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Articles tagged with: Questions Answered

Cooling, Do It Yourself Projects »

[22 Jul 2011 | No Comment | 229 views]

Hi, I have a Frigidaire 7000 btu AC unit that rattles the whole window. I know the windows are old and I need new ones, how can i prevent the rattling without replacing the windows?
-Frank
Hello Frank,
Rattling can be caused by two things: the vibration of the mechanical parts inside the unit which causes the frame to move, or the parts themselves becoming loose and moving around within the unit. The second one isn’t as common as the first one, but fortunately there are some things you can do.

Augment the padding …

Electricity, Featured »

[19 Nov 2009 | 3 Comments | 13,193 views]

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 …

Heating »

[16 Mar 2009 | One Comment | 10,690 views]

This is a loaded question and unfortunately is one I can’t answer without a lot more information. I can break it down for you as best I can generically and let you plug in the numbers yourself.
First, understand that all furnaces are not created equal. Some are energy star certified, some aren’t. Some are high efficiency units, some are not. Some are old, some are new. Some are sized correctly for the living space, some are not.
Let’s take the variables one at a time. First, I’m going to assume that …

Electricity, Home Energy Tips »

[4 Feb 2009 | 5 Comments | 3,088 views]

If I remove 2 of the 4 tubes from my overhead fluorescent fixtures, will I actually save 50% on lighting electricity? IOW, when you remove 2 lights from a 4 light fixture do you save half of the energy? I’m wondering how much electricity is wasted in the “conversion” in the ballast, whether or not the tubes are present. My office is too bright anyway. I have “daylight corrected” tubes in a very white and often sunny environment. I’ve already removed all of the inner pairs of tubes and really …

Home Energy Tips »

[29 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 97 views]

In a recent post, I talked about the Energy Efficient Mortgage, or EEM for short. In order to qualify, a certified energy rater must come to the home and look in specific areas to determine the home’s efficiency.
What exactly are they looking for?

An energy envelope that is efficient and free of leaks. A building energy envelope is the area surrounding the home or building that affects its energy usage. Typically, this includes the actual frame and construction of the home, the ducts inside the home, windows, doors, insulation, building materials, …

Heating »

[27 Jan 2009 | 14 Comments | 3,168 views]

Q: I was walking around my neighborhood today and saw that my roof barely had any snow on it, but my neighbor’s houses did. I think we have the same roofs. Is this a problem?
Probably. If you don’t have snow on your roof, this points to an energy leak through your attic to the roof. What’s probably happening is the warmed or heated air in your home rises, and the last place it gathers is the attic. Typically, there are attic vents or ventilation fans to disperse the additional heat. …

Home Energy Tips »

[27 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 88 views]

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 …

Home Energy Tips, News »

[26 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 15 views]

A general question that gets asked more often than you think is “because of the recent crappy credit market (and weak economic climate) what will happen to my energy bills? Will they increase?”
The answer, unfortunately, is a sound “I don’t know.” Givent he current market conditions, and weak economic forecast with signs of continued slowdowns, energy prices may continue to actually fall depending on the market volatility. This is welcome news for consumers, as their bills may actually be lower.
However, this is typically not the case. During times of economic …

Electricity »

[21 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 44 views]

In other words, what is the single biggest user of electricity in a typical home?

Appliance

% Usage

Refrigerator

13.00%

Air Conditioning

12.00%

Electric Water Heating

11.00%

Space heaters

11.00%

Lighting

9.00%

TV’s

3.00%

(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.

Do It Yourself Projects »

[16 Jan 2009 | No Comment | 1,033 views]

The easy answer to a drafty or old window that no longer insulates well is to “cover it in plastic.” And that still is probably the best possible answer for most situations.
Most situations?
Yup. I said most situations for a reason. Here’s why. You need to know how the window is losing your home’s energy to effectively make the right repair choice.
For example, putting plastic over a window when its the outer frame that loses energy will do next to nothing except obscure your view of the outdoors.
Okay, so how can …