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Conserving Energy in the Home

Discussion in 'Renewable Energy' started by rohto, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. rohto

    rohto New Member

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    We got our most recent energy bill, and it just seems like it is way too high for 2 people. Does anyone have any good tips on conserving energy the best way on a budget?
     
  2. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    Easy. Turn stuff off.
     
  3. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    More efficient lighting helps as does turning off lights if your not using them that alone can cut 25% off of many peoples electric usage.
    Find out what all is plugged in and using power even when it not being used.

    Take an honest look at what high power usage items you have and how often you use them.
    1 hour less a day of running the central air conditioning can save as much power as what all of the lights in a typical home would use in a typical day.

    If you have an electric water heater cutting down shower and hot water usage will make a big difference. Turning the temp down on the heater doesn't save as much energy as simply taking a short shower instead of along one or washing cloths with the cold or warm cycle.

    Also large power usage devices qualify for off peak power usage programs. If you dont already have it its worth looking into. Around here off peak rate is about 1/4 -1/3 of regular rate. Hot water heaters, electric heat and central air all qualify for being put on off peak control. It has cut some peoples electric bills by over half or more when used.:)
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. blueroomelectronics

    blueroomelectronics Well-Known Member

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    tcmtech is right, also switching to CFL lighting can certainly cut electricity costs.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. birdman0_o

    birdman0_o Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    vs.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mr RB

    Mr RB Well-Known Member

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    Lighting is typically less than 4% of a home electric bill. CFL are largely a scam given their high-cost, really poor light output and short life. Showers, washing clothes, heating, cooking are the main reasons for a high energy bill.
     
  8. rohto

    rohto New Member

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    Damn, I knew I should have traded in my admiral a while ago. Haha, thanks for the tips everyone. Never would have thought that CFL's would be a scam, but they aren't really that much more expensive than the regular light bulbs.

    I'm going to check out these peek power usage programs, seems like it could be a good way to possibly cut down a little

    If only it was that easy. I would need a master switch to my house to make sure everything was off.
     
  9. bryan1

    bryan1 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say those old fridges are no good. I got given a 40 year old fridge for free to use in my shed. I took it down to my mate who owns and runs a fridge repair business. Anyway he tested that old fridge against several newer fridges and he reckoned the ol' girl was twice as efficient as most of the others on test. I brought it home and set it up in my shed and put a power usage meter on it. In 7 days it drew 5.5Kwh. Our gas fridge gave up the ghost due to dirty gas clogging the ports and now that ol' fridge is in the house and running fine off the house array. We also have a small freezer at the moment and for comparison it draws about 8kwh a week and its 1/3 the size of the ol' girl.

    As far as cfl's being a scam we have all our lights running them and in 5-1/2 years we haven't lost one due to a blown bulb. The light output is pretty good aswell. I even use 240 volt cfl's in my shed now as all the 12 volt cfl's blew after a few months.

    Cheers Bryan
     
  10. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Sorry, you're talking complete rubbish!.

    CCFL's are reasonably priced (and often given away completely free), give good light output (although older ones take a few minutes to warm up fully) and have massively greater life expectancies than incanescent bulbs.

    I've only ever replaced ONE CCFL, and that was one of the first pair I ever bought, many years ago - and I replaced it only last year (the other one is still going strong).

    Those are all high power activites, but you only run a shower for a few minutes, lights are on for hours and hours - dropping 75% off your lighting bill makes a very significant saving.
     
  11. Mr RB

    Mr RB Well-Known Member

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    That deserves a rant. ;)

    We can't get CFL to last more than a few months, most less than that. Officially 240v here but I use lights a LOT (sometimes I'm close to nocturnal) and late at night the voltage here can measure 250v or slightly over.

    CFLs SUCK. They take minutes to get to full brightness, the light output gets painfully dim after even a short period (6 weeks?) of installation, they attract bugs like nothing else, they are harsh on the eyes for reading, and the light output is a total scam based on the printed values on the packaging.

    The CFL marked "equivalent to 100w" will not come close to the light output of a proper 100w pearl incandescent, absolute lies. That's number 1 reason I call them a scam.

    I have tried many types of CFL and I have 3 identical light stands in my living area, currently one has CFL in it (mainly used for when we go out as did I mention the light SUCKS). I have tested the "100w equivalent" and they make the same quality light output as a 40w pearl incandescent when new, then less than a 40w pearl as the CFL ages over a few weeks.

    And they won't drop 75% of the light portion of the bill, simply because they don't come close to the light output that they are supposed to you need to use larger or more CFL to light the room. And the biggest scam of all, they are sold as "cost effective" because after X years they will save enough power to justify the high purchase costs, but they never last more than weeks. So you never achieve the cost savings.

