• 1 234517
  • Page
  • Text Only
Voting History
rated:
UPDATE
6-11-08
I discovered a super easy way to stay warmer in bed using a $1.00 item
which you can buy at Harbor Freight on sale. Or you can pay a bit more
and find it at most sporting goods stores AND it's even used in wrapping
packages. What is it?

Aluminized mylar. It's the shiny plastic film which you see on windows,
on the 'emergency sleeping blanket' , package wrap for Christmas, etc.

It's used many places and it's just a clear plastic which looks silver
due to a thin film of aluminum which has been sprayed or deposited on
the plastic.

Why it works and works well. Plastic is an excellant insulator. It will keep heat in if you cover yourself with it. Besides this fact the
reflective film of aluminum reflects heat from your body back to you.
It feels like plastic film, and when you look through it you'll see it
might be bluish or grey color. This is the aluminum interfering with
light through what is normally clear mylar.

How to use it.
Put it between the sheet and the blanket(s). This will put it close
to your body but not directly on your body. If you are sweating or
otherwise releasing a lot of moisture you might find a problem with
regards to the plastic not breathing. But I don't think you will. Not
in my experience has this been a problem.

Buy several.

This product often comes folded into a 6x6" square. If you find it on
a roll , as in wrapping, rejoice. Use it for the bed AND in Summer use
it on the window , inside, directly on the surface.
It will reflect sunlight back out before it can come through the window
pane to be absorebed in the air and heating the room.

Leave no space between it and the pane or you'll defeat the purpose.

Well that's it. My $0.02 or 2cents.

-- And not the End.. see below..
As I searched online for

reflective mylar film I realized there's so many more uses so here's
an edit:

They make ballons from it. The mylar and aluminum helps keep the gas in.

IF you buy the bubble pack with reflective film you might gain even more.
Watch for it in big rolls you buy 1 foot at a time - Home Depot

See it on eBay 4' x 25' is $20. A fair deal considering it has to be shipped
to you. The fact that it's rolled is a bonus. Look for it locally unless
you're going to buy a lot to offset shipping. Although it's weight is very
low so you must avoid paying a lot for shipping For example the piece
4' x 25' will weigh less than 1 lb probably.

Computer parts bags. Using a heat sealer put your easily damaged by static electicity
parts in bags made of it.

Reflect more light to plants with it.

It's not so perfect for a mirror. But you will see movement and shapes easily.


And so on
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-END==-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I found a nice link with more helpful savings and frugal living advice.
Don't forget to add your own at the end of the page here. But if you've read
all of these posts then feel free to go here and pick up more tips.
Frugal Living Links

Hi, I posted in Finance because I saw a frugal living link and figured maybe Finance was the best general category.

I wanted to start a thread that would talk about saving energy
and saving money. We all know that we're skinflints. (someone look up
the etymology of that word).

With some discussion we can increase our understanding of what can save
money and make us more comfortable.

I got my degree in electronics in 1974 just about the time the energy shortage
was in swing the first time. One of my ideas at that time was to put alternators
on each wheel of a car so that when the brakes were applied the electricity generated
would charge the battery. They do that now. It took 30 years.
But whether it was my idea or the collective consciousness it happened.

And it can happen here.

There are simple rules.

Post your ideas for saving or creating energy that improves the comfort of your
health, wealth, or happiness.

Post links to sites that we can collect and put them in a list for people to download
as a bookmark or web page. I'll be glad to help collect links and create a page on my
web site where we can post the page.

Invite people to FW site. It's not beneath you to make up some business cards with
your name and a few select sites that you can hand out when you're in line at the bank
or elsewhere that you might strike up a conversation. Include the FW web site on the
card with other links that are of money saving interests.

We're all Americans. And we do it better. Let's prove it.

Here's my first link. I promise to add more.

It's pretty basic. It's the link to the Energy Star
web site where you can get ideas for saving energy and even get loans
and other methods to help you to save money.

http://www.energystar.gov/

Linked Linked

And here's an idea for saving energy that I use regularly.

I put some thermometers outside the windows where I can see them daily. Some thermometers have long wires on them so you can run them outside and put the unit inside. When I can see the outside temperature then if it's warmer outside than inside and I want to warm up the house I can turn on my whole house fan and bring in warmer air than the inside air.

This usually happens about September here. When sometimes at nights it's been cold but the next day is warm. If the house has not been opened up and I don't turn on the heat the house can become colder from the night before than it is outside.

