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Recent energy saving effort at Mo's house...

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Mo Heat, May 17, 2006.

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  1. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Here's what I've done to save a few watts.

    Replaced a bunch of incandescent bulbs with compact flourescents. A few in high usage areas.

    Actually removed a couple bulbs from circuits that have multiple bulbs that seemed unnecessary.

    Reduced the winter time thermostat setting on the natural gas forced air furnace with the help of space heaters.
    Unfortunately, one of the two space heaters I bought has already bit the dust. That was the $39 Honeywell (Kaz) 600W carbon tube radiant heater (like a quartz heater). Very disappointed at the short life of that little sucker, even though I liked the design a lot. Kind of defeats the economic advantages. I would avoid this heater if I were you. Ohters on E-pinions seem to have had similar experiences with this heater. http://tinyurl.com/rbff2

    I plan on buying one of those Kill-a-watt power measuring devices:

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/kill_a_watt_electric_usage_monitor_review
    http://tinyurl.com/sx433

    Anybody know if this thing is worth the extra money? I couldn't see much difference other than the price:

    http://tinyurl.com/pg4ts

    Neither seem to work with 220V.

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  2. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    St. Louis, Missouri
    One other thing I've done is to resign myself from grid computing. I've had two computers going for about two years doing cancer research for the Oxford computational chemistry project. In fact, I organized a team. You can join it if you like. It is called team Hunched Ellipses. Here's a link: http://tinyurl.com/gfxbs

    But for now, they'll have to go it alone. My old 700 Mhz Athlon (K2, not Athlon 64!) wasn't doing much for them anyway.

    I figure this is saving about 100 Watts x 2 computers running 24/7. Or like turning off two 100 Watt light bulbs that were on non-stop.

    I'll turn one of these back on next winter to assist in heating up Mother Mo Heat's room. But since it takes 2 times the A/C electricity to defeat the heat produced by 100W of computer CPU, we're actually saving around 300W x 2 = 600 Watts x 24 hours a day, seven days a week, when considering the A/C load in the summer equation. In the winter, it is welcome heat in one of the rooms, and like a match stick warming the planet in the other. ;)

    A little here... a little there... it all adds up...
  3. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    492
    Loc:
    Far Northern Calif. Coast
    With the help of my kill-a-watt I've reduced my elec bill to $35/month from about $50. That's with a marginal rate of 17 cents/kwh. One thing I found was that when everything was "off" in my house, I was still using 170 watts. The KAW is highly recommended, good interface.

    A note on space heaters: garage sales. There's no reason to spend more than $5-10 for a space heater. You can skip the unsafe or old ones, and you know that they are all 100% energy efficient.
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Those Athlongs do run hot. I had one here I just dissesembled it. Another thing Apple or macs, have is the deep sleep cycle
    uses about 1/3 power when not on line touch a key and you are there.
    The watt meeter looks like a great tool but for $ 100, you might be better off purchasing 1/2 cord or more of fire wood,
    which could save you more money
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    6,317
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I have been using flourescent spots for a while.
    I've noticed they take time to warm up and get brighter (initally very dim) even now when it's warm out.
    Got them at HD.
    Is this consistent with others' experience?
  6. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I don't know about the spotlights, but regular CFL bulbs take a few seconds to warm up to full brightness, as you said. But you seem to get a lot more light per watt compared to regular lightbulbs when they're up and running.
  7. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
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    824
    Avoid Home Depot lights. I purchased 2 packs of 4 (8 bulbs) of incandescent spot lights. We have track lighting that only lights our washer & dryer area when we're doing laundry so, the two bulbs are on about 1/2 hour a week. Without fail, every 2 months one burns out. That's a bulb every 4 hours of use. So, I got replacement bulbs at my local hardware store and so far have gone 8 months without needing replacement.

    I purchased compact flourescent bulbs at Home Depot, a package of 4. All 4 were dead in 8 months and wondered "So much for the money savings over incandescent". Figured maybe I need to up the quality. One of their compact bulbs was $8.00, and had a low/medium/high. Thought I'd put that in my reading light in the living room. In 5 months, it went down in ball of flame and smoke and I thought it was down right dangerous. Talking to an electrician at work, he said that's not uncommon for them to burn and smoke, but he's never seen any actually cause a fire.

    So, I never buy bulbs at Home Depot. The cheapest of the cheap take a couple minutes to warm up and shine which HD carries many of those, they usually cost around $1 each. If you pay more money you can get the instant on ones, which are bright immediately, but none of Home Depots lights have lasted me a year.
  8. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    507
    I have a lot of the HD CF bulbs around the house, in fixtures we end up leaving on a lot. they do take a minute or two to heat up, but the lights are typically on all day (kitchen, for instance).

    For stuff you want lit immediately (basement stairs, bathrooms, closets and will only have lit for a few minutes, stick with incandescents.

    I haven't had the quality issues Rhone describes (1 yr into it), but I wouldn't be surprised if they vary batch to batch.

    Steve
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