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Old 07-27-2022, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default How to SUBSTANTIALLY reduce electricity use?

I'm reposting this question from the closed thread because I think it was on topic and concerns the Lakes Region due to upcoming large rate increases.

Q: What are the biggest ways we can reduce our electricity consumption substantially? I don't think that eliminating trickle charges is going to make much of a difference if the bill doubles.

My biggest dilemmas are air conditioning and dehumidifiers. I work at home and have to have a cool environment. My house is very humid in the summer. The dehumidifiers (second floor and basement) use a lot of electricity.

One solution I'm considering is using only the ground floor of my house. That way I wouldn't have to use the AC upstairs at night. I could just continue cooling the downstairs, which must be more cost effective than cooling down the very hot second floor at bedtime.
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Old 07-27-2022, 12:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailinAway View Post
I'm reposting this question from the closed thread because I think it was on topic and concerns the Lakes Region due to upcoming large rate increases.

Q: What are the biggest ways we can reduce our electricity consumption substantially? I don't think that eliminating trickle charges is going to make much of a difference if the bill doubles.

My biggest dilemmas are air conditioning and dehumidifiers. I work at home and have to have a cool environment. My house is very humid in the summer. The dehumidifiers (second floor and basement) use a lot of electricity.

One solution I'm considering is using only the ground floor of my house. That way I wouldn't have to use the AC upstairs at night. I could just continue cooling the downstairs, which must be more cost effective than cooling down the very hot second floor at bedtime.
Have you had an energy audit completed? I would absolutely suggest that, if not. Though you might not jump in to big projects, they'll give you an overall assessment of your home's energy use and ways to reduce it.

My second thought, in terms of the coolness, might be an attic fan—those are inexpensive to install and surprisingly effective and efficient.

Finally, have you thought about downsizing? You've posted a lot about repairs and needing to shave costs and all these extra floors/rooms that I can't help but ask.

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Old 07-27-2022, 01:01 PM   #3
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Default My suggestions...

1. Change ALL of your lightbulbs to LED... they even make LED replacements for the halogen bulbs in track lighting...

2. Get yourself a smart thermostat... I use a NEST and it has a great ECO mode for running the AC.

3. Get rid of all the small vampires you can... any small charger is almost always using some electricity. I have my phone/watch charger on a power strip that I turn on/off as needed. Same for my laptop.

They make wifi enabled AC units & dehumidifiers.... that will help save $$ too.


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Old 07-27-2022, 01:08 PM   #4
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There are a few key components in any household that should be examined...

1. How old is your refrigerator and how well does it seal, when closed....
2. If you have an electric dryer, how old is it...

when shopping for new appliances look at energy star ratings.

Now look at the little things:
- Replacing Light bulbs wiht LEDs
- make sure computer monitors are shut off when not in use
- ensure lights are not being left on...

There are lots of things that have been done... Over the years I have fiddled with many ideas..... the 2 key components I list above are really the two main hitters, that cost people....
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Old 07-27-2022, 02:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Have you had an energy audit completed? I would absolutely suggest that, if not. Though you might not jump in to big projects, they'll give you an overall assessment of your home's energy use and ways to reduce it.

My second thought, in terms of the coolness, might be an attic fan—those are inexpensive to install and surprisingly effective and efficient.

Finally, have you thought about downsizing? You've posted a lot about repairs and needing to shave costs and all these extra floors/rooms that I can't help but ask.

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Had a 'whole-house' fan in a previous home in the attic, and it's amazing how much hot air it will suck out of the house. This will definitely help and at a low cost.
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Old 07-27-2022, 02:48 PM   #6
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Default This is a golden oldie from Mom, circa 1950

This one is so basic that you’re going to laugh……weather permitting, use the cooler morning fresh air to cool your house by opening doors and windows, then close everything up, and let your shades, blinds, other windows/ door coverings work for you, keeping out the direct rays of the sun. We did this decades ago, pre AC, and it’s an easy fix. Our air conditioning has been on only a few times when the heat has been extreme, as in last week. BTW, it’s not like living in a cave either…you adjust to suit.
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Old 07-27-2022, 03:00 PM   #7
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I agree with the energy audit as it should give an indication of most bang for the buck on various options, and which items you can do yourself.

How do you heat water? Electric? Get a timer. Cheap and effective.
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Old 07-27-2022, 04:29 PM   #8
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Am I the only one on the planet without A/C in the home?
A squirrel cage floor fan in the great room and a fan over our bed keeps us comfy on the hottest days and nights.
If it's 90 as we pass through Meredith, it will usually be 85 when we reach home.Always cooler by the lake
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Old 07-27-2022, 04:36 PM   #9
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If you have window a/c units replace them with mini splits.