Usually unless it's about 8 difference I don't turn on the whole house fan. But if it's 8 I turn on the fan and get 'free heat'.

Once the house has warmed up a bit then I turn off the fan to save energy.

Soon I Hope to make what's called a differential controller that will sense the difference in heat and turn on the whole house fan automagically when I ask for heat (or cool). <- this happens at night in the summmer when the house has become warm but it's become cool at night.

Let's hear your ideas.


UPDATE : Please add your requests for products or services to this list. IF you're wanting to solve a problem we can help you. If you don't have your PM (private message) turned on . Turn it on so you can be contacted directly if the matter is personal

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
I am taking it slow in the oil to gas conversion--it is almost summer time after all. But here are some questions and i... (more)

nycll (May. 15, 2009 @ 9:16a) |

^in the process of researching HVAC for a house I bought. Seems like the HVAC forum people recomend a good heat load cac... (more)

michal1980 (May. 15, 2009 @ 9:32a) |

You are definitely right. For steam heating, I think the goal is to match the boiler's steam making capacity with the a... (more)

nycll (May. 15, 2009 @ 9:43a) |

- Take advantage of the new, extraordinarily generous federal tax credit rebates/subsidies available for qualifying home energy efficiency improvements! (Also, check with your local utilities for possible additionally available local incentives, which can be "stacked" on top of the federal ones!)

- Hand wash your clothes and dry them in the sun. It can save tonnes of electricity with little effort. I can see no reason for people from south to not dry their clothes in the sun. You just need a long rope or a rod to hang your clothes. And sunlight is a germ killer.

- Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs whenever possible.

- Use a programmable thermostat. This can save you up to 33% of your cooling/heating bill.

- Alternately, turn the thermostat off at night and use a reliable space heater to heat only the room(s) of your house in which you sleep. Especially good for families without kids (only heat one room) or with high gas heat costs.

- Showers use a lot of water. Low flow shower heads are the way to go.

- Install dimmers on all light fixtures, cost about $20 a piece
Note: Dimmers are NOT compatible with most compact floruescent bulbs!
Note2: If you don't need dimming, a bright CFL will draw less power than a dimmed incandescent, except at extremely low light levels. Unless you need dimming, replace dimmers with switches, and use CFLs.
Note3: This may or may not help, depends on your set-up. Link

- Unplug all unecessary things when going away on vacation, especially computer, monitor, TV, etc, as they will still draw power when off

- Window leaks: most window leaks are due to a gap between the casing trim and the king stud for the window frame. A few tubes of acrylic caulk will go a long way to seal up any leaks. Also if you live in a home with single pane windows, it makes sense to upgrade to double pane. You can get inexpensive replacement vinyl windows for very cheap nowadays.

- Replace filters on AC/furnace unit every 3 months. Old filters make the furnace work harder

- Add thin plastic window insulation to large windows in your home during winter time. Just adding a thin piece of plastic like this will increase the R value of the window by almost 4 points.

- Turn down thermostat to 65 during the day, and get used to wearing sweaters indoors

- In summer, turn up thermostat to 80, and crank the dehumdifier to make it seem cooler indoors.

- Buy energy star appliances whenever possible

- Use that expanding foam stuff to seal up all the holes into the house (cable line, furnace wiring, AC wiring, gaps in the foundation, etc)

- Go for the Tankless water heater. Can produce hot water for hours continuously on demand. There is no tank to keep warm all day long, saving lots on energy. If you dont want to do this, consider a timer on your water heater (you dont need hot water at 3 AM, so program only to be on during the daylight hours)

- Be careful of tankless water heaters. If you need a repair, the service fee is astronomical.

- Check with your power supplier about switching to green energy. I recently signed up, and although green energy costs 1 cent more per KWH, states sales tax is eliminated which netted against each other for a wash. I also got a 7% discount on my first two bills after the switch.

Google Tip Jar also has some user submitted ideas
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

CFL spiral light bulbs - get the right brand and youll have pleasant light at 75% less energy cost. Some have unpleasant hues, be sure to try a few.

Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs whenever possible. They are more expensive to begin with, but usually last much longer and only use a fraction of the electricity. They also produce much less heat, lowering air conditioning costs slightly. About three-quarters of the bulbs in my apartment are CFLs; the rest are ones that get used infrequently or for short durations only (such as bathroom, closet and nightstand reading light).

