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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/7/2005 8:01:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 8:01:16 AM EDT by michaelj1978]
I'm renovating the house I'll be moving into in a few months. It's a ranch home, 1 car garage with a daylight basement. About 900sqft upstairs.

I recently had new double payne windows installed that block UV and are argon filled.
I am having a 90% AC/Furnace installed next week.
I will have insulation blown in to cover the existing insulation in the attic.
There are 3 large maple trees that provide shade from about 11am-sunset.

What else can I do to make the house more efficient? Everything is gutted and all my appliances will be new and better on energy consumption than the previous ones.

I will also be installing 5 ceiling fans in the upstairs. 1 in the kitchen, 2 in the open living room, and 1 in each of the 2 bedrooms upstairs. I also have an attic fan. Is it cheaper to run the attic fan and the ceiling fans on high than to have the AC running in the evenings?

Also, who has experience with replacing the regular light bulbs with the twisted looking florecent ones? They are more expensive up front but claim to save energy and last longer. Supposed to put out the same amount of light, give off less heat and draw less power.

Finally I'll be having a gas ventless fireplace put in when the AC/Furnace are installed.


What else should I look for to save $$ in energy costs around the house?
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 8:10:03 AM EDT
I am currently looking into solar water heating.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 8:11:08 AM EDT
Buy appliances (washing machines, fridge, freezer, dish washer, etc.) that are energy efficient. Look for the energy star symbol.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 8:17:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 8:20:27 AM EDT by mr_camera_man]
Find sources of hot air inside the house such as arrogant children, and make sure that the hot air is neutralized in the summer, and put to good use in the winter.

Edit: I used to be the president of my condo association. I use those flourescent bulbs in all of the hallways. They do make a slight difference in the bills, but my main reason in getting them is that they burn out less frequently. Stock up on the 4 packs that Menards or Home Depot usually has on sale.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 8:18:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By michaelj1978:


Also, who has experience with replacing the regular light bulbs with the twisted looking florecent ones? They are more expensive up front but claim to save energy and last longer. Supposed to put out the same amount of light, give off less heat and draw less power.




I have a lot of them - good stuff.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 8:19:52 AM EDT
This one goes against conventional wisdom....

Consider using a 60-80 gallon electric water heater. Box it in and insulate it. This is key, install a 24hr timer!

We run ours from 5:30am until 8:00am and then from 4:00pm until 8:00pm. The extra insulation keeps it warm enough throughout the day for use. There is an override button to activate it to meet additional needs on weekends.

The other gain is that you do not have an open gas vent/stack drawing warm air out of the house.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 9:05:56 PM EDT
I have about 8 of those twisted light bulbs. They're not on all the time, but I've had them for about 3 years and haven't replaced the first one. I don't know if they save energy, but they last a long time.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 10:56:28 AM EDT
I would also like to look into LED lighting. Do they make them that screw in regular 110v lamps and light sockets?

Link Posted: 9/8/2005 11:09:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 11:11:50 AM EDT by nightstalker]
Tankless hot water heater. Expensive compared to tradional tank style but instant hot water saves water, (no letting the water run to warm up), and only cranks when you need it.

I've experimented with opening the house up in the morning, then closing it before the heat of the day. I also open it up again in the evening and take advantage of the cool breezes that prevail. With no attention it was getting up to outside temps (in the low 80s) and by adjusting the venting of the house I've kept that to 78 or 79 degrees. We have a good air conditioner but I hate to run it for no good reason. Also, even with the windows you could probably use some of those reflectant screens. They've worked out pretty well in some high unshaded windows in our house that are not double pane (planning on re-doing the whole room). We just cut some of the screen cloth and put it inside between the regular screen and window and you could feel a definite difference.

Sometimes you can detect some areas that need caulking fairly easily when it's cold and windy.

Link Posted: 9/8/2005 11:19:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By michaelj1978:

Also, who has experience with replacing the regular light bulbs with the twisted looking florecent ones? They are more expensive up front but claim to save energy and last longer. Supposed to put out the same amount of light, give off less heat and draw less power.

What else should I look for to save $$ in energy costs around the house?



