Zoom Chat and Notes - Don't Clown Around with your Home's Energy Performance, Bob Greenspun, December 5, 2021

Scott Henson
Scott Henson
Last updated 

Resources from the Talk:

Seattle Climate Change and Drawdown Seattle Resources:

Resources Shared by Participants in the Chat:

  • Hot Water Solutions. Information and Buyer's Guide on Heat Pump based hot water heaters.  Electric water heaters account for 18% of the energy used by an average home — more than a refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer combined. What’s an energy-savvy homeowner to do? Make the switch to an electric hybrid heat pump water heater. You’ll save more than $300 on your electric bills every year.
  • Rheem ProTerra Hybrid (Heat Pump) Electric Hot Water Heater.  The Rheem® ProTerra® Hybrid Electric Water Heater delivers savings when you buy—in the form of a federal tax credit and local utility rebates up to $1,0001—and up to $491 per year in energy cost savings. 4X as efficient as a standard electric tank—produces fewer greenhouse gases. Exclusive water leak detection and auto water shut-off valve guards against damage and offers peace of mind.  You can buy this at Home Depot here (80 gallon model selected).
  • ECO2Systems SANCO2 (formerly sold by Sanden). Did you know that water heating is the second largest use of energy after heating or cooling your home? As a highly energy-efficient alternative to the traditional electric or gas water heater, our unique system saves money, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and eliminates the production of carbon monoxide. The SANCO₂ heat pump water heater system consists of two parts. The Heat Pump Unit, where the hot water is produced, using the CO2 refrigerant to extract heat from the ambient air, and the insulated Storage Tank, available in 43, 83, 119, 200, 285, 360, 455 and 505 Gallon Sizes, where the hot water is stored.  More information on this system is found here as well.
  • Miele Heat-Pump Based Ductless Dryers.  Examples of dryers that are more energy efficient and all electric (and in this case do not require a duct so are more flexible in terms of where they are stored.

Full Text Chat from our Zoom Call:

