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You can save money on your energy bills at home and at work. The mission of the Energy Boomer Blog is to help folks save money on their energy bills.
Articles: 1, 2
7 Exercises to Get Your Home in Shape for Summer
Some of folks are sweating it out in the gym, trying to get in shape for that trip to the beach. As the weather is getting warmer, it is also a good time to get your house in shape for the summer cooling season. There are exercises you can do to conserve energy and improve the efficiency of your home air conditioning. By following this exercise program, your house will be in better shape to handle those hot, humid days without putting an extra burden on your energy bill. Exercise One Set your thermostat to a higher temperature in the summer. 76 is good, 78 is better. Consider installing a programable thermostat. This is a great way to match the cooling needs of your home to your personal schedule. They typically offer savings of 10%???15% without compromising personal comfort. Exercise Two Replace filters on your air conditioner. For homes with central air, it is important to change the filter before the start of the cooling season and on a monthly basis the...
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Protect Your Money with LifeLock
This is not about saving money on utility bills. It is about protecting your money. Have you ever goggled your own name just to see what is out there about you? If you are active on the internet, you might be surprised how much information about you is available. A simple search of the internet turned up more information about me than I expected. I recommend that you set up a Goggle Alert for your name. That way you will receive an email whenever your name shows up on the internet. There is a link at the bottom of the Goggle Blog Search results page to set one up. I found out that anyone could find my full name, address and telephone numbers very easily. If they had a credit card receipt with an account number, they might be able to do some real damage to my bank accounts. The more business that I do online the higher the risk becomes. I frequently use a credit card to buy things on the internet. The more transactions I do this way the more likely that my credit account infor...
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SAVE TIME AND MONEY DRYING LAUNDRY WITH FREE AIR
As some of you know, I have been permanently band from using the laundry machines in our house. Because of my exile from the laundry room, I have no first hand knowledge about what goes on in there these days. But, from my bachelor days of washing my own clothes and uniforms, I do remember the frustration of the dryer taking too long to do its job. Dryers cause wasted time because they take so much longer to do their job than the washing machine does. I know homemakers are the all time champions of multi-tasking, but it sure would be great if the washer and dryer finished at the same time. I know two ways folks help the dryer keep up pace with the washing machine. The First one is to add a spinner to your list of power tools in the laundry room. Wet clothes are taken out of the washer and put in a spinner that spins them at very high speed to get more water out than the washing machine spin cycle does. Pre-spinning the wet cloths ...
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SAVE MONEY HEATING WITH WOOD
My thanks go out to Kathy S. for sending me question on the economics of spending some big money on a wood burning stove. She has been heating her home with Heating Oil and thought she could save by burning wood instead. It was a good question because she sent along some data for me to work with. With the increase in all oil prices folks are looking at alternatives for next winter. A while back, I posted a chart that showed a comparison of Propane, Heating Oil and Electric for home heating. Follow this link to see the chart. WHEN SHOULD I SWITCH FROM PROPANE TO ELECTRIC HEAT? Using wood, as a home heating fuel, makes it a little harder calculate the factors involved. I had to do some engineering estimating with the help of reference books. If the wood is dry, that is not more than 20% moisture content, can be burned with an efficiency of about 55% in a stove. I used 20 million BTUs per cord as kind of an average number for firewood. The harder the wood the hi...
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HOW HYPERMILING AND HYBRIDS SAVE MONEY
Hypermiling is the new buzzword for folks who use some unusual driving techniques to maximize their miles per gallon. It has reached almost cult status among some groups of people. It is not new but the high cost of fuel has made hypermiling more popular. High mileage scores have become bragging points in some circles. The methods used range from the mild and safe to the wild and dangerous. Some methods that I recommend include coasting up to traffic lights. Driving the speed limit or slower, and shutting off the engine while standing still. Some folks are very competitive about this and set up a planned route that they and their friends drive on to see who can get the best mileage score. The best driver with a Hybrid car usually wins. Some special instruments are needed including a gauge that gives you real time miles per gallon and one that totals your miles and fuel use for a trip. See my post on the ScanGauge II for more on this. SAVE MONEY USING A SCANGAUGE I do NOT reco...