Use a geothermal heat pump instead of traditional gas or electric heating. Geothermal heat pumps will pay for themselves in just a couple years. See http://www.geoexchange.com/ and http://www.nrel.gov/clean_energy/home_geo.html for more information.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. disreusa.org

there are LOTS of incentives for renewable energy (solar, geothermal, etc) at federal, state, loca, utility levels. dsire will list most for your local area/type of renewable project.

my personal favorite is doing solar in california. we gots sun and we need 'lectricity! bring it!

Feedback...... instant feedback can help you modify your behavior. This $30 gadget measures the energy consumption of whatever you plug into it. Kill-a-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor. Using this device, I found that my 12-year-old fridge was using over 50% of the electricity in the house. I was also able to show my wife that our computer + monitor are using much less electricity than she thought.

Use a programmable thermostat. This can save you up to 33% of your cooling/heating bill.

Weatherproof your doors and windows. Sounds obvious, but my home I purchased was 10 yrs old. You can feel a draft at front and back doors. That means cold coming in in winter, and cool going out in summer. Heating/cooling costs can skyrocket from that alone. It's cheap and easy to fix yourself at Lowes or Home Despot - weather stripping for doors, caulk for windows, etc.

Our energy provider, Reliant Energy, will also come free once per year to check these things for you and make specific recommendations on numerous items to lower your electric bill.

I've found that dipping your feet in a bucket of ice in the summer can cool you down fast-- and cheap.

Freaking gas bill is 300$ if I keep the home at 70C


If I keep the home at 65C.....Freaking medical bills are around the same.


All measures are taken to seal windows doors.

What to do now?

SUCKISSTAPLES said: CFL spiral light bulbs - get the right brand and youll have pleasant light at 75% less energy cost. Some have unpleasant hues, be sure to try a few.

I've tried many brands of fluorescent lights. I hate them all. I've wasted too much money trying out different brands and ended up sticking with the natural white incandescent lights which I find at OD in the clearance dept at dirt cheap prices.

fatcool said: Freaking gas bill is 300$ if I keep the home at 70C


If I keep the home at 65C.....Freaking medical bills are around the same.


All measures are taken to seal windows doors.

What to do now?


I had a similar issue in a prior home. I replaced the furnace and my bill went down by 60%. Basically paid for the furnace in one year. Have your furnace checked it may not be working properly.

Soon I Hope to make what's called a differential controller that will sense the difference in heat and turn on the whole house fan automagically when I ask for heat (or cool). <- this happens at night in the summmer when the house has become warm but it's become cool at night.


I have got few friends who have got this thing called SmartVent. It was installed by their builder. It's made by Beutler. Anyways, This SmartVent is doing exatctly what you are trying to do.

Link to SmartVent

SmartVent

KG

fatcool said: Freaking gas bill is 300$ if I keep the home at 70C


If I keep the home at 65C.....Freaking medical bills are around the same.


All measures are taken to seal windows doors.

What to do now?


65F is not cold. If you get sick from being at 65F, you need to look at your health more seriously. When it is 50F outside, I go jogging in my shorts.
For winter: program you thermostat to be at 65F from 6 am (or whenever you get up) to 8 am, then 55F from 8 am to 5 pm (or 30 mins before you come home),68F from 5 pm to 10 pm, 60F from 10 pm (or whenever you go to bed) to 6 am.

Pick up ice swimiing to strengthen your immune system. "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."
Take showers at the gym, you are already paying membership for it.

For summer: If you have central air, program it similarly to the winter program to have it cool when you are home and off when you are not.

Most important is to insulate you house to prevent warm air escaping in thw winter and cold air in the summer. I think the new R-30 insulation is the standard. I have a 50 year old home and it has something like R-15 in it. This is going to be my summer project. For now, I use electric matress pad. Electric blankets are useless since hot air rises, and you are under the blanket. You are essentially heating the room. It is cheaper to keep the bed warm at night than the whole house.

I hope one day, we can all go to Home Depot and buy solar panel shingles to replace the roof on the house to generate electricity. So far, only Arizona and New Jersey allow you to sell electricity back to the electric company. Their meters run in either direction. In theory, if you have a roof big enough and don't use much electricity, you would get a cehck from the electric company instead of a bill.

