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Old 02-03-2010, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Some Beach... Somewhere...
4,772 posts, read 4,022,143 times
Reputation: 4929

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The upstairs heat pump in my house died and I was quoted $2200 to repair it. Even when working properly, it did not keep the upstairs comfortable in summer or winter, was inefficient (builders-grade junk), and IMO was unreliable. I replaced the entire system with a high efficiency unit and saw a reduction in my electric bill. A year later, I looked at the gas furnace/AC downstairs and chose to replace it with a hybird system, resulting in further reductions in my utility bills.

I've replaced many of the lights in the house with CFLs and even used LEDs in a few spots. More savings.

I just bought a new car and opted for the Hybrid version. Better gas mileage is a plus (30 vs 18 for the gas engine). The biggest factor here is the ability to use the HOV lanes when driving home.

Bottom line - while it may seem I'm being "green" and consciencious about the environment, that's really the furthest thing from my mind in making these changes. I'm looking to reduce my utility bills and keep more $$ in my pocket each month, or in the case of the car, make my drive home more convenient.

Do you feel that someone's motivation is important in making changes like this or is it just important to make the changes? Thoughts?

Last edited by Workin_Hard; 02-03-2010 at 10:49 AM..
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, AK
73 posts, read 251,357 times
Reputation: 61
I think that overall it is good that you made those changes for yourself and it will help the environment also. It would be nice if you graduated to the next level and started to do other things that were good for the environment and maybe didn't save you money or were a little bit of a hassle.

BUT if you don't do anything else you are still doing more than other people do. If everyone would change out their light bulbs it would make a big difference, so the more people you tell about your cost savings by changing your light bulbs, then maybe you can convince others to do it.
Spread the word!

Some people are all or nothing and are hardcore about this stuff. But I don't think it's realistic and I believe we can still make a difference by doing our little bit to make our lives/homes better.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:16 AM
 
4,984 posts, read 5,051,814 times
Reputation: 6322
Energy used = energy to manufacture + energy to install + energy to run + energy/harm to dispose; Replacing old for new is not straightforwardly "green" because nobody even bothers to estimate the first, second and fourth terms in the equation.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:28 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,123,754 times
Reputation: 3889
Quote:
Originally Posted by Workin_Hard View Post
The upstairs heat pump in my house died and I was quoted $2200 to repair it. Even when working properly, it did not keep the upstairs comfortable in summer or winter, was inefficient (builders-grade junk), and IMO was unreliable. I replaced the entire system with a high efficiency unit and saw a reduction in my electric bill. A year later, I looked at the gas furnace/AC downstairs and chose to replace it with a hybird system, resulting in further reductions in my utility bills.

I've replaced many of the lights in the house with CFLs and even used LEDs in a few spots. More savings.

I just bought a new car and opted for the Hybrid version. Better gas mileage is a plus (30 vs 18 for the gas engine). The biggest factor here is the ability to use the HOV lanes when driving home.

Bottom line - while it may seem I'm being "green" and consciencious about the environment, that's really the furthest thing from my mind in making these changes. I'm looking to reduce my utility bills and keep more $$ in my pocket each month, or in the case of the car, make my drive home more convenient.

Do you feel that someone's motivation is important in making changes like this or is it just important to make the changes? Thoughts?
It sounds to me like you have spent one heckuva lotta money to save some money.

Sometimes "being green" is outrageously expensive.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:10 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,138,003 times
Reputation: 12760
I'm not certain that I have a motivation to be "green" by what may be the modern definition. I find it more a matter of being generally respectful of the gifts we've been given on this earth, and when done properly, "being green" also has the potential to save money as well as lead to a greater level of self-sufficiency. I'm cheap and I have problems with someone else "controlling" my personal energy and economic resources. "Green" seems to have the potential to solve both of these conundrums.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:18 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,138,003 times
Reputation: 12760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluecielos View Post
I think that overall it is good that you made those changes for yourself and it will help the environment also. It would be nice if you graduated to the next level and started to do other things that were good for the environment and maybe didn't save you money or were a little bit of a hassle.

