Energy efficiency and cheap builders - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 9,451
Energy efficiency and cheap builders

So far since my wife and I bought our house we have replaced the windows and glass sliders with new low E glass; weather sealed a bunch; new foam core front door; added some extra batt insulation to the attic over the insufficient blown in insulation; Replaced the washing machine, dish washer and refridgerator with energy efficient models; replaced the heat pump with a high efficiency one; and lastly replaced all the lighting with flourescent lighting.

Now the refridgerator was done immediately and the lighting was as well, and also a programable thermostat, so no idea what impact that had on electric bills, but everything else was done basically in the last 18 months. So far all of that has reduced our electric bill by around 20%. Take in to account the refridgerator, lighting and programable thermostat and it is probably more like 30% from what they would have been.

Well this is leading somewhere. I noticed a little while ago that the floor in my house's back bedrooms is colder then the rest of the floor. Well those bedrooms overhang my deck by about 2-3ft. I prey back the vent in the floor slightly and shine a flash light down. NO insulation in the cavity. The rest of the cavities might be insulated, but I doubt it since the entire floor is colder along there in both rooms.

I hate fucking cheap ass builders saving all of $50 in insulation. Damn them to hell.

SOOOO that means not only have I been hemoraging heat through there for awhile (and wondering why the heck the back bedrooms are always so much colder then the rest of the 2nd story), but it also means that to try to beat the HUGE snow storm coming I have to take off half a day of work to run out and get insulation, foam panels and vapor tape to get up there and insulate it all.

The good news is I'd be shocked if that didn't make a world of difference for comfort in those bedrooms and cut down on heating costs a lot (3/4" plywood, carpet pad and carpet together is what, R1? R1.5? Maybe R2? 40 odd sq-ft of uninsulated space).

At least it isn't going to cost much, shouldn't be more then $80 of materials and a couple hours of my time.


Other then this the only other energy efficiency project left on my house is replacing my 16yr old electric hot water heater. Its set on a 'cool' temperature of about 120F at the nearest tap to the heater. It is so past its prime though, some days the water temp is more like 110-115f, other days it is more like 130-140f. I can't even imagine how much money a $450 programable hot water heater is going to save. That's the next big project after the christmas credit card bills are over and done with.
-Matt

PS So all told with everything I have done that means something like $20-40 a month in electric bill savings and adding a lot of value to the house. The only part I am pissed about is I had to replace my heat pump because it died about 3 months before the 30% tax credit went in to effect (and it wasn't even covered under the old 10%, but it would have been under the 30%. That is about $1,000 I missed out on).

PPS Mike Holmes is my home boy.

PPPS If anyone cares it is probably averaging to around $350 a year in savings and the total cost, when you take in to account the various energy tax credits I have gotten/will get this year, has been around $5,000 not including the $4,500 on the heat pump (which HAD to be replaced). Probably at least that much added to the home value as well since it was replacing old appliances (original to the house), windows, etc. Helps we did all the work except the heat pump ourselves which probably saved $4-5k in labor costs with the windows, doors and sliders.
azazel1024 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 01:20 PM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 16,466
Send a message via AIM to budgy Send a message via MSN to budgy
Re: Energy efficiency and cheap builders

you could in the mean time put a reflective shroud around your current hot water heater. personally I think if you are gonna go to the trouble of replacing it you should maybe look at those water heating systems that just mount on the wall and forgo the tank, they are supposed to be not only more efficient but take up hardly any space.

im not particularly impressed with the build on my new place either. You can just tell that they really rushed to build this place and definitely did not do a thorough job of insulating it. first noticeable signs of this; my kitchen floor feels like in some spots it is about 10 degrees above freezing. as well as the inside of some of my kitchen cabinets and microwave. Frost building up on one of my walls in the basement and the cold air intakes.

