Questions tagged [energy-efficiency]

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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13 views

Removing excess HVAC ductwork for efficiency

I have central ac in my home and at some point the kitchen was redone, blocking an existing vent permanently. The flex HVAC ductwork leading to the vent (probably 8 feet of it) is still there. Should ...
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3answers
173 views

Do plugged in chargers always use up energy? [closed]

I always make sure that all chargers with no device attached (mostly laptop and phone chargers) are unplugged so that they don't use up electricity. I guess it used to be a reasonable approach. I was ...
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How best to capture and move the heat from oil furnace stove pipe more efficiently throughout room

In my basement the stove pipe that goes from the oil furnace to the chimney is always hot, so I feel like I should be capturing this extra heat and moving it about the basement. How do I keep this ...
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42 views

How will a hybrid water heater perform in less than optimal conditions?

I'm thinking of getting a heat pump hybrid water heater (this one maybe); The operating conditions will be technically within the prescribed range but less than optimal. I'm wondering how I should ...
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1answer
36 views

Using radiant barrier to keep a room warm [closed]

I have been told (including in comments by awesome user Unslander Monica) that a foil sheet placed on the interior side of an air-sealed window can help prevent radiative heat loss through that window....
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1answer
34 views

Window film affixed to the wall around a window?

Useful related questions: here, here. I live in an apartment with a window that I want to insulate during the winter. I am currently using one of those shrink film kits and it seems to be working. ...
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9 views

Impact of small gaps in insulation on conductive and radiative heat loss?

When insulating a room , what is the effect of small gaps in the insulation on the degree of conductive heat loss? On radiative heat loss? What other major factors affect the answer? (I presume that ...
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1answer
28 views

Can I use two layers of window film to create a narrow, convection-reducing gap?

This is a follow-up to this question. The official answerer A.I. Breveleri writes: The ideal separation distance between film and glass is 1/2 inch. Even 1 inch is too thick as it allows the trapped ...
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50 views

To maximize heat in winter, should I remove my window quilt during the day?

Let's say it's -5 deg C outside and I'm inside a building with a moderately efficient window and a window quilt. Will I stay warmer if I take the window quilt down during the day and put it back up at ...
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20 views

Wool batting window quilt? [duplicate]

Would it make sense to use wool batting like this as a window quilt? Why or why not? What factors would affect its suitability? For context, I propose using this on the inside of one of those shrink ...
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1answer
43 views

Aerogel winter window quilt?

Would it possibly make sense for me to use aerogel as a seasonal window quilt? It may depend critically on some other factors; if so, what are they? In particular, I have heard that aerogel designed ...
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13 views

R-value of textiles

Does anyone know of any good sources of information about the R-value of various textiles, like blankets and quilts of various materials/thicknesses in various conditions?
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137 views

Help me test my electricity usage monitor?

I just got one of these; I love it and it seems accurate. But I would like to check its accuracy. Can anyone think of an appliance with very predictable constant power consumption that I could use to ...
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1answer
39 views

How does denim insulation perform at low ambient temperatures?

I am interested in how denim insulation like this performs at low ambient temperatures. Does anyone know? I am most interested in performance measures like R-value and what other factors affect this. ...
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1answer
46 views

Insulate my window with water heater blankets?

I have some windows that I want to insulate at night during the winter. Would it make sense to use water heater blankets, doing something or other to secure the edges? I'm wondering whether you think ...
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1answer
65 views

How does the insulation value of multiple layers of insulation compare to a single layer of the same total thickness?

If I insulate a surface with two sheets of rigid foam insulation with thickness x, or with one sheet of otherwise identical rigid foam insulation with thickness 2x, how should I think about the ...
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3answers
76 views

Resource comparing power consumption of different water heaters?

I am looking for a website the compares the "real-world" energy consumption of different electric tankless water heaters under different conditions. Any ideas?
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1answer
51 views

What is the difference between heat lamps and infrared space heaters?