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Gas Money Saving Lessons from a Professional Driver
A couple of years ago I fell on the basement stairs and broke my right ankle. I had to wear a special strap on boot cast for six weeks while it healed. Within a matter of days, I had to stand up on crutches to give my daughter away at her wedding. My doctor vehemently ordered me not to drive. The bulky boot cast would have been in the way. I could get around at work all right with crutches but no driving. The cast made my driving more dangerous than usual. My brother in law agreed to be my driver for the six weeks in exchange for weekends off, some money and the adventure. He was a professional driver having driven taxicabs and heavy trucks during his career. I know that I am a much safer driver thanks to observing Lloyd as he chauffeured me around. As example, he almost never made a left turn. He quickly learned the roads around where I was working and planned his route to avoid left turns. He picked routes through parts of town I had never seen before, that had the f...
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Can You Save by Driving Farther for Lower Priced Gas?
A friend asked me if it was worth it to drive to a lower priced gas station even thought it was 3 miles out of his way. Here is the data we need for this story problem: • $3.599 price at nearby gas station • $3.549 price at distant gas station • 26 miles per gallon mileage • 15 gallon maximum fill up • 6 miles extra driving (3 miles to & 3 miles from low price station) After crunching the numbers, I came up with 75 cents saved on the lower priced fill up but 82 cents spent in the extra driving. That results in a net loss of 7 cents, plus the extra time it takes. Not a good deal If the price difference is bigger, the extra distance is shorter, or the number of gallons for a fill up is more you would get a slight savings. I recommend Buy gas at a gas station that is: Along your normal driving route That has a competitive price On a day the price is at its lowest Is located on the right side of the road Here are the details If there are gas stations al...
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Special Report How to Save Money on Air Conditioning
Announcing a Special Report from the Energy Boomer: How to Save Money on Air Conditioning. This 62 page money saving report is now available, exclusively to my blog readers, at a low Pre-Season Introductory price. The pre-season introductory price is for a limited time only. The price will go up when the weather gets hotter. I used this information in this report to cut my own summer time electric bill. You can too. Click the link below for more information. SPECIAL REPORT: HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON AIR CONDITIONING If you enjoyed this post, then click here to subscribe to the Energy Boomer Newsletter. Related Posts: WHY DOES MY AIR CONDITIONER MAKE SO MUCH WATER? 14 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AIR CONDITIONING BETTER MILEAGE BY BETTER DRIVING . Click here to return to Energy Boomer home page If you are interested in selling the Report as an affiliate Contact Me.
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WHAT SHOULD MY TIRE PRESSURE BE?
We all have heard that you can get better gas mileage by keeping the tires on your ride at the recommended air pressure. But, if you are like me, tire pressure checking just doesn’t get done very often during winter weather. Now that spring is providing us with some nicer days, it is time to keep the pressure up. Try remembering to check your tires every time the price of gas jumps up. Well, maybe not that often. How about once a month on the day the mortgage or rent payment is due. The problem is compressed air tries to leak out all the time. Most tires hold their air in pretty well, but many do leak some. Over time, the pressure will get lower than it should be. Driving on tire that has low pressure is like driving up and out of a pothole continuously. That uses more gas than needed and wears out your tires quickly. Both waste your money. Low tire pressure makes your car or truck more expensive to drive. You need to fix air leaks in your tires to save money at th...
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HOW DOES RECYCLING SAVE ME MONEY?
Some folks are asking the question of, “what’s in it for me when I recycle?” The truth is that recycling does not save an individual much up front money. Some folks get their cash deposit back when they turn in beverage bottles and cans on a government-mandated program. Michigan has such a program; other states like Ohio do not. We do save money when we recycle some items within our household. At our house, we save shipping boxes that might be the right size for sending stuff to the grand kids. That way we do not have to buy boxes to ship the next batch of books and stuffed animals. That saves us money and box shopping time. Who saves real money by recycling? The real savings from recycling goes to manufactures and they pass it on to their customers as lower prices. Using recycled material also lowers the stress on the environment compared to making products from raw materials. Recycling lowers the raw material and energy costs of making products so they can be sol...