    Environmentally they are a disaster; much higher purchase and disposal costs, heavy metals used in manufacturing, short life and a lot of toxins released into your air when they fail and the semis and or the caps fail they smoke up and stink up your living area. when I open them they are full of terrible solder joints, bulged caps, cooked PCB tracks, and inverter components that are very minimally rated and never designed to last more than a couple of months. They are nasty garbage made at the lowest possible cost for a captive market propped up by forced sales from an immoral and inneffective law.

    It's a total scam, the commercial interests have lobbied immorally to make this a law, guaranteeing their sales figures for a substandard product that has never lived up to expectations. Household (domestic) electricity use is only about 5% of total nationwide electric use, and lighting is only a few percent of household electric use whether you believe it or not. So domestic lighting is a VERY small portion of the nations electric usage. Add in the environmental costs of CFL manufacture and disposal and the law inflated price and they are a definite negative. If you want to save the nation's energy then get people to take shorter showers, or wash your clothes in cold water.

    People in 120v countries might get better life from their CFLs, or maybe if you live in a cold area they might last longer. But do some impartial side by side tests with incandescents and the light output just doesn't cut it.

    I know in Australia we get a lot of dodgy Chinese imports that may not match the quality of proper tested certified CFLs etc, but nobody pays twice the price for brandname bulbs when the next shelf has 1/2 price bulbs. And definitely if you live where its hot, and 250v all night long, and use lights all night long, they just SUCK. People have been brainwashed into thinking CFLs are good but the reality HAS proved very different. The garbage CFLs we get here are gonna get to England and USA soon, mark my words.
     
  12. bryan1

    bryan1 Well-Known Member

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    As I said above Roman 5-1/2 years with no blown cfl's or light dimming, I suppose the pure 240 volt sinewave voltage that comes from my Selectronic SA32 inverter might have something to do with it.....


    Oh yea our cfl's are those el cheapo one aswell....
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  13. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    In the US CFL's do not seem to be as good as the ones in the UK. At least not a few years ago.

    The first few packs I purchased were dismal both in output and life span. We tried again last year and they seem to be lasting longer.

    In my office where the light runs much of the day I have installed a 4 tube FL fixture.

    3v0
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  14. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    I suggest you sort out your duff mains then :D - no problems in the UK with CCFL's - I've only ever bought two (one of which as I mentioned has failed, but after MANY years). All my others have been free, I had some more free ones arrive in the post the other week.
     
  15. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I ve never had much problems with the CFL's around here. I have several that have been working on a photo sensor controlled circuit for about 6 years running outdoors. thats about 26300 running hours on them to date!
    My in house ones are about that age as well. Line voltages here run from around 120 -127 an average.
    The brands of bulbs I have are instant on and are of equal brightness to a incandescent of rated equivalence also.
     
  16. microtexan

    microtexan New Member

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  17. transistor495

    transistor495 Member Forum Supporter

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    Regular 40W fluorescent tube using an electronic ballast is still my favorite :). More natural light. Looking on to a CFL is terrible.

    Here's a website that tells to use motion sensor activated CFL's for indoor lighting and photo-cell operated for outdoors(may not be easy to implement all)
    Saving Electricity: How to Save Electricity

    I heard old fashioned incandescent bulbs are banned in Europe. That's a good decision anyway. Wonder how they survived till now! May be because of there's no any low cost alternative.
     
  18. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    No, that's totally untrue - in Europe the news services said that they are banned in Australia :D
     
  19. Preher TV

    Preher TV Member

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    man I guess I am lucky, my CFLs last a long time, I have only replaced 2 since I replaced all the incandescent bulbs in my house with CFLs 2.5 years ago. They have great light output. Know one in my house had ever noticed a difference when I changed them out, my wifes only complaint is now most of the diffusers won't fit onto the light kits with the CFL bulbs, pretty ugly , but efficiency is more important than being aesthetic.

    CFLs are not some mysterious new light source people have been tricked into buying, they are old news. And it is fact they are more efficient, they have a higher lumen output per watt than an incandescent it's a fact, incadescent bulbs are better heaters than lights.CFLs are more efficient If you don't buy the cheapest crappiest ones you can find at the 99 cent store, same goes for most things, you get what you pay for.

    To each his own but I like my CFLs and look forward to replacing them with LED lighting in the future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  20. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I'm looking forward to when the 200 Watt driven (1000 watt equivalent) CFL's get down to a more reasonable price! I may even give the metal halides in the shop the boot then!
    My 78 watt CFL (350 equivalent) one is super!
     
  21. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Two in 2.5 years is really bad - I've replaced one, and that was over ten years old.
     

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