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The easiest way to save money on your energy bills is to do a simple energy audit. And the best way to do a complete, professional energy audit is with one of the energy audit kits available from http://www.energyaudits.net. There are two kits available, the professional kit and the starter kit – both of which are priced within any homeowners budget
I was recently called to consult on an energy problem in a home with a portable, oil-filled space heater in the master bedroom. The owner was complaining that the room was still cold even after running the unit all night. Plus, he was concerned the unit was costing too much money to run every night for 12 hours. So…how much energy does the unit use? Let’s find out.
Electricity, Featured »
Let’s be clear:
Even if you have a natural gas dryer, it still has an electrical cost. That is, it still uses some level of electricity to run. The heaviest electrical cost is the motor which rotates the cylinder and tumbles the clothes. Electricity in a gas powered dryer does not provide heat.
My natural gas dryer, rated at 6A @ 120VAC, in theory, consumes 720w of power.
This comes right from the label on the dryer.
Putting the electrical consumption to the test
Of course, I no longer believe labels. I want to see …
Electricity, Featured »
My recent experiment with how much energy it takes to run a microwave really had me thinking…if the label was a little off on the microwave, could the labels on other appliances be wrong as well?
No sooner than I turn around in my house from the microwave to find the coffee maker sitting right there. Of course! Coffee. I love coffee, like most other people. I run my coffee maker everyday because its far cheaper to make coffee at home than go out and buy a cup of coffee on …
Home Energy Tips »
Are your energy bills too high? Did you know the most common causes for high energy bills are poor insulation, outdated equipment or fixtures, and poor energy conservation habits?
Unless you have experience with building or major home repairs (i.e. you are a contractor, or know one personally), there isn’t a whole lot you can do about the first one.
You can certainly update your appliances or “fixtures” which in this case includes lighting fixtures, small appliances and electronics, windows and doors…although this approach can be rather expensive and time consuming. Plus …
Home Energy Tips »
If you’re in the market for a new home, you might want to consider looking for one that uses energy more efficiently than your current home.
In order to do this, you need to know how much energy your home currently uses. (If I could make a recommendation, check out the Energy Audit kit at http://www.energyaudits.net…shameless plug.) This kit will tell you how much energy you use currently.
Anyway, the kit also contains a “home buyer’s checklist” which outlines what you should look for in your next home (or apartment). But here’s …
When you size your room for an air conditioner, or when a professional uses energy calculators to size a room for cooling system installation, there is a hidden variable that everyone misses – even the pros.
Do you know what it is?
The answer is people. People and to a lesser extent, pets.
In other words, the occupants of the house.
I’m not talking about your energy habits, like keeping the thermostat in check and weatherproofing your windows – though that is important.
There is actually a more obvious but “hidden” component we all forget …
Cooling, Do It Yourself Projects »
As the weather continues to heat up, most folks are turning on their air conditioners. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing per se, athough it will surely force electric bills to creep higher (and possibly spiral out of control). I think most of us would rather get a similar cooling effect without taking the huge hit on our energy bills. Considering that wall or window units can consume 500 watts of power easily (for a small unit), its only wise to consider at least some alternatives to air conditioning.
Note: Please …
So the last experiment was disappointing, because it appeared that plastic did very little to prevent heat loss for your leaky hallway window. Things aren’t looking so good for the thin plastic as insulation.
Luckily, we have another scenario. Plastic over part of a window has come “undone” giving us the perfect side by side comparison of surface temperatures over a window with and without plastic – without interfering sunshine and the heat from solar convection.
This question is important to many homeowners and renters because we believe that placing plastic over our windows will halep us save energy on cold winter days and nights. Some plastic makers claim that plastic adds at least 1R value to the window.
I doubt this to be true. But using the information presented in the home energy audit kit, we can easily see heat loss with and without the plastic to see how much of a difference it makes.