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7 EASY STEPS TO PLANT A TREE
Do the earth and yourself a favor by planting a tree this weekend. Tree s grow by using energy from the sun to convert Carbon Dioxide from the air and hydrogen from water into the complex hydrocarbon structure that is wood. Trees use the magic of photosynthesis to take the CO2 from the air and release pure oxygen. I have asked college graduates to hold a heavy piece of wood and tell me where that weight of material comes from. Most do not know. The trunk of a full grown tree can weigh several hundreds of pounds, even after it is cut and dried as lumber. Almost all the dry weight of wood is carbon taken from carbon dioxide that was in the air. Location Location Location Pick a location on the South or West side of your house for trees that drop their leaves. This will provide summer shade when the tree grows up. Plant evergreens to the North of your house where they don’t block the sun, but do block the cold winds. When you pick your spot think about how big your t...
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Record Energy Prices Are a Threat to Your Life Style
This week crude oil futures hit another all time high of $112 a barrel. What did not make headlines is home heating oil is also at an all time high and gasoline is up and propane is up and diesel fuel is up and jet fuel is up. Things are really looking up if you are invested in any of the above. But, for most of us, it means every thing we buy will be more expensive. Someday it may take most of your paycheck to fuel up your ride. If you buy something on the internet and have it delivered to your home, the higher cost of delivery truck fuel will make it more expensive. If the stuff you buy gets to the store by truck, the cost will be up. Air freight costs are going up too. Higher prices for diesel tractor fuel mean higher cost for farm produce. Higher prices for propane means the cost of processing farm produce will be up. Higher oil prices will drive up fertilizer cost up for the farmer also. The higher cost of growing corn means ethanol prices will be up. Oh, I al...
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Save Energy at Spring Cleaning Time
Some folks are in a spring cleaning mode. It is great to get working on our spring “to do list.” Here are a few energy related items for your list. • Take the cover off the outdoor part of your air conditioner, if you use one. • Clean all the dead leaves and grass well away from your air conditioner. Make sure there is no wind blown trash blocking the coils. • You should be able to walk completely around the outdoor part of your central air conditioner without touching any branches on bushes or shrubs. Your Air Conditioner needs to breathe fresh air for it to run at its best efficiency. Trim the bushes back now if needed. • Clean out the drain hole on your window air conditioner so the water can drain outside. • If April Showers keep you indoors, change or wash the air filter on your AC and furnace. • Dust the light bulbs to give more light. This will not save energy but, it will give you a brighter out look on a rainy day. • While you wash w...
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The Job is Not Done till the Lights are Off
Before I go to bed at night, I roam the house making sure the doors are locked and everything is switched off. I‘ll bet you switch off your TV when its job is done. At home, the toaster, the washer and the dryer shut themselves off when their job is done. But, not all appliances do that. When the cookies are baked, someone has to remember to switch off the oven. It works the same way on the job, some equipment times out and shuts itself down when the job is done. At home your microwave works that way. At work some motors and some conveyors work that way. But, most of the production equipment has to be shut off by some one who remembers that it is part of the job. When you take a break, give the electric meter a break too by switching off fans and task lights. When your job is done, at the end of your shift, switch off the equipment and lights before you head to the locker room. Turn off your computer monitor when its job is done for the day. One fan o...
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Announcing a Special Report by the Energy Boomer
I have finished writing a Special Report : How to Save Money on Air Conditioning. The Special Report will help folks keep more of their hard-earned money when hot weather arrives. Just when I thought the hard work was done, I started learning that it takes more work to set up a distribution system. The work has started to get it into the hands of folks who want to save on their hot weather electric bills. To force myself to get it done, I am announcing a pre-release date of April 12 followed by a public released date of April 26, 2008. Starting April 12, the Special Report: How to Save Money on Air Conditioning, will be offered at half price to the folks that are on my Newsletter mailing list. Yes, you can save by signing up for the free Energy Boomer Newsletter now by using this link.. How many ways do you know to reduce the amount of heat generated inside your home in the summer time? That topic is covered in one of the 9 sections in the report. The count down to...
