Our tenants recently vacated a rental house we own and I posted an ad seeking new ones. We got a quick response from a gentleman who was very interested and came over to look at the house right away. The house is nothing fancy — a mid-sized 3-bedroom ranch built in the early 1950’s — but he said it was perfect … bigger than their current house and in great shape. Oh, one thing … was it okay if he and his wife had eight kids?
We need to rent it, but the thought of a family of 10 hadn’t really crossed my mind. After all, when we lived in the house it was just me, my wife and two kids – it seemed just about right. But who am I to say how many you can fit in a house? I talked with my wife and we discussed such a small amount of space for so many kids, the wear and tear on the carpet-blinds-appliances, damage we’d seen from far fewer occupants, and how the neighbors might react. You know, the normal stuff you think about with 10 people living under one roof.
Then I happened to mention my situation to one of my coworkers here at EnergyLogic, and his thoughts made me realize I have not yet graduated to “Energy Geek”. Was he concerned with the space, wear and tear or neighbors? Nope. He wanted to know if I’d considered the DHW use and the HW heating demand that would occur with so many occupants – could our systems handle it? And what about the moisture issues that come with increased occupants – did we have proper venting? Did we have older wiring that might not be able to handle plug loads from teens using computers, watching TV or charging the various array of other electronics? Internal heat gains – had I even thought about them?
Ummmm … no, no, no and no.
I guess I have a ways to go before I’ve been converted from a homeowner into an Energy Geek.