If you have the type of a/c units that roll on the floor and have a large diameter hose going out the window, replace them with regular window units or better yet, mini splits.

Why are the floor units bad you ask?

The hose that blows all the hot air out the window is the reason why.

Background:

For the purpose of this explanation, think of a "coil" as something much like your car's radiator.

An a/c system requires an evaporator coil and a condenser coil.

The evaporator coil, which is inside the house, has a fan that blows room air across it.

The evaporator coil extracts heat from the air and sends it, via refrigerant, to the condenser coil.

The condenser has a fan that blows air over it releasing the heat that came from the evaporator located inside the house.

In a mini split, traditional central air conditioning and even window units, the condenser is outside.

That means that outside air is used to extract the heat from the condenser.

So here is how the floor unit with the big hose works:

The evaporator and condenser are both in the unit.

Each has a fan.

The evaporator fan blows air from the room over the evaporator coil and gives you nice cool air out of the front of the unit.

The condenser fan blows ROOM AIR over the condenser coil extracting the heat and sending it out the window via the big hose.

If you were to put your hand over that hose outside you would feel a whole lot of air moving!

But where did that air come from?

It was drawn into your house through any gaps around the doors, windows, cellar or worst of all... your vey hot attic!

So really all the floor unit does is make the room it's in cooler at the expense of the rest of the house getting warmer.

As long as it's running, warm air is migrating across the house into the room that you intend to cool.

It needs to run a lot!
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Old 07-27-2022, 05:01 PM   #10
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An energy audit is a great idea. If you can't arrange that...

There's a doodad called Kill-A-Watt that you can plug in between something and the wall outlet. It will tell you how much electricity that thing is using. Useful for figuring out what things are costing you, and what things aren't.

Some libraries have these available if you don't want to buy one.
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Old 07-27-2022, 05:01 PM   #11
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Default Nope

Quote:
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Am I the only one on the planet without A/C in the home?
A squirrel cage floor fan in the great room and a fan over our bed keeps us comfy on the hottest days and nights.
If it's 90 as we pass through Meredith, it will usually be 85 when we reach home.Always cooler by the lake
You're in good company. Overhead fan in LR blows down in summer and up in winter with the wood stove burning. Porch off the bedroom has an overhead fan. Slider open at night with an oscillating fan in the door opening.

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Old 07-27-2022, 05:22 PM   #12
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Following up on 8gv--the same mini splits can also provide very inexpensive heat in the winter. Your electric bill will go up, but your gas or oil bill will fall by significantly more. Mitsubishi is the best brand, you may remember a thread or two on this topic
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Old 07-27-2022, 05:36 PM   #13
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Following up on 8gv--the same mini splits can also provide very inexpensive heat in the winter. Your electric bill will go up, but your gas or oil bill will fall by significantly more. Mitsubishi is the best brand, you may remember a thread or two on this topic
If someone had central air with an air handler in the attic and outdoor condenser, would they just have to swap the outdoor condenser with a heat pump to get heat out of the central air system?

Would that be electric efficient if the alternative was baseboard?

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Old 07-27-2022, 05:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Have you had an energy audit completed? I would absolutely suggest that, if not. Though you might not jump in to big projects, they'll give you an overall assessment of your home's energy use and ways to reduce it. My second thought, in terms of the coolness, might be an attic fan—those are inexpensive to install and surprisingly effective and efficient. Finally, have you thought about downsizing? You've posted a lot about repairs and needing to shave costs and all these extra floors/rooms that I can't help but ask.
Yes, I had an energy audit about 20 years ago, for heating rather than cooling. At that time, upon advice I had the insulation in the attic replaced and cracks sealed throughout the house. It was blown-in insulation. Honestly, the upstairs and attic got a lot hotter and more humid after that. For a later renovation I had the blown-in insulation in half of the attic replaced with foam panels for a cathedral ceiling (yes, used proper ventilation strips). When I got the roof replaced last year I had ridge vents installed the whole length of the roof. An attic fan is worth investigating, thanks.

Have I thought about downsizing? HA! Constantly. I want to own an energy-efficient house around 850 sq ft. Something like this: https://www.architecturaldesigns.com...e-plan-68574vr

Or: https://www.houseplans.com/plan/600-...-0-garage-4836

I've searched all over central New Hampshire and Maine and concluded that there are no newish small houses on the market. A modular house would be good.
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Old 07-27-2022, 06:00 PM   #15
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Default Agreed!

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Originally Posted by FlyingScot View Post
Following up on 8gv--the same mini splits can also provide very inexpensive heat in the winter. Your electric bill will go up, but your gas or oil bill will fall by significantly more. Mitsubishi is the best brand, you may remember a thread or two on this topic
I fully agree with you! I had a new garage / workshop built with mother in law apartment above. Decided to use Mitsubishi Hyper Heat unit installed as my primary for heating and air conditioning. Couldn’t be happier and just crazy efficient to run. Had no problem throwing heat even during the coldest days this past winter!