THE ENERGY BOOMER IS ONE YEAR OLD
The Energy Boomer is celebrating its first full year of blogging. I started a year ago not knowing anything about blogs or how they work and now I feel that I have accomplished something useful. It has cost very little money to get started, but it has replaced several hobbies by swallowing up all my free time. There are now over 180 energy saving articles available with out charge for your reading pleasure. There are over 100 RSS subscribers and there are over 130 of you wonderful folks receiving a weekly newsletter. The record for one-day page views was 2,200 when my wife wrote the “Energy Lessons Learned from a Cat” article. Yes, she beat my best record. Energy Boomer has a Page Rank of 4 in a market where my competitors are huge. When it comes to web sites that are publishing energy saving information that folks can use to save money I am competing with the U. S. Department of Energy, state government web sites and web sites for some large corporatio...
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HOME BAKED ENERGY SAVINGS
This money saving tip falls in the category of small improvements, that add up over time, to save you money. Some cooks can tell when the bake goods are done just by using their sense of smell, the rest of us use a timer. If you are like most folks when you roast or bake something in the oven, you set a timer to remind yourself to check it when you expect it to be cooked. I know at our house, when the timer alarm goes off, the first reaction is to open the oven door and look at what ever is cooking. The next action is to organize a search party to find the big kitchen fork. When the long handle fork is located, the food in the oven gets poked a few times to see if it is done. This is usually followed by taking the food out of the oven for closer inspection. If the cooking directions were right, the food is done and ready to eat. The next step is to prepare the food item for serving and the very last action taken is to shut off the oven. You did remember to shut the oven off rig...
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Daylight Savings Time is not for saving energy
Daylight Saving Time was used during WWI, WWII and the 1970’s oil crisis to reduce the use of oil. It worked then, but times have changed. The energy load from air conditioners has grown to be a bigger part of the national energy pie. A reduction in energy used for lighting is more that offset by an increase in air conditioning usage when we shift our clocks to DST. When the recent extension of Daylight Saving Time was proposed, lawmakers noted; energy savings, less crime, fewer traffic fatalities, more recreation time and increased economic activity with the extra sunlight in the evening. A study of electric bills in Southern Indiana showed electric usage went up when daylight savings time was used in parts of the state where it had not been used before. It is the Economy Stupid People really do buy more goods after work when they are given more daylight to shop in. Industries that rely on evening activity such as golf and the barbecue industry benefit from daylight savings ...
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CLEAN YOUR REFRIGERATOR TO SAVE ENERGY
When I say clean your refrigerator, I am not talking about eating up all those leftovers. The part that I am talking about is the functional part on the back that is up against the wall. For some refrigerators the only time they get cleaned back there is when it is time to move or a favorite toy rolled under the beast. Clean ing the back of your refrigerator is a once a year task to keep it operating at full efficiency. The grid of small tubing attached to the back of the refrigerator is called the condenser. It is the way the machine gets rid of the heat that it removes from the food storage and beer cooler part. The object is to clean the condenser so air can flow freely around those tubes. Pet hair, dust bunnies and lint can slow down the removal of the heat making the compressor motor run more than needed. That wastes energy and your money. Here is a list of the tools you need to do a good job of it. Vacuum cleaner Duster brush or vacuum brush attachment A cotton rag or th...
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Do Not Forget To Apply for Your Energy Tax Credit
Just as I was starting to work on my income taxes, this reminder arrived from my friend and fellow energy engineer, Jim Cartwright. The Tax Credit that he speaks of is a US home energy efficiency improvement tax credit program that ended at the end of calendar year 2007. To get the tax credit you had to have spent the money and installed the energy saving hardware by December 31, 2007. Here is his note: Here is a way to save some money on your taxes along with the money you save on your home energy bills. Did you add insulation in your house last year? How about new storm doors, or new windows? Maybe a new furnace or geothermal heat pump? If so, you can reduce the amount of taxes you owe or get more money back from Uncle Sam. At my house, we put in two new energy efficient patio doors (both Pella); two new storm doors, and a 97% efficient propane furnace. The new doors have really helped cut down the cold air that was coming in. All of these improvements are a...
