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Energy Efficient Green Home : Combustion Closet

Just ran across a combustion closet article by Energy Vanguard which reminds us all that in energy efficient homes (i.e. our zero energy prefab house kit made super tight with SIPs or structural insulated panels), you do not want to mix people air and combustion air.

Read the full article>>[Making%20Your%20Home%20Saf]

The diagram below (from theGeorgia State Supplements and Amendments to the International Energy Conservation Codeshows how this works.
Sealed combustion closet to eliminate backdrafting and combustion safety problems

Like the combustion closet, we were sure to seal our wood cook stove firebox as well, so that it does not affect our indoor air quality.

I know I go on and on about how important it is to seal off, separate, and insulate for indoor air quality in energy efficient homes, but... it's important. Just in case : How many times do I need to repeat myself?

[This video makes me want to have at least one dance party in the living room once a week. It is possible.]

Any-hoo, due to the deep mud and winter icky-ness (still not done with colds), we are in-town. 
My children set up a stand in the front yard and played The Amish Store again...  I refer to their stand as The Not-Amish Store. (Can't wait to tell Mrs. E about this latest round, ha...)
They are selling rocks, if you would like to buy some. 

They also have some My Little Ponies-chewed-up-by-the-dogs if you would like...
I wonder why the cars don't stop...?

Actually, we did have some Nice Customers stop by...
They wouldn't trade us the baby for rocks. Dag.

This gentleman had a Gucci, Park Ranger air about him.
If that's possible.

It was an observation in perseverance: A brisk, but warming, winter day full of sunshine, an entire Saturday filled with children angling how to reach customers (they noticed that their street was not well traveled yet, at the corner, a "cut through" street, there were thirty hurrying cars to the one that passed them and so made a sign there), how to present their wares (which were rocks and chewed toys), Very Valued And Marketable To Them, all in a front yard without traffic...

Their last customers pulled up in a car as afternoon waned to dusk. I saw one window skeptically roll down and an elderly lady speak with my children for about ten minutes, both of them responding attentively to questions. Their answers must have met with her approval because suddenly all the windows of the car rolled down, whooosh! and my children started loading 'em up, a car filled with people, with rocks and chewed ponies!

A successful day it was. The six year old cried because, in her enthusiasm, she sold off her favorite bunny and pony. Never mind that their eyes were chewed out.

After a hard day of work and life lessons, I fed them barley soup.

Copeland's Barley Soup
  • Dice and sautée onions with minced garlic
  • Add small bits of beef (tonight I used a chuck roast from Boxwood Beef, diced small) at high heat to then simmer and stew later at a lower temperature 
  • Add in a *bit* of broth (tonight I used chicken broth made from the chicken this week) while high heat
  • Add handfuls of barley until the mix is consistent where you can evenly see onions, barley, beef 
  • Add in more broth, lower heat to an even simmer
  • Add in puréed tomatoes, whatever you have on hand left this time of year
  • Add greens - this time, diced tops of bok choy I will use the rest for something else tomorrow
  • Add water, salt to taste
  • Simmer simmer simmer... serve.
Insist to your children how disappointed you are they adore barley bok choy soup.

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