|Wednesday, October 29th, 2008|
|Saturday, November 17th, 2007|
Any opinions or recommendations on energy efficient blinds? They're pricey compared to plain metal ones, and I do already have storm windows. But I notice that window glass is always cool to the touch, so I imagine that it's a big heat sink.
|Tuesday, July 31st, 2007|
If your house has forced air turn off your furnace pilot light during the summer. It will save you a few dollars in gas every month and not waste a natural resource.
Look around the air ducts and see if the metal tape is pulling up. If it is put new on it clean the surface before applying the tape or it will not stick very well. Every bit of air that leaks out is conditioned air you lose.
While the pilot light is off is the time to service the furnace fan and vacuum out the burner areas.
If you are daring it is also a good time to do a couple of other things.
You can pull the furnace out of the way and clean the coils for the AC.
You can pull the blower out and clean the fan blades.
Check your blower motor to see if it has oil plugs and oil it if it does.
|Tuesday, April 17th, 2007|
Improve insulation with a product like this one. It is more about stopping drafts than it is about R-value.http://www.tigerfoam.com/index.php
You can use things like great foam as well but you will probably pay more depending on the job size.
|Friday, January 19th, 2007|
I have been researching efficient appliances. Apparently the energy star rating does not show the whole picture. The different appliances have different energy star requirements. Several only have low power or power off requirements. I think dishwashers are one that only have power off requirements.
I am looking at replacing my TV because it is old (built in the 80's) and not power efficient at all. The kids have it on A LOT of the time so it is hurting my power bill.
Also I want to replace my dishwasher. We go through A LOT of dishes. Between our 5 yr (today he is 5) old and my roommates kids we always have a full dishwasher. I sometimes have to run it 4 to 6 times in a single weekend when all the kids are with us.
Finally a new front load clothing washer. The part I like most about them is that they spin the clothes much faster so the dryer does not have to work nearly as hard to dry the stuff. I used to hang dry a lot of stuff but in the winter it does not work so well. I also was not so good at bringing it back in with in a reasonable amount of time and I sun bleached some of my clothes. So going for efficiency I lost efficiencty having to replace clothes. Stupid I know. Anyway so as I can afford to replace them I will and I will write what I find out about the true power consumption of each as I go.
|Wednesday, December 20th, 2006|
|Wednesday, December 13th, 2006|
The next efficiency increasing home project I am considering for my home is bringing in outside cold air for the wood burning stove. I have been thinking why should my wood burning stove pull warm air from my living room when it can pull cold air from outside? A few feet of black pipe (do not use the galvanized pipe it will get hot and vent toxic zinc gas) and a few angles maybe even a fan with a flow control and a valve to control how much air passes. I think I will be in business.
I am not sure how much it will help mostly because I am not sure how many feet per minute of air the stove draws. I will experiment and see what I can learn. I am thinking a 1 inch pipe that breaks off into two 1/2 inch air tubes in the bottom of the stove (one on each side of the stove) will be plenty to keep it burning hard without pulling any air from the living room.
Any thoughts are welcome!
Very nice do it yourself dry stack concrete home web site.http://www.texasmusicforge.com/gimmeshelter.html
It is LONG but detailed on how the progress of building your own home goes.
Dry stack blocks are a good way to build a home with considerable thermal mass and high efficiency. It is very labor intensive but can be managed by the hopeful resident.
|Friday, December 8th, 2006|
) posted a link (http://www.georgiaconservancy.org/News/News_SustainabilityTipApril06.asp
) and list of suggestions to improve efficiency in urban_sustain (http://community.livejournal.com/urban_sustain/
) and I thought they were very good so I am reposting them here.( The ListCollapse )
I although want to open discussion on one of the topics. Number 6 by reducing the amount of water used with each flush you make it harder for some things to flush. Is that a generally agreed upon phenomena?
If it is, then does it really serve to switch over all of the toilets in the house or should you leave one with "Full Power Flushing" and only use it when you expect to need it?
I think that the 1.5 gallon flushes are great because most of the time people urinate and then flush so overall it probably saves a lot of water. It is almost like there needs to be toilets with two flush control handles. One with a 0.5 gallon flush and the other with three gallons.
|Wednesday, December 6th, 2006|
Painting and siding
Right now I am in the process of painting my home.
I am wondering how much it would help for me to caulk between the siding boards. I mean the lengths of them. I am thinking it will reduce air flow between the boards and therefore reduce drafts inside improving the comfort level inside.
I need to replace all the siding and when I do I will put up hardy plank and house wrap under but until I can do that the caulk may be the best answer.
OK I will open up with a blurb about my home. I bought it almost a year ago and it was a foreclosure. I have been doing what I can as I can afford it. I have to be careful about my budget. I am pretty close to the edge so it is all done as I can afford it.
I installed a wood burning stove last winter. I did it in a way that I doubt complies with code but I am pretty comfortable with. I put a layer of cement board down on the carpet it was fire rated dry wall as I recall. I then put one of the metal plates for the stove to rest on on top of the cement board. I then put a layer of red brick on top of that. The stove rests directly on top of these three layers. I did not have the space to put the legs under it so it rests on the bricks. I made sure there was at least 12 inches of clearance around the stove door before it reaches carpet. I took the stove pipe up and and vented it into the fireplace. I tapes a piece of sheet metal over the fireplace opening with metal duct tape, cut a six inch hole in it and put the stove pipe through it. The stove pipe empties directly under the chimney for the original fireplace.
I have been thinking about taking some of the bricks away so the center body of the stove is open to the air. I am thinking if I can get more airflow across the metal I will get more heat from it. My biggest concern with doing that is I lose the thermal mass of the bricks. Any thoughts are welcome.
I like the wood burning stove because it makes a huge difference in the comfort of my home. The fuel is renewable and mostly free. I live in Atlanta, GA and there is always someone saying "if you haul this tree away you can have it" so I have a chainsaw, an ax, a sledge hammer, a wedge, and a wood maul. It costs me a couple of hours to cut up enough wood for a week and the gas to go get it.
I think of this as being very efficient, for me.