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Which is better Freezer Stuffing or Freezer Blocking?
I have been thinking about stuffing the empty space in freezers with jugs of water. Folks all over the internet keep saying that filling the empty space in a freezer makes it more efficient. This makes no sense to me, as an engineer! The power needed to freeze something is related only to the weight of material and the energy needed to change water into ice. The power, to keep stuff frozen, depends only on the amount of heat that sneaks into the freezer, not on what is in the freezer. The keep it cold energy does not depend on how full or empty a freezer is. It has been suggested to me, that my thinking is off. When I think freezer, I think of the chest freezer out on our back porch that has a top lid that opens for access. Most folks think of the freezer section of their stand up refrigerator that is typically located in the kitchen. If you stand in front of the monster in the kitchen, wearing your bare feet, you feel the cold air fall out of the freezer when you open the doo...
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Upgrading Your Computer to Save Energy
The folks who take care of the computers where I work my day job invaded my space and replaced my desktop computer last week. The older I get the more I hate changes that force me to cope with new stuff. I enjoy leaning new things but I hate trading the frustrations I know for a whole new set of them. After using that old computer for four years, I had finally figured out where all the keys were on the keyboard. It took a while but that old computer had learned to spell words like they should be, not the way I type them. That old computer had a monitor the size of a microwave oven with a big tower style computer. Half of my desk was used up just hosting that machine. The new unit has a much smaller computer and a space saving monitor. Together they give me much more room for piling papers on my desk. I expect that will make me much more efficient. The good news, from an energy point of view, is the new computer uses about 50% less electricity than the old one. Most of the ...
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DYNAMIC DANCING DRYER BALLS SAVE ENERGY
I have been banned from touching the laundry equipment at our house. Being off the laundry detail, I was surprised to hear that you could save energy by using dryer balls. My wife reminded me she used to throw a couple of tennis balls into our clothes dryer. She used them when she wanted to give pillows or down filled parkas a good fluffing. All that bouncing around inside the dryer drum will soften the clothes without using chemicals. Instead of chemically softening the clothes, I guess the dryer balls tenderize the clothes. Reducing the use of chemicals or dryer sheets saves money and is better for the environment. They also reduce the time it takes to dry the clothes. The dryer balls fluff and separate the pieces of laundry resulting in better air circulation. The improved air circulation around each piece of laundry reduces the drying time by as much as 25%. Shorter drying time saves on your energy bill. Wow, save on softeners and on energy a double play for ...
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Tips for Lowering Your Heat Pump's Electric Bill
In the last month, I have had a lot of discussions with my friends who are heat pump users or HVAC technicians. I have learned some information that will help you save money on your electric bill. They should run almost all the time. Heat pumps are most efficient when they run almost all the time. During the heating season if your heat pump runs essentially all the time, on the coldest day of the winter it is sized right for the job and is working efficiently. Same thing is true for cooling in the hot weather. If your heat pump runs almost all the time on the hottest day of the summer, it is not too big for the job. This may seem backward from what you were used to with a furnace or air conditioner. With a furnace or air conditioner, the less it runs the more you save. With a heat pump, the more it runs the more efficient it is. Do not set back the thermostat Do not manually set back a heat pump's thermostat at night or when you go out to work. Without a thermos...
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PLAN A GARDEN FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE
Here we are in the dark days of winter and the spring seed catalogs have started arriving. These brightly colored reminders of warm days ahead cheer me up. In our house, the arrival of the spring seed catalogs kicks off the plant selection debate. My wife tries to fill every empty space in our small garden. I try to limit the number of holes I’ll have to dig. My wife believes that no garden is complete until there is no room for weeds. We are fortunate to live in part of the world that will grow an amazing abundance of beautiful and nutritious plants. I have traveled across our great country several times. I am awed by the size of the vast farms and orchards that we have in our heartland. When I get dragged into a grocery store, I am amazed at the variety of produce. Many fresh foods travel great distances to get into our shopping cart. There are fresh vegetables from California, a thousand miles away. Plus, there are fresh berries from South America and fresh tangeri...
