Saving Energy Costs

dilly_dallyJanuary 20, 2010

Interesting fact filled website explaining things like the pros and cons of turning your computer off, flea power, lightbulb use, savings between using gas or electric, and more. Check all the pages. I learned a lot.

Here is a link that might be useful: Savings Explained

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Dadgummit! Had a bunch of stuff in response and glitch hit.... And I'm not retyping everything.

What I will say is, this is a good site for looking at but don't get hung up on his numbers. They can be WAY off. Essentially he'd like to see people spend $5,000.00 to save a few hundred a year. Reminds me of the real estate agents If you spend $25,000 on remodeling I can get you another $5,000 or $10,000 for this house!

Remember he's in Texas. In the South many run ductwork in the attic. Not in Minnesota, we run it in the basement so much of his claims there don't apply.

A good short term thing for shade is planting bushes. Plant CORN for cryin' out loud! By the time you pick it you won't need the shade anymore and you'll put oxygen in the air and food in your mouth along with shading your house and saving money. Lilac bushes grow fast and shade well while trees grow.

His arguments on front load vs top load are obsolete with HE top load machines. I seriously question his savings claims on them too. Just don't go by his numbers. Run the numbers yourself using your rates to see if you save money or not. Even his own numbers contradict each other. On dryers he claims you'll save 2¢ per load with a gas dryer. Same page he claims 6¢ per load. He also doesn't factor in the higher cost for a gas dryer from the start and he bases his figures on 8 loads per week.

I have yet to find a reputable source to show that a moisture sensor actually saves any significant amount of money. It can easily be to the contrary. Anyone with reasonable laundry experience knows how long a load of clothes will take to dry. If a sensor gets dirty it'll run longer, wasting money. He fails to mention an important money saver and safety factor. Keep your dryer vent clean. And a spin dryer is a nice limited-use item. If you have a public pool or something you'd get a lot of use from it, but the average homeowner would be hard-pressed to justify $600 for an additional laundry procedure where the savings are not what one might think. You can sometimes spin things too fast. So you can't use it for everything.

I don't want to come off criticizing everything about this guy. Look at the site from the standpoint of philosophy of savings rather than a guidebook of how-to. I think many more people would be likely to make small changes than run out and buy all new appliances. Plus Texas must have some great appliance stores if you can buy a new refrigerator there for $300!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 11:17PM
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Darn! Looks as though they sure can grow great corn, if it's large enough to shade the house on that good land that they have in Minnesota ... that the glaciers drug down from Canada! (dragged?)

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 11:55PM
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Saving energy costs should be high on everyone's agenda, as simple things like turning off computers overnight and changing all of the light bulbs to energy saving bulbs can make a big difference.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 6:29PM
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I as usual am against the energy flow. Although energy savings bulbs do save energy there are some locations that it is as the old saying penny wise and pound foolish.

If you live in a house or apartment where the water lines can not be insulated enough and they still freeze. A regular light bulb,even a 40 watt one, can provide enough heat to keep your water flowing. You can try to move the water pipes so that more insulation can be added but for many that is impossible. In my old house the kitchen was just above a basement door. Any time the temps got below zero it would freeze. Since at that time zero was an every other week putting a light bulb solved the situation. I would be very cautious of using a LED light because they can put off enough heat to start a fire.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 12:46AM
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Maifleur said, "I would be very cautious of using a LED light because they can put off enough heat to start a fire."

Where did you get this information?

Are you perhaps confusing them with halogen lights, which can be are extremely hot?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 7:47AM
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Scroll down to the paragraph concerning temperature. Although it is unlikely that in a open situation the bulb would become hot enough to start a fire in a closed small area where the heat can build up there is a possibility. With the newer technology the problem is being solved but some of the earlier lights you could really burn yourself.

Here is a link that might be useful: LED information

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 11:49PM
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I use regular ligh tbulbs, the lED bulbs are not that bright. A friend had a squigly light bulb in a lamp and smelled something burning, it was the bulb....sorry, I absolutely do not want a fire in apartment.

We use power strips, but cant on the cable because when we did the boxes would not boot up and we have to call cable and they re-set it, that was a pain in the arse. I was thinking of getting a smaller refridgerator, I alway felt our to big for what we need..........

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 9:35PM
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I added a $30 high amperage timer to my water heater circuit. Now it only heats for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, the two times I am most likely to shower. I suspect the heating element is only on for a short time during each hour to bring the water temp up to the thermostat setting. I suspect this could also increase the lifetime of my heating elements. Anyone able to confirm if I'm really saving a significant amount of power?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:33PM
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We just keep scaling back, although wife has more limits than I do.

We heat with gas and keep the thermostat set at 62 at night and keep the heat OFF during the day. If it is in the single digits or teens outside, the house gets down into the high 40's or low 50's in daytime.

I usually turn on the heat around 9 PM and shut it down at 8 or 9 am. (Although if house gets below 50, wife makes me turn up the heat to 52 or so since the house wont heat back up until after midnight if it below 50 at 9 PM)

Monthly bill for this type of schedule in mid $250's in the coldest months.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 9:22AM
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I tried this tip - recycling warm air from your dryer back into your home.

Here is a link that might be useful: recycle warm air from your dryer

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 3:18PM
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When it comes to saving energy, of course it would be helpful to have only Energy Star appliances, but there are plenty of ways to save without investing any money. We just have to think of it in our everyday life. We shoudl unplug the charges when they are not in use, unlplug electronics instead of leaving on stand-by, defrost food in the fridge (but we need to start in advance!) instead using microwave. These little savings really add up.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to reduce your energy bills effortlessly

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 6:08AM
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The recycling warm air from the dryer vent is a great idea. Growing up, my parents house has the washer/dryer hookups in the basement. There was a metal pipe that connected to the dryer tube and carried the air outside to vent. But it also had this option where you could pull on a switch and it would cap off the pipe and vent the air indoors. The lint was caught by a screen lint trap as the air blew threw it. This device always helped with energy costs and the house always smelled wonderful on laundry days!

As for the website in the first post, I always take these things with a grain of salt. We all know that these things help with energy savings but most articles online don't give correct savings estimates - especially since most of these people don't live in your home town or even your home state. For example, a few years ago, my husband and I lived in a 800 sq ft apartment in Omaha, NE. After 2 years, we decided to move closer to family and moved into a 750 sq ft apartment in small town Iowa. The heating costs in small town Iowa are much higher even though we used gas in both places and the apartment in Iowa is smaller. Now, we have a huge house and a 2 yr old and we're just trying to figure out ways to keep our bills low.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 12:50PM
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If you use one of the dryer vents that assists in warming your house please make certain you have a working carbon monoxide monitor. Warm air is not the only thing that could come with the venting to the inside. Since the gas is heavier than air a basement laundry room could be a problem since you can not taste or smell the gas.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:18PM
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