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Old 10-22-14, 10:53 AM   #1
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Default Energy and water saving tips?

what are your best energy and water saving tips around the home? everything makes a difference..


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Old 10-22-14, 09:49 PM   #2
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best energy saving tips: buy/upgrade/replace with LED TV, go with the latest EnergyStar mandated(approved) devices, which have a much, much lower idle(standby) power consumption, etc.

Use LED or CFL lamps if possible.

Use digital programmable thermostat for heating (incl. natural gas based appliances).

Use Delta H2)kinetic types of shower heads; low-flush toilet with highest possible MaP rating (mine is 6L flush/1.2 gal with MaP=1000gms)

and minimise car wash @ home, not to water lawn, etc.

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Old 10-22-14, 11:02 PM   #3
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Find out what are the "weak points". Usually, HVAC (and more importantly what's loading it down) is the biggest energy user and where the biggest improvements are. Insulation upgrades can make a lot of sense, as is covering unused windows with aluminum foil during the summer.

If you still have incandescent bulbs in frequent use areas, replace with CFL or LED.

Add an inline valve to your shower. Very cheap and easy to do.

Get a Kill-a-Watt or similar and check various devices. You'll find that many modern electronics use too little in standby to be worth the cost of cutting the standby, but there can be substantial savings on older ones.
To my surprise, shortly after Naomi Wu gave me a bit of fame for making good use of solar power, Allie Moore got really jealous of her...
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Old 10-23-14, 02:02 AM   #4
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Some of you might of noticed as I did that on most windy winter days & nights the stove exhaust fan can quietly howl and blow wind into the house. (warm air drifts up and out as well) It was time for me to address it and on the cheap.

My house hack was to remove the stove exhaust fan filter and replace it with a 3 layered foil faced cardboard blank, easily removable for instant enough fan use.
This will be my first Winter using this Hack.

I expect to see a small but comfortable reduction of my electric heat use threw this winter.

Last edited by ecomodded; 10-23-14 at 02:06 AM..
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Old 10-25-14, 04:08 PM   #5
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over this weekend, I have also added a smart meter power consumption monitoring device (EMU-2, by Rainforest automation) that I acquired.

the monitoring part actually gets down to 3 digit below decimal points (on a kw/hr reading), which actually allows me to read things that are a few watts.

Currently, my house consumption (it's cloudy outside even though it's 2pm, house needs lighting (CFL), etc. currently running @ 0.645kW...

Nifty little device, I'd say.

Will post pics to share later.

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Old 10-26-14, 01:23 AM   #6
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Sounds like a couple of devices I tried.

The first was something I was given. It had a clamp that was supposed to go around the incoming supply cable. It had no user interface but all the data was sent to a base station attached to a PC. It gave good information but only had 1 clamp so could only be used for a single phase supply. My home has a 3-phase supply so it was of limited use. I had it monitoring my office usage for a while, but found I wasn't getting anything out of it and now it is gathering dust on a shelf.

The second is something I got from my electricity supplier, on a 1-month trial. It had to be rented for permanent use. This monitored the light pulses from the meter. It had a nifty little display unit that gave a load of information, but limited data comms capability. That device was useful during the month I had it and I found a couple of surprising users of electricity that I was not aware of. I didn't think it was worth a monthly rental though, and I returned it at the end of the trial period.

It would be interesting to get your first impressions of your device. It would also be interesting if you could post back in 6 months time about how useful it is after the novelty has worn off.
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Old 11-01-14, 09:21 PM   #7
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Cree LED bulbs to replace our incandescents. Faucet aerators to reduce flow down to 1 gallon per minute or less. Low flow shower heads. It's simple and cheap.
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Old 11-01-14, 10:51 PM   #8
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Cheap and easy, if you have an electric hot water heater install a timer. Turns off the heater over night and when you're at work. They cost about $40, pay for themselves quickly.

Plumb gray water from your washing machine, bath tub to a french drain to keep you trees happy. A/c drains can put out 5 gallons a day, pipe it somewhere!

Kitchen foil can be used as a radiant barrier if you're willing to spend the time installing it. Use the heavy duty stuff, 125 sqft for about $7 a roll.

Caulk, window glazing, weather stripping, spray foam, and insulation are all cheap and can do wonders if you know where you need it.

Turn off ceiling fans and lights when you leave the room! I constantly find running fans in unoccupied homes. Fans only cool when you are under them, otherwise you're just wasting energy.
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Old 12-21-14, 11:20 AM   #9
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You can put a mechanical timer on almost anything you don't want running all the time.

I have a large (210 gallons) aquarium. I have it on a timer so that it only runs the lights, pumps, etc. in the evening when it's nice to look at the fish. (Don't worry, they are all carp family..)

My parents have a small pond with little waterfalls which is very nice to look at, but doesn't need that pump running 24-7 either. I set that up on a timer and it saves a HUGE amount of energy.

I also have an exhaust vent above my stove. The flap works pretty well to keep the wind out, but it is all just plain sheet metal and radiates winter cold into my house. I covered it with radiant barrier, and that made a huge difference.

I also set up a system that reuses laundry water to flush my toilet. I live where winters are fairly cold, so a gray water system for water plants outdoors would NOT work year-round. On my gray water system, everything is kept indoors until the backwater system, which is all buried (freeze-proof) pipe. Filter your Laundry Graywater with Marsh Plants!

I also helped set up a rainwater collection at my parent's house. It's used for watering the garden and fruit trees, saving electricity and wear and tear on the well pump. Rainwater Collection gets bigger, Part 2

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Old 12-24-14, 11:28 PM   #10
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I noticed the crapper would flush, fill the bowl, and keep dumping water down into the bowl for a good 20 or so seconds after the bowl had filled.
Lower toilet cycle times would be nice for 2 reasons...
1 it would use less water.
2 it would get rid of those 2 flushers that much faster.

Wanting to fix the problem without spending any money I turned to my smalls plumbing tool box. (a big tool box with the smallest sprinkler and automotive vacuum hose fittings.
I found a vacuum line reducer fitting, stuck that on the end the hose that fills the bowl to try and reduce the volume and increase back pressure to fill the bowl faster. That didn't really work that well, it only knocked a few seconds off over filling time. Then I snipped the bowl filling water line and installed a tee fitting to dump water meant for the bowl into the tank. Both the restrictor and dump tee fitting together made it happen.
That worked perfectly. Now the bowl over fills for less than 5 seconds.

When the bowl was being over filled for 20 to 30 seconds that was nearly a liter of water going down the drain each flush.

In our next house, some how my inlaws cracked a toilet tank.
I insisted on Kohler lower water use toilet or they could install it them selves which involves them paying a plumber to do it.
They got a 1.5 gallon flush Kohler and I installed it for them (really for my self, in the future).

Last edited by oil pan 4; 12-24-14 at 11:34 PM..
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