Everything Solar Forum

communities_1.jpg

 View Only
Expand all | Collapse all

How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

  • 1.  How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-10-2022 08:01 AM

    We have to ensure that our homes and offices are as energy efficient as possible in reducing waste of energy. With the rising increase of energy cost, it is important that we focus on energy efficiency to make sure that we benefit as much we can from energy we use. 

    Make small changes to everyday behaviour.

    • Adopt habits such as switching off lights and appliances when not in use.
    • Choose to air-dry clothes if possible, instead of using dryers.
    • Avoid leaving the heating on all day but heat rooms for a couple of hours at a time.
    • Keep doors closed to keep heat in and minimise drafts.
    • Make a habit of looking out for the most energy efficient version when replacing appliances and electronics. For example, eco kettles can keep water hotter much longer than traditional kettles.


    ------------------------------
    Felix Okene
    QA/QC Engineer
    najiteokene@gmail.com
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-11-2022 11:24 AM
    In addition to the suggestions from Felix, reduce standby electrical loss.  Cell phone and laptop chargers should be unplugged from the outlet when they are not being used.  The small box that changes from 120 VAC to the charging voltage, uses (wastes) electricity when it is plugged in, even if it is not charging the device.  To avoid crawling under furniture to get to the outlet, an extension cord or power strip can be used.
       Do you have a television that responds to a remote control?  When the TV is "off", a receiver is on (24 hours per day) waiting for you to push the remote control "on" button.  Turning the TV off by only using the remote, allows the TV to waste electricity 24 hours per day.  If the TV is plugged into a power strip with a switch, the TV and its receiver will be completely off when the power strip switch is in the off position.  Once the power strip switch is turned on, the all settings on the remote can be used.

    ------------------------------
    Stu Besnoff
    owner
    Alpine Solar Heat and Hot Water, LLC
    stu@alpineSolarheat.com
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    ASES Life Member
    Posted 03-11-2022 03:20 PM
    Edited by Mike Curran 03-11-2022 03:21 PM
      |   view attached
    @Stu Besnoff - Although I agree wall warts waste energy and disconnecting them when not in use is a good idea, when you consider that if your electric dryer runs 4 hours per week, over the course of a year that's equivalent to about 100 wall warts, you're better off concentrating on large loads like the dryer first.​  Last time ours crapped out, we never replaced it.  We have a basement we use in winter.

    ------------------------------
    Mike Curran
    Retired from (dare I say it?) Fossil Plant Mgt.
    joacchim57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-11-2022 06:02 PM
    Yes, an electric dryer should be the first target.  Evaporation works well to dry clothes.  In a small apartment, a folding clothes rack may be the best choice.  I have never lived in a house with an electric clothes dryer.

    ------------------------------
    Stu Besnoff
    owner
    Alpine Solar Heat and Hot Water, LLC
    stu@alpineSolarheat.com
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 09:50 AM
    It was several decades back, but I can remember the difference of the smell and feel of sheets dried on the line versus those of Gram's new electric dryer. No comparison!

    Jamey

    ------------------------------
    ames W. 'Jamey' Johnston
    Business Development
    Vector Structural Engineers
    Draper, Utah
    james@vectorse.com
    801-990-1775 x142
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 09:56 AM

    Stu is right.

     

    Everything we own, including clocks, tvs, alarm systems, gdos, doorbells, washer/dryer, microwave, induction cooktops, water heater, etc. use power even when "off".  We can unplug a lot of stuff, but face it, there are some items that It just doesn't make sense to disconnect. I live in a modern all electric home, and my power use between 12 midnight and 8AM is roughly 350 watts. 70 of that is my pair of Magnum inverters. The rest is phantom loads. At this level, I feel quite proud of myself, at getting it this low. If you can get below this level, then you qualify as a SUPER ENERGY SAVER for sure!!! Just thought I'd set the bar at a point where mere mortals have a chance of keeping up with me. Flame suit on!!!



    ------------------------------
    Joe Utasi
    PV Solar Consultant
    Cinci Home Solar, Keowee Home Solar, DIY Solar Helper
    joe@cincihomesolar.com
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-12-2022 01:33 PM
    Nice post Felix.  Smaller buildings, more energy walls, floors, and roofs, and incorporation of passive solar for heating as well as incorporating efficient appliances and mechanical systems mean that buildings can be powered by fewer solar panels and smaller mechanical systems and therefore cost less to operate.  Generally, they can use fewer materials if they are as small and efficient as possible.

    ------------------------------
    Debra Coleman
    Architect
    Sun Plans
    debra28@sunplans.com
    https://www.sunplans.com
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 05:45 AM
    Edited by Robert Edwards 03-14-2022 05:48 AM
    Here is some "Real World" Data. I have an emporia energy monitor, which is 16 mini CT's for individual circuits in my panel box and bigger CT's for the mains.
    For comparison to your homes energy use, my total consumption for the month was 1,323 kwh, that includes import from the grid, solar self-consumed during the day, and my battery discharge at night. I net exported 900+kWh.

