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Articles Archive for June 2009

Cooling »

[30 Jun 2009 | No Comment | 218 views]

Some think it is far easier to save on energy if you own a house. After all, you have *almost* complete control over appliances and how they run in a house. And there is a certain degree of truth to that. You have greater responsibility over the appliances and their upkeep, but if something goes wrong, you can turn off the unit altogether and come up with an alternative solution – or replace it.
Apartments or specifically the renters that reside in them don’t have those burdens – though they are …

Cooling, Do It Yourself Projects »

[23 Jun 2009 | 5 Comments | 12,945 views]

Fixing your window air conditioner instead of replacing it saves you money, hundreds possibly. Chances are, a rattling or noisy air conditioner unit is due to faulty installation, a loose part, loose or worn window frame, loose window panes, loose filter (or wrong filter size), fan obstruction, loose front or side panels, or the condenser coil hitting any moving part (such as the fan).
The good news is you can repair all these.
Faulty Installation
We’re all human, and in the course of “being” human, we’re going to mess up installing something. I’ve …

Home Energy Tips »

[23 Jun 2009 | 2 Comments | 61 views]

Interesting report and approach. Basically, a group of scientists set forth some interesting criteria for wind power generation, included the average wind speeds, avoiding forested areas or “endangered”, ice caps, etc., and hand selected several land based and “off shore” sites within 50 nautical miles of a coastline. These areas are not urban or “developed”. Then, if a 2.5 MW turbine was placed in ideal conditions (they measured windspeeds in 6 hour blocks) and 3.6 MW turbines was placed in offshore locations, the calculations show that the new power “grid” …

Cooling, Do It Yourself Projects »

[22 Jun 2009 | One Comment | 5,010 views]

Well without seeing the unit, there’s a small handful of things that could go wrong with the window unit air conditioner.
Is it dirty?
Believe it or not the number one cause of window unit air conditioner malfunction is dirty or grimey coils or condensers. The symptoms range from the unit smelling musty or blowing dirty air to the condenser not turning on at all even when the a/c unti is supposed to turn on (request for cooling was sent by the thermostat.) The fix is simple: clean the coils. Take a …

Do It Yourself Projects, Electricity »

[22 Jun 2009 | No Comment | 195 views]

I’ve been reading so much literature lately about solar power, namely, how crappy it is.  It seems there are a couple of sides to the debate. First, there’s those that talk about how wonderful solar power is, how it will “Save” us, its the future, etc. Then, there’s the naysayers. Those who say that solar power is complete crap, doesn’t work right, produces very little power, etc.
Understand there’s two sides to every story and this one is no different. To understand both arguments, let’s step into their shoes.
First, the proponents. …

Electricity »

[22 Jun 2009 | 2 Comments | 36 views]

NEW YORK — The European project known as Desertec is nothing if not ambitious. It aims to harvest the sun’s energy – using a method known as concentrating solar power, or C.S.P. – from the vast North African desert and deliver it as electricity, via high-voltage transmission lines, to markets in Europe. Eventually, its backers say, it could satisfy as much as 15 percent of the European Union’s power needs.
The idea, which has been bouncing around for years, arises out of an alphabet soup of organizations, formal multinational partnerships and …

Cooling »

[10 Jun 2009 | 2 Comments | 137 views]

There is a natural tendency for people, especially Americans, to always opt for the biggest and best air conditioner they can possibly afford. The going thought is, the bigger the unit (as long as it fits in the window), the better it will work. It will cool the room faster, and thus use less energy.
This isn’t the case.
A professional knows what the homeowner doesn’t. In this instance, the right sized air conditioner should be selected for the room it will be placed in.
Under most circumstances, the btu, or cooling power, …

Cooling »

[8 Jun 2009 | One Comment | 713 views]

When a portable air conditioner that is in good working order senses (through a thermostat) that the temperature of the air in the room is too high, or above the threshold set, it begins the cooling cycle. Modern window unit air conditioners typically operate in “dual” phases – and cool using one of the phases. This is set at the factory to ensure the most efficient use of energy.
The first phase uses the internal fan. When the fan turns on, air is blown into the room to circulate it. The …

Cooling, Do It Yourself Projects »

[8 Jun 2009 | No Comment | 463 views]

Before you plug in the AC and crank it up, there’s some things you can do to keep it running efficiently.

clean it. Remove the filter and clean it out, even if it looks relatively clean. A dirty or partially clogged filter can reduce efficiency dramatically.
wipe it down. Using a cloth, carefully wipe the outer coils or grill. (Be very careful – the grate is very sharp and can slice easily!)
inspect it. After you remove the filter, check the area around the compressor and coils. Vacuum it out if it is …

Cooling »

[8 Jun 2009 | One Comment | 4,150 views]

The number one cause of air condioner problems is compressor failure. When this happens, a professional needs to contacted to replace the compressor. However, many other air conditioner problems are a little simpler and easier to troubleshoot.
But a dirty filter can make the unit behave like there is a compressor problem. When the filter is dirty and air flow into (and our of) the unit is severly limited, in most air conditioners the compressor will not turn on. This is because there is insufficient circulation for proper efficient operation. And …