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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5
votes
2answers
782 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
2answers
2k 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
467 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

looking for a WATT-O-METER with specific features

Recently i have bought an OWL+USB WATT-O-METER and got very disappointed. Making a long story short, i'm looking for a device that will give me: accurate readings good software for data management a ...
0
votes
1answer
508 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
517 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
7k 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
3k 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
741 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 ...
8
votes
7answers
2k 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
6k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
15k 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
206 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
17k 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
3k 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
133 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
3k 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
6k 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
154 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I prevent window drafts?

I live in Florida. I have noticed that in the Winter it seems that the cold air leaks through the windows and into the rooms. This, of course, raises my energy bill for heating (yes we have to turn on ...
4
votes
7answers
6k views

Would putting a sprinkler on my roof help cool my home?

Anyone ever put a sprinkler on your roof to help out your A/C on unusually hot days? Just wondering if it helps.
7
votes
6answers
7k views

Is insulating an unfinished basement worth it? If so, how should I go about it?

I have an unfinished, well waterproofed basement with cinderblock walls and a concrete floor. All but the top 6 inches / 15 cm or so is underground. Would it be worth insulating the walls down there? ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it a good idea to pay for an energy saving audit of my new home

We have a newly built home but I'm not at all confident in the builder's prowess when it comes to energy conservation. Is it worth hiring someone (like our energy provider or other specialized ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Are tankless water heaters worth it in cold climates?

I was thinking of switching over to a tankless water heater, but a friend of mine said they are not good in colder climates since the water coming in is colder and takes longer to heat. Is this a ...
7
votes
3answers
717 views

How do I add an exhaust fan to an old attic?

Our house's attic retains a great deal of heat during summer. While we now have a good layer of insulation between the attic and the rest of the house I wonder if it would be worth it to add some ...
13
votes
4answers
879 views

Which water heater types do you recommend?

I would like to upgrade my current water heater with one that Is able to produce/store more heated water so I won't run out Energy efficient Inexpensive What are the advantages/disadvantages to ...