25

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 Nest Thermostat could be switching to AUX heat more often than your old thermostat would have. Since you say your nest thermostat is new (last summer), It is ...


23

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? Have any close neighbors? Cheapest thing if you have no electrical test equipment: go to the meter, on a lot of them you can see the least significant digit ...


22

It might be slightly more economical, but it also might be slightly worse for your health. Hot water dissolves plumbing (pipes, valves, fixtures, etc.) much faster, and what it dissolves is in the water. Lead is specifically of concern, particularly with homes prior to 1986 and with infants. There's a NY Times article that sums it up nicely with sources.


21

Most LED bulbs on the market are in fact dimmable, IF you use a CFL/LED dimmer. Your "standard" dial or track dimmer is either just a big potentiometer or Rheostat that reduces voltage through resistance, or a slightly more efficient design called a TRIAC dimmer, which uses a specialized transistor design to attenuate the line voltage by turning the line on ...


17

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 the heat-as-needed camp that believes in turning the heat up and down. One Argument From a theoretical perspective, I think about it this way: Your ...


15

Economically, the difference is irrelevant. Let's say you need to boil one liter of water. The specific heat of water is about 4.2 joule per gram degree Celsius. Meaning, for every gram of water that we want to make hotter by one °C, we must supply one joule of energy. A liter is 1000 grams, and let's say the cold water starts at 15°C, and we want to go to ...


15

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 "emergency heat" This is just a big bank of electrical resistors. I have seen installations where these resistors were on dual 70A breakers and ran well over ...


12

Yes, placing registers (or other heat sources such as radiators) near exterior windows and doors is the usual practice. This is done in order to combat cold drafts and ensure a more even temperature throughout the room. Here's a Q&A on the subject from Ask This Old House: Window glass is the coldest part of a wall. When warm room air hits it, the ...


12

You want a timer switch. They are quite common. As Tester101 states, you have to make sure the switch is either: a. rated for the load of the motor (most should be for a standard fan) or, if not... b. you need to have the switch control a relay, which in turn will turn the fan off/on. I did this to install the lutron timers that I like on a ceiling heater ...


12

It helps for sure. There have been a ton of studies done on this and I have read at least 10-11. At one point in time I was going into a partnership for a "greening" business. Your variance is somewhere between 1-15%. There are a ton of variables. Here is an OK study I read a few weeks ago from FSEC. I personally don't like this study because they ...


11

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 for this use.


10

In the winter, windows can be one of the biggest sources of heat loss in your entire house. In an older house with no or low insulation, this can be particularly true. One thing that you can do with minimal fuss - if you feel cold drafts coming from around the window its entirely possible that you've got air leakage around the window frame itself. A quick ...


9

A fridge motor is controlled by a thermostat - a device that reacts to temperature inside the fridge. So fridge motor starts/stops are completely agnostic to whether the fridge is level, the only practical consequence of fridge being non-level is extra noise. The most likely reason for fridge motor running too often are the following: loose gasket around ...


9

Okay, so I think I figured out the reason, and I learned a lot about HVAC in the process. The answer is that a ceiling fan is moving air at basically zero "static pressure." Static pressure in an HVAC context means the amount of resistance that the air has to moving. In a free environment, that's zero, or close to it, but in a tightly restricted system of ...


9

Economically, yes it costs less to start with hot water. However, you should use cold water anytime you need potable water. Hot water tanks are generally pretty filthy. If you were to drain your tank, you would probably be disgusted to see what comes out. Cleaning your hot water tank is something that every home owner should do, but very few do. Also, ...


9

A dehumidifier is about the same as a window AC unit with both parts in the house, for most purposes. They draw just as much power as an A/C unit of similar size (or more if they happen to be old and inefficient.) Given that the required energy labeling on A/C units tends to promote a degree of of paying attention to that, and it's much less clear on ...


9

The first problem here is the "100W" claim, which you here treat as the reference standard from which to compare. Actually, it's the most dubious claim of the bunch, and has never been reliable. I suspect it's a common mistake for people to fixate on the "100W" number since it's a unit they're familiar with, and that's why manufacturers toss it on the box. ...


