Home automation Home Economics Technology

Keeping Warm in 2023

This post grows out of some remarks exchanged with a UK household. UK folk (like US folk) are notorious for overriding their home heating automatic controls, generally a waste of energy. In this post, we’ll examine the economics of Dominion’s Time of Use home electric tariff supplying energy for our dual fuel heat pump plus gas furnace home heating. This analysis will examine energy use of two strategies, burn natural gas myself or let Dominion Electric Power burn gas and deliver electricity.

Of necessity, this is a somewhat complex topic that is influenced by local climate, the local utility, and the scheming of the local legislature. In the US, a mix of Federal and State law govern electric power but building codes are local. Here in Virginia, our winter climate is similar to that in much of the UK (0C to 10C daily swing).

In this analysis we looked only at utility steam-electric power as the best home heating and cooling options for our region are electrically operated. Home photovoltaic power is becoming increasingly common in our region but its use for home heating and cooling would require high-end equipment with storage.

Home Economics Home Remodeling Technology

Dismal Manor Goes Electric

Well, part way, we have a Wallbox EVSE. A VW ID.4 lead sled is on order and the black forest elves are tinkering away on it as I write. In Order Locked limbo awaiting on the boat state.

So, in this post, I want to write a bit above EVSE shopping, and evolving plans to de-carbon Dismal Manor which currently has gas hot air heat and gas hot water.

Home Economics

Vacuum Cleaner Add-ons

I’m looking for an upholstery brush for Moaning Myrtle, our FesTool CT-15 home vacuum cleaner. The wand size is almost 36 mm. What could be hard?

I even know who makes the cleaning tool sets for FesTool. A German company named Wessel Werk near the old home place in western North Carolina.

Read on if you dare.

Home Economics

Duvet Filling

Have you ever tried to wash up a Duvet? Have you ever tried to reassemble it afterward? Did you say bad words? Most likely.

Dismal Wizard consulted with aunts who confessed that they gave them to the Salvation Army after washing. Great shades of the Superman 3 villain played by Robert Vaughn.

Dismal Wizard figured out how to do it finally. He calls his secret technique “The Jelly Roll”.

Home Economics

Mattress Time to Live

Featured image courtesy of Casper.Com

Dismal Wizard has determined that the service life of a mattress is shorter than 35 years. About the time he retired in 2013, the back ache began. Was it stupid technique schlepping yard debris or something more sinister. Most likely both.

The Dismal not-so-big bed was a nice Simmons mattress set bought around 1985 before vulture capital swooped on Simmons, Sealy, Serta, well all the domestic mattress makers, to optimize them into a tidy profitable monopoly. American mattress quality promptly went to hell in a hand basket as verified and denounced by Consumer Reports product evaluations. So I was reluctant to trade the trusty old mattress for new.

Meanwhile Consumer Reports reader surveys determined that mattress life was about 10 years, give or take. And the Dismal Back started complaining that it was time with siatica, and hip tendon pain. Some experimentation determined that sleeping posture was involved.

Image courtesy of Rocky

Two things affect sleeping posture, Rocky and saggy mattresses. It was easier to replace the mattress so I started there.

Home Economics

Festus Joins Dismal Manor Gang

I tired of the Dyson’s canister’s small bin (3 empties per cleaning), propensity to clog, and dust belching manors. So I did what I was tempted to do years ago. I ordered a Festool Extractor CT15E for use as a domestic vacuum. How’s that working out? Pretty well actually. More after the break.