February 1st, 2011 / Author: Dan
Heat pumps … a not-so-modern marvel of technology.
It is my understanding that household heat pumps work by utilizing an outdoor condenser unit to pressurize and depressurize a liquid refrigerant so that one side of the system will absorb heat from the surrounding air, while the other side releases it. The two ends of the system being: 1) the outdoor condenser unit that many people associate with having ‘central air’, and 2) the coils inside of the air-handler through which the air your home is circulated.
By selectively reversing the pressurization/depressurization process via a reversing valve, the heat pump is able to either heat or cool the house, depending on what the thermostat determines is needed at the time. In many circumstances, heat pumps will also have an auxiliary heating system (be it natural gas, propane, electric coils, etc) to augment the heat produced by the condenser, or to provide emergency back-up heat in the event that the condenser fails.
Recently.. my condenser failed.
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January 3rd, 2011 / Author: Dan
Amanda discovered the art of Bonsai this past summer, and quickly became fascinated with little trees and the process of growing and pruning them. This new hobby, of course, let to the rapid aquisition of a small collection of her own which, in turn, needed a place to live and to be displayed. Enter my first woodworking project ever… the Bonsai display bench.
I spent quite a number of nights googling bonsai benches, to discover that there isn’t really a typical design to them; each one was built to fit someone’s own needs and tastes. A few of the examples had how-to’s and plans available for download; None, however, struck enough of a chord to make me want to re-create them. Since I wasn’t happy with what I had found, the next logical step in this project was the ol’ notepad to sketch out a few ideas. My requirements were simple: that it had to hold plants of varying sizes, potentially store materials underneath, and look good doing it.. not exactly the most defining of criteria, but enough to start doodling. So, by combining various ideas from benches I found online along with a few of my own, I ended up with this:
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December 23rd, 2010 / Author: Dan
Hi my name is Dan… and I’m a computer geek.
I am also a homeowner and have quickly realized that my parents weren’t kidding when they said that the projects would never end. This blog is my attempt to chronicle various tasks around the house, as well as the random things that I plan to build, fix, or repair.
Having come from a family who couldn’t often afford the luxury of having someone else do the work, I’ve spent a lot of time observing and participating in home improvement projects. I learned a lot over the years: how to do things… how not to do things… and everything in between. I don’t claim to know the answers, but with careful planning, the Internet, and my Dad’s cellphone number, I try to make due.
That being said… this blog is more or less a personal journal and not to be used as any sort of guide on the correct ways to fix or to build things (after all, I’m a computer geek, not a contractor)… but if it helps someone out along the way, I’d love to hear about it!