It goes beyond hypermiling... - Fuelly Forums

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Old 11-07-2007, 12:24 PM   #1
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It goes beyond hypermiling...

Although I'm an active participant in the art form, I am also keenly aware that saving energy only starts with the vehicle. The home is another big energy consumer, likely larger than the vehicle, at least half of all electricity produced is made with petrol, and coal (both pollutants as well).

All light bulbs ought to be fluorescent energy savers (why is this even still a choice?).
Digital thermostat (a no brainer to me).
A water-saver shower faucet (saves hot water for one, straight water for another).
A water-saver toilet (1.4 - 1.6 gpf), saves straight water for one, saves water recycling plants from consuming the energy needed to provide it).
Up-to-date 'green' spec. insulation (did you know the ceiling is supposed to be R-49?). Mine's R-19 now, just got done upgrading it from R-11 (see this irritates me to no end, why even build it with such cheap insulation in the first place?)
Of course, double pane windows and storm windows (another no brainer to me).

The list goes on, hot water heater set to 130 - 135 max.
A re-usable heat pump intake filter, cleaned once / month.

Just thought I'd throw this out, it takes some money and DIY (the insulation is a story for DIY, expensive to hire someone) but all of this, once done pays for itself over and over.
My water bill has been an easy $10 cheaper (a 60-day bill, -$60 a year).
The electric bill was just under $900 for the whole year 2006...
That was before the insulation upgrade, still well below 2005's $1,200 for the year.
Unfortunately it went to almost $1,000 for 2007, the new insulation should help.
Here I am watching these people 'accepting' $150 electricity bills as 'normal'
Yeah right, first one of those I get it's high time for some changes.

On that note, a greywater recycling plant for home use only costs 2-5,000 dollars or so... Cheap it isn't, but it sure beats the current cost of home solar energy...
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by theclencher View Post
GS has an "around the house" forum

all light bulbs SHOULD NOT be cfl! what if i want heat and light? what if the light is typically on for less than 15 min at a time? then incandescent is actually better.

digi therm- good for those whose house is empty 40 hrs/week; no good for those where someone is always home

i can't believe you accept a $75-$83 elec bill as "normal"- mine are usually under $30 (includes water too).
Ahhh it is high time then I need to find this forum you speak of, tyvm!
and nvrmind, i found it
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Old 11-07-2007, 12:53 PM   #3
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Myself, wife, and 2 kids usually have an electric bill of 60-70. my wife is always leaving lights on when not needed. When I lived by myself my bill was rarely over 30.

They have grey water recycling systems for a house?

I often thought about rigging up a tank to collect it, then somehow redirecting it to the toilet. The best I am doing right now is using a bucket to catch water when I shower, then dump it in the bowl to flush.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:08 PM   #4
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CFLs will also be obsolete... LEDs are there if you want to be an early adopter and pay for the privilege. LEDs come on at full brightness, and should help keep the mercury out of th landfill sites.

Digital t-stats won't do anything extra for a house if it is insulated well enough.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:18 PM   #5
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Keep in mind I have a heat pump...

As for digital thermostats, I do think they help, thou I would agree that insulation first, in my case it was a matter of money (the thermostat is way cheaper). It's not the programmable part of it, I don't think that helps much, it might but it's debatable... But it is more accurate, mech.stats can and will miss-estimate the actual temperature, in essence over or under cooling / heating at times.
There's no guessing either, bad location discussion aside, if the thermostat reads 68 it is 68.
A gauge style mechanical one might say 68, but is it really 68 or have the metals become warped over the years so it's really 69 or 67? That's on top of the fact that a rotary knob could well be pointed to 68.2 by mistake, then a little corrosion and age and wear and tear oops the heat pump didn't kick on until it was almost 66 and didn't stop running until it was well past 70...
No argument, however, that if it takes 50,000 btu's to keep your house near 68, then it about takes 50,000 almost regardless of how it is done. It does boil down to cubic feet and degrees, spaces of air and convection, so if the house is well insulated I do agree this is a minor upgrade.

Because as for what it actually saves?
Phhh, maybe a few bucks a month, but it's once done forever saved.

I would have to guess there exist many arguments concerning incandescents, so I question why incandescents are still available! It's not about bickering back and forth about the endless matter, it is about making CFL's the only option, then there is no more argument.

