Questions about ways to measure and improve the ability to get useful work out of devices that consume energy. This includes coal, oil and gas as well as electricity.

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1
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2answers
119 views

What's the minimum amount of electricity used by an appliance?

My Kill A Watt P4400 by P3 International shows 3 watts electricity usage if anything is plugged in. Do things plugged in, regardless of whether they are ON or OFF, really use a minimum of 3 watts or ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

How can we protect this furnace from environmental conditions?

I was recently asked to look over the utility closet of a friend, and several things I saw looked very concerning, from an energy-efficiency standpoint. This closet is approximate 3' x 6', and is in ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Can upgrading my boiler save me money?

I've just received my annual gas usage statement. It came as a surprise to me that I'm using almost the average gas consumption in the UK. The average is 16,500kWh and I used 15,000kWh over the year. ...
4
votes
5answers
6k views

Will switching to LED lightbulbs make a significant difference in my electric bill?

I asked Reliance Controls about a THP103 meter that I was having trouble with. Turns out that it's not a true RMS meter and thus is unable to give you accurate readings on a CFL or LED installation. ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Would providing shade for my air conditioner's condensor improve its efficiency?

Our house has two A/C systems; one for the bedroom level, one for the remainder of the house. The compressor/consdensor units are outside the south side of the house, and in direct sun all day, now ...
2
votes
2answers
848 views

What type of wiring should bedroom overhead lighting have?

On the phone with a friend in Cali this morning. He said that some municipalities are requiring /4 (12-3 or 14-3 romex) wiring for all new construction or rewiring for overhead lighting components. ...
1
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0answers
68 views

How do I maximize light gain and minimize heat gain for my glass wall?

How to get maximum benefit of daylight while optimizing air-conditioner benefit for a glass wall (currently) of size 11' * 8' (total 88 square feet exposed). Facts: The glass wall never gets direct ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Is it time to replace my water heater?

I have a 20+ year old, 115 gallon, electric water heater. Works like a champ, but I'm considering replacing it for a couple of reasons. It's leased - I pay $20/mo. It's 115 gallons for a house with ...
2
votes
1answer
656 views

Is a roof sprinker a good idea?

I live in an area where temperatures often reach 95°F (35°C). I have attic fans and soffet vents and radiant barrier. Is it worth adding a roof sprinkler? I have read about it working wonders ...
1
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3answers
2k views

How do I know if my windows are energy efficient?

Hope this is a known one. New double glazing should be labelled, shouldn't it? But rather than getting new windows, are my uPVC windows fine? What checks? To elaborate - what should I look at on the ...
5
votes
2answers
122 views

How should I landscape my yard to make my home more efficient?

At some point in the future, I plan on owning a home and I would like to use landscaping to improve both the appearance and energy efficiency of the property. I have heard that the right landscaping ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What are possibilities of balancing 3-phase consumption?

A lot of homes have a 3-phase electric connection. Each of the phases has some appliances connected to it. That implies power consumption in any moment on each phase is different, so we have an ...
1
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1answer
261 views

Should I tie into the ERV or just vent outside to increase bathroom ventilation?

Our bathroom currently only has an intake connected to the Energy recovery ventilation (ERV) to remove humidity, and it's completely inadequate even for a quick shower. Should I install an exhaust fan ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Is there an online way to check my appliance power usage?

I'm considering replacing my old appliances (refrigerator, washer & dryer) with a more efficient model. Is there a website or simple method to look up their measured power usage ?
0
votes
2answers
4k views

Energy Saver on new A/C doesn't work well

I just got a GE AEW12AM window a/c and the energy saver mode doesn't work that well. I'm used to the in-wall a/c that usually run for a few minutes then turn off for ten. This GE unit seems to turn ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Where am I losing heat from my house?

My house is about 5 years old and our local building codes required a 5-star energy rating (Melbourne, Australia). This means there's solar hot water and both the walls and ceiling are insulated. But ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

Is there a device that will allow a bathroom fan to run for 5 minutes after it is switched off?