Like people said before, replace all the light bulbs with CFL's. The off color hues are due to cold mercury in the lamp. Give it 5-10 minutes to warm up and the light is natural day light. My flood lights start up purple when it is bellow 0F outside, and in 5-10 minutes are bright white, brighter than my neighbors 1000 watt quartz light, while only using 23 watts of juice.

Turn off TV and computer when not in use. Although I don't have Kill-a-watt thingamaling, APC's Battery back up provides accurate enough power rating. 19 inch monitor uses 110 Watts, a 3 Gig AMD based, water-cooled PC uses 150 watts, with a 450 watt power supply in it. LED alarm clock 5 watts. VCR/DVD in stand by mode = 7 watts.

If you have oil heat, it can be converted to run on used vegetable oil, just like diesels can run on used crisco or biodiesel.

If you have a garage attached to your living space, and especially if you have a room *above* the garage, insulate the garage. One particular place where people fall down on this is with regard to their garage door. If it's just a metal garage door, either insulate it yourself (this is the cheapest option) or replace it with an insulated door. Wood garage doors offer some benefit over metal, but fall far short of an insulated door. This helps moderate you heating *and* cooling bills (the latter is especially true if your garage door faces west).

Showers use a lot of water. Low flow shower heads are the way to go.

blueiedgod said:
If you have oil heat, it can be converted to run on used vegetable oil, just like diesels can run on used crisco or biodiesel.


how the hell do you convert it to run on used vegetable oil? is this just as efficient in the usage/gallon? also, where would you get a constant supply of used vegetable oil? at some point you may have to go out and buy non used oil and i think the price is much more per gallon?

exigent said: If you have a garage attached to your living space, and especially if you have a room *above* the garage, insulate the garage. One particular place where people fall down on this is with regard to their garage door. If it's just a metal garage door, either insulate it yourself (this is the cheapest option) or replace it with an insulated door. Wood garage doors offer some benefit over metal, but fall far short of an insulated door. This helps moderate you heating *and* cooling bills (the latter is especially true if your garage door faces west).

Any specific products you'd recommend? Or just go to the hardware store and get whatever?

Dual zone heating/cooling has been my biggest energy savings. In my new house, I went for the dual zone heating/cooling. Basically I have two furnaces and two AC units. One for the upstairs and another for the downstairs. I also have two programmable thermostats. I can set it so that basically only one unit is on at a time. With a large two-story house, the dual zone heating really makes an impact on my electric/gas bill, I estimate that I save approx 30% over what I used to pay in my old house (which was about 50% smaller, no less).

Here are a few other energy savings tips:

- Install dimmers on all light fixtures, cost about $20 a piece
- Unplug all unecessary things when going away on vacation, especially computer, monitor, TV, etc, as they will still draw power when off
- Window leaks: most window leaks are due to a gap between the casing trim and the king stud for the window frame. A few tubes of acrylic chaulk will go a long way to seal up any leaks. Also if you live in a home with single pane windows, it makes sense to upgrade to double pane. You can get inexpensive replacement vinyl windows for very cheap nowadays.
- Replace filters on AC/furnace unit every 3 months. Old filters make the furnace work harder
- Add thin plastic window insulation to large windows in your home during winter time. Just adding a thin piece of plastic like this will increase the R value of the window by almost 4 points.
- Turn down thermostat to 65 during the day, and get used to wearing sweaters indoors
- In summer, turn up thermostat to 80, and crank the humdifier to make it seem cooler indoors.
- Buy energy star appliances whenever possible
- Use that expanding foam stuff to seal up all the holes into the house (cable line, furnace wiring, AC wiring, gaps in the foundation, etc)
- Go for the Tankless water heater. Can produce hot water for hours continuously on demand. There is no tank to keep warm all day long, saving lots on energy. If you dont want to do this, consider a timer on your water heater (you dont need hot water at 3 AM, so program only to be on during the daylight hours)

Well I read the whole trend, and I see my idea is already here:

Add a timer to your water heater. I have a powervent hot water heater and I bought a timer at HD. It turns off at 10PM and on at 6AM. I got this idea from my parents; they have their timed to come on at 6AM and off at 10AM (yes 10AM, There is enought hot water in the tank for the rest of the days duties, washing hands and a few dishes).

Install a ceiling fan in your bedroom. In the summer I turn the A/C off at night and just use the fan.

In summer, turn up thermostat to 80, and crank the humdifier to make it seem cooler indoors

Wow! Have you ever heard of the Heat Index? At 80 degrees for maximum comfort you need LESS humidity. Plus, the mold at 80 degrees and high humidity would be a bit troublesome.