Maybe these are pretty much the same thing. I'm interested in the difference between heat lamps and infrared space heaters, especially as regards How they are normally used How they should be used ...
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1answer
69 views

How to keep my tankless water heater safe in a cold room?

I have a room in my apartment that can sometimes get around 40°F (4°C), and that's where my new tankless water heater is installed. Should I take any special precautions to keep my pipes from freezing ...
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2answers
37 views

Insulate my windows from the outside?

I have some windows that I want to insulate at night during the winter. I have energy star windows, thermal drapes, and cellular blinds and those plastic window film kit things, but I want to reduce ...
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2answers
55 views

Insulate my windows with fiberglass?

I have some windows that I want to insulate at night during the winter. I have energy star windows, thermal drapes, and cellular blinds and those plastic window film kit things, but I want to reduce ...
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1answer
53 views

Is TXV required when an appropriate piston/orifice is used?

I had a Goodman GSX140181 1.5 Ton 14 SEER Air Conditioner R-410A installed with a Goodman CHPF3636B6 3 Ton Horizontal A Evaporator Coil installed by a contractor. It came as a kit, along with a ...
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2answers
39 views

How to calculate efficiency of old Westinghouse furnace VS new variable speed Furnace

We have an old Westinghouse Forced Air Furnace (model FGUB137EG). It's been working fine, with the occasional pilot lighting issues since we moved in 6 years ago. We've been thinking about adding ...
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1answer
61 views

Minimal temperature setting for hot water heater to prevent legionella

I own a small apartment which I rent out to tenants. The apartment has an electric hot water heater with 80 liters. I now realized that my tenant reduced the temperature setting to only 32 degrees ...
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33 views

How to calculate whether it's worth turning on a fan to bring warmer air to a heat pump hot water heater?

I have 4 new Rheem 50 gal heat pump hot water heaters being installed in the basement of my home/multiunit property that is a 4-unit building (one heater per apartment). Generally speaking, the attic ...
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1answer
80 views

Open duct found in ceiling

I cut a hole in a basement ceiling drywall and found an open duct at the end of the span between the joists (see photo). I'm sure this isn't good for the efficiency of the hvac system. What are the ...
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1answer
80 views

High Efficiency Furnace vented through the roof. How screwed am I?

I'm investigating installing a central air system and in doing so it was brought to my attention that my high efficiency furnace may not be installed properly. I'm in a narrow semi without much ...
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2answers
97 views

Bathroom remodel & Calif Title 24 requirements

I'm told that any permit work in my bathroom will trigger Title 24 requirements for humidity sensing exhaust fan and motion sensing lighting. I've found basic info but am confused about a couple of ...
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1answer
76 views

Radon remediation in a part-time home

We have a second home that we use approximately 1 week/month year-round, and more in the summer. When we purchased the home in 2019, it was tested at 9pCi/L, and a remediation system was installed ...
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3answers
73 views

How to track energy usage per zone?

I have an old oil boiler with 4 zones, individual zone pumps. I'm trying to track heat usage on a per-zone basis. Would it be possible to simply track how often each zone pump runs and apply their ...
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0answers
37 views

Any benefit to air sealing fixture boxes in cathedral ceiling? If so, ideal method?

New house. We have a cathedral ceiling. Foam vent baffles from eave to ridge, r-38 fiberglass (unfaced), sheetrock. Most of the lights in the ceiling are LED puck lights that have a built in gasket ...
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2answers
72 views

How can I trust a local window manufacturer? What to research or check?

I'd like to support local and there's 3 companies nearby that offer custom made vinyl windows. They all seem to be >30 year old companies, which I respect a lot. I did a ton of research it seems ...
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3answers
346 views

Weatherstripping for inswing exterior door with clearance problems. Clearance door sweep?

How would you weatherstrip this gap under an inswing exterior door? The door threshold is not very high, and the door already drags a bit on the interior carpet, so many styles of door threshold are ...
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3answers
128 views

Should I convert my 4-stroke engines from regular gas to propane

I am planning on converting my portable-generator/lawn-mower/snow-blower from gas to propane. This was my analysis; could you please comment on the facts, analysis & conclusion? Am I on the right ...
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1answer
24 views

How to find a very low U-value replacement window for a bathroom?

