Our house has a few types of monitors at the moment:
- electricity use at the whole house and circuit level via a eMonitor**
- outside weather conditions (via a Onset U30 weather station) **
- inside temp/RH at 4 locations using Onset Hobo U12-013′s **
- inside CO2 at 2 locations **
- temps inside the HRV at 4 locations in the actual HRV **
- Fraunhofer used a very expensive I think infrared camera to measure the temp diffs on our walls/windows/etc on a cold day. I keep meaning to get a cheapo $30 one which will do the job well enough for my curiosity on windows **
- electricity use at all plugs via custom plug-in meters at every plug in the house ++
- hot water usage via a DLJ water meter (manually, not yet connect to anything logging it)
- overall electricity IN and OUT (manually at the iTron brand electricity meter outside our front door) — I think there may be a way to automate this with the eMonitor and ZigBee
- Solar PV output (via the Enphase website)
- the HVAC people used a digital manometer to help balance the HRV. I might get a pitot tube setup to look at this more closely.
- the Energy Star folks used a blower door test to figure out how leaky or tight the house is. (0.7 ACH50. Almost passivhaus)
- I have also used a Radio Shack sound level meter to measure dBA’s in figuring out what is wrong with our heat pump compressor outside.
- I have just added a very inexpensive Lacrosse WeatherDirect TX60U-IT setup that connects via ethernet to my router and will allow wireless temperature monitoring in the house and logging to the weatherdirect.com website. The u10 and u12 HOBOs are WAY too expensive. And I also want: 1) wireless and 2) realtime, not just logging and 3) totally handsoff — I want to just be able to click a link and see graphs! And to do that with Onset (or anything else I could figure out) would cost even MORE money. We are talking probably 10x what I think the La Crosse Weather Direct setup is going to cost. It maybe would be more accurate. But I’m not convinced that would even be necessary. Anyway, we’ll see how this works out. I’ll report back. BTW, if I didn’t need/want the wireless part, I would probably look into something like THIS but it’s still pretty expensive and I think more work to setup?
** by Fraunhofer CSE
++ by LBNL/Fraunhofer CSE
To what end?
Good question! I hope we can provide some information that helps people in choosing how to build or retrofit their houses in the future. At the very least I think we can provide some evidence that one doesn’t need to use a lot of energy to heat a house, even in New England, if you build a superinsulated home. And that it’s more comfortable than a typical house. (No drafts or big temperature gradients between rooms or between times that the heat turns on and off.)