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Gordy

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thanks for the update. Do you have a non contact IR thermometer? If not they are useful and fun to play with [wink] They give you an instant reading anywhere you point it. I noticed a color difference on the carpet caused by the screen on the window blocking some of the sun light from coming in, this caused a 8 degree drop in temp compared to the non screened portion of the window. Not a lot, but with 5 good sized window facing South it helped to remove the screens. Also check uninstalled windows compared to one insulated with bubble wrap or window film.

Gordy

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V5BZX8W/ref=asc_df_B00V5BZX8W5322955/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B00V5BZX8W&linkCode=df0&hvadid=194899782153&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4746945171723777166&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9019621&hvtargid=pla-313042831100

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Gordy,
Minnesota

gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #22 
Steve-

Thanks fo the update! As you have discovered, your first collector build can be a great learning experience. Keeping a log about collector performance, under various conditions, can also be useful. In the meantime, you capture some great heat during these cold winter months.

While logging the ambient air temp can be useful, it isn't critical for calculating BTU output. But for accuracy, I'd think an outside temp probe should be out of the sun, away from structures. 

The morning temp of 41˚F in the unheated spare room concerns me a little bit. It seems kinda low, even without any heat. Just make sure your heater is not back flowing cold air overnight.

Greg in MN


SteveGerber

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Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #23 
I know 41F seems rather poor for an unheated room but I have a couple other unheated rooms and they end up a few degrees colder by morning.  So far I've been manually blocking off the inside of the collector vents at night but I think the main problem is just that it's been getting down around 0F during this recent bitter cold snap and like many older homes in Viriginia my house isn't insulated to the extreme that is needed in more northern climates.  On average, during the coldest months we usually see day time highs around 40 and lows around 20 but lately it's been about 20 degrees below average.  [frown]  It will be fun to see how much better my collector performs when outdoor temps are back to 40F on a sunny day.   Looks like we've got about 4 more days of extreme (for us) cold before we get back to more average weather.  My house is larger than what I really need so I just close off empty rooms and control the expensive electric resistance heating on a room by room basis.

I have fairly new low-e double pane windows but they are still huge heat losers a night when the temperatures plummet near 0 and the target room temperature 65+ degrees above the outdoor temps.  I've been covering some of the windows with foam board which helps a lot but also causes the windows to ice over if the room has much humidity in the air.  Then when the ice melts it makes a potentially damaging mess on the window sill.  [frown]  I tried putting one foam board on the outside of a window and that works much better because the inside glass surface stays warm, but it doesn't look very nice and is not at all user friendly if you want to clover the window at night and then let the light in during the day.  I think it would be cool to have exterior insulated window covers that hide away like pocket doors during the day, but that would entail a lot of construction complications.  [frown]  I can imagine how it might be doable with a double stud wall with a gap between the two walls.  With a superinsulated house like that you could probably just close the thermal shutters at night and lose hardly any heat overnight!  [smile]

Gordy, I don't have a non-contact infrared thermometer yet, it does look like a fun and useful tool and only around $20 these days.  Do you have a model you'd recommend?  I REALLY lust after those infrared imaging gadgets but they're several hundred dollars for the most basic devices.  A thermal imager would be a nice tool to share among several people or to have in a tool library!  [smile]
Gordy

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Posts: 119
Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Gordy, I don't have a non-contact infrared thermometer yet, it does look like a fun and useful tool and only around $20 these days.  Do you have a model you'd recommend?  I REALLY lust after those infrared imaging gadgets but they're several hundred dollars for the most basic devices.  A thermal imager would be a nice tool to share among several people or to have in a tool library!  [smile]


I only have experience with a "Mechanics" brand IRT that's has been working well for about 10 years. I bought it at O'Reilly auto parts before I got in to online shopping so paid about $40 for it. And yep the imager would be nice too.

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Gordy,
Minnesota
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #25 
The price of these electronic "toys" has dropped considerably over the last few years. i bought my IR thermometer about 7 years ago and it cost 3x as much as the ones today. 

Look for a unit with a distance-to-spot ratio of 16:1. This allows for more pinpoint readings. Adjustable emissivity is also a nice feature, as is minimum/maximum, measurement hold, average, and difference. Below is a link to a unit that has all these features, at a great price. And there are a lot of reviews that give it high makes as well.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K5QVBCU?ref=emc_b_5_t

And before you purchase a thermal camera, look at rental. A few of the Home Depot rental stores have them available. You might even check the library. 

Greg in MN
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #26 
The thing about having a room too cold is at some point damage can occur. Frost can form on the walls behind furniture where there is no heat and no circulation. Also, look at the top of the walls for drips and runs. Old houses often used who knows what as insulation inside walls and it may have settled inside the walls. So near the top of the walls you may have NO insulation. Frost can also form INSiDE walls if the conditions are right, and that can lead to mold inside the walls once warmer weather arrives. 

You could allow a little bit of warm air into the room and move the furniture away from the walls for better circulation. 

Greg in MN
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