I checked into those LED's, at a cost of $15 ~ $50 each this appears to be a wild goose chase... From what I can see these things give off anywhere from 38 - 80 and a few even 110 to 150 lumens, but keep in mind lumens are not watts, a standard 75w bulb gives off 1100 lumens and so does a CFL rated at 75 (consuming 25).
Maybe I'm missing something, but lumens is light output, and at the very least it would appear we need 4-500 lumens per bulb... Really I'd prefer 6-800 but either way I don't see myself buying no 150 lumen bulb.
Granted the energy savings look nice, but that's no trick to produce a 2.5 watt LED bulb that produces 110 lumens, heck a CFL with those ratings consumes pretty much the same (2.5w actual consumption x 3 = 7.5w output = 110 lumens)...
They appear to last about the same amount of time, thou I can mildly appreciate having been educated on the relationship between input, output, watts, and lumens.
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:16 PM   #6
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83, personally I'm with you in the digital preference camp but if I had to bet on the accuracy and consistency of a digital t-stat vs a perfectly leveled traditional mercury filled round dial butt ugly Honeywell T86/T87 (which was recently discontinued), hrmmm... I'd wager on the T86/T87. The digital t-stat is just a measuring device for a bimetal resistor... mercury works better.

Now my IR temp gun I totally trust, even though I have no freaking idea how it knows how hot or cold things are! Wonderful device...
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Old 11-07-2007, 03:11 PM   #7
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Now my IR temp gun I totally trust, even though I have no freaking idea how it knows how hot or cold things are! Wonderful device...
They use radiation Just about everything emits a certain amount of IR radiation (which is why in the summer you'll feel warmer than in the winter given a constant room air temperature). Non contact guns just measure the emissivity of an object
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:57 PM   #8
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I have to disagree with the CFL vs. incandescent argument. The fact is, CFLs are more polluting to the environment as they contain mercury. This is slowly being remedied, but they will likely always require the use of it to function. A hallway that is passed through briefly (requiring less than a minute of light) would be much better suited to an incandescent bulb. A porch light (which I hate) should ALWAYS be fitted with a CFL. The best situation would be if the two types were more closely priced, allowing consumers to buy them strictly based on the two technologies' merits -- not the bottom line cost.

While not practical, people should idealy be waking with the sun rise, and sleeping with the sun set. That IS how we are naturally programmed to live, you know... How people turned nocturnal is beyond me.

I have said it before and I will say it again. My parents have a walk-out basement in Michigan on a lake. The basement stays at a comfortable (somewhat anyways) temperature year round, and never has any problems with water. The basement is a poured concrete base, with the concrete having been poured into a thick styrofoam mould. Absolutely excellent basement -- highly suggest anyone looking at building a house to look into a setup like this.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theclencher View Post
GS has an "around the house" forum

all light bulbs SHOULD NOT be cfl! what if i want heat and light? what if the light is typically on for less than 15 min at a time? then incandescent is actually better.
I think your 15 minute figure is an arbitrary and outdated amount.

Mythbusters, yeah, I know, those supremely anal and detailed experimenters that they are, actually debunked this fairly conclusively from an energy consumption standpoint. The break-even point is really only a matter of about 20 seconds with dual 40W tube type flourescents. CFLs are instantaneously more efficient than incandescents of similar output.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
I have to disagree with the CFL vs. incandescent argument. The fact is, CFLs are more polluting to the environment as they contain mercury.
The key point there is... They contain mercury... If you're getting power from, for example, a coal fired plant - your incandescents are emitting mercury. One of these is manageable and can be completely recycled


So if you do the right thing, and recycle bulbs properly - you cut 4mg per bulb. Or, if you buy the low mercury bulbs from phillips or GE - 4mg goes to ~2.

Okay, sure - I can agree that not everyone gets their power from coal... But a great deal of the US does - and great things can be saved by trimming the fat from the largest polluter in the world. And reducing the bottom line reduces grid load/consumption - with zero emissions energy sources an recycling, all we've done is reduced consumption.

Quote:
A hallway that is passed through briefly (requiring less than a minute of light) would be much better suited to an incandescent bulb.
Or no bulb at all In either case - if a bulb is used, in either case the bulbs will last for a really really long time...
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