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Old 07-27-2022, 06:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
If someone had central air with an air handler in the attic and outdoor condenser, would they just have to swap the outdoor condenser with a heat pump to get heat out of the central air system?

Would that be electric efficient if the alternative was baseboard?

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Yes, this is possible. I did it long ago at a previous house. It was not as efficient as mini splits, but it had a pretty good ROI, at least compared to a new AC without the heat pump. At the time, heat pumps were not effective in cold weather, so the heat pumps heated the house on days that were in the 30s or better, and then the oil furnace kicked on below that.

I don't know how the numbers would work out today.
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Old 07-27-2022, 06:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Sue Doe-Nym View Post
This one is so basic that you’re going to laugh……weather permitting, use the cooler morning fresh air to cool your house by opening doors and windows, then close everything up, and let your shades, blinds, other windows/ door coverings work for you, keeping out the direct rays of the sun. We did this decades ago, pre AC, and it’s an easy fix. Our air conditioning has been on only a few times when the heat has been extreme, as in last week. BTW, it’s not like living in a cave either…you adjust to suit.
My parents also used that system in the 1950s and 60s. BUT: It always got cool at night back then, and there was nowhere near the humidity we have now. Now, there is often no "cool, fresh morning air" and opening the windows in the morning will only bring warmer, more humid air into the house.
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Old 07-27-2022, 06:19 PM   #18
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Yes, I had an energy audit about 20 years ago, for heating rather than cooling. At that time, upon advice I had the insulation in the attic replaced and cracks sealed throughout the house. It was blown-in insulation. Honestly, the upstairs and attic got a lot hotter and more humid after that. For a later renovation I had the blown-in insulation in half of the attic replaced with foam panels for a cathedral ceiling (yes, used proper ventilation strips). When I got the roof replaced last year I had ridge vents installed the whole length of the roof. An attic fan is worth investigating, thanks.

Have I thought about downsizing? HA! Constantly. I want to own an energy-efficient house around 850 sq ft. Something like this: https://www.architecturaldesigns.com...e-plan-68574vr

Or: https://www.houseplans.com/plan/600-...-0-garage-4836

I've searched all over central New Hampshire and Maine and concluded that there are no newish small houses on the market. A modular house would be good.
As the current owner of a modular that we built (knocked down the house on our property and rebuild on the same spot) , I can say when done right,,, they are outstanding and much better than what I saw local builders constructing in my area. The price was better, the quality control was better, the delivery schedule was better and we were able to design and build EXACTLY what we wanted and for far less than local builders were charging.

I was even able to dictate the materials that were used, as I wanted ZERO OSB used in my home and the local builders all said no, they chose the materials, the modular builder simply quoted me the additional cost and was happy to comply!

Compared the old 1970's house we tore down, the heating and cooling costs were immediately 1/2 and for a house that was double in size.

So for whatever all that is worth, my modular experience using APEX was great.

From a stock plan, I probably made 20+ changes to the design, moving walls, adding windows, custom features like pocket doors, and the list goes on and on and I paid not one penny for an architect, the cost to modify the floor plan/design was included.

Total cost per Sq/Ft was at the time was like $80 lower than a stick builder.

They are worth a look, but its not for everyone, its a whole lot more complex than just buying a house. But for those able to do it, there are big rewards at the end of the project!

https://www.apexhomesofpa.com/

Best of luck!

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Old 07-27-2022, 06:42 PM   #19
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I knew it was going to be an issue in the spring of 2016 when we started to ship significant amounts of LNG, so I made most of the major changes.

I average about 247 kWh per month... summer and winter are a bit higher... but fall and spring tend to be lower.
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Old 07-27-2022, 06:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by SailinAway View Post
Yes, I had an energy audit about 20 years ago, for heating rather than cooling. At that time, upon advice I had the insulation in the attic replaced and cracks sealed throughout the house. It was blown-in insulation. Honestly, the upstairs and attic got a lot hotter and more humid after that. For a later renovation I had the blown-in insulation in half of the attic replaced with foam panels for a cathedral ceiling (yes, used proper ventilation strips). When I got the roof replaced last year I had ridge vents installed the whole length of the roof. An attic fan is worth investigating, thanks.

Have I thought about downsizing? HA! Constantly. I want to own an energy-efficient house around 850 sq ft. Something like this: https://www.architecturaldesigns.com...e-plan-68574vr

Or: https://www.houseplans.com/plan/600-...-0-garage-4836

I've searched all over central New Hampshire and Maine and concluded that there are no newish small houses on the market. A modular house would be good.
20 years is a long time—I'd start with a new audit.

