Net Zero energy regrets I have are few.
My wife and I have experienced some Net Zero energy regrets to be sure. However, we have also learned a lot, especially when it comes to self-sustaining home energy. Knowledge is growing at an exponential rate and that applies to home energy issues as well as anything else. For that reason we cannot fault ourselves if we were to do things differently today than when we started our adventure.
Flooring issues have plagued us more than most when it comes to my Net Zero energy regrets. Concrete floors present real challenges regarding the selection of finish flooring. Hardness issues present foot, joint and hip soreness problems, especially as we age. When we opted for more solar panels, the energy efficiency issues of certain floor coverings subsided. Also we did not have to conserve so much hot water as before.
Passive solar heating presents its own special problems. Whereas the heating is great, it can be too great and there must be a way of dispensing with it. Our solution of heating the shop has worked out well, but the temperature variations can still be problematic at times.
Many new thoughts are comprising my Net Zero energy regrets.
I started writing this missive a few years ago and it was very long with tons of details about our existing home. Today as I write, I thought about the big picture instead of the details of what is now an old design. Technological improvements in home design are going to have a big impact on people’s lives. My thinking on this matter has changed regarding the Net Zero energy regrets I have had.
The original title of this article was “What I would have done differently”. If we head in that vein, here is the conclusive version I will present to you:
- Build a more traditional home with 2 X 6 studded outside walls
- Use close cell insulating spray foam on inside of the outside walls
- Apply a foam-stucco exterior wall surface to stop thermal bridging
- Include an unfinished (storage) basement with a freight elevator
- Use a traditional foundation and wood sub floors
- Stay with our pump and dump heat pump but with an air handler
- Let the air handler provide forced air heating and cooling
- Utilize modern forced air technology for maximum comfort and energy savings
- Place a large solar panel system on a ground mounted rack in the back yard
- Use Insulated Concrete Foundation forms to pour the basement walls
- Install a very large battery backup system for future possible power grid failures
- Forget about expensive radiant floor heating
I may be sounding a little strange, but I have special knowledge about future advances in the HVAC arena. That knowledge has led me to the conclusions above. Our lawyers have advised me to not disclose any details regarding this issue until our patent filings are made. If you follow my blog you will be one of the first to know when we announce our new breakthrough system. You might also check into the Smart Forced Air, Inc. web site.