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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Satisfied, But.....Is There An Energy Efficient Tradeoff?

OK, OK, I haven't been updating as much because the novelty has worn off reporting something new everyday when the house was being built. I actually look at other houses being built in the neighborhood and say "I remember being at that stage, and how eager those other buyers must be."

Anyway,  I know I'm only about 10 days in the house, but I must ask:  Is it hotter in everyone else's bedrooms/second floor and rather nice on the main level and basement? It really feels like there is a significant difference upstairs vs. downstairs. I suppose this is a tradeoff to be energy efficient, but we will see when we get our first bill. Anything less than $100 would be a god send! Personally, I read on another blog that perhaps the dampers in the attic need to be adjusted to control airflow. That was in a Sienna model. Not sure if it applies to the Florence. I have a coworker who owns a Venice and he also experiences warmer temps upstairs. Could it be because there are not enough vents? Could it be because maybe 2 units are needed to cool these bigger houses? I'm no HVAC guru, but I do know the whole house is not the same temperature. I think I might close a couple vents down stairs and hopefully the airflow will go upstairs.

In other news, the unpacking still continues. I must admit, I have slowed down considerably moving boxes from the garage to the basement storage. We pretty much are about 80% done. Nothing in the boxes is time critical or needed at the moment. We are pretty happy living in the new house. There is lots of water pressure for showers which is nice, but the trade off is hot water doesn't last very long. The double bowl vanity is also nice. I like having my own sink to shave in and we actually have room so both of  us can brush our teeth at the same time.

The past couple days, usually in the morning we have been getting visitors from a flock of 3 Turkeys, who like to rummage through our grass seed and rake our straw. I was wondering why the straw was piled up in certain spots. If it weren't for the HOA, we might have been having some open faced Turkey sandwiches....maybe one day :)


Oh, and one more thing. What is with all the spiders, especially in the basement unfinished storage? I swear I have killed some big ones already. I assume it is just because we built during summer and, well, that's when bugs are prevalent and they made our basement their home. I'm going to need to buy some Raid or something soon I think. 


12 comments:

  1. I'm glad you wrote that about the ac. We won't close until the winter so I will be anxious to see what next summer brings. I have commented several times to my husband that the ac units just seem tiny. Just today we drove through the subdivision and I was thinking to myself that I hope it cools the house evenly... I guess we will know next year. Let us know How it goes for you.

    I hate spiders.... Grossssss....

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  2. We have the Esquire, an extremely open floor plan between the first and second floors. Our master is on the first floor, and it is so cold in the summer you could hang meat in there. The second floor is unbearably hot. Fortunately, we don't have children left at home so we rarely go upstairs except to clean, but I can understand your concern. We only have a single HVAC system while most of the houses in the neighborhood have two, and they say they have the same problem.

    As far as spiders, we have been in the house for 2 years in April, and we still get some monsters down there all summer long. I'm terrified of them, so my husband has to keep them under control!

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    1. I noticed that too. A lot of homes in the hood have multiple units.

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  3. Glad you're almost done with unpacking! I hate unpacking and packing so I am not looking forward to either! haha! Your point about the AC is interesting. We'll definitely have to keep an eye out for that. Pretty glad we got the ceiling fan rough-ins upstairs now ..

    As for the spiders, I would expect to see them for years! My parents built their house when I was little and we had creepy crawlers for years and years! It's definitely one of the bad parts about new construction. Definitely keep some bug spray handy. The trick is finding good bug killer that is safe for dogs!

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  4. Almost in every Ryan Home blog there is a complain about the barely sufficient AC/heating unit, including ours. Our bedroom (2nd floor) definitely get less air from AC(Summer)/heat(Winter) vs 1st floor. Useless complaining about it to Ryan Homes. They'll tell you that's how they were designed.

    Our house over 4k sq/ft and we only have a small unit. It's strange that other smaller models have 2 units. Seems like some of the designs are out of date or poorly engineered.

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    1. I'm looking forward to the day I hook up a ceiling fan in the bedroom just to circulate some air.

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  5. Hi! Woo Hoo! 10 days in! Isn't it nuts how it seemed like the closing day would never ever come then poof, you two are in 10 days! Here is a tip on AC- you should have two separate main ducts- one that carries to the main level and one that carries to the 2nd level. In the summer, you want to shut off the one to the main level a tad and open the one to the 2nd level all the way. Then in theory, the exact opposite in the winter. Both of our levels are the exact same temp now. But how RH had the ducts open/closed, the 2nd floor was so frickin hot. Hope this helps- if you need pics of how ours is, just let me know. We were sure to pester our PM for which duct went to which floor on the walk thru and marked it- so assuming you have the same or at least similar set up as we since we have the same model, we can hopefully help get ya equal! Oh, and btw, we are running about $200 a month for electric/gas. Not as good as I hoped, but not horrible either. I know I'm an electricity hoarder :)

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    1. Well that certainly helps. :-) I will check on the ducts. I certainly hope we are less than 200 for gas and electric. Do you have natural gas? We don't have natural gas, only propane for the fireplace which we wont be using anytime soon.

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    2. We have natural gas for oven/stove, hot water heater, heat for HVAC and the dryer. We pretty much paid for the gas rough ins wherever we could. As much as I use my bathtub and we cook, I know it helps, but I don't think we will reap any true benefit from it til winter.

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  7. One of my neighbors that mentioned the dampers thing to me has a Venice so I have to assume it's not just my Sienna that has a similar set up. For anyone interested here's my blog entry that was referenced above with pictures of the damper set up in my house:
    http://rewsienna.blogspot.com/2014/07/dampers-and-energy-efficiency.html
    It's definitely been better since making the adjustment and even downright cold in the master bedroom at night.

    The only houses in my neighborhood that have dual zone HVAC seem to be Venice's with the finished third floor option.

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    1. Your blog is where I first learned about the dampers. Will be looking into mine soon

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