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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2answers
42 views

Photovoltaic installation: does it make sense (or is possible at all) to get a bigger inverter than the power output of the installed panels?

We are going to install a PV in our offices. Our actual needs would be satisfied by an installation of about 4kW, so that ~16 panels of 250W. It's going to be a central-inverter, grid-connected ...
2
votes
1answer
183 views

Will a single ductless mini-split heat pump be able to distribute its air evenly throughout my ranch house?

I am in the middle of a deep energy retrofit of my house, and a quick-and-dirty online manual J calculation of the projected loads once my projects are completed shows an estimated heating and cooling ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Is it really energy economy to use movement sensor for turn lights on?

I want to install those movement sensors in my house in replacement for the old light switch. I want to use those from elevator halls which has a 3 way switch to leave on, leave off and leave ...
2
votes
1answer
143 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
225 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 ...
1
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3answers
797 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
4k 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
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1answer
65 views

How to estimate if an old AC is worth replacing?

Have a window AC unit that's from 2001, here are the specs: Manufacturer: Kenmore VOLTS: 115 Cooling BTU/HR: 12500 Cooling AMPS: 11.6 Cooling WATTS: 1275 Cooling EER: 9.8 The average electricity ...
1
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1answer
40 views

What is the best type of insulation to use on a hinged metal attic door?

What is the best type of insulation to use on a hinged metal attic door (no integrated ladder)? Primarily concerned about heat entry through the door when closed. Also concerned about heat entry ...
1
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2answers
343 views

Can an IR thermometer be used to check wall insulation?

IR point thermometers have come down a lot in price. IR imaging cameras haven't. Is there a reasonable approach to using the point thermometer to determine how well or poorly insulated my walls ...
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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" ...
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2answers
74 views

Is it economically reasonable to cool the roof by water evaporation

I want to estimate the outcome before going into hassle of installing the sprinklers/mist emitters. I have a place on the last floor, you can call it an attic, directly under a flat roof which is ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

Do Dimmable LED on Standard Dimmers Save Energy?

A lot of new LED bulbs claim they work on standard dimmers. Bought a bunch of the Philips Slim Style Dimmable LEDs when they were on sale at Home Depot. They work fairly well on dimmers that were ...
1
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2answers
1k views

Best way to stop cold air coming in from fireplace

My house was built in 1967 and has a real working fireplace. The problem is, it allows a ton of cold air into the house. There is a chimney cap (and I climbed up on the roof to verify it still works), ...
1
vote
1answer
392 views

Should I put a basement dehumidifier on a timer, or trust the hygrometer?

Dehumidifiers draw a LOT of power (as you might expect of something which is basically a modified air conditioner or refrigerator). I do want the humidity in my basement kept at a comfortable level, ...
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2answers
107 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
233 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 ...
1
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3answers
33 views

Insulation type to use on a hinged metal attic door

In this question, I asked about the best type of insulation to use on a hinged metal attic door, when one is also concerned about heat entering around the edges of the door when closed. The answer I ...
1
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3answers
2k views

Why don't American homes have blinds on the outside of their windows?

Traveling through Europe, seeing many different construction methods, I try to take an objective look at why things are done a certain way. One of the most positive things that I see done in Europe ...
1
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4answers
688 views

Leave the water heater on?

When I lived in France and the US, we can an electric boiler for hot water. It was "always on", probably with a thermostat. Now I live in an area where most people have a power switch that they turn ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Home: Using Exhaust & Circulating Fans to Improve Air Quality While Staying Cool

In the hopes of ventilating nasty odors and airborne contaminants, I recently installed the Bionaire BW2300 in one of my kitchen windows. This is the only one I have installed in my home at the ...
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0answers
39 views

How can I tackle thermal downdraught?

Thermal downdraught on windows is a fact of life. I understand the mechanics involved, but that doesn't make it any more comfortable! Short of replacing the glass in my double-glazed units with (yet) ...
1
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0answers
187 views

How should I seal and insulate a crawlspace to mitigate radon and allow for storage in the space?

