Friday, July 24, 2015

Heat Pump Dryer Update III

The LG heat pump dryer is finally available.

Heat pump dryers are a big deal because they use a lot less electricity than conventional dryers.

The Whirlpool dryer is also ventless.   The LG requires a vent because of its "quick cycle".

"While the Whirlpool only has a single 1,300 watt element and lacks a vent, we found it to be faster than the LG on nearly every cycle. For instance, the LG's Normal cycle took upwards of two hours when we used the heat pump, while the Whirlpool's took just under an hour and a half. The tradeoff? The Whirlpool's fastest cycle was around 45 minutes, while the LG's Quick cycle took only 25." - - Jonathan Chan at

 Conventional vented dryers actually cause your house's heating system to approximately double the amount of energy used by the dryer in winter.  That's because the air blown outside by the dryer has to be replaced by cold outside air.

The Whirlpool heat pump dryer is currently backordered at Home Depot, which could mean either the demand is huge or they are having production problems.

UPDATE:  6/6/2016 -- The Whirlpool  WED99HEDW  is again backordered at HD, and they slashed the price by 44% to $943.   Again, this could mean demand is huge or it's being phased out due to poor sales or field problems.    Since the Home Depot reviews were quite good, I bought one.  It will eventually pay for itself.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Thick Media Swamp Coolers Still Get the Job Done in Denver

Last year I replaced my cheap swamp cooler with a better unit.

The old one did the job during heat waves only if I overcooled the house at night and shut it off during the hot part of the day.

The cost of the better coolers had prevented me from upgrading, but I snagged one for less than half price in October 2013:

With the new 8" media cooler, I can just set a room temperature with the thermostat and forget about it.  For $20/month, I can keep my house at 68F most of the time.  Nice!

De Blasio is Getting it Wrong in the Uber Debate

Bill DeBlasio thinks Uber needs a lot of regulation.  It doesn't.

UPDATE:  DeBlasio caved in and has abandoned this dumb idea.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Unvented Attic Solved Without Foam

Since 2007, I've been arguing against vented attics, which are the most common way to make a roof for a house.

Around that time, the IRC started allowing unvented attics that are insulated at the roof plane with foam.

This spray foam method has proven to be expensive and dangerous, so I've been hoping for a better way.

Once again, David Posluszny, inventor of the Shirley Wall, has provided a solution:

This is still a difficult installation process in a retrofit, accessing the soffit area is tough.

But if you are building a new home with a cathedral ceiling, this will be relatively easy and cheap.  The furring strips make it easier to install drywall.  As usual, don't install any electrical in the ceiling due to the air leaks it can cause.