Posted by SJC on February 26, 2006, 5:34 pm
I think that is a key point. Some people will refi and put in a pool.
Maybe 1 in 5 home buyers would want a pool and you can not take
out an in ground pool. But people do it anyway, rationalizing that it
will improve resale value when they really just want a pool for =
and/or status. Pools are very expensive and cost a lot to keep up. They
do not pay themselves back like solar thermal, but rather keep costing
more and more.
I would install a solar thermal system such that I could take it out
if the new owner wanted. But with natural gas quadrupling in price
over the last 5 years and talk of bringing in LNG tankers, the price
will probably continue to go up. The new buyers might like to look
at the low heating bills before they put the removal clause in the
Posted by Goedjn on February 27, 2006, 3:47 pm
The good news is, if you don't plan to ever use it, then there's
no reason not to make the second plant pure resistance-electric,
which is really cheap to install, just expensive to operate.
Posted by nicksanspam on February 27, 2006, 3:57 pm
Not if the house is well-engineered, like those of PE Norman Saunders.
Posted by daestrom on February 27, 2006, 10:48 pm
To get the building permit, you must either show proof of a conventional
heating plant that will provide enough heating to meet code, or have a PE
stamp the design stating that it will be adequately heated (maintained at
least 68F) for 7 days of sub-zero temperatures (the so-called 100 year
Considering the cost of such an extreme solar system, it is almost always
cheaper to go with dual heating systems.
Of course, Philidelphia may be different building code, and/or have a
different '100-year blizzard' standard.
Posted by nicksanspam on February 28, 2006, 11:10 am
Interesting. That might involve a $ immersion heater in a large
unpressurized solar heat storage tank. Norman suggests one 5 kW
space heater, but some of his clients never bought those.
Steve Baer says the greatest discovery of solar investigators has been that
if we use lots and lots of insulation, a house will need very little heat,
from the sun or any other source.
IMO, a house with lots of insulation and airtightness and an integrated
solar heating system (eg polycarbonate "solar siding" vs rooftop panels)
can be inexpensive, with a solar heating fraction that is close to 100%.