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, …
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 »
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 …
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 …
Electricity, Home Energy Tips »
There is a debate in the home energy community over what to do if given the choice between using a microwave oven to cook versus a gas powered range. My obvious advice is this: it really depends on what is being cooked and how much is being prepared. All meals are not created equally.
Once you use CFL’s – you’ll be hooked. They look almost the same as normal bulbs (if you get the right ones) and use 75% less energy.
They they have their limitations that you should be aware of. That said, there are some place you should never place CFL’s.
Rooms that have high humidity where the fixtures aren’t enclosed or protected. Bathrooms are the best example of this, though some may be alright. CFL’s do not do well in these areas and can short out.
With dimmers. CFL’s can not be dimmed like …
Home Energy Tips »
Right now, it’s a real buyer’s market out there. Interest rates are very low (if you can get approved) and real estate prices are plummeting. New home construction and remodeling have stopped. And the economy is still trying to shake off the cold, so to speak.
So, ideally, if you are looking for a new home right now you should be looking for features that will save you money on your energy bills. You can’t afford to have high energy bills.
When you look through a house, keep energy efficient thoughts in …
In other words, what is the single biggest user of electricity in a typical home?
Electric Water Heating
(Source: US Department of Energy)
As you can see, a typical sized single family home uses more electricity to run a single refrigerator than any other single area.
We’ll be covering more about refrigerators and energy ramifications in a future post soon.
Think of it as a home energy efficiency lab that is not run by a government agency…
I’ll be investigating and actively experimenting with easy, do it yourself ways for every home to save money on energy bills. All the reports that come from the lab will include costs and approximate savings, as well as raw data – so you can make the most informed decision possible.
Of course, if you have anything you might want me to look into, or check out on your behalf, feel free to send me a …
Heating, Home Energy Tips »
This is kind of a double edge sword.
You can save on heating costs if you spend a lot of time, say, in the living room and you already took steps to plug energy holes you found. Like I said previously, its impossible to get every hole or energy shortcoming.
The thing to be wary about is the power consumption. Some can consume as much as 2000 Watts of power!
So here’s the trade off – more heat from the small electric unit means you might spend less on your gas …