Regarding attached garages. If you have any attic space above your garage, cut a rectangle the size of a return air cover (any standard size 15" X 25", etc) in the ceiling of your garage that opens into the attic. Install the return air cover with a couple of screws. Cut out a piece of styrofoam the size of the vent. Total cost 0 to $25 (for a new return air vent)

In the summer, don't use the styrofoam. All the heat from your cars, the outside sun, etc. goes straight out the vent ESPECIALLY if you crack the garage door for maximum airflow. In the winter, put the styrofoam either inside the vent or attach it to the outside of the vent via strip magnets or a screw holding it up snug against the grates of the vent.

Another idea is to install the forced air vents the same way. You can just use the already built in levers to open/close the louvers in the summer/winter.

rogue409 said: exigent said: If you have a garage attached to your living space, and especially if you have a room *above* the garage, insulate the garage. One particular place where people fall down on this is with regard to their garage door. If it's just a metal garage door, either insulate it yourself (this is the cheapest option) or replace it with an insulated door. Wood garage doors offer some benefit over metal, but fall far short of an insulated door. This helps moderate you heating *and* cooling bills (the latter is especially true if your garage door faces west).
Any specific products you'd recommend? Or just go to the hardware store and get whatever?

I used foam sheathing from the home improvement store. It's available in 4 x 8 sheets for about eight or ten bucks per sheet (depending on thickness). You can cut panels to fit the door panels with a utility knife. Since the door panels are kind of recessed on the back, I was able to tuck it under the metal lip that runs around each panel. You can then attach it to the door with foil mastic tape (not regular duct tape since that ages and deteriorates) or, if you're feeling bold, liquid nails. I used two layers of 3/4" sheating, and it's already made a huge difference in terms of the comfort level of my garage.

I would also recommend a water heater blanket, especially if yours is located in the garage.

Some homes lose 20% of their heat through their electrical outlets. I've put in insulation (bought at Menard's) in all my electrical outlets and placed plastic outlet protecters in all the outlets that don't have plugs in them

yumyum said: Use a programmable thermostat. This can save you up to 33% of your cooling/heating bill.

Check out my link in ForSale. Ihave new ones for $14 delivered.

StevenColorado said: Showers use a lot of water. Low flow shower heads are the way to go.



I feel like I could go through every idea here and offer a suggestion based on the original Idea.

I encourage you all to do the same. Perhaps someone can collect all of the ideas and we'll put them in a list.

There was a simple product that someone made and then it was actually available for sale. At an exorberant price I might add.

They took the drain pipe from the shower and wrapped a pipe around it. The pipe connected to the cold water. So when warm / hot water from the shower went down the drain this wrapped drain pipe transferred heat to the cold water coming into the shower faucet. Basically cold water was warmed slightly.

This meant that the user could reduce the level of hot water usage and save money.

To make something like this would cost about $10 more than the cost of the regular drain pipe. There's no reason that someone with some business sense couldn't set up shop with a plumber or machine shop and turn them out.

They should probably be a fixture in every new home. As long as the manufacturer doesn't get $100 / piece for a $10 item.

I read that it saved about $5 worth of heat / month. After 20 years that's $1,200.00. One just one item.

kbiekert said: Weatherproof your doors and windows. Sounds obvious, but my home I purchased was 10 yrs old. You can feel a draft at front and back doors. That means cold coming in in winter, and cool going out in summer. Heating/cooling costs can skyrocket from that alone. It's cheap and easy to fix yourself at Lowes or Home Despot - weather stripping for doors, caulk for windows, etc.

Our energy provider, Reliant Energy, will also come free once per year to check these things for you and make specific recommendations on numerous items to lower your electric bill.


This last part is so true. Energy providers are requiired to provide services like lighting your pilot. So when it turns warm call them and see if they will turn off your pilot light or tell you how. Most furnaces now use electronic ignition (spark) to light rather than pilot. But it might apply to someone. Especially if you still have a floor or wall furnace.

USE A RUG
Just putting a rug down at the base of the door will stop drafts at the bottom of the door. Even with good weather stripping a lot of the doors don't seal well at the bottom. Putting a throw rug there can help. Some people make a kind of sock. Perhaps out of a lady's stocking. Stuff it with some padding and sew a face and eyes on it to make a 'snake'. That's fun.

