saving energy

I'm looking for good ideas on ways to save energy or generate energy at my house that are easily doable.

I've got new windows, all my appliances but my heater/ac are brand new and either have the energystar logo or are otherwise energy efficient.

It's not about carbon impact, it's about saving on energy costs.

Any ideas?

20 thoughts on “saving energy”

  1. start doing "computer work" for your neighbor and while they aren't looking run extension cords from their house to yours. Heck while your at it you could also steal their internet and cable tv.

    On a more practical note, wear sweaters during the colder months and turn your furnace down.

  2. IIRC, your windows are all single pane. You could save quite a bit in the winter by sealing them up with the heatshrink plastic kits from 3M, available at Home Depot (and perhaps Meijer).

    Also, you have an attic, throw down a couple more layers of that pink Owens Corning insulation up there. This will help to keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer.You might also try spraying Great Stuff into all of the crevices and cracks around your windows and walls.

    1. They are two pieces of glass with some sort of gas between them.

      Is there such a thing as too much insulation? I don't get icicles on the house in the winter

      1. Oh OK, so you have double pane windows. Good deal. IMHO, there's no such thing as too much insulation.

        Moving on, solar panels and a wind turbine on the house to sell power back to the grid?

        1. I'm with solar panels and wind turbines. I have always been infatuated with the idea of utility sellback – enough where i've done all the research and have a general idea of what it requires.

          Any idea how I can do this affordably? Little pieces at a time and the like?

          1. It was quite some time ago, but I recall that the Sportsman's guide had some decent solar panels for about $500-$1000. They were designed for RV use, but I don't see any reason a setup like that wouldn't live happily on your roof.

  3. Also, long term, you may want to install triple pane, coated windows to minimize heat transfer through them in all seasons. That's a chunk of change however. IIRC, you have the old behemoth of a furnace in the basement, a newer, high efficiency furnace/AC would also help you save money in the long run.

  4. Try to do full loads of laundry instead of only filling the washer 1/4 – 1/2 full of clothing.

    Lights that tend to stay on for extended periods — replace the bulbs with either CFL or LED units.

    1. I've got a front loader with a gas dryer, and we always do full loads. I use CFLs on 90% of the lights, the remainder being stupid fixtures that take those moronic candle bulb things and dimmed lamps

  5. programmable thermostat?

    turn down the temp on the water heater?

    put power strips on things like the TV and Wii that have the whole vampire-electric-always-in-standby mode so you can turn them off?

    1. programmable thermostat we have set in lock mode because we were having problems with the pilot blowing out on our shitty furnace. Keeping it moderately high means it has a higher probability of being on when the wind blew at night, meaning it would be less likely to go out while we slept, which was becoming an issue.

      I definitely need to get that fixed for a number of obvious reasons.

      The water heater is new, but I'll have to consider that.

      the problem with killing the wii and the tv crap is that wiiconnect 24 runs downloading updates and crap, and the cablebox and tivo need power so it can record crap. Not bad ideas though.

      1. Also, insulate the water heater.

        I know that when we *use* our programmable thermostat it helps a lot, but if you touch the wall next to it with any amount of static shock, it resets itself, so that isn't so useful.

        1. Insulate the water heater?

          I've seen houses that have had the water heater covered in extra insulation… I don't see a need, at least in modern heaters.

          I have a pilot light water heater (no fancy electric start), and once the water is hot, the burner never comes on – the pilot keeps the water hot. I know this since I have turned it off when heading on vacation for a week (leaving pilot on) and have come home to a nice hot shower.

          The high efficiency electric glowplug gas heaters dont have the pilot, but given that they are sold as higher efficiency anyway, I'd assume they have more insulation inside to begin with.

Leave a Reply