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Energy Conservation — Key Methods

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 30 Mar 2013, 19:05:10

Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Whether we are speaking domestically or abroad, or even the east and west coast of the United States, energy conservation methods vary depending on the region because the climate ranges a great deal. Of course, home owners get to see the saved money in their bank account everywhere, which is the ultimate personal benefit from saving energy. (That and the great feeling you get from cutting your global warming emissions.)

Adjust Your Thermostat Accordingly

Be Laundry Cautious

Unused Appliances

Home Insulation

Find More Energy Saving Tips


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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 15 Nov 2016, 09:41:41

Number 1 in my book no matter what climate you live in has to be insulation.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby Pops » Tue 15 Nov 2016, 10:03:26

I've read that one of the biggest consumers afer a/c and w/h is the beer fridge, 1st because it is old and inefficient and 2nd because it is in the garage.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby Pops » Tue 15 Nov 2016, 10:06:44

Use doors, don't heat/cool the whole house

Image
The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves -- in their separate, and individual capacities.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby GHung » Tue 15 Nov 2016, 11:22:06

Pops wrote:Use doors, don't heat/cool the whole house

Image


Gosh, I pretty much have it nailed, and it didn't cost any more per square foot than an average home in my area (less, actually):

Well-insulated structure designed for passive solar heating, passive cooling, and lots of thermal mass. Hydronic slab heating from wood and solar is zoned to heat only those spaces needing heat. Each zone (7 zones) has its own thermostat. Slab is insulated.

Zoned air conditioning provided with 100% surplus solar electric.

Solar hot water with days of storage.

Efficient refrigeration using solar electric.

Carefully considered "miscellaneous" loads and LED lighting.

All "entertainment" and other miscellaneous loads are wall switched. Switching loads off is habitual.

Gas (propane) cooking supplemented with induction and small electric appliances (i.e. Crockpot) when surplus solar is available.

Freezer (11 cubic foot) is solar electric, super-insulated by me.

Clothes dryer is high-efficiency propane supplemented with clothes line. Total household propane use Sept. 2015 - October2016 was 72 gallons ($133).

Dishwasher runs on solar hot water and is run when we have surplus solar electric.

Wood heat supplements/backs-up solar space and water heating in colder months. About 3 cords last year sourced from deadwood on our property.

My computers are recycled from dump with very efficient mini-ITX mainboards and DC-direct PICO power supplies; no fans, minimal passive cooling required.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 15 Nov 2016, 12:17:49

Ghung - "Slab is insulated." A truly shamefully overlooked aspect in my area: average temp 6' down: 73F. Had I ever built a house I would have done what was possible to pull the thermal line up into as much thermal mass as practical. I understood that physics more the 20 years ago.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 15 Nov 2016, 13:30:42

ROCKMAN wrote:Ghung - "Slab is insulated." A truly shamefully overlooked aspect in my area: average temp 6' down: 73F. Had I ever built a house I would have done what was possible to pull the thermal line up into as much thermal mass as practical. I understood that physics more the 20 years ago.


The place I used to work had a big workshop, half built in the mid 1970's and the other half in the 1990's. The first portion had the concrete slab on the gravle pad on the ground directly. The second portion built twenty years later had the gravle on the ground, but between the gravel and the 6" thick concrete slab they put two inches of high density insulation foam boards. In the summer on a humid day the old floor slab is coated with condensation and slick as snot on a door knob, but the insulated slab stays air temperature and doesn't collect humidity.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 15 Nov 2016, 13:58:59

Sub - Check this out...bet you get a hard-on:

http://www.monolithic.org/monolithic-op ... taly-texas

Knew an engineer that built a 3,500 sq ft home in San Antonio along this design style. Had ever major electricity use individually monitored...a wonderfully anal type. His AC bill in the very sunny and hot S Texas for the ENTIRE YEAR was less then $400. He had a large property and built 8 small single apartment units around 600 sq ft. And provided free electricity, water (had his own well), sewage and garbage service (had his own burn pit. Had such a long waiting list he was going to have his son build 10 more. And would cost verty little: the big expense was the concrerte blowing equipment. But he already had it. After that just some bar and crete. Great for rental property: somehow manage to hurt a concrete wall just troll on a patch.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 15 Nov 2016, 14:11:21

Subjectivist wrote:
ROCKMAN wrote:Ghung - "Slab is insulated." A truly shamefully overlooked aspect in my area: average temp 6' down: 73F. Had I ever built a house I would have done what was possible to pull the thermal line up into as much thermal mass as practical. I understood that physics more the 20 years ago.


The place I used to work had a big workshop, half built in the mid 1970's and the other half in the 1990's. The first portion had the concrete slab on the gravle pad on the ground directly. The second portion built twenty years later had the gravle on the ground, but between the gravel and the 6" thick concrete slab they put two inches of high density insulation foam boards. In the summer on a humid day the old floor slab is coated with condensation and slick as snot on a door knob, but the insulated slab stays air temperature and doesn't collect humidity.


Astute observation. The modern standard for energy consumption that is suitable for the Northern US states and all of Canada is the PassivHaus standard, which originated in Germany and spread throughout the EU.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/15/garden/the-passive-house-sealed-for-freshness.html

Among other things, the PassivHaus standard breaks the coupling between basement (or slab foundation) with rigid foam insulation both below and around the concrete, several inches thick. The high tech triple glazing, thick insulation, use of highly efficient modern electric heat pumps, heat recovery ventilation, and passive solar heat all amount to a residence that consumes 10% the energy of a modern code-compliant residence of the same square footage.

For warmer climates including the Southern US states and Northern Mexico, the appropriate standard IMHO is LEED Platinum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership_in_Energy_and_Environmental_Design

In either case, the use of burned wood or even pellets for heating is neither environmentally sound, healthy, or desirable. Wood heat for ornamental uses, especially outdoors, is sometimes appropriate. Wood heat in a tight modern home (even with a fresh air supply for combustion) subjects the user to carcinogenic hydrocarbons from wood smoke, compromises indoor air quality, and adds a substantial fire risk.

I recognise that wood is an appropriate fuel for those that live in the sticks and harvest from their own property. The most efficient combustion in such circumstances is the outdoor wood furnace with insulated piping to the house.

http://farbetterfarmstead.blogspot.com/2012/10/outdoor-wood-furnace.html

Once one has a highly efficient residence that uses 10% of the energy inputs of a typical residence today, adding solar PV or a wind turbine easily transforms the home into a Net Zero Energy residence. Then adding batteries to that makes it an Off-The-Grid residence.

Edit: I highly recommend the annual publication Energy Smart Homes by Taunton Publishing, which also publishes Fine Homebuilding magazine.

http://www.tauntonstore.com/energy-smart-homes-d27039.html#product-preview
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby papalegba » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 14:42:04

KaiserJeep wrote:In either case, the use of burned wood or even pellets for heating is neither environmentally sound, healthy, or desirable. Wood heat for ornamental uses, especially outdoors, is sometimes appropriate. Wood heat in a tight modern home (even with a fresh air supply for combustion) subjects the user to carcinogenic hydrocarbons from wood smoke, compromises indoor air quality, and adds a substantial fire risk.

I recognise that wood is an appropriate fuel for those that live in the sticks and harvest from their own property. The most efficient combustion in such circumstances is the outdoor wood furnace with insulated piping to the house.


Well, I live in the sticks and burn wood harvested from my own property, and live in a tight modern home with a fresh air supply for combustion. However I'm not breathing wood smoke, I'd say our indoor air quality is excellent, and while there might be a slightly higher fire risk, my modern wood stove sits in a large, slate-lined floor and wall area, and I have a steel roof. The thing is, in a super-insulated house like mine I'm not burning a lot of wood - about a cord and a half max per winter - and the stove's combustion is so efficient there's not a lot of smoke produced. The stove itself draws air from outside and we have plenty of fresh air intake. I'm able to heat my house with about a gallon of gasoline per year for my chainsaw.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby nocar » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 17:43:29

Lots of energy can be conserved by driving less. And lots of embedded energy can be saved by buying less stuff.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 18:17:24

Papa - Good job. I've often fantasized about having a greater need for heating Btu's in the winter then cooling Btu's in the summer. Always wanted a Franklin stove to play with. Once had one to play with in a S Texas deer camp during a winter weekend. Cooked the group so bad they had to open the windows.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 19:12:46

:-x pstarr - That doesn't matter to the Rockman, papa and our fellow pyromaniacs. It's all about the flames...flames....FLAMES!!!
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby papalegba » Fri 16 Dec 2016, 00:52:14

pstarr wrote:Your individual contributions to overall energy reduction is negligible.


I don't know, I burn substantially less wood than virtually all of my neighbors, and use almost no fossil fuel at all. My energy source is renewable and with thinning and selective cutting in my woodlot, a forester friend of mine figures that I have more biomass in there than when I started a little over 20 years ago. And of course, nothing touches the quality of wood heat... it just feels better.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby papalegba » Fri 16 Dec 2016, 00:55:49

ROCKMAN wrote:Papa - Good job. I've often fantasized about having a greater need for heating Btu's in the winter then cooling Btu's in the summer. Always wanted a Franklin stove to play with. Once had one to play with in a S Texas deer camp during a winter weekend. Cooked the group so bad they had to open the windows.


An old geezer who lives in the woods nearby uses an old Franklin. He's been offered more efficient stoves numerous times, but sticks with his old unit because he likes the open fire aspect of it. You can really plow through the wood with those things, but the direct radiant heat from the fire is pretty nice.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby papalegba » Fri 16 Dec 2016, 00:59:48

ROCKMAN wrote::-x pstarr - That doesn't matter to the Rockman, papa and our fellow pyromaniacs. It's all about the flames...flames....FLAMES!!!


Oh yeah! Toss on a big pitchy chunk of Douglas fir and watch that baby BURN!
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 16 Dec 2016, 01:50:17

papa - Forget Douglas. LOL. You ever burn cedar? Full of it in parts of south Texas. Grows like a weed and a very bad water thief. Burns like wood soaked in kerosene. Which is pretty close to what it is.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby papalegba » Fri 16 Dec 2016, 03:19:43

ROCKMAN wrote:papa - Forget Douglas. LOL. You ever burn cedar? Full of it in parts of south Texas. Grows like a weed and a very bad water thief. Burns like wood soaked in kerosene. Which is pretty close to what it is.


We've got western red cedar around here, and yeah, burns like crazy but not for long... too valuable to use as firewood, but I'm using old cedar shakes for kindling - gets a fire going FAST, but then you throw on big dense chunks of fir for the long hot burn.
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Re: Energy Conservation — Key Methods

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 16 Dec 2016, 11:57:35

papa - "too valuable to use as firewood". Where I owned some property cedar was so thick and worthless folks would PAY to have it bulldozed and burned. Not suitable for lumber: less then 5" diameter.
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