There is one switch that controls the lights and fan in the bathroom. Users turn the light/fan on when they enter, and off when they leave. I'd like for the bathroom fan to run for a time after they ...
3
votes
4answers
31k views

How much less power does a three-phase A\C unit use as apposed to a 220v unit?

I'm planning to install a 5 ton central AC. I'm deciding between a condensing unit that runs on 220V and a costlier unit that runs on 207Y three-phase. My understanding is that three-phase motors use ...
3
votes
4answers
237 views

How do I determine if the energy savings are worth replacing windows for?

I have a house with an east-facing wall which is mostly windows. In the winter, during the day I almost never have to run the furnace because of how much the sunlight warms my house. During the summer ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Can I use a stairwell ceiling fan to save energy?

We have a two story house, with a small ceiling fan mounted above the main stairway. The house has separate thermostats for heating/cooling the upstairs and downstairs. During the day, we spend 90% ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Are radiator reflectors as effective as claimed?

I recently completed a survey to determine the energy efficiency of my home. The results weren't great but got me thinking about the quick and affordable things I could do to improve things and ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Why are almost all of my house's HVAC floor registers placed near exterior windows?

My current house is a single story built over a crawlspace and all the HVAC registers are in the floor. In all of the larger rooms, at least one (and usually more) register was placed near an exterior ...
2
votes
6answers
13k views

My fridge runs way too much - is this because it doesn't seem to be level?

My refrigerator runs way too much - is this because it doesn't seem to be level? It doesn't seem to be any other reason.
5
votes
1answer
405 views

Is it possible to recover waste heat from a boiler?

I did a google search and came back with industrial products, but no residential prosucts. I have a System 2000 boiler and hot water tank. When the furnace is firing, the temp of the exhaust through ...
6
votes
2answers
382 views

Is there a way to find out how often your furnace is running?

With winter finally setting in, and being the first year in our new house I would like to put some sort of measurement on how often the furnace is working, before I get the bill. Are there any known ...
8
votes
3answers
45k views

What's the difference between dimmable and non-dimmable LED lamps?

I have a large room in my house with 3 light fittings, with a total of ten 40W GU10 bulbs. So, this is using 400W when they're at max output (they're all on dimmer switches). I'm interested in ...
3
votes
1answer
523 views

Should fan on heat pump be delayed turning off when system stops?

I have a heat pump system with emergency heat. I have a Honeywell RTH7600D thermostat. When the heat is running and I turn the temperature down, the system immediately stops. Isn't this inefficient ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the most economical and energy-efficient way to winterize windows?

We have vinyl windows (mostly double-paned) and live in a shady greenbelt in Seattle (i.e. wet and dark). We don't have much severe weather to worry about, just a pervasive damp cold that settles in ...
5
votes
3answers
708 views

Should I install external basement insulation that does not extend above ground?

Question : Is there a way to calculate energy savings for external, 2inch insulation on basement walls that does not extend above the soil surface, leaving the top couple feet of foundation wall ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is a space heater or my window heating unit more energy efficient?

My roommate and I have noticed that, since our apartment faces south and we live right by the Hudson, our apartment is starting to be quite chilly in the evenings, and oftentimes is cooler inside than ...
5
votes
2answers
962 views

When insulating with closed-cell Spray Foam, what ERV and HVAC resizing considerations should I bear in mind?

I am building a 2800 sqft, two-story brick home in Austin, TX. I have heard many good things about the benefits of insulating with closed-cell Spray Polyurethane Foam (ccSPF)1, and have requested ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does using a dimmer with this ceiling fan and lights cause energy saving bulbs to flicker?

