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A Year Living in a Tire Bale Home

December 27, 2009

We have lived in our home for a whole year now and it has performed beautifully in rain, sleet, bitter cold, as well as in the sunshine. During the winter, if we get at least 4 hours of sun per day, the inside stays above 60-degrees. We do have some issues with some water lines freezing whenever outside temperatures drop below 5-degrees (F). The mountain plumber ran these lines in the ceiling(!) near the kitchen, which is also near a roof cap. It actually isn’t the lines freezing they’re the new flexible pvc. It is the brass fittings that freeze. We are working on remedies to this.

Our local utility company sent a representative out to do an energy audit in the fall. We learned a few things from him. We should not leave our heavy equipment plugged in all the time nor the heat tape on some of our water pipes as these are energy pigs. Also, since our east end is now enclosed, our electric bills should be much lower for 2 reasons: 1) the heaters will be off much of the time and; 2) Last winter with the east end not enclosed completely, all the heat from the west end was being sucked right out so our energy bills were pretty high. Laura is investigating how much installing some solar panels will set us back, as well as possibly using a wind generator.

Well, this is a grand experiment for us. The guy who did our energy audit came back in late Dec. to take some thermo infrared images of our home. I hope you’ll study these carefully as we would like to get some dialogue going about what these images illustrate about this kind of home.

We are at a complete standstill on getting a mortgage. No comps, no appraisal, no loan. sigh…. Does anyone know a banker or someone who will make us a loan?

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