I found 0.27 for a Pella 250 series at Lowe's. I would like to find a window with a lower U-value. How do I go about that?
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4answers
71 views

Would triple pane give me better results than double pane in a key location (bathroom)?

I am ordering replacement windows. I'm going to go with double-hung in the bedrooms and bathroom, and casement above the kitchen sink. Double-hung vinyl with added foam insulation in the frames. ...
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1answer
108 views

Big box Pella vs. Pella Pella

The Pella salesman claims that his replacement windows are better than the Pella replacement windows that are sold at the big box stores. Is that true? I've done my best to ask the windows people at ...
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3answers
129 views

Insulating an attic ceiling

I am planning to insulate my walk-in attic to turn it into a storage room(closet for the wife), but I am having some issue understanding the process. The ceiling of this attic is at 45 degree. It has ...
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0answers
25 views

Energy-saving boiler settings?

Does it matter in terms of energy usage whether my gas heater is set to higher or lower temperature? Situation: - 2 floor house, all water radiators heated by the same gas boiler system -1st floor ...
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1answer
116 views

My contractor wants to install a different brand of solar panel from what was approved in their permit

I am having solar panels installed on my house. My contractor told me that they are installing 20 Canadian Solar CS3k-325-MS panels. I just got a copy of the plants they sent to the city for their ...
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3answers
67 views

Water/antifreeze radiator cooled work shop

An additional line of thought. Cooling radiators in summer? I found this having the same concept for cooling. I live in south louisiana, US where 95F is vary common turning tin boxes into a slow ...
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2answers
86 views

Considering portable a/c vs our old Central Air, from 1992, in 2 story, 2300 square foot house, High Desert

I'm in the high desert of Southern California. We're in a 2300 sq foot home, 2 stories with 3 bedrooms and 1 master bedroom on second story. The house is cooled by 2 central air systems, manufactured ...
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1answer
64 views

A more thermally efficient house - can I block up vents in my brickwork?

I live in the UK in a typical '1930's semi' house. It is built with two layers of good old bricks and a cavity wall inbetween them. In my hallway, there is currently no carpet or hardwood flooring - ...
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5answers
2k views

Most cost effective thermostat setting: consistent temperature vs. lowest temperature possible

The problem: Our heating bills are about 25% higher than our average neighbors according to our bill, yet our temperature is always as low as we can stand it (mid 50's), we have excellent insulation ...
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0answers
63 views

Energy loss through bathtub drain

I noticed that there is significant heat loss at my bathtub drain. If I put my hand above the bathtub drain, I feel an icy draft. The plumbing is directly under the bathroom, in an unfinished ...
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1answer
41 views

Will coefficient of performance rise in the future for heat pumps?

I can see there are heat pumps with x > 4.1 SCOP, which is great! Q: But will this get better in the future? Ex. in 10 years? New type of heat-pumps? Or are there any psyhical limitations, that ...
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1answer
69 views

How should I insulate my partially finished, currently uninsulated basement?

I am in Alabama, climate zone 3. Half of my basement is finished, well at least it has a dropped ceiling, wood panel walls, an air supply and return, but no insulation. There is an uninsulated ...
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2answers
325 views

Is there harm in using my mini-splits in conjunction with my hot-water baseboard heat?

My new house has a natural gas boiler with three zones of radiant baseboard heat (one per floor). It also has a mini-split system (again one head per floor). The mini-split was advertised as air ...
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1answer
25 views

Customizable boiler water load

I need a boiler to produce hot water for my bathroom. I wonder why boilers usually don't let you customize how much water they should contain. I only need to warm up 80 litres if there are guests in ...
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1answer
389 views

1 1/2 story upstairs bedroom very hot

So I just bought a house and discovered the upstairs was what felt like 5-10 degrees difference from the main level. I'll try and add pictures of the insulation below. It seems well done but for some ...

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