I have those and they seem to last forever. I had them when I first moved in so I have no basis for cost comparison.

I do know that they qualify for an instant rebate from my electric company. Check EnergyStar online, they may show where you can find them at a discount.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 12:36:06 PM EDT
programmable thermostat
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 12:37:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Cleatus:
programmable thermostat



It's going to be installed with my new A/C
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:10:36 PM EDT
Second the tankless water heater.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:15:51 PM EDT
good insulation
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:17:54 PM EDT
Metal Roofing with insulation under it.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:21:35 PM EDT
Are the walls open? Sealing the outside of electrical boxes will help[ keek drafts down.plastic boxes are easier to seal, fewer holes.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:23:20 PM EDT
We just had a new house built here in TX and we had them line the underside of the roof with Tech-Shield decking. There are many varieties that you can get at placed like Home Depot and its not that expensive. Its about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick synthetic material that helps keep heat out and cold air in. In an existing home it might be a bit of a pain in the ass to install vs. brand new construction but the first time i climbed up in the attic i couldnt believe how cool it was. And this was on a 100 degree day outside. We havent had a full month on an energy bill yet so im anxious to see how it compares to people I know with similar size homes in the area. We have a 3200 sq ft home with an average pitch roofline and i figured it at around $450 to buy the material myself. But it was worth it to pay a little more for the builder to do at time of construction. Not one inch of the underside was missed either. If you have the space to move around and work in your attic (especially if you store stuff up there) I'd look into it.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 5:33:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 5:37:57 PM EDT by oscar_corgi]

Originally Posted By michaelj1978:
I'm renovating the house I'll be moving into in a few months. It's a ranch home, 1 car garage with a daylight basement. About 900sqft upstairs.

I recently had new double payne windows installed that block UV and are argon filled.
I am having a 90% AC/Furnace installed next week.
I will have insulation blown in to cover the existing insulation in the attic.
There are 3 large maple trees that provide shade from about 11am-sunset.

What else can I do to make the house more efficient? Everything is gutted and all my appliances will be new and better on energy consumption than the previous ones.

I will also be installing 5 ceiling fans in the upstairs. 1 in the kitchen, 2 in the open living room, and 1 in each of the 2 bedrooms upstairs. I also have an attic fan. Is it cheaper to run the attic fan and the ceiling fans on high than to have the AC running in the evenings?

Also, who has experience with replacing the regular light bulbs with the twisted looking florecent ones? They are more expensive up front but claim to save energy and last longer. Supposed to put out the same amount of light, give off less heat and draw less power.

Finally I'll be having a gas ventless fireplace put in when the AC/Furnace are installed.


What else should I look for to save $$ in energy costs around the house?



Some other options to consider:

1. Setback thermostats. Setback strategies (55 F, unoccupied, 68 F occupied)
2. Water heater blanket.
3. All appliances to be Energy Star rated.
4. Instead of a traditional water heater, go with a instanenous water heater.
5. More blown in or batt-type insulation in the ceiling.
6. Weatherstripping/door sweeps wherever possible.
7. Caulking throughout the exterior.
8. Passive solar hotwater heater.
9. Compact fluorescent bulbs thoughout house; I believe you have mentioned this already. Rule of thumb, if you have a 100 W incandescent bulb, you can go with 1/3 the wattage on the cf lamp.
10. Implement the power save mode (monitor & hard drive) on your computer.
11. If you have fireplace, don't use it. On an overall energy basis, fireplaces actually use more energy (e.g. stack effect). Better to have a wood-burning stove if you have it.
12. Try not to use A/C if you can avoid it, house fans whenever possible.
13. If you live in an area that has the utilities deregulated, you can shop around for the best electrical/natural gas supplier.
14. Change out of the flushometers in all the toilets. Go with a 1.6 gpf unit. Water/sewer costs money too.
15. Install low-flow shower heads (1.0 gpm).
16. Install laminar flow devices in all the faucets to reduce the volume to 1.0 gpm.

Calculate the energy indice on your home ($/sf). This will give you a good bench mark to see how you are doing compared to other homes within your region.

Good luck!
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