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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1answer
39 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 ...
3
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4answers
25k 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 ...
0
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1answer
23 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 ...
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1answer
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 ...
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2answers
110 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
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1answer
63 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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2answers
46 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 ...
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3answers
118 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 ...
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2answers
55 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 ...
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1answer
84 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 ...
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3answers
36 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 ...
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1answer
618 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 ...
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3answers
3k 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 ...
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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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1answer
81 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 ...
3
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1answer
93 views

What's the best way to select windows for heating efficiency? I have an older house in a northern climate [closed]

I am sure that the Energy Star program is not going to help me. The USA Energy Star program helps people find energy efficient windows. It guides us to prefer windows with low U-Factor and low solar ...
8
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3answers
36k 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 ...
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5answers
9k 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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
0
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1answer
30 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
99 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 ...
6
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1answer
127 views

Does anyone have experience with small heat-recovery air exchangers?

I know there are units made which are supposed to be sized for use in a residential kitchen, as a more efficient replacement for the usual vent hood (bring air in to replace air blown out, but ...
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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?
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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, ...
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1answer
155 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 ...
2
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1answer
208 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 ...
10
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6answers
21k 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 ...
0
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1answer
282 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 ...
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3answers
205 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
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2answers
148 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 ...
5
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5answers
2k views

Air sealing a whole house fan

I have a whole house fan installed in my house from the previous owners. I love the fan, as it lets me cool down the house quickly in the evening -- or after I fill the house with smoke from ...
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2answers
360 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
502 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
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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) ...
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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), ...
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0answers
203 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 ...
0
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3answers
156 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 ...
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1answer
24 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 ...
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votes
2answers
110 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
739 views

Why are furnace/central AC blowers so inefficient?

I can buy a ceiling fan from Home Depot capable of moving 5,000 CFM of air for about $50, and it uses a mere 50-60 watts while doing it. By contrast, most furnaces seem to have blowers that operate in ...
16
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10answers
6k 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 ...
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7answers
9k 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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3answers
8k 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 ...
5
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4answers
2k 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 ...
3
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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? ...
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 ...
1
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4answers
772 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 ...
2
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1answer
101 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 ...