Archive for the ‘Energy Saving Electric’ Category

Energy Consumption

September 20, 2007

I’m sort of a wasteful guy, and have some things I’ve learned to conserve a bit and most importantly save some cash in the meantime.

#1) I’ve installed fluorescent light bulbs in high use areas. The disadvantage of these are you can only use them for extended periods of times (no on off quick flips) and you can’t use them on a dimmers (unless you buy a specific fluorescent bulb) as both of these will lead to burning out more quickly. In my restroom I have 4 regular bulbs and 1 overhead bulb on a seperate switch, if I’m in there for lengthy periods of time I’ll use the fluorescents and short visits the incandescents. I’ve had good luck with the brands 75 Watt and 100 Watt equivelency bulbs from Sylvania and GE, which really use 23 and 27 Watts. Huge savings for the high use areas.
Also, turn lights OFF, unless you want to trick robbers that you are at home, there is no reason to leave lights on.

#2) Turning the thermostat up during the summer and down during the winter. No need to wear long sleeves in summer or shorts in winter. I personally recommend a programmable thermostat if you are good with basic gadgets and have patience to learn how to program it.

#3) Low flow shower heads + short showers. I have almost a military buzz, so I don’t need high pressure shower. Also, take shorter showers will save on the water bill and heating the water.

#4) Wash laundry in cold water. I also found out that washing socks in hot water destroys the elasticity.

#5) A plumber once told me to not bother draining the hot water from the water heater. Boy, this guy was a flipping retard or liar, because it is incredibly important that you do this. I decided recently that I would do it and it kept coming out yellow and lots of grit. I hooked a water hose up to it (which apparently you are supposed to do…) and I drained into a water gallon. For several minutes it came spewing out a very dark tinted color. I dragged the hose to a tub to monitor the colors and it kept coming out dark yellow. After what seemed like 10 minutes of running it finally came out clear. By the way don’t hook it up to a shower :), as you may clog your drains, I happen to have a very large pipe that doesn’t clog. I researched the water heater emptying and found many sites saying that you should flush it frequently, bare minimum yearly. Here is one link which is more trustworthy than my former plumber. Link (opens in current window). This will save money in heating and will extend the useful life of your water heater.

#6 Wrapping the pipes and water heater. You should wrap the first 6 feet of pipe that comes out of your water heater. I used a polyethylene insulation. Read the howto on wrapping the water heater, it isn’t to complicated, but if you’re not good with these things have someone else do it as “the insulation is combustible and can interfere with the draft diverter.” More information

#7 Insulation in attic, I would learn to do mine but since the house is older then 1950 it may contain asbestos so I’m not going to play lets learn how to insulate and with asbestos. It is definitely a cost saver, but if your a nooby at it, seek a professional insulator and get estimates. Also, keep in mind there is different grades of insulation. Also, I recommend you get recommendations from someone and contact the Better Business Bureau to verify the person is competent in insulating.

#8 On outlets facing outside I put these inexpensive covers behind the plates.
#9 Unplug things that you are not using. Electrical units plugged in to walls draw a small current of energy. Unplug unplug unplug. Unplug your computer, television, shredder, unused radios, rechargers, and other electrial units as they are drawing energy. I hooked my computer, monitor, printer, and scanner to a surge protector and it makes it easy to turn them all off with a click of a switch. Also, old appliances can become an extremely inefficient.
#10 Avoid using bathroom fans for extended periods as this will “pass the air” and your AC/Furnance will have to redo their job.

#11 Change your air filters at least every 6 months, and I change mine every 3. Also, clean the lint filter in the drier every time you use it.