BUT if you don't do anything else you are still doing more than other people do. If everyone would change out their light bulbs it would make a big difference, so the more people you tell about your cost savings by changing your light bulbs, then maybe you can convince others to do it.
Spread the word!

Some people are all or nothing and are hardcore about this stuff. But I don't think it's realistic and I believe we can still make a difference by doing our little bit to make our lives/homes better.
I think you are gravely mistaken in your assesment of "changing lightbulbs" as "helping the environment" if you are including CFL's in this discussion. The unintended consequences of the mercury from those that will leach out into our environment following their disposal has the very real potential to become a monumental problem down the road in regard to our fresh water supplies.

LED's look promising but still have a way to go before they throw enough light and the right kinds of beams for certain applications as well as before they reach a price point where they make economic sense. The "blue spectrum" when used in outside landscaping is proving to have detrimental effects on wildlife.

To me, to "replace a lightbulb" in the name of "being green" before the original light bulb has burnt out is just wasteful and the furthest thing from "green". Same goes for replacing cars.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:33 AM
 
8,648 posts, read 15,272,995 times
Reputation: 4567
Quote:
Originally Posted by Workin_Hard View Post
The upstairs heat pump in my house died and I was quoted $2200 to repair it. Even when working properly, it did not keep the upstairs comfortable in summer or winter, was inefficient (builders-grade junk), and IMO was unreliable. I replaced the entire system with a high efficiency unit and saw a reduction in my electric bill. A year later, I looked at the gas furnace/AC downstairs and chose to replace it with a hybird system, resulting in further reductions in my utility bills.

I've replaced many of the lights in the house with CFLs and even used LEDs in a few spots. More savings.

I just bought a new car and opted for the Hybrid version. Better gas mileage is a plus (30 vs 18 for the gas engine). The biggest factor here is the ability to use the HOV lanes when driving home.

Bottom line - while it may seem I'm being "green" and consciencious about the environment, that's really the furthest thing from my mind in making these changes. I'm looking to reduce my utility bills and keep more $$ in my pocket each month, or in the case of the car, make my drive home more convenient.

Do you feel that someone's motivation is important in making changes like this or is it just important to make the changes? Thoughts?
My wife's new 2009 Non Hybrid gets 34 MPH... And I bet it cost a LOT less...

So how are you saving on the car?
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:41 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,424,933 times
Reputation: 8158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
It sounds to me like you have spent one heckuva lotta money to save some money.

Sometimes "being green" is outrageously expensive.
Great point ( I agree)

I recall a guy in the 70's ( Arab oil embargo) who was ridiculed for not trading in his gas guzzler for a new fuel efficent car.

The gas guzzler owner stated how steep the car payments would be if he traded and then added " and my savings is .........where ? "
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:47 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,424,933 times
Reputation: 8158
I bought a new car in 2007 ( full size) for $18,200
It gets me 33 mpg.

I guess I could have spent at least another $10,000 to buy a hybrid to impress certain people.

Heck, for $1 I can buy a floppy hat at a garage sale and people would proclaim------" green"--------" enviromentalist"--------" organic grower"--- based on their perception.


( I didn't waste either the extra $10,000 or the extra $1 , however )
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:23 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,123,754 times
Reputation: 3889
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
I bought a new car in 2007 ( full size) for $18,200
It gets me 33 mpg.

I guess I could have spent at least another $10,000 to buy a hybrid to impress certain people.

Heck, for $1 I can buy a floppy hat at a garage sale and people would proclaim------" green"--------" enviromentalist"--------" organic grower"--- based on their perception.


( I didn't waste either the extra $10,000 or the extra $1 , however )
There you go.

I'm driving a VW Golf that I bought at an abandoned vehicle auction for $250. I put a $350 engine in it, replaced brakes, tires, etc., and have been driving it for the past 7 years.

It now has about 350,000 miles on the car (not engine), gets 31 mpg, I pay minimum liability insurance, is down to minimum fee for registration renewal, and I've never made one single car payment. It is in good enough condition that I could get in it and drive it anywhere in the country right now.

Why, pray tell, would I replace that car?
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