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Old 07-27-2022, 06:54 PM   #21
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You could be right.
Well ventilated attics shouldn't need fans - which would use electricity to operate - they should draw air from either the eave vents up and out the ridge vent... or seek humidity/temp balance with the outside through the gable vents.
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Old 07-28-2022, 06:10 PM   #22
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John, last year we were talking about the relationship (in terms of air flow) between ridge vents, gable vents, and soffit vents. I can't remember what was said. Do you recall this conversation?
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Old 07-28-2022, 08:50 PM   #23
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Yes.
Sometimes people mix the formats together and it actually diminishes the airflow.

Gable Vents in general tend to create draw from soffit vents and throw off the action of the ridge vent.
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Old 07-28-2022, 08:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
If you have window a/c units replace them with mini splits.

If you have the type of a/c units that roll on the floor and have a large diameter hose going out the window, replace them with regular window units or better yet, mini splits.

Why are the floor units bad you ask?

The hose that blows all the hot air out the window is the reason why.

Background:

For the purpose of this explanation, think of a "coil" as something much like your car's radiator.

An a/c system requires an evaporator coil and a condenser coil.

The evaporator coil, which is inside the house, has a fan that blows room air across it.

The evaporator coil extracts heat from the air and sends it, via refrigerant, to the condenser coil.

The condenser has a fan that blows air over it releasing the heat that came from the evaporator located inside the house.

In a mini split, traditional central air conditioning and even window units, the condenser is outside.

That means that outside air is used to extract the heat from the condenser.

So here is how the floor unit with the big hose works:

The evaporator and condenser are both in the unit.

Each has a fan.

The evaporator fan blows air from the room over the evaporator coil and gives you nice cool air out of the front of the unit.

The condenser fan blows ROOM AIR over the condenser coil extracting the heat and sending it out the window via the big hose.

If you were to put your hand over that hose outside you would feel a whole lot of air moving!

But where did that air come from?

It was drawn into your house through any gaps around the doors, windows, cellar or worst of all... your vey hot attic!

So really all the floor unit does is make the room it's in cooler at the expense of the rest of the house getting warmer.

As long as it's running, warm air is migrating across the house into the room that you intend to cool.

It needs to run a lot!
There are 2 types of floor units, single hose and double hose. Avoid single hose, as you say they just don't work well or efficiently. But double hose units bring in outside air in one hose, exhaust hot damp air in the other hose, so they aren't pulling air from your home and exhausting it.

I'm not saying they are as efficient as a good quality window unit, but they aren't awful.
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Old 07-28-2022, 09:03 PM   #25
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The floor models serve a different purpose.

Window units and mini-splits are stationary. Floor models were designed so that you could condition just the room you were in and move with you to another room.
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Old 07-28-2022, 09:14 PM   #26
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The floor models serve a different purpose.

Window units and mini-splits are stationary. Floor models were designed so that you could condition just the room you were in and move with you to another room.
Also a very easy install and removal. We've used them quite a bit in multiple locations.
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Old 07-29-2022, 05:53 AM   #27
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Yes.
Sometimes people mix the formats together and it actually diminishes the airflow.

Gable Vents in general tend to create draw from soffit vents and throw off the action of the ridge vent.
So what's the best way to ventilate given that I have all three? Close off the gable vents?
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Old 07-29-2022, 06:51 AM   #28
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Nothing a boat load of money can't fix...
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Old 07-29-2022, 08:08 AM   #29
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So what's the best way to ventilate given that I have all three? Close off the gable vents?
If all three lead to the same space...
It may be worth trying to close the gable vents off...
But you would need to monitor temperature and humidity for a time to determine that the soffit-ridge combination is working as designed.

If the temp or humidity rises, then something isn't right.
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Old 07-29-2022, 10:47 AM   #30
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I agree with John.

I have a temperature activated exhaust fan at one end of the attic, exhausting out the gable vent. Air is pulled in from the other gable end, you can feel the flow when the fan is running. I'm sure some air comes in the soffit vents as well, which is a good thing, you simply want that hot moist air replaced with not-quite-so-hot air. I really like the fan system, though per this thread that's one more electrical device. I can't see why having all your vents open is a bad thing unless air doesn't vacate one area or another due to short circuiting of flow.
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Old 07-29-2022, 05:38 PM   #31
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As far as attic ventilation vents go, gable end vents by themselves generally don't do what the homeowner expects. Air exchange through such vents is minimal. The best arrangement is with a ridge vent and either continuous soffit ventilation or at least vents in each soffit bay. With both ridge and soffit vents, it is generally advised to close off any gable end vents, as they interfere with draw of air in the soffit vents.

