Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello, October.

October has greeted us with a gray, cold, damp day. The thermometer said about 45 this morning, and it’s been dropping slowly since then. Add in a good layer of fog, and it’s a good day to be working inside near the fire.

October also means it’s time to start getting ready to button up for the winter. I turned the propane off to two of the cabins yesterday morning, and we’re taking a look at the energy usage to see where we can save next year.

Based on my rough estimates, the American Plan cabins use about half as much propane per day as the Housekeeping cabins. The calculations are a little squirrly because we didn’t keep good track of which days we turned off water heaters in certain cabins and which days we turned off the gas entirely. When averaged over the season, though, it gives us a decent baseline to work with.

One thing we’re going to look at doing next year to save propane is installing more tankless water heaters. We currently have them in Upper and the Island, and they gave us approximately 25% savings over the conventional heaters. In other words, Upper used 25% less propane per Gardner every day it was occupied. The water heater is the only difference between the cabins, gas-wise.

In the American Plan cabins, it should be an even higher ratio since the only other propane consumer is the lights (as opposed to lights, fridge, and stove in the Housekeeping cabins). I expect we’ll save upwards of 75% compared the amount each cabin currently uses, but we’ll see.

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