Sometimes just taping wide piece of tape with a kind of cardboard 'scraper' at the bottom of the door can help to kill a draft. It's not perfect but it can save your comfort.


Another place believe it or not where a leak can really come in is the light sockets. With the furnace running feel around a light switch. Especially with wet hands. You will probably feel a draft. You can make a seal for the switch that fits under the switch cover out of cardboard or sheet of foam or even some felt. Just cut a square hole where the switch is and leave the rest to seal the hole around the switch.

COLD AIR FROM MY LIGHTS?
The air comes in because the furnace can create suction. That suction causes cold air that's trapped inside the wall to be sucked into the room. Thus you have cold air coming through the light switch area. It's enough to make you feel a draft.

fatcool said: Freaking gas bill is 300$ if I keep the home at 70C


If I keep the home at 65C.....Freaking medical bills are around the same.


All measures are taken to seal windows doors.

What to do now?


I am embarassed to tell you what I did 'cause you'll think I live in a barn. But my house is old and leaks.

I took the kind of bubble packing that comes from ODepot or in packages I order online. And cut it to size and tape it nicely over the glass.

I use two sheets and the bubbles insulate the windows. Also it seals any leaks that happen to get through.

WHAT ABOUT LIGHT?
The clear plastic allows light to come in. If you need to see outside then
it's not the best. But no one can see inside. I find it's actually kind of unique and attractive. It's fine for the bathroom as I can be sure no one can see in but i get light. And my hanging plant likes it.

There are 3 grades of wrap. small , med. and large bubbles. The large bubbles are the best insulator. They're 1/2 " in size.

But it's up to you.
Mainly the cold window is now not cold. That has to help. And I have noticed that it killed the draft. It might take some paint off when I remove the clear tape. But they do sell special tape for this purpose.

WHAT ELSE CAN I USE?
There is a window sealer kit that uses a hair dryer to shrink the plastic tight after applying it to the window. Basically it makes a double pane window out of the single pane. I have found that companies like Viking shipping products sells a shrink plastic used for packages that will shrink with a hot hair dryer.

This product is sold in large sheets and might be much cheaper than the kits that are sold at home stores. But you'll have to figure out your own mounting. (tape?, tacks?)

ruggs183 said: blueiedgod said:
If you have oil heat, it can be converted to run on used vegetable oil, just like diesels can run on used crisco or biodiesel.


how the hell do you convert it to run on used vegetable oil? is this just as efficient in the usage/gallon? also, where would you get a constant supply of used vegetable oil? at some point you may have to go out and buy non used oil and i think the price is much more per gallon?


A friend and I have been talking abou veg oil for use in diesel cars. It's true. It has to be non hydrogenated. (That means free flowing at room temperature).

People who are doing it have made a deal with a local restaurant to get their old oil. My friend said that the exhaust smells like oil on a hot pan in the kitchen.

But realistically it's a one by one proposition. And eventually we're not going to eat enough fried chicken to supply everyone. However the idea is valid. Yes there is the same amout of heat energy in veg. oil.

One source of veg oil is corn or soy bean oil.

Another source of fuel is ethanol from corn (sugar).

Both are and should be a source of energy ultimately from the sun because the sun causes crops to grow. Wheat in the midwest is not watered. Only planted. If other crops that had oil could simply be planted and harvested and then squeezed for oil perhaps we would reduce our dependence on arab oil.

Another source for extensive amounts of energy is wind energy in the midwest throughout the NorthDakota/S.Dakota/ Oklahoma /Texas corridor. The wind blows hard coming down from Canada. I've read if this area was used for windmills it would provide many times, (I've heard 5x ) the amount of energy the usa currently uses.


REGARDING COMPACT FLOURESCENT BULBS - CF BULBS
I am a spectroscopist. That means I study the color of light. The best lamp I have used so far for CF compact fluorescent is this brand.

Commercial electric 1-800-771-9335
They make a tightly wound CF bulb that puts out about 60watts of eqv. light. The color is pleasing and there's no flicker. They last a long time for me and I bought about 50 of them for .75 ea at Grocery Outlet (a discount food store).

But if the color bothers you combine it with a regular bulb in a fixture.

At least consider using CF bulbs outdoors where color is not a concern.

If they don't light because it's too cold do this.