00:27:32 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Any questions, please feel free to put in the chat…
00:27:41 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): We will record everything and past to our conversations web site....
00:28:11 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): https://drawdownseattle.org/conversations/
00:32:02 Bill Phipps (he/him): Greetings Everyone !
00:32:17 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Hi Bill
00:34:48 Richard: I'm in Issaquah
00:34:49 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Yes, in Seattle…
00:35:06 Suellen Mele: I’m in Seattle
00:35:45 Jeff Berner: 1913 house here.
00:39:10 Kurt Hanish: I am in an updated 1940s
00:41:00 Jeff Berner: If I had to do it all over again, I would have torn down and rebuilt. We shouldn't try to save every building.
00:43:44 Suzanna Litwin: 1928 craftsman
00:44:01 Philippa Webster: Ours is 1922
00:44:05 Chris Meinig: 50's shallow pitch, daylight basement
00:44:07 Joe G: Joe G lives in a 1910 Craftsman
00:44:09 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): 1921 Spanish Revival
00:44:39 Brent W. Weeks: 2004 McMansion
00:46:12 Suellen Mele: I’ve rented my whole life and been in Seattle since 1991. I’ve probably lived in houses in every era (except a couple)!
00:47:30 Laura Zeffer: I wish I were renting. Prefer not to be responsible. We live in a 2 bedroom condo in a 100 unit condo building.  Heat pump going in before the scorch of summer.
00:47:45 Shannon Markley: I live in a Dutch Colonial, about 33 years old.
00:48:23 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): This is the Structural Terra Cotta that constitutes the walls of our home…for those that may have never heard of it before…
00:48:23 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): https://historicbldgs.com/terra_cotta.htm
00:52:40 Chris Meinig: ugh, I hate it when Portland is ahead of us!
00:53:04 Paul E Litwin: lol. Like a Portlandia episode!
00:53:18 Chris Meinig: yea, good idea!
00:57:16 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Are you aware of any rebates from PSE?
00:58:37 Bill Phipps (he/him): I was told that PSE charges 2000 dollar to "cap the Gas" when we considering switching from gas to electric hot water heater.!
01:00:01 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Wow!
01:00:32 Chris Meinig: wow, we should be getting carbon credits for switching!
01:01:10 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: 100% Chris!
01:01:58 Suzanna Litwin: We don’t know if our oil tank was removed or not, is there some way we can find out?
01:02:15 Kurt Hanish: went from heating oil to heat pump 2 years ago
01:02:50 Chris Meinig: If you do remove your tank and find  leakage, youre obligated to clean it up
01:03:02 Chris Meinig: without PLEA
01:03:12 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: If people switch to heat pumps is there any reduction in electricity use? Asking as PSE has been threatening a number of Cities that they need to switch from 115 KW to 230KW. It’s a battle that’s been going on for 8 years.
01:04:25 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Any thoughts about ESP filters?
01:04:31 Paul E Litwin: Bob: what you think of electrostatic filters vs replaceable fitlers?
01:04:44 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Here is the UST database in Seattle: https://data.seattle.gov/Public-Safety/Underground-Storage-Tank-UST-Records-Residential/xvj2-ai6y
01:05:27 Paul E Litwin: How does one tell know the pressure?
01:05:38 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Thanks!  has your dust increased?
01:06:11 Chris Meinig: we have 16MERV filter and UV lights for virus
01:06:12 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Any tights on what gets out the most dust?
01:06:29 Suzanna Litwin: Duct cleaning a good idea after having home insulated?
01:06:49 Chris Meinig: yup, spendy but nice on 16MERV
01:07:03 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Chris, I am using an ESP plus UV and we still have a lot of dust
01:07:24 Jeff Berner: Theoretically one could use a heat pump for radiant heat if you had a large enough reserve tank that one used as a thermal battery.
01:07:50 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: I like to know more about dust leakage
01:08:01 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: or air leakage
01:09:34 Shannon Markley: I have an air to water system in a strawbale house on Bainbridge Is.  The brand is Sanden.  Everything Bob said is true.
01:11:14 Shannon Markley: I didn't know about the limited BCU's and had to apply other heating/energy efficiencies measures even after installing Sanden.
01:14:03 Suzanna Litwin: Yes @Paul but we still have those bloody heaters in the wall!
01:14:05 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Never heard of
01:14:17 Chris Meinig: yes
01:14:53 Jeff Berner: The SANCO2 website says 15000 Btu/hr. I guess one could run two of these in parallel if you had a big enough house.
01:16:09 Jeff Berner: Does anyone know whether CO2 refrigerant has the same performance fall off at 20F as other heat pumps that use R-410A?
01:16:33 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: I correct myself - yes, I have heard of it. Do a lot of new  construction install them?
01:19:00 Laura Zeffer: Would you say that is is the only way (mini split) to cool/heat a condo? (Environmentally speaking) or are there other heat pump options?
01:19:32 Laura Zeffer: Yes ,they have approved that already for our patio
01:20:21 Laura Zeffer: We are using  contractor who had done heat pumps.