On the subject of powered attic ventilation fans, this is a good read:
https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com...tic-ventilator. In general, it isn't a good idea, and it's the wrong way to address a problem.
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Old 07-29-2022, 07:59 PM   #32
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On the subject of powered attic ventilation fans, this is a good read:
https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com...tic-ventilator. In general, it isn't a good idea, and it's the wrong way to address a problem.
Very interesting article. The comments are interesting as well---they show a lot of disagreement about results of attic fans. One interesting comment was that a hot attic isn't necessarily as bad as we think it is.
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Old 07-29-2022, 08:10 PM   #33
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It is the mixture of heat/humidity relative to the ambient air outside the attic.

If the heat/humidity in the attic is much higher than the ambient, the venting system is not functioning properly.
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Old 07-30-2022, 10:33 AM   #34
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It is the mixture of heat/humidity relative to the ambient air outside the attic.

If the heat/humidity in the attic is much higher than the ambient, the venting system is not functioning properly.
For humidity to be higher in the attic than outside most of the time, there must be a source of moisture from within that is migrating into the attic. This could be from interior moisture-producing activity (eg. showers, cooking, aquarium, laundry). It also could be from a damp basement, with air leakage migrating up to the attic through wiring penetrations in the walls and even open passages, such as around chimneys. The source of the moisture must be found and dealt with properly; attic ventilation is just the band-aid, not the solution for a humid attic.

As to attic temperature being much higher than ambient, "much" is relative. With the sun shining on the roof, the attic certainly will be substantially hotter than outside air. With proper soffit and ridge ventilation, it's the air density difference due to the temperature difference that drives ventilation air flow. Using a powered fan to ventilate a hot attic will reduce attic temperature somewhat, but that's a wasteful, less-effective, and sometimes counter-productive way to address the discomfort issue.

Besides the direct conduction of heat through an inadequately insulated attic floor, a hot attic also enhances the "stack effect" (like the draft up a chimney produced by hot combustion gases). Without good air sealing between attic and the living space, a hot attic draws some of the air flowing out the ridge vent from the living space below, and that increases leakage of hot/humid air from outside into the living space. That, in turn, produces discomfort and increases load on an AC system. Stack effect air leakage also produces discomfort in the way of cold drafty areas, or at least higher heating bills, in winter.

A good energy audit, by someone competent, is a good first start for an existing house. A blower door test with IR photography can locate sources of air leakage and even rain leaks in the roof or around windows. That's a good starting point for a thorough air sealing project, much of which can be done by the homeowner. It's the "low-hanging fruit." For a new house, it's much better to make the house well insulated, much better than "to code," and very tight, with mechanical ventilation for controllable interior air quality. Not doing so for a new house is a wasted opportunity.
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Old 07-30-2022, 10:12 PM   #35
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Much higher to me would be due to reduce air flow.
The much higher temperature creating the drafting effect...
But registering a much higher temperature over a long period of time... including early morning hours... should be a red flag that the draft is not working.

A higher than ambient humidity level over the long period also can be a red flag that the draft is not working.
It can be caused by other items, but an attic fan would not be the first plan of attack... more of a band-aid covering up a bigger problem.

But one item at a time needs to be addressed. If the draft is working correctly... then she can turn her attention to reducing humidity transmission from below - hence my focus on gutters. Charging unsealed foundation walls with wet soil is going to increase humidity in the interior.

It is a process... but one item at a time needs to be addressed.
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Old 07-31-2022, 09:42 AM   #36
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Charging unsealed foundation walls with wet soil is going to increase humidity in the interior.
Very helpful point, John. It explains the extreme humidity in my basement at times. I have spoken to my handyman about restoring the gutters.
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Old 08-02-2022, 10:27 AM   #37
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I have analyzed my appliance use and came up with the following:

Name:  Screenshot (268).jpg
Views: 1293
Size:  36.7 KB

What stands out:
  • Need to be careful with the space heater in the winter
  • Air conditioning cost can be reduced by more than 50% by not using it at night(using a fan instead). I've tried that for the last 3 nights. Not fun.
  • Water heater uses significant electricity compared to air conditioner. That's only for 1 hour a day.
  • Modem/router consumes a surprising amount of electricity. Can't really turn it off at night because the modem is downstairs but Roku nighttime TV is upstairs.
  • Refrigerator uses a surprisingly small amount of electricity compared to the top consumers. Hope I calculated it right.
  • Dehumidifier is a top consumer, but doesn't need to be used every day or all day. Once the humidity in the basement is lowered, it's good for several days to a week.
  • Other items are much smaller consumers of electricity. Every little bit helps, but, for example, changing from incandescent to LED lightbulbs isn't going to lower my electric bill significantly. LED bulbs are hard on light-sensitive eyes.