Wrap them in a tough clear plastic or put a large plastic jar (like peanut butter) over the bulb and tape it on. Light the light and leave it on 24/7.
It will stay warm and bright plus the cost will be less than an incandescent left on 8 hours a day.

We get down to 20F here so it's not a problem. They light up.

PLease Read the UPDATE I posted on the first POST. it's in BOLD

Thank you.

rogue409 said: exigent said: If you have a garage attached to your living space, and especially if you have a room *above* the garage, insulate the garage. One particular place where people fall down on this is with regard to their garage door. If it's just a metal garage door, either insulate it yourself (this is the cheapest option) or replace it with an insulated door. Wood garage doors offer some benefit over metal, but fall far short of an insulated door. This helps moderate you heating *and* cooling bills (the latter is especially true if your garage door faces west).

Any specific products you'd recommend? Or just go to the hardware store and get whatever?


I agree with the idea. Especially with the part if your garage door faces West or South. It will heat up like a frying pan in the summer.

However insulating it can be difficult. While I have never done it there
are some ideas that come to mind.

Remember this is just a brainstorm. NOT RECOMEMDATIONS FROM AN EXPERT.

If you choose to use a regular fiberglas insulation then it would be prudent to find a way to hold up / in the insulation.

Again this is subject to correction So please get some expert advice before you continue the work.

I would not put any screws through the metal of the door where they will
end up outside in the weather. Putting holes through the door is not good
workmanship.

I think that steel wire strung back and forth to hold up / in the insulation would be useful. The fiberglas should go against the door with the paper against the room side. Strong tape might be used to tape the wire up against the paper side of the insulation so as to hold it in place.
Small Zip Screws could be screwed into the frame of the door on which to attach the wire. A 20 to 26ga wire should be enough. Or small holes drilled
into the frame of the door could be used to route the thin steel wire.
Again it's only an idea. Maybe far from the best idea.

Since it's not like a wood wall with studs you'll have to think about how to do it.

WHAT OTHER KIND OF INSULATION CAN I USE?
Foam insulation is pricy but is of high R value and easy to work with.
It comes with one or both sides with foil and a foam inside. It can be cut
with a knife/razor and can be simply fit and taped into place.

Strofoam sheet insulation is also easy to work with but it is flammable. It should probably be covered with the thinnest sheetrock. If the door is too heavy it may not rise and fall as it should.

Cardboard is a good insulator. There's no reason that it could not be used to knock down a lot of heat off a door that faces West/South.

Lastly ventilation at night can take away the heat of a hot garage. A side mounted ventillator through a wall or window would avoid roof leakage problems. It can be set on a timer to go on for a few hours at 4 am when it's about the coldest in the summer.

Pioneer10 said: Some homes lose 20% of their heat through their electrical outlets. I've put in insulation (bought at Menard's) in all my electrical outlets and placed plastic outlet protecters in all the outlets that don't have plugs in them

This is true. While I hate to pay $3.99 for four pieces of cut out foam I have made them myself from foam sheets I got from a shipped box, cardboard that seems to work fine, felt sheets, plastic milk carton sheet.

If you have to buy one package to get the shape then make your own I think that's a good investment. Make enough for your friends then install it for them.

They'll owe you.

Your bathroom probably has 6 or so vanity lights above the mirror. Who needs 6 lights? Plus it's hot with 6 lights. I disable all but 2 (unscrew them slightly) and I still have plenty of lights. What's strange is that girls tend to always screw my other lights back in...

Also in the winter, set your ceiling fans to run clockwise: "In contrast, ceiling fans can also help to heat a room and in some cases, energy consumption can be lowered by as much as 10%. As a room is heated, the heat floats in layers. Up by the ceiling, the air is at its warmest since heat rises. When you have a ceiling fan, the rotation of the fan is reversed, pushing that warm air down, which breaks up the layers of air. As the air is circulated, the room becomes warm and toasty. Best of all, your furnace does not have to work as hard, which in turn lowers your heating bill. Remember, during the summer months, the blades should rotate counter clockwise and in the winter, clockwise. "

I also remember reading once that your fridge works most efficiently if you fill the empty unused spaces with jugs of water (or something to take up space). Anyone have more info on this??


I just want a rough estimate of how much electricity (cost-wise) a monitor (19 inches) and computer (350 Watt PS) uses per day. I do not like math. Someone just tell me please.

Great ideas, I have a wooden garage door with a sturdy frame, so putting some encapsulated batts of fiberglass insulation would be a breeze. Would keep things quieter too!