01:20:53 Shannon Markley: The one downside, in addition to the appearance, is that they are really high in EMF radiation.  I measured  it in a house I bought.   So mines for sale,  if anyone if interested in it.
01:21:03 Bill Phipps (he/him): Why not install the interior units on floor level...heat rises...
01:22:06 Laura Zeffer: Are you talking about the interior wall piece Shannon? (EMF)
01:23:13 Laura Zeffer: Interesting… will investigate
01:23:25 Jeff Berner: Heat pumps are the norm outside the US
01:24:08 Kurt Hanish: that is what I have
01:24:19 Kurt Hanish: a ducted heat pump
01:24:50 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): We did a Hyper Heat ducted heat pump system from Mitsubishi as well
01:25:05 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Gates is invested in landfills
01:25:27 Paul E Litwin: Us too, Scott. In our Seattle house. Not installed yet.
01:27:00 Paul E Litwin: Yes, we ended up going with the insulator who was not in the PSE rebate program.
01:27:29 Paul E Litwin: Why do these damn rebate programs go through the fossil fuel companies!?
01:27:57 Jeff Berner: What is the experience with the SANCO2 hot water system? I like the idea of the external unit and the use of CO2 as refrigerant?
01:28:01 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): FYI - This is the Rheem heat pump electric hot water tank we decided to go with after Bob came to our home…
01:28:12 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rheem-ProTerra-80-Gal-10-Year-Hybrid-High-Efficiency-Smart-Tank-Electric-Water-Heater-with-Leak-Detection-Auto-Shutoff-XE80T10HS45U0/312741448
01:28:36 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): https://hotwatersolutionsnw.org/
01:29:04 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): We are also getting the Heat pump dryer from Miele…
01:29:51 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): https://www.mieleusa.com/e/tumble-dryers-1015698-c
01:31:44 Paul E Litwin: What about turning down the temp of the water heater?
01:35:07 Bill Phipps (he/him): electric cook stoves??? in kitchen
01:35:08 Richard: How long does a typical (<300 Sq feet) audit take you? And how soon are you booking?
01:35:34 Richard: 3000 sq feet *
01:35:41 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: What is the cost difference between a heat pump and Whole house AC and who is better in hot weather?
01:37:09 Shannon Markley: Air drying clothes saves money, and clothes, etc. don't wear out as fast.   Clothes drying racks easy to find in thrift shops.   We just spin towels for a few minutes in a dryer and then hang on rack.
01:37:44 Chris Meinig: I have a Q on thermostats.
01:38:53 Joe G: My daughter has a SanCo hot water system that has worked well for four years and serves main house and two ADU's.  Works to minus 5 degrees.
01:39:20 Jeff Berner: Thanks Joe. Good to know.
01:39:39 Suzanna Litwin: The inspection Bob does is VERY extensive!
01:40:09 Richard: This sounds great. Will be getting on your schedule soon. Thank you Bob!
01:42:27 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): We have been lifelong fans of natural gas cook stoves and just switched to induction and LOVE IT!
01:42:32 Jeff Berner: My daughter's home in Wisconsin uses natural gas for cooking. None of the homes in Wisconsin vent to the outside.
01:42:35 Bill Phipps (he/him): in the northwest, with a electric heat pump w nat gas furnace , what percentage of energy use is from the heat pump and what percentage is from  the gas furnace ??
01:42:42 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Love our Induction stove!
01:44:16 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: I kana a number of people who want to install Acs due to summer heat. What is the cost difference between a heat pump and Whole house AC and who is better in hot weather?
01:44:36 Laura Zeffer: So the thing about replacing an appliance and getting a new more environmentally efficient one… the pulled appliance often ends up in the landfill. The guys who delivered our new washer dryer told me that the old set were not usually recycled for parts or refurbished but went to the graveyard even though “Best Buy” told us they recycled parts as a selling point.
01:44:58 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Yes!
01:45:21 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: How does heat pump work above 90F?
01:45:50 Suzanna Litwin: @Laura, so frustrating
01:45:57 Richard: Do you have enough time to talk about ducted vs ductless mini-split heat pump
01:46:06 Kurt Hanish: ours worked this summer with 108, but it was much cooer i the basement than on the main floor
01:46:50 Kurt Hanish: our backup heat is Holiday Inn
01:46:56 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Funny!
01:47:45 James Little: Excellent, Bob.  Thanks.
01:48:56 Paul E Litwin: Bob's contact info: info@simplicityhomeenergy.com
01:49:35 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: Thank you so much!  Great presentation! I will be in contact Bob.
01:50:16 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: So you think we should have home air monitoring systems?  They sell for around $200-$4000
01:50:21 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: 400
01:50:49 Bill Phipps (he/him): Thank you everyone !!
01:51:00 IeRM P. Schmidt-Pathmann: VOCs, CO2, PM
01:51:02 Laura Zeffer: Its the old… it is less environmentally impactful to keep one’s old geezer inefficient car and run it to the ground rather than buy a new Ecar. I have trouble believing that sometimes.
01:51:15 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Thank you everyone - great to see you all!
01:55:28 Chris Meinig: thanks Bob! see you in a few weeks for our insp.