COMMUNITY FORUM

Dias R

09:26AM | 10/27/99
Member Since: 10/26/99
3 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
We bought a house with no gas going to it. We need some tips on how to lower our electrical bills and make our home more electrically efficient.

CHOLE4ELECTRIC

01:50PM | 10/27/99
Member Since: 10/24/99
31 lifetime posts
Fluorescent lighting where ever possible ........
Dimmers where ever possible.....
Timeclocks where ever possible........unless you have a specific area you want information on this is about the best anybody can do for you.

TomR

12:32PM | 10/28/99
Member Since: 10/10/98
34 lifetime posts
what kind of heat do you have now?

and how old is the home.

how big is it?

Do you have oil suppliers in the neighborhood?


Brian Wood

08:58PM | 10/28/99
Dear Diaz: Install a timer on your water heater, insulate the heck out of it, turn the thermostat down to 120degs. Better still, install an electric tankless water heater, that alone, should reduce your electric bill by around 10-15%. Blow more insulation in your attic, install double glazed windows. Seal behind all electrical outlets, switches & light fixtures. Install cieling fans. You'll save so much money, the utility company will send YOU checks ) Cheers, Brian. Please contact me regarding Tankless water heaters. 800 851 9891.

Dias R

06:52AM | 11/02/99
Member Since: 10/26/99
3 lifetime posts
To TomR..
It is only 12 yrs old and it has an electrical central air unit and it is 1873 sq ft. I don't think propane or oil systems are allowed in the neighborhood but I will check on that.

TomR

03:11PM | 11/07/99
Member Since: 10/10/98
34 lifetime posts
What area of the country do you live in?

Dias R

07:35AM | 11/08/99
Member Since: 10/26/99
3 lifetime posts
TomR...We are in SouthEast Texas.

Brian Wood

03:47PM | 11/08/99
Hi Diaz: I'm your neighbour...Lake Charles. The #1 energy conservation measure you can take around our neck of the hot south, is lots' of insulation in the attic, period. Our biggest energy user is air conditioning, next, is electric water heating, then your refrigerator. So, I stand by my previous answer; insulate the heck out of your attic, do all the other things, and get rid of the electric water heater, and replace it with a tankless. I'll send you one from Lake Charles. Brian at 800 851 9891.

TomR

07:28PM | 11/08/99
Member Since: 10/10/98
34 lifetime posts
Well, first off, I don’t want to offend any of the other commentators. Their ideas are all good, but they basically derive their saving of money on electricity, by spending somewhere else. Conserving, to me, means that at the end of the day I should have more money doing something different, than doing something normal. If it costs you $800 to insulate your attic (assuming you don’t want to do it yourself), and the result is a $10/month savings, it will take you 80 months to break even on the expenditure. That’s almost 7 years!!! A tankless water heater is a consideration, but only after the one you have was ready to die.

So what can you do with what you have? Well, it is probably true that your summer heat will eat into your pocket more than other seasons. Remember, your A/C is cooling the air in your house, but sunlight will heat objects in your home, which is harder for the cold air to offset. Keep drapes closed, or plant shady trees or awnings. At least then, when you spend money, you’re getting something nice to look at as well.

Also, keep the temperature as high as you can take. If it cools off nicely in the evening, open windows and get a breeze. Closing unused rooms used to work, but many newer units work better when the whole house is being circulated. Ceiling fans are a good feature if you have them. If not, adding them becomes part of the cost/benefit equation. Cook outdoors more.

Have your A/C unit serviced regularly. Necessary evil. Badly tuned units will cost more to operate, and will fail sooner. When they go out, buy a more efficient unit. The extra investment will give a return sooner. At 12 years, your heat-pump is past it's prime. Average life expectancy for units made back then was 8-15 years. Keep the filters cleaned, and vents un-blocked. Same for winter, but there you want to keep it as cold inside as you can live with, and open drapes to the sunny side of the house.

My electric water heater runs on a special off-peak meter. The rate is about 1/3 the regular one. Find out if you have this option with your electric utility. Sometimes they will install it for free. There are rules, so don’t think you can move every appliance on this service. For one, the meter shuts off at peak times, like 1:30 - 7:30 weekdays in the summer, and 3:30 - 6:30 in winter. This is fine for a water heater since no-one is home then to use hot water, and if so, the tank is well insulated, with an extra blanket wrapped on it. If you don’t have a water heater blanked on yours, get one at a hardware store. Our water heater costs about $15.30/month to operate. We have 2 kids and a 3700sf house.

Finally, consider becoming proficient at DIY. Many of the suggestions can be carried out yourself for a fraction of the cost of professional installation. And always figure in the cost versus benefit.

I hope I was able to help.

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