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Old 05-21-2009, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,019,090 times
Reputation: 7193

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheridan1962 View Post
We just moved from Texas to Colorado, and it's a (good) adjustment in not having to deal with the brutal Texas heat. In our house in Texas, the BEST thing we had to save energy costs were solar screens on our windows. That really made a difference. We had a 3,800 sf home in Texas, and the highest elec/gas (combined) bill we had in the summer was around $400...that might seem like a lot to some people, but I kept our house cool (between 70-72 degrees).

We moved into a house here in Denver that has central AC/heat, but when it's cold, we keep the heat at around 65 and just bundle up. Now that the weather has gotten a little warmer, we keep the A/C at 78, and run our whole house fan all day. We've only been here a few months, but our elec/gas bills have been less than $100 each month so far (which is pretty good for a 4,300 sf house).
Pardon me but super huge Mc Mansions such as this are a pox on the
American landscape since they consume more of everything from
building materials to energy to be allowed to stand long term.

People need "right sized" housing of no more that 2,000 sq ft or they
will be the money pit that Mc Mansions always are.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Lead/Deadwood, SD
948 posts, read 2,269,359 times
Reputation: 854
We have a whole house fan as well it is part of the heating system, but can be used without the furnace on. It was a home made deal over 50 yrs old added to the original 1938 Meyer gas furnace which also still works great. Running the whole house fan while cooking allows us to turn the heat off several hours every day while cooking. Avoid the microwave in winter and use it in the summer helps too.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:56 PM
 
13,714 posts, read 22,852,078 times
Reputation: 18526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Pardon me but super huge Mc Mansions such as this are a pox on the
American landscape since they consume more of everything from
building materials to energy to be allowed to stand long term.

People need "right sized" housing of no more that 2,000 sq ft or they
will be the money pit that Mc Mansions always are.

YAWN!!!

Wake us up when the lecture is over.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
1,611 posts, read 3,115,738 times
Reputation: 2806
Quote:
Originally Posted by RHB View Post
I don't worry about cooling costs (I live in Maine) but was wondering if anyone has any tips/hints to keep these costs down. Looking at the years buget, heating is a big chunk (as I trust cooling is in the south) and was looking for ideas to keep those costs down, while still staying warm.

We are well insulated, have the energy windows, and I'm working on making curtains that will be pulled over the doorways.

We've started collecting firewood, and fire starter material for next winter. We are thinking we want to try going straight wood this year and not turn on the gas heating system.
The house will be awfully cold when you wake up in the morning if you turn off the gas furnace. And then it takes hours of feeding the fire to get it warm again. A compromise would be to set the thermostat to 55 or 60 for the overnight.

And it will take a huge woodpile to get through a New England winter.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Centennial, CO
156 posts, read 605,758 times
Reputation: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Pardon me but super huge Mc Mansions such as this are a pox on the
American landscape since they consume more of everything from
building materials to energy to be allowed to stand long term.

People need "right sized" housing of no more that 2,000 sq ft or they
will be the money pit that Mc Mansions always are.
Says you. But this is America, and you are entitled to your opinion.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,555,941 times
Reputation: 910
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Pardon me but super huge Mc Mansions such as this are a pox on the
American landscape since they consume more of everything from
building materials to energy to be allowed to stand long term.

People need "right sized" housing of no more that 2,000 sq ft or they
will be the money pit that Mc Mansions always are.
I looked for some indication of sarcasm, but couldn't find one.

Surely you are not going to tell me that I should own a house under 2,000 sq ft? Surely you aren't foolish enough to believe that the number of square feet is directly proportional to energy consumption costs? Surely you don't pretend to know what's best for everyone in America?

Like I said, surely you were being sarcastic.
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 7,829,798 times
Reputation: 3304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Pardon me but super huge Mc Mansions such as this are a pox on the
American landscape since they consume more of everything from
building materials to energy to be allowed to stand long term.

People need "right sized" housing of no more that 2,000 sq ft or they
will be the money pit that Mc Mansions always are.
I think you are better than the rest of us and can probably make do with 800 sq ft. I'll take your extra 1200 and live very comfortably in 3200. It's all about averages.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,082 posts, read 12,589,902 times
Reputation: 10553
My favorite way to keep the heating cost down is a comfortable flannel shirt.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:17 AM
 
21 posts, read 305,746 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad View Post
Pardon me but super huge Mc Mansions such as this are a pox on the
American landscape since they consume more of everything from
building materials to energy to be allowed to stand long term.

People need "right sized" housing of no more that 2,000 sq ft or they
will be the money pit that Mc Mansions always are.
Not necessarily.

My wife & I live in a 4,000 sqf foot two-story brick house, that was built in 1928. We didn't go out looking for a huge house, but when this one became available - and for the price - it was a no-brainer. Within 5-10 years we'll be able to double our money on it.

Even so, we pay less to heat and cool our house than does my brother-in-law & family, whose house is just over 1,000 sqf.

I've super-insulated and sealed, and have an ultra-high efficiency furnace, central air unit and heat pump. Plus we keep our windows open as long as we can, into the summer, and the furnace off in the fall until we can't stand it any longer.


It's not that hard to save money on heating and cooling, if we're just willing to do it.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,415 posts, read 42,768,615 times
Reputation: 11500
Wood or coal heat is hard to beat for cheap. Good insulation, tight windows etc.

For cheap cooling, at least in the dry West, try just running a fan in an open window, and opening a window at the opposite end of the house, or put in a ceiling exhaust fan. I do this and it gets the house almost cold early in the morning, then close up till evening.

Had a house near Denver, plaster walls, I put in a ceiling exhaust fan, most people who visited in summer thought I had central A/C.

In the dry West, you can also get cheap cooling out of a "swamp cooler" (evaporation cooler).

For a completely different approach, if you have the room and/or a well/place to dump the water, consider a water-sourced heat pump, these will heat and cool your house with very little electricity, but are expensive to buy and the install is not that cheap, particularly if you need to go to a closed-loop primary loop.
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