Encapsulated batts are the new greatest thing, all the fiberglass threads are contained within the sheathing so you dont have to deal with the fibers...

I DONT like the Commercial Electric 60w CFLs (I bought mine at Home Depot) too "white/blue" for me, I prefer a yellower tone.

andre1000 said:
This last part is so true. Energy providers are requiired to provide services like lighting your pilot. So when it turns warm call them and see if they will turn off your pilot light or tell you how. Most furnaces now use electronic ignition (spark) to light rather than pilot. But it might apply to someone. Especially if you still have a floor or wall furnace.



ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!

The reason that pilots are used is to consume any possible gas leaks. If you turn off the pilot and you do get a leak, you are guaranteed a house-leveling explosion.

Also, in another post, the idea of using used frying oil on a car is mentioned. Don't consider this either. Your engine is optimized for gasoline, and buring other combustibles will cause all sorts of weird stuff to happen - IF the fuel is clean. Using dirty oil as a fuel results in crud traveling through your engine and carburetor.

StevenColorado said: Also, in another post, the idea of using used frying oil on a car is mentioned. Don't consider this either. Your engine is optimized for gasoline, and buring other combustibles will cause all sorts of weird stuff to happen - IF the fuel is clean. Using dirty oil as a fuel results in crud traveling through your engine and carburetor.This is actually gaining in popularity and is perfectly safe. But don't think you can go out and just start pouring Wesson oil into your car! Conversions are being done to diesel engines only. The story is that Rudolph Deisel actually originally designed his engine to run on plant oils anyway!

There are many websites devoted to this. Here is just one.

here is another onewww.greasecar.com

Heating oil is cruder form of diesel and thus your oil heater can run on grease as well. The oil does not have to be polyunsaturated. The kits come with electric heaters to melt the oil. If you use it in place of your heating oil, the tanks are usually burried deep or in the heated basement. Adding a small heater in the very cold climates is not a big deal.

As to sources, of used frying oil, I think by the looks of the population's waist line, we don't have to worry about runnig low on used frying oil.

On the other hand, fat people have more insulation and thus should be able to go with out heat in their homes. And if they want to lose weight, the increased energy consumption to keep body temperature warm will make them burn off the fat faster. Kill two birds with one stone, save on heating bills and lose weight.

If you have 2 refrigerators, get rid of one of them.
Get a high efficiency refrigerator.
Put plastic on the windows during the winter.
Replace lights with CFL lights.

We've taken our electric usage from 880-1100 kwh per month to 380-450 kwh per month just by replacing all lights with CFL, getting rid of a refrigerator from 1992, replacing a refrigerator from 1988 with a high efficiency refrigerator and unplugging some items when not in use (stereo, dvd player, directv receiver).

We still have a ReplayTV, a chest freezer, an electric dryer (shame on me), use the AC when absolutely necessary, etc. I would love to get the kwh down to 200 or so, but I'm not sure if that'll ever happen.

if you use an electric clothes dryer - there is a little device you can buy for 5-10 bucks at a hardware store that will attach to the dyer vent and vent the heat and moisture into the house in the winter, then you can turn the switch the other way and send it back out of the house in the summer. i have been using it all winter and it really cuts down on heat usage when running the dryer. if i do a few loads of laundry i don't even have to turn on my heat, but i live in a decent climate and have a small, well insulated house.

the same thing can be accomplished detatching the vent, putting panty hose on the end coming from the dryer and sealing the other side.

brokestudent said: if you use an electric clothes dryer - there is a little device you can buy for 5-10 bucks at a hardware store that will attach to the dyer vent and vent the heat and moisture into the house in the winter, then you can turn the switch the other way and send it back out of the house in the summer. i have been using it all winter and it really cuts down on heat usage when running the dryer. if i do a few loads of laundry i don't even have to turn on my heat, but i live in a decent climate and have a small, well insulated house.

the same thing can be accomplished detatching the vent, putting panty hose on the end coming from the dryer and sealing the other side.
Won't that dramatically increase your indoor humidity, possibly causing condensation on windows and other surfaces in your home? If so, you could be in for a mold problem and your energy savings would be lost in cleanup costs.

Skipping 628 Messages...
You are definitely right. For steam heating, I think the goal is to match the boiler's steam making capacity with the all the radiators' collective ability to condense steam to water.



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

TRUSTe online privacy certification

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2014