8

Some of the more advanced thermostats will track how often they are running. I have a Filtrete Wifi-Enabled Progammable Thermostat. It gives you a per-day total of how often the heat and A/C are run. You can also download an hour-by-hour export of the usage in CSV format. I am in no way affiliated with this company. It is simply a product I have ...


8

The two differences are Cost It can be dimmed with a standard dimmer A standard dimmer reduces the RMS voltage going to a light to dim it; this may be done by a simple resistor or by chopping of the top of the waveform. So a dimmable LED lamp must be able to: Cope with a big range of input voltage including part formed sine waves, which isn't easy for ...


8

As Tester mentions, new windows are the most cost and energy efficient in the long haul. However, the upfront cost is substantial, especially if you want to do a lot of windows. The concept is the same with all window coverings, add an additional layer of air between the primary window and the covering to slow down the transfer of heat. A single pane ...


8

Think I'll chime in here and add my two cents to these other good answers. There are two components to the original question: How much less power does will the 3 phase A/C compressor unit use? Longevity of three-phase motor versus single phase Power Motor Efficiency = Power Output / Power Input It takes a certain amount of power to run the compressor ...


8

Say your electrical bill is $100 a month. Now say you have a refrigerator, a computer, a window fan and your light bulbs in your house as your only electrical devices. Everything but your light bulbs are on 24/7. Fridge: 725W **NOTE MOST FRIDGES DON'T ACTUALLY RUN 24/7 THIS IS JUST FOR EXAMPLE PURPOSES* Computer : 125W Fan: 150W Lights (on 8 hours a day,...


8

Disclaimer: I am located in central europe, so this may or may not apply for you. In our region, typically every energy company and several environmental NGOs offer a service to borrow an energy meter for free or with a very small fee. Like this one: https://www.swm.de/privatkunden/kundenservice/energieberatung/strommesskoffer.html (it's in german, but ...


8

Setting back your thermostat to any reasonable temperature for any reason amount of time will only save 5-10% over the course of a season. Apples to apples You can't simply compare your bill to your neighbor's bill. There are very numerous reasons why this is impractical. Different construction, exposure, consumption, equipment and more. Even two houses ...


7

Before I remodeled my house to have vents and radiant barriers and lots of insulation, I did put a water misting system on my roof using PVC pipes and drip mist emitters. The mist emitter was helpful because it broke up the water into a fine mist and sent it into the air, giving me evaporative cooling before the water even touched the roof. Also I had some ...


7

Most forced-air HVAC systems in Residential are both heating and cooling. What might be efficient in the summer will not be efficient in the winter. So, where do you live and which do you use more? If you live in Arizona you optimize for cooling but if you live in Minnesota you optimize for heating. Then you just deal with a less efficient system in the ...


7

This is actually a very good thing for the future of the grid. It's just off to an awkward start (and a very late one). This particular awkward start could do this during peak power-demand times, mainly the hottest afternoons when everybody is running their A/C: Reduce the duty-cycle on A/C and electric heat to about 50%, which only matters if its duty ...


7

Your assumption is incorrect. More heat is lost when the difference between inside and outside temperatures is greater. So, if you keep the house at 72F (22C) it will lose heat faster than if you kept it at 62F (17C). Thus, your heater will need to run more often and/or for longer to maintain your desired temperature. It therefore uses more energy to ...


7

A 0.0025 inch thick sheet of any solid has negligible R-value in-and-of-itself (for purposes of home insulation). The (relatively) calm air next to it does have some R-value, on the order of R 0.7. Heat flow is calculated using conductivity (U-value). U-value is the inverse of R-value. R-value has units of (square foot)(hour)(Fahrenheit degree)/(British ...


7

In a LOT of cases I've seen like this, it's turns out a problem with your water heater, assuming that if you have electric heat, you likely have an electric water heater. If the element is damaged, it leaks current into the water and immediately to ground, but because it's a high resistance ground fault, the breaker never trips. The fault in the element ...


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