QUESTION: How can I figure out my new monthly Eversource charge using the above chart?
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Old 08-02-2022, 10:45 AM   #38
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[*]Modem/router consumes a surprising amount of electricity. Can't really turn it off at night because the modem is downstairs but Roku nighttime TV is upstairs.
There are a wide variety of automatic switches available, from very simple ones that will turn off and on the power at the wall outlet to your modem at preset times every day, to programmable via iPhone/Android. The simple ones are available at any hardware store, the complex "Smart Home" (or something like that) at Best Buy.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:18 AM   #39
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There are a wide variety of automatic switches available, from very simple ones that will turn off and on the power at the wall outlet to your modem at preset times every day, to programmable via iPhone/Android. The simple ones are available at any hardware store, the complex "Smart Home" (or something like that) at Best Buy.
I would re-visit your thoughts on LED bulbs. You save around 50 watts by replacing a 60 watt incandescent with an LED. Let's say you have 6 different lights on, some for 4-6 hours per day, some more. It's a fair amount of energy saved. I've used several brands, have found that Phillips soft white LED's have light that is very similar to incandescent, and I've never had anyone say they were hard on the eyes.
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Old 08-02-2022, 12:44 PM   #40
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I would re-visit your thoughts on LED bulbs. You save around 50 watts by replacing a 60 watt incandescent with an LED. Let's say you have 6 different lights on, some for 4-6 hours per day, some more. It's a fair amount of energy saved. I've used several brands, have found that Phillips soft white LED's have light that is very similar to incandescent, and I've never had anyone say they were hard on the eyes.
OY! My father worked for the electric company so he was hyper aware of excessive consumption and the cost of electricity. The rule in our house was, "One person, one room, one light." He would go around the house checking for violations and fine us 10 cents if we had more than one light on. I still follow this rule today.

LEDs emit an amount of blue light that is hard on the eyes, especially for older people with cataracts. I will check out the Phillips soft white bulbs, thanks.

https://www.oledworks.com/news/blog/...ght-from-leds/
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Old 08-02-2022, 12:51 PM   #41
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There is a spectrum of LED light "temperature" that is expressed with numbers.

You can compare the lights side by side and then, using the temperature number of the one you like, apply that to other lights you purchase.

Some ceiling fixtures have a small switch that allows you to choose the temperature you prefer.

That decision is made prior to installation but the switch position can be changed if you are willing to pull the fixture down to do so.

My preference is about 3,000 to 3,500 which might be described as warm white.

Up around 6,000 feels like emergency operating theatre to me.
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Old 08-02-2022, 12:54 PM   #42
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Maybe we should rig a stationary bike or treadmill to a generator system.

No lights or a/c without some cardio...
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Old 08-02-2022, 04:41 PM   #43
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OY! My father worked for the electric company so he was hyper aware of excessive consumption and the cost of electricity. The rule in our house was, "One person, one room, one light." He would go around the house checking for violations and fine us 10 cents if we had more than one light on. I still follow this rule today.

LEDs emit an amount of blue light that is hard on the eyes, especially for older people with cataracts. I will check out the Phillips soft white bulbs, thanks.

https://www.oledworks.com/news/blog/...ght-from-leds/
I use LEDs from Dollar Tree 60 watt soft whites uses 8 watts $1.25 each, they also have 40 watt bulbs for the same price.
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Old 08-02-2022, 05:30 PM   #44
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Maybe we should rig a stationary bike or treadmill to a generator system.

No lights or a/c without some cardio...
You would be amazed at how hard it is to power even a 100 watt light bulb that way for any length of time. Never mind an air conditioner.
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Old 08-02-2022, 06:14 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by SailinAway View Post
I have analyzed my appliance use and came up with the following:

Attachment 17694

What stands out:
  • Need to be careful with the space heater in the winter
  • Air conditioning cost can be reduced by more than 50% by not using it at night(using a fan instead). I've tried that for the last 3 nights. Not fun.
  • Water heater uses significant electricity compared to air conditioner. That's only for 1 hour a day.
  • Modem/router consumes a surprising amount of electricity. Can't really turn it off at night because the modem is downstairs but Roku nighttime TV is upstairs.
  • Refrigerator uses a surprisingly small amount of electricity compared to the top consumers. Hope I calculated it right.
  • Dehumidifier is a top consumer, but doesn't need to be used every day or all day. Once the humidity in the basement is lowered, it's good for several days to a week.
  • Other items are much smaller consumers of electricity. Every little bit helps, but, for example, changing from incandescent to LED lightbulbs isn't going to lower my electric bill significantly. LED bulbs are hard on light-sensitive eyes.