Dead Thread Revive Cr3w

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_in_the_LBC
fucking pringle bastards.
budgy is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 02:26 PM
F1 Driver
 
chickmod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 8,626
Send a message via AIM to chickmod Send a message via Yahoo to chickmod
Re: Energy efficiency and cheap builders

This is one reason my dad found the highest rated home builder in the Houston/Texas area and only shopped for homes from them. Hopefully it pays off. Good luck with your "renovations"

2014 SR 3sGT
2015 DCB CX5GT
chickmod is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 05:03 PM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: DES PLAINES, IL
Posts: 6,480
Re: Energy efficiency and cheap builders

Well, you are not the only one that noticed "cheap builders" and effects of their work.
In the house where I live, there was no insulation between the attic and 2nd floor, so in winter times, it was super cold out there. Insulation took care of the problem. Also after remodeling the whole kitchen, we realized that there was insulation there either, just Brick, 1X2's and drywall.... so we put new 1X2's and insulation. Next thing was the windows. Since I work for company that makes their own windows, I got myself Ti-AC 36TM, Argon Gas and Triple Glass windows, eligible for Tax Credit of 15%.
windows made a difference in the world, plus my cost on them was relatively cheap.

After installation of windows, I noticed the electrical bill (heating) came down $20 a month.... so thats $240 a year... plus ill be getting a fair tax return for the windows aswell. I would say it was a really good investment, plus windows are so quiet now. Can't even hear any cars driving by on the street.

|154.7whp 159.8wtq| ON DYNODYNAMICS DYNO
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

CP-E Standback 2|BC|TRZ TRANS MOUNT|AWR 80d|AEM Uego|VTCS Removed|Exedy Stage 2 Clutch/Flywheel|BSD|MS3 CBE|F2 Header|Rotora Blanks|Axxis Ultimates Pads F+R|SS Lines|D1 SPEC|TB Bypass|2.0 Spin-on W/SP|Tein S|SPC|CAI|Kosei K1 TS|RKM STS|6K 55W HID|3K 35W HID|Indy Fogs|Tinted Tail Lights|Smoked Reflectors|Interior LED|Angel Eyes|Scangauge2|Red Calipers|35% Tints|Spoiler Lip|HD Front Lip|Grom adapt.|MS3 Shift Boot|GTSpec|
lucaspl88 is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 9,451
Re: Energy efficiency and cheap builders

[quote author=budgy link=topic=163169.msg3462787#msg3462787 date=1261160423]
you could in the mean time put a reflective shroud around your current hot water heater. personally I think if you are gonna go to the trouble of replacing it you should maybe look at those water heating systems that just mount on the wall and forgo the tank, they are supposed to be not only more efficient but take up hardly any space.

im not particularly impressed with the build on my new place either. You can just tell that they really rushed to build this place and definitely did not do a thorough job of insulating it. first noticeable signs of this; my kitchen floor feels like in some spots it is about 10 degrees above freezing. as well as the inside of some of my kitchen cabinets and microwave. Frost building up on one of my walls in the basement and the cold air intakes.
[/quote]

I'd love to, but it would require upgrading the wiring significantly. A whole house tankless would require more then the regular 240V running to it and any at the source tankless is going to require 240V to it. Just way to much work to save a bit of money. An energy efficient 55 gallon tank hot water heater (2 1/4 closed cell foam, which is what most seem to use, old ones use ~2 fiberglass at a little less then half the insulative value) doesn't disipate that much heat. By my math it only disipates something like 100-150w/hr a day if you keep your water temperature at 120F, around half what an old one would (so around 3-4kw a month in electrical savings, not much but something). So that would save a bit of power, and my old hot water heater, not accounting for age deteroriation of the cathode probably was around .90 efficiency and the ones I am looking at are .95 efficiency. So with not accounting for deteroration a new energy efficient hot water heater would probably save me 30-40kw/hr a month or around another 5-6% off my electrical bill. Of course as old as my hot water heater is those savings are probably closer to 10% off my electric bill.

