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Old 05-04-2018, 11:55 AM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
Whole house fans are the ones that suck conditioned air from the living space. Attic vent fans do not create a negative pressure in the attic as long as you have lots of attic vents.
Which is more rare than the norm...

Here is a good source from green building

Fans in the Attic: Do They Help or Do They Hurt? | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

I did not mix the things in my original post. I do have an attic fan however i do not use it.

Whole house fans are a good thing, and only and only to be used once exterior temps are lower so you can cool your house again.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:49 PM
 
387 posts, read 231,874 times
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Great tips! Thanks!

Since I only need hot water in the morning and early evening, I turn off the water heater for several hours at night and during the day.

It only takes an hour or so for the water to get hot.

I did it manually but timers can be purchased for this purpose.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:01 AM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profnot View Post
Great tips! Thanks!

Since I only need hot water in the morning and early evening, I turn off the water heater for several hours at night and during the day.

It only takes an hour or so for the water to get hot.

I did it manually but timers can be purchased for this purpose.
mine is natural gas... so timers are probably not that cheap!

There are a few cheap wifi outlets nowadays that even let you control it from Google Mini and such ...

They are about 4-5 bucks each and you can even set up triggers based on what you do...
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:53 PM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
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Update:

This summer I insulated my basement. I used 2" around foundation walls and 3-4" in the sill cavities making them R20.

I sealed up every little nook and seam.

According to calculations and sources, it is said basement and foundation loses about 20-30% of your heat, So probably it will make a big difference. I am curious to see what the results will be during winter time.

We did this because we are renovating the basement and we wanted to make sure we wouldn't have moisture problems at all. It seems to have been a good practice, during this summer we had close to 13 inches of rain in 4 days and all houses around us got a few inches in the basement. We had none. We were away on holiday so I can't attest totally but I was told even our basement windows, their wells were filled with water like a fish tank with the soil super saturated with water, and yet we got no water at all, our neighbour which his house is 20 feet aside from us, had water in his basement.

All boards were sealed up with a good european tape specifically for XPS and also with expansion foam around all edges - cavities, floor, and top.



It will be interesting to see how numbers compare vs when this thread was started - 4 years of data once this heating season is up!
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:48 AM
 
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We don't really use natural gas, although there's a bill for about $9/month, I think it's more or less just maintenance to have it or something. I have no clue. The water heater is electric, we don't use the fireplace, so I don't think anything uses it. Maybe something in the kitchen, we don't really cook, but I guess every once in a while my GF makes soup with the burners, that's probably gas I suppose. I really don't know how kitchen stuff works, that isn't somewhere I spend much time :P

We run about 1,400 Kw per month of power, even with the most energy efficient HVAC systems money can buy and all LED lighting. I have no idea how some people use so little power, but given that I'm home all of the time, I work from home, I do everything from home, it's not a surprise to me that we use more power than some people. My GF also works from home the vast majority of the time and we have no tolerance for indoor temperatures deviating from 72 during the day and 67 at night when we sleep. I do have a solar system that varies in what it generates. During the summer, power needs increase drastically compared to the winter, but the solar system can generate somewhere around 800 to 1,000 Kw per month and offset a good portion of the bill. During the winter, the solar system is lucky to contribute a few hundred Kw per month, and spring and fall vary but say around 400 to 600 Kw. It helps, at least. The next house, in a sunny climate, I'd like it to have an array powerful enough to cover the entire house's electric bills ideally.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:02 AM
 
3,711 posts, read 2,131,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmyk72 View Post
Thanks for sharing your success story.

7.29c per kWh is so cheap in comparison to the rate in my area. I also recently switched to another elect supplier and now I'm saving about 3c per kWh. This makes it hurt a little less after a 50% elec rate increase here in the NE region back in Jan. It's a no brainer to make the switch and reap the benefit without doing anything differently. I told this to my neighbors when we had a get-together but there was little enthusiasm - hmm... are people too rich to save a few bucks every month nowadays?
Our electric rate is more than twice that.

We switched electric suppliers twice, was disastrous both times. So we have stayed with the major monopoly here. Both times they'd overbill us one month, then short bill us the next month. Billing seemed erratic. Theyd estimate totally wrong. Getting it on a budget "was impossible until they had a years history of our usage"...which was bs as we had years of usage behind us with the monopoly.

We switched to LEDs when they were $15 a bulb or more. We had switched to CFL s years before too. We habe just 2 CFLs now, and when they go ( rarely used), they will all be LEDs.

We turn the heat down manually when out for the day or at night. Its not a hard habit to get in to. Dont need no $350 thermo stat to do it for us.

We don't have central air, rather 4 well placed window a/cs. We never run more than 2 at once though. Used to run all 4 sometimes, but only 2 is needed.

We have a bonus room with electric heat. It has wall heat strip, as well as small infrared heater. We will close it down dec to mid-April . Yes we use it all the time, but the plants will go into the lr and we will survive with out using bonus room.

Our budget...which covers all electric, ( including the ac of course) gas heat gas hot water is under $175. Used to be $160 but it went up as nat gas went up, along with electric.
Which, seeing as how our househas no insulation,(built 1948) isnt bad. Thats the next project next year...adding insulation to the attic.
2 years later blown in or spray in insulation.

That ought to reduce our bill further. It really hadnt gone up in the 3 years weve lived here. So not bad.


Last edited by galaxyhi; 11-02-2018 at 03:13 AM..
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:07 PM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
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Galaxy, insulation is totally worth it. Do it. And you being electric probably have lots of rebates. My electric company rebates 75% of costs with attic insulation up to 500$ which is in essence most of it - cellulose if you DIY. Since I was NG, I only got 25% back with max payout of 125 if I recall. Still worth it since savings compared to previous year was 35-40% per calculations - we used about the same NG but last winter was WAY COLDER.

I wish I could be all electric. As of now, all utilities NG and electric, we spend 1000-1100 dollars, due to increase in NG and electricity. Out of these 1000-1100 dollars, 204$ is just for electrical account and 168 for NG account maintenance!

If I can eventually swtich everything to electrical, I could save the 168, plus a little bit of efficiency on the rest. I estimate on todays prices we could have all electrical for 65/70 per month. We are heating for 2300 sq feet - we are single ranch at 1170 sq ft however, the ducts of the HVAC also deliver heat to the basement - I guess previous owner heated the basement where he sort of had a little workshop there.

So, not bad as of now at 90 USD/month in utilities.
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Old 11-04-2018, 08:28 PM
 
2,159 posts, read 1,844,627 times
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A friend of mine that is very frugal tried unplugging everything when not in use (TV's, lamps ETC) and said his electric bill barely went down at all. It seems to me the electric bill is going to be base amount regardless of what you do. Higher in warm months with AC.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:42 AM
 
517 posts, read 425,103 times
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Base amount it's impossible. Of course if you have done all you can do, unplugging standby devices does not give you much so in essence it's fruitless.

I don't uplug my TV anymore. It's cumbersome and savings are probably very very low. I don't know the numbers from the top of my head but it;s very low. Things that may work though is things like your modem and wireless router. Those things are on 24/7 and together may use 50-60 watts ...that's 43 kWh/month

Maybe you can use a timer or something, to turn off when you know you wont use it. You can easily save 30 kWh right there.

I haven't done this one myself but I will measure the consumption of it and probably will do something like this.
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Old 11-06-2018, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
15,666 posts, read 15,598,991 times
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UGH, those LED-lights.......I do not like them, seem hard on my eyes.

I actually like the low-power incandescents that are bare, no coating.
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