42

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 whatever your smart meter provides for instantaneous draw indication). Ramp down any loads you can, and stop people from throwing random loads on for awhile. ...


27

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 buildings temperature for 8 hours or more then there is a cost savings and if you can't it is probably not worth anything. One of the main problems with ...


25

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" meter performs an accurate power measurement for non-sinusoidal signals but still not an energy measurement. Open the AC unit or the electrical panel (careful, ...


15

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 misted or dripped over a porous substance that the cooling air passes through. It cools the air as it evaporates, but greatly increases humidity. The concern I ...


14

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 (operating on the same scientific principle, but there the similarity ends). Well, an aircon owner would likely ruin their condenser coils* by letting water ...


12

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 what is true about the insulation, this rule always follows: Thermal transfer is proportional to the difference in temperature. Take any random insulator (green) ...


12

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 change. If it is going down you may have a leak causing the pump to cycle. If it is a jet pump one of the tubes going down or the foot valve could have a small ...


10

The binary search option above would work, but would be time consuming because you'd have to wait until the next day (in my case) to see the power company's refreshed usage graphs. And you'd have had half the house off during that time. (And I have 3 breaker panels, meaning this would have taken forever...) The simplest solution was what I stumbled into by ...


9

If you gather and archive a local source of weather data, and operate the mist system on alternate days for a while, you should be able to gather a pretty good sense of the effect on power use, despite variations in internal and external temperatures & dewpoints. Over time, your data set will have "directly comparable days" as well as "...


8

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 @ 240V), and in some cases more efficient motors. Even higher voltage makes it economical to send electricity long distances, but that is really a different issue. ...


7

It all depends how do you set up your not-smart thermostat VS how do you plan to set up your smart thermostat. They don't just save energy for the same use. If you set up non-smart thermostat for 'comfort always' you will pay more. If you will set up it as 'discomfort always' you will pay less. For the same level of comfort you need different temperature at ...


6

One of the benefits of "smart" systems is you can make more than just time-based adjustments, though it depends on the system. I have an EcoBee (no affiliation) so I'll speak to that. The selling point to me with this was the room sensors, which have temperature and motion. I have 3 in the house, plus the main thermostat (which itself has ...


5

The efficiency has nothing to do with the voltage. Most 240V units will be larger than most 120V ones (though there is some overlap) and if you buy one that is too large or too small for your cooling needs, that would be inefficient. If you can find a good deal on a machine that's the right size for your room/situation and it's 120V, that's fine. If ...


4

should this come out ahead since the water is "free" as condensate? Probably. Your logic is sound.. As others have mentioned, heat pumps are already quite efficient, and the most you can gain from this system is going to be dependent on how much condensate the evaporator produces as well as the outdoor humidity. Unfortunately both of these are ...


4

I installed a pair of Nest smart thermostats in my house and my energy bills have not changed to a statistically significant level compared to my rather basic programmable thermostat. That is, the amount saved due to using less energy was less noticeable than the amount I saved by switching to a different electricity provider (YMMV, highly dependent on how ...


4

You need to match it with the proper evaporator coil, TXV valve, and furnace model in order to achieve that 17 SEER rating. Visit https://www.ahridirectory.org/Search/SearchHome and search for 201506361. That is the equipment I recently installed to achieve 18 SEER.


4

If you haven't turned off the breaker for the HVAC system (or don't want to), go outside and pull the disconnect for the A/C outdoor unit. You said it's broken, but if the thermostat is calling for cooling and the compressor is seized, it could be continuously trying to start but popping the thermal protection every few minutes. There's also the compressor's ...


4

Sort-of. Windows are a huge pile of tradeoffs and conflicting constraints. More layers of glass trap more layers of air for more insulation - true. Is it the same, more, or less insulation than a particular gas-filled sealed double-pane unit? You have to compare the specific pair, because both vary. More layers of glass also block more light (glass does not ...


4

You mention the outside air temperature. But most dryers are inside a house with controlled air temperatures. If this is sitting in an open shed consuming outside air, and temps are high, you might not be spending much on energy for a conventional dryer. But if it's in a house where the air conditioner is running, it's constantly sucking in the air you paid ...


4

OK, based on some digging into the old and the new standard, and assuming I did the math right, here's what I think is the answer. TL;DR: The old A++ label roughly corresponds to the new A–E (and maybe F) labels, while old A+ corresponds to new E–G. Anything below A+ in the old system falls under G (least efficient) in the new system. The difficulty with ...


3

A smart thermostat is almost guaranteed to reduce your energy usage by 4 to 19%, depending on your climate and HVAC system type. No need for hypotheticals -- there's hard data Given the length of time that smart thermostats have been on the market (the first generation Nest was released in 2011), there have been a number of field studies to verify energy ...


3

Not quite sure what you mean by "showing their age": electric water heaters either leak or don't leak and work or don't work (mostly). Predicting time of failure is difficult. I have a rental house that has an 80 gallon electric water heater that's probably about 40 years old and working fine. Others I've had to replace after 15 years. But getting ...


3

Pick the low-hanging fruit. For the vast majority of homes, improving insulation and airsealing (caulking cracks, foaming gaps, etc.) will make the largest impact on both operating cost and pollution produced, by reducing the amount of whatever energy source you use to heat and cool your home. Maintaining the appliances you have to ensure that they operate ...


3

The loss is due to the difference in current that the wiring has to carry All else being equal*, a 240V appliance will be more efficient than a 120V appliance, because: Power loss in wiring = (current)^2 x (resistance) To deliver the same amount of power to the appliance, 1/2 the current is needed in a 240V appliance, because: Power to the appliance = (...


2

Forget "replaceable" bulbs. The law (which makes little sense to me - let money rule and you will find that people won't use incandescent bulbs (generally speaking) once there are inexpensive, high-quality, LED bulbs with huge energy cost savings over incandescent - problem solved without being draconian) is about making it impossible for people to ...


2

From page 9-45 of the California Energy Commission 2019 Residential Compliance Manual (emphasis mine): Example 9-39 Question: In the kitchen above, I am replacing one of the recessed downlight luminaires. Must the new downlight luminaire be high-efficacy? Answer: Yes, newly installed luminaires must be high-efficacy and meet the requirements in §150.0(k). ...


2

Originally, homes throughout northeast, north and mid west that were new enough to have central heat, used gravity furnaces located in the basement. With no blower to move the air, the common practice was to place vents next to exterior walls and windows to counter drafts and temperature differences. Once fan forced heat was available, the old gravity ...


2

It's complete BS. If that was actually a problem, then the system wouldn't let you do that.


2

Safer than going to the distribution box is to use a true RMS AC current clamp meter such as this: https://www.amazon.com/KAIWEETS-Multimeter-Auto-ranging-Temperature-Capacitance/dp/B07Z398YWF/ together with a current splitter, such as this: https://www.amazon.com/Amprobe-ELS2A-AC-Line-Splitter/dp/B001DPR0FE/ Unfortunately, clamp meters (especially cheap ...


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