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Old 01-09-13, 06:47 PM   #11
Exeric
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Part of the whole ROI equation is implicitly connected with how much energy conservation mods one has already done. The quick ROI stuff will benefit you no matter how green your home already is. The longer ROIs usually depend on how much effort you have already made to make your home conserve energy.

For instance, if the walls in your home are, ex windows, at R10 on average, then it wouldn't make economic sense to put in energy conserving shades. Maybe even LEDs wouldn't be the greatest investment then. However if you have already gotten to the point where all areas have the recommended insulation values for attic and floors/crawl space for your area and air sealed everything tightly, then it makes economic sense to get LEDs and energy conserving shades.

Thats why the quick ROI stuff is so important. They are easy and they ALWAYS make economic sense. There seems to be an order in which we are meant to accomplish things, even if we don't always do it that way.

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Old 01-10-13, 01:20 PM   #12
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I filled out a survey on home energy usage for my electric company and they sent me a whole box full of energy saving goodies. ROI about 2 weeks!

There was a 'smart' power strip among the items. I'm using it to power our rarely-used downstairs TV & peripherals. I plugged the TV into the smart outlet, and when I turn it on/off everything else goes on/off. "Off" in this case being completely powered down, no standby. Nice!
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Old 01-10-13, 10:25 PM   #13
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If you have an electric water heater a water heater timer has a pay back of less then 6 months.

Water boiling tea kettle with auto shut off, I figure mine saves me around $50 per year compared to a stove top tea kettle and $25 per year compared to microwave if it's used once per day and mine is used at least once per day, sometimes 3 or more times per day.
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Old 01-10-13, 10:25 PM   #14
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Hi,
Bubblewrap on windows has a less than one heating season payback in our climate. Actually, it has a zero days payback if you get the bubble wrap free

The $22 sunspace in the Feb 2005 issue of ESSN should have a less than 1 year payback: Rebel Wolf Online -- ESSN Archives

If you have not seen these issues of ESSN (all free), there is some nice stuff in them.

Painting the south side of your above ground pool should have a really short payback: A VERY SIMPLE pool heating idea

This sliding glass door insulation project has a half year payback if I did the numbers right: Insulating a Sliding Glass Door



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Old 01-11-13, 11:39 AM   #15
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Default A little more than a year?

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...10breakman.jpg

Some things take longer to pay for themselves. If you are a DIYer,
and can install stuff, without much professional help, mini splits are a good investment.

My wife told me, she thinks our Sanyo systems have paid for themselves,
but the A7 water heater is going to take longer.
I asked her why will the A7 take longer? She said because we are using
a lot more hot water these days..

That got me thinking about the days before we got the Sanyos running.
Our house was cool and even cold during the winter. Because of the cost,
we kept the heat turned down low, a lot!
We rarely heated the Den during the colder months. It got way more use in summer.

Right now, we are running both Sanyos at 21C, 8AM until midnight,
when we set them back to 20C while we sleep. Because we can afford it!

We used to set the oil heat down to 18C when we went out for a few hours.
Now, we might turn the Sanyos down to 20C, but many times we don't even think about it.

My guess: Without the low ASHP operating cost we have today,
we could not afford to live this warm comfortable life style.

If we have to go back on oil, we can apply for 'free' heating oil money from the state,
and stay nice and warm. But, you taxpayers will have to pay for it..
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Old 01-11-13, 04:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...10breakman.jpg

Some things take longer to pay for themselves. If you are a DIYer,
and can install stuff, without much professional help, mini splits are a good investment.
I'm not so sure 2 minisplits are the wisest investments under all circumstances. It really depends on what you have accomplished on insulation and air sealing of your house before you get to that point. It gets back to the point of prioritization and order of accomplishment of money saving conservation measures.

For instance, if you have the recommended insulation value according to DOE for your area here:

Insulation Overview | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

and made the home really air tight then there is a high likelyhood you might have needed only one minisplit instead of two. So you would have avoided the cost of the second unit, the time to install it, and yearly cost associated with it. But I think you may have heard this before, or something similar.

Last edited by Exeric; 01-11-13 at 04:16 PM..
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Old 01-11-13, 06:37 PM   #17
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I wanted to rip down the 2x4 walls with their 1956 so-called "insulation",
and convert to 2x8 walls, but my wife put her foot down.

Heck, I wanted to write this place off, sell out, and head home to Texas,
but my wife really likes it up here. (With her family).

She's also against sealing up all the windows on the north side of the house.
Even after I explained how having all those windows is like leaving a door open all winter.

I even wanted to use that 'spare' parts Sanyo unit in the garage to make a hot water heater,
but my wife wanted that big outdoor unit OUT of the garage and some cheap heat installed in the Den.
(The way it's been working, I think that was a pretty good idea).

My wife really doesn't want to change anything about the house,
unless it's something that adds to it's attractiveness (curb appeal?).
Fresh paint, new roof shingles, nice mail box post & etc.
Things that other people will notice and say "How nice".
She even likes putting up decorative lights during the holidays. Me, I could care less.


We are using more power now. Not only because we are heating most of the house now, but because we like it warm!
I'm 67 this month and liking warmth more every day.
And, every time I do the math, heating with oil would cost us 4x more.
Maybe gas would be better. But my wife doesn't want to move.

Anyways, we have this saying at the Lab, If it works, don't fix it..
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Old 01-11-13, 06:56 PM   #18
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I can relate. I'm only 8 years behind you in age. Life is full of compromises and a big one involves relationships. I think you probably have made the right decision since divorce can be hell. It sounds like you love her in spite of everything or you wouldn't have gone along on some of those things. Good for you.
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Old 01-15-13, 10:39 PM   #19
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I used to use a Discman player and was really happy with it, even though I had to put in freshly recharged batts every morning. Worth it, and two pairs of batteries would go for about a year and a half, not the 1000 cycles they promised but waaaayy cheaper than a fistful of alkalines. So +1 on the rechargeables.

For an additional idea:

I use a timer on my water heater. It seems to have made a difference, not huge but noticeable. About 5-7.5% on the utility bill. Adding a blanket would improve that I'm sure, but there's not much room to spare in the closet where it lives.

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