Background: I recently bought a house built in 1996. It has a 1480sq ft (approx) living area, which is the same as the crawl space size. The location is in the Kansas City metro area. The yard is ...
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0answers
64 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 ...
0
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3answers
7k views

Unplugging vs running an empty refrigerator

We have a community Pea Patch that has 2 older refrigerators that are empty 5 days a week and used to store produce on 2 of those days. Does it take less energy to leave them running for those 5 ...
0
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2answers
142 views

Can we capture the hot, humid air from a gas-powered clothes dryer during winter?

During winter we run a gas-powered heater and evaporative humidifier to maintain indoor air quality. Meanwhile, every day (big family!) we run a gas-powered clothes dryer which dumps hot, humid air ...
0
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2answers
51 views

when freezers are not in use fr 2-3 weeks a month, should they be left plugged in?

I work with a food pantry at my church. We receive food on the first Thursday on the month and distribute food to those in need on the following Tuesday. We have several chest freezers which we use to ...
0
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1answer
90 views

Best cost efficient plug-in heating devices / radiators

We moved to a 2-bedroom apartment that has baseboard heating devices installed. Our first electricity bill was huge (around $400) and we only used 3 of them and not all day long. Here is a pic of the ...
0
votes
3answers
190 views

Device to detect where heat or cold air is escaping or entering a structure

I would like to lower my environmental impact and reduce my energy bills by reducing areas where air might be entering or exiting my home. What type of device can be used to detect where heat or cool ...
0
votes
1answer
147 views

Does running a dehumidifier with an AC unit save money?

I've done as much research as i can an every site i hit seems to have a different story on my question: "Will a dehumidifier save energy while running your AC through the summer"? The ones that say ...
0
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1answer
68 views

outlet bypass for multimeter

seeing that I (and i bet 99.9% of the people here) already have a nice multimeter, i find it kinda of silly to buy a kill-a-watt type of device. But, on the other hand, it is really impractical to ...
0
votes
2answers
706 views

Energy efficient bulb takes a long time to get bright

Ive recently moved into a newly built house (im in the UK). When I turn my bedroom light on it takes a long time to get up to full brightness which is quite annoying. Ive unscrewed the lightbulb to ...
0
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1answer
3k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

What is the correct Air Flow change per hour for my house?

I recently just got my house air sealed. Before air sealed the Building Air Standard (BAS) was 1.4 now it is 1.2. Based off a 1300 sq ft house. What should the BAS be? Is there a calculator to ...
0
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1answer
236 views

Carrier 60,000 BTU 92% Furnace vs Carrier 40,000 BTU 95% AFCU Furnace

I have about 900 finished square feet in my house, and I'll eventually be adding another 200 or so finished sq/ft in my basement. I'm looking to get my furnace replaced and have been quoted two ...
0
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3answers
140 views

Old GE Fridge Wattage

So we have a GE Refrigerator that's around 35-40 years old. Purchases between 1983-1985. The fridge has not died yet. Yes i know, GE makes amazing stuff. And i was really thinking about replacing it ...
0
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1answer
74 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 ...
0
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0answers
21 views

How can I minimize energy consumption using my baseboard heating device?

Should I leave it ON most of the time and just play around with the temperature, or is it better to switch it OFF when I am not in the house and then turn it back ON?
0
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1answer
729 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...
-1
votes
1answer
62 views

When is a variable-speed compressor HVAC unit worth the cost?

Surprise, its summer and our AC broke down. We were quoted prices for installation of the current standard (SEER 14) AC units (about $6500 unit cost and installation) vs Trane's SEER 18 AC units ...
-1
votes
1answer
23 views

Viewing cumulative electricity usage [closed]

The TED 5000C monitors real-time electricity usage. This, however, isn't so useful if plugged into, say, a fridge, where, presumably, the bulk of the electricity usage is going to come from when the ...
-4
votes
2answers
109 views

What is the best way to store energy?

I want to store 6 months of energy with one of these applications. which type of system would be the best way to store energy for a house, which last for approximately 6 months. (heating/air ...