    For reading the chart: 
    CT1 and CT2 are CT's on my mains. They match with 99% accuracy my power bill and my sol-ark inverter data. (-) green means I net exported for the day, red means I net imported for the day.
    (S) means that specific circuit is in my solar backup panel box. Ones without the (S) are in my main panel box.

    My "Water Heater" is a heat pump water heater, and I only have it programmed to heat 2 hours in the morning, and 2 hours in the evening. It retains enough heat that water is plenty hot for several hours. This has saved over 10kwh nearly daily, and one of the best ways to reduce energy. Stop heating water when it isn't being used! Even a $50 timer on this appliance would make a world of difference
    "Water Pump" is a 2.5hp deep well.
    "Garage" includes a deep freezer and stand up fridge in my garage.
    "Central AC" is a 3 ton unit I believe.
    "Living room" also includes all my security systems, routers, network switch, and a lot of stuff that never turns off.

    I recently put my phone/tablet chargers in my master bedroom on smart outlets that turn off at 9am and turn back on at 7pm. I can manually turn them on as well.

    In Southern Georgia, we had 12 days of below 42 degree lows, and 11 days of above 80 degree highs. Some of these swings are within the same day, so central heat at night, AC during the day. Family of 3 most of the time, some weekends my 2 older sons and their girlfriends are home as well. I'd say average family use, not trying to live off grid or be super energy efficient, but we have been more conscious of energy use after installing our solar system. If I really wanted to minimize energy use, we could dramatically cut this, but this is a good base for I believe average households. I will say my home insulation is not the best, and I plan on re-doing that this year, which I hope to significantly reduce my central AC and Heat use.

    Maybe this will help some visualize their own energy use.






    ------------------------------
    Robert Edwards
    b1edwards@bop.gov
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 10:20 AM
    Edited by william fitch 03-14-2022 10:21 AM
    Well I suppose I will chime in. I used to get tied up in knots worrying about the small "eaters". There is an awful lot of on and off if you do. Some electrical devices also like thermal stability, so constant on/off is not necessarily good for life expectancy. After decades of this "Energy watch" mindset, I found it is better and simpler to throw up a single KW of PV gening at least 1MWH a year, and not drive yourself nuts from then on. I AM NOT saying be wasteful, but there comes a point....
    Focus on the elephants.

    ------------------------------
    william fitch
    Owner
    www.WeAreSolar.com
    fcfcfc@ptd.net
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 01:58 PM
    Two things:
    1. If you are running from a battery backup system during a grid outage, it is CRITICAL to unplug all unused small chargers, because if those are the only things drawing current, that little bit of current causes the inverter to run VERY INEFFICIENTLY and draw down the batteries.
    2.  I put together a system that has a valve that can direct the dryer outflow INSIDE THE HOUSE through an extra filter box on the wall during cold weather.  This saves the heat and moisture coming from the dryer.  But I can switch the butterfly valve to direct the dryer output outside as normally during mild, warm or hot weather.  I saw this idea on youtube, but I found the pieces for my version on Amazon.  They were not advertised for this idea, but I found a plastic dryer-duct diverter box and a separate inside-the-house dryer outlet box with a built in filter.  I do notice that that filter does catch some lint that the dryer's filter let through, so that filter box IS necessary.

    ------------------------------
    Henry Stinson
    henrystinson@yahoo.com
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 02:24 PM
    Totally agree. A power outage is not the time to get in your hot tub, dry some clothes and for the hell of it, use your electric stovetop for dinner (Maybe bake a cake in the oven).
    All Winter I vent the dryer indoors. Switch to outdoors in the Summer.

    ------------------------------
    william fitch
    Owner
    www.WeAreSolar.com
    fcfcfc@ptd.net
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 02:04 PM
      |   view attached
    I am attaching a photo of my dryer-diverter-system.

    ------------------------------
    Henry Stinson
    henrystinson@yahoo.com
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 02:26 PM
    Yours is prettier than mine.

    ------------------------------
    william fitch
    Owner
    www.WeAreSolar.com
    fcfcfc@ptd.net
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 03:19 PM
    Looks like a simple but effective idea. But what about humidity buildup during the winter when the house is closed up? Do you have an ERV in the house?  I do something similar with my heat-pump water heater. Vent it into my recreation room during the summer, and out the sill during the winter. It DE-humidifies and cools the finished section of my basement.

    ------------------------------
    Joe Utasi
    PV Solar Consultant
    Cinci Home Solar, Keowee Home Solar, DIY Solar Helper
    joe@cincihomesolar.com
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    Posted 03-14-2022 04:04 PM
    No ERV.  No basement.  A.C. during summer dehumidifies the house.

    ------------------------------
    Henry Stinson
    henrystinson@yahoo.com
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: How to make your Home Energy Efficient: Part 1

    ASES Life Member
    Posted 03-15-2022 09:16 AM
    I had one of those diverters before we abandoned our electric dryer in the basement.  We also only used it in the wintertime, but our house air tended to be very dry then, so the vented dryer exhaust helped rather than hurt.


    ------------------------------
    Mike Curran
    Retired from (dare I say it?) Fossil Plant Mgt.
    joacchim57@gmail.com
    ------------------------------