At a hotel I manage we purchased 34 ceiling fans with two integrated light sockets that operate on a dimmer all controlled by a remote control. Obviously using a dimmer with fluorescent bulbs won't ...
3
votes
3answers
550 views

Shading windows from outside (awnings, shutters, etc) to keep house from overheating in summer

The back of my house faces west, and during July and August, the sun hits it directly in the afternoon through evening. On a warm day, this can cause the house to heat up quite a bit, so I'm making ...
0
votes
1answer
910 views

is there a solar passive water condenser (from humid air) design anywhere? [closed]

i've looked around and i found only two related designs: active electric water condenser. solar passive water still (that distill dirty water) not quite what i was looking for...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the process for draft proofing windows

I need to try to prevent drafts coming through and around my double glazed window units as much as possible. How can I go about detecting and sealing any leaks that are letting air through the window? ...
4
votes
3answers
574 views

Calculate savings from/cost-effectiveness of installing a tankless hot water heater?

Following up on "Which water heater types do you recommend?" and "Are tankless water heaters worth it in cold climates", is there a way to calculate the point at which installing a tankless water ...
3
votes
2answers
12k views

How do I seal my baseboards from drafts?

Some rooms in my house have a pretty bad draft along the edge of the floor, where it meets the outside walls. But I am less than thrilled (to put it mildly) about the prospect of ripping out carpeting ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

Are there efficient ways to provide combustion air to heating appliances?

In a previous question we established that there probably should be a vent between my utility room (which opens into the kitchen and living space in general) and the outdoors (in my case the attic, ...
1
vote
3answers
821 views

How do you determine how much electricity is used by a device?

How does one go about determining how much electricity is used for a particular device? Where can I find the wattage ratings, and how do I calculate the cost based on my current electricity rates ...
9
votes
8answers
3k views

How can I audit my furnace?

I want to keep track of when my furnace is on, with an eye to reducing how much energy I use to heat my house. I could compare it with weather data (temperature, wind speed, precipitation). I could ...
1
vote
4answers
8k views

Will wrapping the stove pipes with copper pipes increase wood stove efficiency?

I've heard that wrapping my wood stove's chimney - the parts inside the house that go from the stove the the actual chimney - with copper pipes will increase the amount of heat generated. Has anyone ...
11
votes
6answers
27k views

Does lowering the blower speed of a forced-air furnace lower its efficiency?

My gas furnace has two options for the blower speed: MED, and MED-HI. It had been set on the higher speed, but that was too harsh, so I lowered it to the slower speed. Does that have any impact on the ...
2
votes
1answer
242 views

How do I fix an irregular hole in my heater closet?

The plumbers cut a roughly rectangular hole in the water heater/heater closet floor when fixing the drain pipe for the condensate line. The closet is located in the garage. There are two 2" PVC ...
11
votes
7answers
25k views

Can I save energy costs by turning off the refrigerator for 1-2 hours every day?

Now that I'm looking into home automation, I'm thinking about automatically cutting off the fridge power from 3am ~ 5am. Given that modern refrigerators are well insulated, it should be able to ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I install plastic window insulation without damaging the trim?

I'm planning to install plastic window wrap on my windows for the winter, but the trim around the windows is nice wood and I don't want to leave a mark on it where the double-sided tape will be. I've ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

How can I seal around a light fixture/light switch outlet?

I Have a house built in 1972. I'm currently 80% finished in installing a ceiling fan into my master bedroom. I had an energy audit about a month ago, which revealed that I had "pretty good sealing" ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Understanding results of an energy audit

We had an energy audit done a couple of years ago on our 20 year old home. Basically, they hooked up a blower to the front door, and tested the amount of air leakage. The written report suggested a ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

How best can I discover what is up with my electrical bill?

This might be subjective, I don't know. However, it's a serious problem for me. My electrical bill is outrageous. It's three times as large as my next-door neighbor, and four or five times the size of ...
3
votes
5answers
12k views

What are my options for replacing 50W GU10 lightbulbs?

I've been looking at replacing 50W GU10 halogen lightbulbs for something more energy efficient. Some people say that LEDs cannot give you the same light (even 10W LEDs), and to use 11W CFL instead, ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

Energy Audit (WellHome)

We recently had an energy audit done by WellHome, a new division of Masco, which is a manufacturer of many types of home/building fixtures and services. They seemed to do a very thorough job, using ...