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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0
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0answers
17 views

diy energy performance certificate

In EU, when is about to sell/buy a house a energy performance certificate is a must. I don't have any plans to sell my house, but I'll like to do a efficiency evaluation of my building, in order to ...
4
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11answers
14k 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.
0
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2answers
44 views

How does one identify a type of ballast?

In a building how does one identify a type of ballast? We have lights all over this place, and I was recently recommended that replacing our ballast with LEDs would greatly save on our electricity ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

How to insulate flat part of attic ceiling?

I have a large (860 sq. ft.) attic that is uninsulated. I'm planning a project now to turn this into a TV room, so I'll need to insulate, run electrical, put up drywall, etc. An insulation company ...
4
votes
2answers
6k 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 "...
5
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7answers
37k views

How much less power does a three-phase air conditioning unit use than a one phase 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Thermal Energy Storage heat loss coefficient

What I am looking for? I am trying to find a source which is stating typical heat loss coefficient of a thermal energy storage or a buffer tank. Problem Most of the resources I've found so far, ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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votes
1answer
6k 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
4answers
127 views

How can I add thermal mass to my house?

We're part of a real-time pricing program with our electric utility company, and a good strategy for offsetting electricity use during peak demand times is to pre-cool the house. The more thermal ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

How Much Attic Insulation? (R-value vs Ceiling Bowing)

I'm preparing to insulate my attic and need to know how much is necessary and how much weight the ceiling can support. I live in San Diego (mild/warm climate). The house was built in 1969. ...
4
votes
7answers
9k 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. ...
26
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6answers
5k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

What is the impact of moving a geyser outside?

We have an indoor geyser but are considering moving this outdoor to save space. We live in a Mediterranean climate with a cold winter day being 5°C (41°F) and summer temperatures generally ranging ...
-5
votes
3answers
140 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
104 views

Redoing my roof: how should I redo my insulation?

I live in Denver. My 60 year old house is 1.5 stories. The upstairs has a highly sloped roof and definitely has insulation in the relatively narrow attic and I believe has insulation at the angled ...
1
vote
3answers
24k 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 days,...
2
votes
0answers
345 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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4answers
475 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
votes
2answers
42 views

Is there a way to measure the output of a single HVAC vent?

As inspired by this previous question, is there a method or device used to measure the output of a single HVAC vent or the output of a single room? I'm imagining some sort of hood device that could ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

Optimizing heating in a heat-pump + electric resistive system

Outside, I have a LENNOX 13hpx-036-230-17 compressor: Inside, the air handler is a LENNOX CBX25UH-036-230-1: The air handler lists 36,000 BTUH cooling capacity, with r410a at 450psi, cust part #...
3
votes
3answers
99 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Can a power inverter work continuosly?

I wish to avoid the constant power outages in my home. So, can I put to work a 2.000w power inverter continuously? Suffers it too much wear if doesn't rest each certain time?
2
votes
1answer
241 views

Looking for a WATT-O-METER with specific features

Recently I 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 watt-...
2
votes
6answers
15k 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.
3
votes
1answer
163 views

What to insulate first? Attic, walls, kneewalls?

I know a number of people in a similar situation that want to add insulation to older, poorly insulated homes. Homes are similar. Poorly insulated attics (6" of fiberglass batts), no insulation in ...
0
votes
3answers
80 views

Can I put a PV panel on my roof and run wires into a room to a power resistor to generate heat?

Maybe a dumb idea, but can I just put a PV panel on my roof and run wires into a room to a power resistor to generate heat? I have just one room that I was thinking of adding this additional heat to. ...
11
votes
6answers
31k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
27k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
40 views

Can I shut off a second water heater?

I reviewed this question and answer and there's probably similarities to this question, but wasn't sure what kind of setup I have. So I'm hoping I don't get flagged as duplicate. We've got two gas ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Actual efficiency of an old oil furnace?

We purchased a house with what appeared to be a relatively well-maintained oil furnace, about 30 years old (installed in 1984). We don't have any records of annual oil usage, or any way to find that ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

Utility of new smartphone-based thermal cameras in identifying cold spots in the home

Winter is coming up, and for those of us in the Midwest, that means that winterizing needs to be done. I'm moving into a house built in 1956 that may have some cold spots around doors, windows, and ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Emergency Heat Coils vs Space Heaters

I have two heat pumps, in an all electric house. Unfortunately they both seemed to have stopped working at nearly exactly the same time. I have called for qualified repairman, but they won't be out to ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Why do blinds have two different close options?

This hopefully works on this site. It certainly should be DIY, though a rather paltry task. Why do blinds have two close options? There are two different angles that they can be closed and this seems ...
4
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
13k 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? ...
16
votes
10answers
7k views

Is it more economical to use hot water before boiling or to bring cold water to a boil?

Since the arrival of our newborn, we have been using the stove to boil water in order to sterilize the nipples, bottles and rings. Which got me thinking, is it more economical to start off using hot ...
2
votes
2answers
224 views

How can I power multiple raspberry pi around the house?

I am planning to power multiple Raspberry Pi's around the house. Some will be security cameras, one will be a media player connected to TV and another one will manage home network and maybe a website ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

How can 12 V halogen downlights be much more efficient than 220 V ones?

The house I bought has halogen downlights pretty much everywhere, and they are all 12 V. I was wondering why bother with stepping down to 12 V but didn't think much about it. When looking at ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Close Garage Door?

My wife insists the garage should be closed in the summer, because we run the AC inside. However - when leaving the garage closed, temperatures reach roasting levels better suited for cooking than ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Calculating total energy savings for LED lighting

I'm redoing all the electrical in my entire house, and I was running some numbers just for fun on the energy efficiency gains by just having LED, vs incandescent bulbs. I know the basic LEDs use much ...
1
vote
2answers
191 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
380 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 moment....
4
votes
3answers
184 views

How can I improve efficiency of my home? Geothermal not saving money

I've been getting very high electric bills since moving in last August. My winter months have averaged $350/mo and so far this spring has been the same. I live alone, work 8 hours a day, do 2 loads of ...
0
votes
2answers
201 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
622 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
vote
3answers
66 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
52 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 ...