The biggest savings in a tankless hot water heater is an at the source hot water heater. No wasting hot water in a bunch of pipes, and that would take a lot of rewiring of the house. Heck the run from my hot water heater to my master bath shower probably holds around 1.5 gallons of water. That means everytime I take a hot shower in the end 1.5 gallons of hot water gets wasted plus the loss in temperature of the pipes radiating that hot water.

Next house I probably won't do tankless either, but that is because I plan on doing solar hot water (and actually insulating the hot water pipes for their entire run, ding bats! What the heck is $20 in pipe insulation for a whole house???)
-Matt
azazel1024 is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 12:24 PM
Go-Kart Driver
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Boonville, MO, USA
Posts: 91
Re: Energy efficiency and cheap builders

Man, sounds like you already know everything on effecient building, why are you asking everyone else?

Stock 17's Painted Black, MS3 Rear Sway Bar, Custom Grille
05M3HB is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-21-2009, 05:33 PM
F1 Driver
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 16,466
Send a message via AIM to budgy Send a message via MSN to budgy
Re: Energy efficiency and cheap builders

i think its more a discussion thread y0.

preferably some day ill be making enough bank that I can do a whole eco-friendly house. hard to find a builder that does it properly. i wonder when they are gonna start using aerogel as insulation in houses.

Dead Thread Revive Cr3w

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_in_the_LBC
fucking pringle bastards.
budgy is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 9,451
Re: Energy efficiency and cheap builders

I've been wondering the same thing about aerogel. I'd heard about insulative drywall, but I just found these guys.

http://www.aerogel.com/Aspen_Aerogels_Insulcap.pdf

Depending on the price that is pretty sweet.

For windows, its not aerogel, but these guys have some seriously insulated windows.

http://index.seriouswindows.com/residential.html

I am planning on really looking in to them for windows for my next house as well as their insulative wallboard products.
-Matt
azazel1024 is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 9,451
Re: Energy efficiency and cheap builders

Speaking of energy efficiency. A tip on unplugging electronics.

Use a power strip and just switch it off when the electronics aren't in use or needed. Some use relatively little 'off/standby power'.

Example Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360 and PS3 all use around 1-2 watts when 'off'. The PS2 uses around 4 watts and the Wii with its Wii connect thing uses around 10 watts when 'off'. Most DVD players use 1-2 watts. TVs vary all over the map, most good ones only use 2-4 watts when off, but some models use as much as 30 watts when off!

Most DVRs use around 30-40 watts when off...exactly as much as when on (because, at least for the motorola model, they never spin down their harddrive, even when 'off' which is wasteful and stupid).

Personally I have my TV, cable modem, blu-ray player and DVR all on the same power strip and at night before bed, so long as nothing is set to DVR, I turn it off. Its only 8-10hrs a day that it is off, but everything in off/standby mode sucks a good 40-50 watts (mostly that damned DVR). That is around 500w/hr a day in savings or about about 2-5% of my electric bill depending on the time of the year (or about $2-3 a month in savings; small but not insignifcant).

If anyone cares based on some tests I was reading here is break down of 'in use' power consumption for a couple of devices

Wii - 18w
Xbox360 ~ 170w
PS3 ~ 190w
Really powerful PC ~ 200w

Playing DVDs (standard, not BR)
Xbox360 ~140w
PS3 ~ 180w
That same PC ~ 170w
DVD player ~17w (my Panasonic BR player is 22W)

That really changed my mind on wanting a PS3 to watch BR discs and for gaming. Gaming I still want it for, but damn man, I'd rather plunk the change on an actual BR player for the energy difference. That is about a $15 a year difference in electrical usage between a PS3 and a BR player if you are watching a movie a day (and a heck of a lot more if you watch a couple of movies a day). I'd rather have a dedicated BR player anyway and just have a PS3 for games.
-Matt
azazel1024 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs > Misc > Lounge

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome