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Home Energy Use

Old 07-13-2012, 06:42 AM
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Default Home Energy Use

Ok, so it is summer and Florida is hot. My electric bills are going up and I want to know what devices in the house use the most electricity. I am not talking about a coffee maker.

So there are whole house energy montioring products. Has anyone used any of these. They are only like $100 and seem worth the money to ID the big users of electric. Here are some examples:
http://www.bluelineinnovations.com/
http://www.efergy.us/

Does anyone have an experience with things like this? My plan is to turn various things on and off to see what the power usage is. Examples are A/C, pool pump, stove, water heater, fans, lights, etc. Will this give me the info I am looking for?
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:46 AM
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I don't think you need that - Here is my opinion for what its worth
AC- biggest user - get digital thermostat set to raise temp in house to 81-82 during day when not home
Fridge - not much you can do...
Pool Pump - only needs to run enough to cycle water 1 time per day so look at pump and do calc.
replace your light bulbs and turn stuff off you are not using.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:52 AM
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Hair dryer direct short
Electric oven direct short
Electric cook top direct short
Coffee pot direct short
Auto dish washer set on dry direct short

The heating elements in these appliances are a controled short to produce the appropriate amount of heat for the application. This draws allot of wattage.

Count watts on all of your appliances and add them up. How much can you do without? Lose the hair dryer, lose the dish washer, lose the electric oven, brew coffee in old gas operated perculator, hot water heater and you save money.


http://www.energysavers.gov/your_hom...mytopic=10040/

Last edited by alligatorgar; 07-13-2012 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:56 AM
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This is what you need to know.

HVAC consumes 50-60% of your energy (can be higher depending on the home and lifestyle)
Next biggie is your hot water heater.
Lights, coffee makers, tv's are all small electric users now days.

Since I renovated this house, I haven't had a bill over $300 but I did a lot of energy caution things to the house when I renovated. Metal Roof, Low E argon filled windows and doors, installed 2 new 15 seer variable speed hvac systems, and my pool has a control board that runs it 9 hours a day as needed.
(3200 sq ft heated and cooled single story home)
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:08 AM
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I suggest you install a hot water heater timer, Lowe's has them and they are called "Little Gray Box". It generally saves about 40-60 each month. You could also have more insulation blown into your attic space, this can save a little money. Good Luck!
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Seafox257 View Post
I suggest you install a hot water heater timer, Lowe's has them and they are called "Little Gray Box". It generally saves about 40-60 each month. You could also have more insulation blown into your attic space, this can save a little money. Good Luck!
Have you used one? They are great if you know when you will be home. But what happens on the day you are vacation or the kids are sick and someone stays home and the wife calls botching cause there is no hot water?

Just buy a good hot water heater. I have an 80 gallon and it is rated to cost $550-$600 annual. (50-60 a month savings and it would be free)

(I had 2 40's and swapped to 1 80 gallon)
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:30 AM
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The timers usually have a manual switch. Outside of the A/C the electric hot water heaters are the big energy gobblers.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:43 AM
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You got to start by raising the thermostat. Supposedly raising 3 degrees is something like 10-15% savings. Spending money to save money can be counterproductive if you don't do the right thing. Do the simple things first. Turn fans and lights off when you leave a room, etc.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:08 AM
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I've managed to cut my heating and cooling costs by about 11% without sacrificing comfort with one of these thermostats,http://nest.com. Besides learning your at home schedule it can sense when you are away and automatically change the thermostat to your predetermined temp like 82 degrees for cooling and 65 degrees for heating. You can also change the temp or mode from anywhere with your smart phone.

In Texas and I assume in a lot of other States you are able to shop a multitude of providers for you electricity. I typically shop the best price with a two year contract. I'm now locked in at 6.2 cents per kWh. Those that don't do this get their energy from a "default provider" and are paying around 11 cents per kWh.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by HTV View Post
I've managed to cut my heating and cooling costs by about 11% without sacrificing comfort with one of these thermostats,http://nest.com. Besides learning your at home schedule it can sense when you are away and automatically change the thermostat to your predetermined temp like 82 degrees for cooling and 65 degrees for heating. You can also change the temp or mode from anywhere with your smart phone.

In Texas and I assume in a lot of other States you are able to shop a multitude of providers for you electricity. I typically shop the best price with a two year contract. I'm now locked in at 6.2 cents per kWh. Those that don't do this get their energy from a "default provider" and are paying around 11 cents per kWh.

$250. OUCH! I guess it will pay itself off at 11% savings. I have two 3 ton units in my house so it would be $500
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:37 AM
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Agreed with all of the above, a little common sense will tell you everything you need to know.

FPL has very detailed billing usage. If yours is anything like mine, your winter bill is 50% of your summer bill. It doesn't take much to figure out that is all going straight to your air conditioning.

Take the $100 you'll save and put it towards improvements. If you are using mostly regular incandescent lighttbulbs, swap them out for CFL ($5 ea) or LED ($40 ea). You can buy a $1000 variable speed pool pump that will cut your energy usage dramatically. If your hot water heater is old, you may be able to get some savings going newer ($300) or you can install a heat pump water heater ($1000).

Insulating the house, going with a lighter roof color, replacing windows and doors (maybe ductwork) with newer... that'll be the best bang for the buck.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by TheRealMacGyver View Post
$250. OUCH! I guess it will pay itself off at 11% savings. I have two 3 ton units in my house so it would be $500
THe nest, depending what electric company you are with start looking for free ones.

I know here in Tallahassee Fl, Talquin electric got a grant is giving away 1,000 nests to their customers.

Just fyi....
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:26 AM
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Many power companies are offering to re-insulate your attic for less then $200
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:34 AM
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Icynene Insulation is the ticket for a major reduction. I just had my house sprayed with it and it made a huge difference.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by alligatorgar View Post
Hair dryer direct short
Electric oven direct short
Electric cook top direct short
Coffee pot direct short
Auto dish washer set on dry direct short

The heating elements in these appliances are a controled short to produce the appropriate amount of heat for the application. This draws allot of wattage.

Count watts on all of your appliances and add them up. How much can you do without? Lose the hair dryer, lose the dish washer, lose the electric oven, brew coffee in old gas operated perculator, hot water heater and you save money.
You don't buy watts, you buy watt-hrs. If the high-wattage appliance like a hair dryer or coffee maker only runs for a few minutes a day it won't amount to much. And a resistance heater is 100% efficient.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:33 PM
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Attic insulation and VENTILATION is a major factor. Keep your poorly insulated (R6 at best) ductwork cool.

Water heating..most timers are BS..simply insulate your heater with a separate blanket, and set the water temp lower if you have enough storage capacity. Water heating is a straightline function..the ONLY savings is preventing loss from storage.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Attic insulation and VENTILATION is a major factor. Keep your poorly insulated (R6 at best) ductwork cool.

Water heating..most timers are BS..simply insulate your heater with a separate blanket, and set the water temp lower if you have enough storage capacity. Water heating is a straightline function..the ONLY savings is preventing loss from storage.

Bill, et al... with flexduct running above the general level of the attic insulation, and with a HWH sitting tall in the attic, do you know of any tricks to both spray more insulation into the attic while containing that insulation around the raised flexduct?
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
Bill, et al... with flexduct running above the general level of the attic insulation, and with a HWH sitting tall in the attic, do you know of any tricks to both spray more insulation into the attic while containing that insulation around the raised flexduct?
The HWH in the attic is perfect..the ductwork.. only thing I've ever seen is when the blow extra insulation is to pile it up on the duct.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by drkptt View Post
You don't buy watts, you buy watt-hrs. If the high-wattage appliance like a hair dryer or coffee maker only runs for a few minutes a day it won't amount to much. And a resistance heater is 100% efficient.
Yer smoking crack buddy , GAS is way more efficient than electricity and all them little watts add up to KWH's [ that's 1000 watts per hour = 1 KWH ]
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:08 PM
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Welder, he's saying there is no efficiency loss with electric (meaning that there's no energy dissapearing up the flue). But you're right in that btu to btu dollar amount comparison gas is cheaper.
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