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68 votes
Accepted

Why is my house energy efficient only in winter?

The heating in your home is natural gas. You are not using any electricity to heat your home in the winter. Therefore, from your electric company’s perspective, you are very energy efficient in the ...
statueuphemism's user avatar
50 votes

Why are so many radiators installed beneath a window (at least in Germany)?

In addition to the three good reasons from Ratchet Freak and Isherwood, I add that placing the radiator near the window is most efficient. It heats the coldest air in the room and allows the air ...
jay613's user avatar
  • 41.8k
42 votes

How to find electric device(s) driving a high electric bill?

Well, the load is 100% consistent hour by hour, so it is not normal usage that would be very spikey and much lower at night. So it should be observable by watching the meter spin (or marquee lights or ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
42 votes
Accepted

Plugging refrigerator only when necessary? (bottled beers)

There is no problem doing this. The water if any would come from melting ice. If ice is forming inside, check/ replace the seals. Keeping the door closed when unused usually forms mould. We hang a ...
Rohit Gupta's user avatar
  • 6,580
38 votes

Why are so many radiators installed beneath a window (at least in Germany)?

Because other wall space tends to get filled with closets, art and random stuff. Below a window tends to remain free real estate. Windows tend to stay closed during heating season so a window left isn'...
ratchet freak's user avatar
31 votes

Why would a particular heat pump model be illegal in my state?

While the SEER given on the label is in compliance with the regional standards for the Southwest, it must also meet an EER standard. Specifically, the regional standards are: Southwest (AZ, CA, NM, ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Why would a particular heat pump model be illegal in my state?

I live in a high-altitude part of New Mexico, where I don't need to use much A/C, but need a more efficient heater for the winters. Then you're looking at the wrong figure. The number you're ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
27 votes

Do smart or programmable thermostats actually save money?

I only worked in the commercial/industrial field of steam and hot water boilers so take what I say lightly. Here is what the heating engineers told us; if you can set back the thermostat or reduce the ...
d.george's user avatar
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25 votes
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Locating source of excessive energy use

Since you say your backup heat is electric, I'd say that's what is using all the power. It could be that the weather is unseasonably cold and that the backup emergency heat is kicking in often. Your ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 1,687
25 votes

Can I gain AC efficiency by spraying condensate water on the outdoor coils?

Clamp Power Meter Buy or borrow a clamp power-meter with a "kWh" feature, that is, the ability to perform an energy measurement. Not all clamp meters have this, e.g. a "True RMS" ...
P2000's user avatar
  • 16k
24 votes

Plugging refrigerator only when necessary? (bottled beers)

I do this with a drinks fridge, as well as with the fridge in my campervan. It's important to leave it clean and dry when you turn it off, so keep the door open a little for at least a few days, and ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 6,881
23 votes

Locating source of excessive energy use

Do you have average temperature data for your area, so you can verify that it hasn't been "that cold". You didn't purchase any new electronics such as bitcoin miners with the latest craze did you? ...
John Thompson's user avatar
21 votes

Why does bleeding radiators save energy?

For maximum efficiency, many modern heating systems (condensing gas boilers, heat pumps) are designed to output heat at a low water flow temperature. The unit can generate heat more efficiently at (...
user1908704's user avatar
  • 1,571
19 votes

Why are so many radiators installed beneath a window (at least in Germany)?

In addition to what's been said, in extreme climates like Germany* and Minnesota, the window would completely frost over in January. Even modern low-e windows can't overcome -40°F, especially when ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 142k
17 votes
Accepted

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

An Old Debate There are is a very old debate about whether it's better to leave the thermostat at a constant temperature or to turn the temperature down when unoccupied and up when occupied. I am in ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

Why would water faucets use a different energy source from the radiators?

The heating system is generally a closed loop, the water is circulated. Some possible reasons for not mixing it with drinking water. If the temperature drops below 60°C, bugs such as legionnaires ...
Rohit Gupta's user avatar
  • 6,580
16 votes

Why are so many radiators installed beneath a window (at least in Germany)?

Windows are almost always going to be less efficient than wall assemblies (even triple pane windows will be less efficient than wall assemblies built with energy efficiency in mind — triple glazed has ...
statueuphemism's user avatar
16 votes

Why does bleeding radiators save energy?

If you get less heat because of air in the radiators, the losses in the system can add up to a greater %. Depending on where the pipes run, some heat might be lost in useless places. This is worse if ...
Olivier's user avatar
  • 1,220
15 votes

Locating source of excessive energy use

Mid-December through January were brutal in the midwest. Most days and nearly every night were below 10F. Normal heat pumps cannot work at such low temperatures. The heat pump was failing over to ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
15 votes

Can I gain AC efficiency by spraying condensate water on the outdoor coils?

See other answer for how to test for actual efficiency gain, but you're basically cooling your output coil with a swamp cooler. In commercial settings it's called a free cooler. Water is either ...
K H's user avatar
  • 2,288
14 votes

Can I gain AC efficiency by spraying condensate water on the outdoor coils?

Disclaimer: This question is about Air Conditioners. The "You" discussed below is an air conditioner owner. This answer is not about heat pumps, which are a different class of equipment (...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

120v vs 240v Mini Split Efficiency

The issue is not, generally speaking, efficiency in the sense of SEER or similar ratings. Using 240V instead of 120V allows for more efficient use of wire (12 AWG wire can handle 20A @ 120V or 20A @ ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
14 votes

Why is my house energy efficient only in winter?

Don't over think this graph. It looks like everyone in the data base has the same heating as you, gas, because if they had electric heat, the points would be much higher than 500 to 650 KWH per month. ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 82.9k
13 votes

Why are so many radiators installed beneath a window (at least in Germany)?

There are a couple of (german-language) websites easily found that explain why this is the best and most efficient place to put your radiator, e.g. https://heizoel.totalenergies.de/rund-um-heizoel/...
Tom's user avatar
  • 426
12 votes

Do smart or programmable thermostats actually save money?

Here is the science-based thermodynamic law that drives all this. Suppose you have 2 spaces, A and B, at different temperatures. Between them, there is some level of thermal insulation. No matter ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
12 votes

How to find electric device(s) driving a high electric bill?

That is not going to be an easy find. I would start with the well pump. When you are not using water turn off the power for a few hours and monitor the pressure or come back and read it. It should not ...
Gil's user avatar
  • 7,011
12 votes
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(When) Does room messiness affect water heater efficiency?

The heater already has insulation. The cluttered mess of the room it's is in will have exponentially tiny effect on the efficiency. Unless it was perfectly air sealed and insulated, but even then, ...
brentonstrine's user avatar
12 votes

Are new aircons with less BTUs more efficient than the older ones?

BTUs are used to size the unit to area of space to be cooled. What you are thinking of is the electrical efficiently of a unit, which a new 18000 unit today should use less electricity than your old ...
crip659's user avatar
  • 26.6k
12 votes

Why would water faucets use a different energy source from the radiators?

This saves water. Using warm tap water requires running the tap for a while to flush out water that's cooled down. By using electric heating close to the tap point, there's less water between the tap ...
MSalters's user avatar
  • 229
11 votes

Reconciling high ceilings with New England cold weather

Ceiling Fans Ceiling fans are most often installed to help keep cool in the summer but they can also help circulate the hot air in the winter. Some have adjustable blades to make them more effective ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar

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