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Energy Lessons Learned from a Dog
By Lorraine Summers Over our married life of 38 years, we have been privileged to own four wonderful dogs. Only one of them, our Brittany named Sandy, wanted to snuggle up in bed with us. Oh, she was content to stretch out on the carpet in the same room with us, or lay on the floor in front of the fan in the summer. But, as the weather grew colder, she had two interesting traits. She loved to romp in the snow with our children, but when her feet got cold, with ice sticking to her fur, in she would come in and find a steam radiator to lie next to. Yes, in our big house up north we had a real steam heating system complete with hissing and banging radiators. It was wonderful. Sandy would stick her feet under the hot radiator until her feet had warmed up. Please do not expect her to move out of the way this was HER SPOT! On very cold nights, she would sneak over by the foot of our bed until she thought we were both asleep. Then she would put one paw tentatively on the...
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Free Report - How to Save Money on Your Next Heating Bill
This free, 17 page, report will help you save money on your next heating bill. Yes, I know there are only six more weeks of winter. But, there are things you can do NOW that will save on your next heating bill. All these money saving projects can be easily done from the inside of your home. Most of the suggested projects are no cost or low cost ideas that can be completed in an hour or less. Send me your email address and your name today so I can email you a copy of the report with no delay. The sooner you get this free report the sooner you can put it to work for you. You will receive an Email message asking you to confirm that you do want the report. Click here to return to Energy Boomer home page
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HDD and Your Heating Bill
No, HDD is not a medical condition. HDD stands for Heating Degree Days. It is a way of using a number to describe the weather conditions. Some engineers use HDD data to design heating systems to cope with the weather. I use HDD to predict how much fuel will be burned to heat buildings. The HDD for the day is calculated using 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18C) as a base temperature. The assumption is that if the outdoor temperature is 65 or higher you do not need to heat your building or home. When the outdoor temperature drops below 65, most folks will be turning their furnaces on. HDD is calculated by comparing the average temperature for the day to 65. As an example, if the average temperature for a particular day is 40 then the HDD for the day is 25 (65 – 40 = 25). Yesterday, where I live, the high was 36 and the low was 28. The average of those two numbers is 32. That gives a HDD for the day of 33 (65 – 32 = 33). The long-term average HDD for this area is 41. That me...
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SAVE ON YOUR HEATING BILL WITH YOUR ELECTRIC CLOTHES DRYER
Warning: This is for electric clothes driers only, NOT FOR GAS DRYERS The heating element in an electric dryer draws about 5,000 watts. That is about equal to 4 electric space heaters. Keeping that heat inside your home is a good thing. The normal method of venting electric dryers outdoors also pushes already heated air out of the house. That air is replaced by cold air coming in some where else. Your furnace needs to work harder to heat up that cold air. The air venting from an electric clothes dryer is warm and wet. Most of us need both more heat and more humidity inside our homes during the heating season. If your clothes dryer is located in a damp basement, you might not want to add more moisture until you get the damp basement problem fixed. If you go the quick and easy route of disconnecting the dryer vent flex duct from the outlet through the wall you need to do two things. Seal the hole in the wall to stop outside and inside air from switching places. Add...
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SAVE ENERGY BY KNOWING THE FACTORS AFFECTING HUMAN COMFORTMore articles from this author:
This Chart is to help folks be comfortable and save energy. It was written for a work setting but it applies at home too. The list might be better if “Humidity” was listed first, because it is the key to selecting the best temperature. High humidity makes high summer temperature uncomfortable. Likewise, dry air feels colder in the winter. You should target a humidity level of about 40% in your home and at work. When the humidity is higher than 40%, molds and other unhealthy things grow faster. When the humidity is lower than 20% folks complain of dried out breathing passages. What can You Do In the summer, use your air conditioner to reduce the humidity in your home or office. Keep windows and doors closed when the outdoor humidity is high. You should block the entry of humidity, even if the outdoor temperature is cooler than the indoor temperature. Let outdoor air in only when it is both dryer and cooler than indoor air. 80 degrees with 30% relative hum...
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