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Visualizing temperatures

It’s snowing and cold outside, so I thought I’d plot outdoor temperatures for the last 7 years.Hourly temperatures [2012-2018] visualization

Porch maintenance

We completed the porch about 7 years ago. The deck is Douglas Fir and we used Penofin Verde to seal it sometime around July 2011. It weathered nicely but was time for a little preventative maintenance. The sun and rain can do some damage.

The south and west sides get more sun and were starting to look thirsty and the end boards were starting to crack and shrink. The north side was starting to grow a greenish tint from lack of sun.

We did some light sanding with a 5″ hand sander to remove the dirt and gray weathered surface to reveal that beautiful red cedar color. Then we applied a new coat of the same Penefin stain.

7 years was a bit long. We’ll likely need to do this again in about 5 years. It is more work to maintain natural wood with natural stains, but the benefit is that the porch looks new again.

61,156 kilowatt hours


As of this morning, we’ve produced a whole lot of solar since mid 2011. Bliss.

38,323 hours of solar and usage data visualization

Solar and usage data visualization

I’ve been trying some abstract visualizations that use data we have collected at the house. The image above was composed from 38,323 hours of solar generation and total usage data. It is a heat map in the sense that hours of higher generation or higher usage are brighter in color. The columns are days. Can you tell which columns are the weekends? Which areas correspond to day and night, summer and winter?

Sol LeWitt inspired doodles

After seeing the Sol LeWitt Retrospective at Mass MoCA last weekend, I felt the need to do some computational doodling today.



Small fat curves (Holiday Microbe)

Curve receding

More curve

Loopy Doopy (inspired) in color


100 lines, none straight, some touching

I produced all images using Processing.

Entry door lock sets replaced

Pic of corroded door lock mechanism (closeup) Pic of corroded door lock mechanism

Why am I writing about our entry door locks? We’ve had problems with our entry door locks every winter. They freeze up and it’s impossible to get the key in the key hole. Now they are so corroded inside that the lock mechanism barely works the rest of the year. They are less than 3 years old. I was surprised to see the amount of corrosion inside.

I’ve spoken to a few people about our frozen door locks in the winter. The issue seems to be that the house is so tight, that warm moist air inside the house only has one place to get out, through the key holes. One other consideration. Our ERV is set by default to produce a very small increase in internal air pressure. I believe their thought is that you want to be pushing clean air out the leaks, rather than pulling unconditioned air in. But I believe this may be one of the sources of our problem.

I’ve installed new door entry sets and will be setting the ERV to fully balanced to see if this solves our problem this winter.

I haven’t seen anyone else mention this problem, so I thought I would post here and see if anyone else with a passivhaus-level tight home has had this experience.  Please comment below if you have, and what you did to fix it.

Update January 2017


The original lock sets were manufactured by Schlage. The new one are from Kwikset. I like the style better and the push button lock better than the turn mechanism. They seem to be holding up well, but as I mention in the comment below, we now have an HRV which lowers the amount of moisture in the air in the winter. We also haven’t seen the same cold temperatures that we did in the first 3 years.

We’re now

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