QUESTION: How can I figure out my new monthly Eversource charge using the above chart?
Your space heater and AC would be more intermittent than some of the other items that are used each and every day.

But for the space heater... you may want to think of an electric blanket/throw/pad.
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:16 AM   #46
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I think you've over-estimated the power draw of your router by a factor of 10. Unless the router is also serving as a hotplate there is no way it is using 120Watts.
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:45 AM   #47
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I think you've over-estimated the power draw of your router by a factor of 10. Unless the router is also serving as a hotplate there is no way it is using 120Watts.
The specs are here: https://us.comtrend.com/ar-5381u/

If I'm reading it right it says 1 amp, which would be 120 watts?
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Old 08-03-2022, 07:14 AM   #48
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The specs are here: https://us.comtrend.com/ar-5381u/

If I'm reading it right it says 1 amp, which would be 120 watts?

It's 1A at the 12VDC output from the power supply, so 12 watts. And even that is more likely a peak value and not a constant value, realistically the average power consumption of it is likely under 10 watts. Your calculation then was essentially a yearly operating cost, not a monthly one.
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:03 AM   #49
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I guess I must be in the minority. Yes I am concerned about the rate hikes but am not obsessing about it to the point I am concerned with how much my router draws.

We are finishing up a reno and moving to Gilford. Our "new to us" home will have all led lighting and Samsung split systems with LP boiler backup (hot water off the boiler). We also have 2 pellet stoves, 2 fireplaces and are looking at putting in between 50-80 400W solar panels which should offset our entire usage. We have a huge roof system with multiple planes, so covering them in solar will help.

We run our AC hard in the summer. I am a big guy and like to be cool. Our electric bill in our existing, newer home that we are leaving runs between $300-$450 depending on the season. That is with NG heat/hw, 2 mini splits, a hot tub and every light in the place always on. We do a ton of laundry, unless we are at the lake there is laundry running every day with 5 of us in the home.
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:32 AM   #50
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It's 1A at the 12VDC output from the power supply, so 12 watts. And even that is more likely a peak value and not a constant value, realistically the average power consumption of it is likely under 10 watts. Your calculation then was essentially a yearly operating cost, not a monthly one.
Thank you very much for clarifying this! I hope there are no similar errors on my list?
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:35 AM   #51
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I would still like to know how to estimate my new monthly Eversource cost for the top items on my list. If I know the kWh per month of an appliance, how can I calculate the cost?
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:45 AM   #52
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I would still like to know how to estimate my new monthly Eversource cost for the top items on my list. If I know the kWh per month of an appliance, how can I calculate the cost?
Multiply your monthly estimated usage by the fully-loaded costs. By fully-loaded, I mean taxes, other fees, etc. Your stated KwH rate for electricity supply is not the full cost of your electric service.

For example, if you estimate 400 KwH of electricity usage in a month, and your fully-loaded KwH supply charge comes out to $0.22 per Kwh then your estimated bill would be 400 * $0.22 = $88.

Conversely, if you eliminate 10 KwH of usage through various reductions, then you can estimate the savings the same way, 10 * $0.22 = $2.20 in savings.
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Old 08-03-2022, 10:57 AM   #53
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I guess I must be in the minority. Yes I am concerned about the rate hikes but am not obsessing about it to the point I am concerned with how much my router draws.

We are finishing up a reno and moving to Gilford. Our "new to us" home will have all led lighting and Samsung split systems with LP boiler backup (hot water off the boiler). We also have 2 pellet stoves, 2 fireplaces and are looking at putting in between 50-80 400W solar panels which should offset our entire usage. We have a huge roof system with multiple planes, so covering them in solar will help.

We run our AC hard in the summer. I am a big guy and like to be cool. Our electric bill in our existing, newer home that we are leaving runs between $300-$450 depending on the season. That is with NG heat/hw, 2 mini splits, a hot tub and every light in the place always on. We do a ton of laundry, unless we are at the lake there is laundry running every day with 5 of us in the home.
Sounds awesome, codeman! I hope you'll report back in a few months or a year on the minisplits and solar. Congrats on the new house
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Old 08-03-2022, 11:42 AM   #54
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Multiply your monthly estimated usage by the fully-loaded costs. By fully-loaded, I mean taxes, other fees, etc. Your stated KwH rate for electricity supply is not the full cost of your electric service.

For example, if you estimate 400 KwH of electricity usage in a month, and your fully-loaded KwH supply charge comes out to $0.22 per Kwh then your estimated bill would be 400 * $0.22 = $88.

Conversely, if you eliminate 10 KwH of usage through various reductions, then you can estimate the savings the same way, 10 * $0.22 = $2.20 in savings.
But . . . we don't have the new Eversource rates yet.
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Old 08-03-2022, 11:46 AM   #55
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But . . . we don't have the new Eversource rates yet.
I thought that was published as $0.22 for supply, but maybe I'm mistaken.


