer anyways. We had dinner there that night and a continental breakfast in the morning and we walked the beach as well. We then proceeded to drive up the west coast a little. Did some sight seeing and geocaching on the way home.
Saturday night was my first hockey game of the year! woohoo! I do have some work to do on the team to get my legs back and get up to the other young guys levels 😛 I have to say young guys now, thats a great excuse for me 🙂 . Lost 4-3, but it was a good first game.
Sunday was my birthday. Lindsey woke us up an extra hour early because she didn’t realize what time it was so we got to church an hour early with nothing to do, so we used that excuse to go for dinner at Smittys 🙂 Which I didn’t mind. I always like breakfast at restaurants. Smittys is one of the best places (although the orange juice we got there was $3.39 :S ). Then we went to church, got back, had a nap, played Wii (Lost Winds), then I put new brake pads on our car in our uber big garage (which should be excellent for working on the car in the winter).
It almost seemed like 2 weekends as we packed SO much in but it was good. I’m happy to be married to Lindsey and excited for our family in the future. I love her with all my heart!
Oh, and THANKS to Christen and Andrew for our stay in the lighthouse!