#Write31Days 23: Let The Sunshine In

We were raised by a society that wastes so much, but in our new home, we are determined to make changes that minimize our footprint.

Emily: Earth Day was always one of my favorites at school. I loved learning about how to recycle and the importance of taking care of what we had been given. One year we received a tree that we planted. Even after a storm broke it in half, mine still sits in the yard of my childhood home.

There are lots of positive reasons why we care about nature in addition to the one awful one: we want to have less of a negative impact on the life expectancies of future generations. We’re not parents, but we’re a proud aunt and uncle to a pair of darling nieces! But even if we didn’t have children in our family that we loved, we still care about humanity itself. It’s impossible to overstate the stakes of the issue, so we’ve given environmentalism some consideration in our decisions. We’ll mention more in upcoming posts about sourcing lumber, water conservation, and other renewable fuel sources. For now we want to talk about what we want from the Sun!

No big deal, but we want to impose our will upon a celestial entity and harness its power for our bidding, but like, in a literal sense. It shouldn’t be too difficult, but it definitely looks like we’re powerful enough to force the Sun itself heat our home in the winter, cool our home in the summer, and do the bulk of such mundane chores as washing dishes and doing our laundry.

All we have to do is transform our entire home in such a way as to make it unrecognizable. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Step 1: Use a thermal collector to absorb heat from nearest nuclear fire burning in outer space, Step 2: pump warm water to tankless electric water heater (instead of boiler)
Step 3: pump hot water through PEX tubing embedded in our subfloor
Step 4: enjoy climate-controlled home with the bottom 8 feet of each room heated!

Before we can put anything on our roof, we need to replace it. See, we have these hip joints on our roof that makes the southern-facing side so small that every solar panel salesperson in the state has told me there’s just no way to wire up our house without re-designing our roof. That’s something we can tear down and rebuild ourselves, so we were undaunted by the requirement.

Our roof looks like the one on the left, with a point on top and triangles for sides. The last solar panel tech that came out to our home pointed at the house on the right (above) and said we “need a roof that looks like THAT” before abruptly bailing on me and running up to my neighbor’s door like a cat responding to a can opener.

Tesla is one of the companies that makes rechargeable batteries for your home. See, one of the problems with our insecure, patchwork electrical grid is that its unreliability is exacerbated by a “spike” in demand for electricity that happens at sunset from solar-powered homes. But if you run your entire home from a set of batteries, then you don’t need to draw from the power grid at all. This will stop the frequent power outages we experience, which always makes us worry about our computers and appliances!

That 6pm spike in demand? That has generated what is known as the “duck curve.” Our national infrastructure already can’t handle normal usage, so adding stress to the system is making our current problems WORSE.

Once we get all of our electricity from the sun and we have rechargeable batteries powering our home, the next step is to replace our gasoline use with solar electricity as well. All of this is going to co$$$t quite a bit, so we’re going to have to deal with some waiting and saving over the next couple of years. But once we’re done, we won’t have a natural gas, electric, or gasoline budget! Our Sun will power our commute, appliances, climate control, and more!

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