Some of the fees are not increasing, just the supply rate. It sounds like the net effect will be about a 50% increase in your overall utility bill for an average user.
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Old 08-03-2022, 12:36 PM   #56
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I thought that was published as $0.22 for supply, but maybe I'm mistaken.


Some of the fees are not increasing, just the supply rate. It sounds like the net effect will be about a 50% increase in your overall utility bill for an average user.
$.22566 is the current Eversource SUPPLY rate, up from $.11xx.

For someone using 450kwh/mth., the bill would go up ~$52.

If I didn't change to a new supplier, my highest bill last year would have been something like $250 more.

With the new supplier, that will be more like $100 more, which is better than the alternative but still blows.

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Old 08-03-2022, 02:45 PM   #57
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$.22566 is the current Eversource SUPPLY rate, up from $.11xx.
Thanks for that information and to brk-Int for his explanation. I think I have this figured out, IF the supply charge is the only rate that changes. Here's my last bill, when I used air conditioning 24 hours a day:

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Does that look about right? That's very helpful. My actual usage on my July bill was 260 kWh less than my chart estimated.
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Old 08-03-2022, 03:01 PM   #58
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Thanks for that information and to brk-Int for his explanation. I think I have this figured out, IF the supply charge is the only rate that changes. Here's my last bill, when I used air conditioning 24 hours a day:

Attachment 17703

Does that look about right? That's very helpful. My actual usage on my July bill was 260 kWh less than my chart estimated.
Our electric bill is IDENTICAL to yours—we used 456kwh from 6/16-7/18.

We're in a 2100 ft² split built in the late 1970's.

Central air, dehumidifier, electric stove, electric dryer, etc. AC set at 72° for all but while away, which was 75° and water heater set to 120°.

The three things I'm currently trying (as I type this by the lake): dehumidifier set to 60 instead of ~45, water heater set to vacation mode while away, AC set to 85 while away.

The killer for us is electric baseboard, but we've never changed for a ton of reasons. Though I think we can minimize/negate the price increases, I may look more into heating this next year.

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Old 08-03-2022, 03:23 PM   #59
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Think, that's interesting, thanks for the comparison. My house is something like 1400 square feet and I'm one person so I should be doing a lot better than you. BUT (confession) I set the AC to 64 so it's basically running all the time. On the other hand, in the winter I set the boiler to 60.

I think 60% could be OK for your humidity. It's not radically over the normal 50%.

If you have time maybe you can PM me about changing your electric supplier.
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Old 08-03-2022, 03:47 PM   #60
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Think, that's interesting, thanks for the comparison. My house is something like 1400 square feet and I'm one person so I should be doing a lot better than you. BUT (confession) I set the AC to 64 so it's basically running all the time. On the other hand, in the winter I set the boiler to 60.

I think 60% could be OK for your humidity. It's not radically over the normal 50%.

If you have time maybe you can PM me about changing your electric supplier.
As mentioned, I think the dehumidifier's sensor may be inaccurate, so 60° could potentially be closer to 50 or even lower. I'll know as soon as I walk in after this short vacation!

In terms of changing suppliers, I signed up with Direct Energy yesterday for $.16/kWh which will cut the increase in half.

I researched a bunch of suppliers and they were the best price—I did see in a place or two that customer service might not be perfect, but I'm not sure what that means in this case as, supposedly, I'll still work directly through Eversource.

I signed for 36 months, but the current offers don't have early cancellation limitations.

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Old 08-03-2022, 03:49 PM   #61
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Think, that's interesting, thanks for the comparison. My house is something like 1400 square feet and I'm one person so I should be doing a lot better than you. BUT (confession) I set the AC to 64 so it's basically running all the time. On the other hand, in the winter I set the boiler to 60.

I think 60% could be OK for your humidity. It's not radically over the normal 50%.

If you have time maybe you can PM me about changing your electric supplier.
64 is a mighty big workload for your AC--it's not a linear relationship. If you could see your way to 68 or even 66, that might be more savings than the rest of the suggestions combined
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Old 08-03-2022, 04:01 PM   #62
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SailinAway, my sister in law lived in FL for several years. She kept the AC at 76-78° but would drop it down to around 70. We went shopping once day and I bought her an oscillating fan on a stand. Used it on low only thermostat back up to 75 or so. Fan moved the air around and the AC took ot most of the humidity.

No AC at my house now. If it's humid, I put my fan in the opening on low at night and usually manage to get a good night's sleep.

Keep the AC set high and just use a fan to move the air.

Dave

PS Wintertime: sweaters/ swearshirts and a lap blanket help with the heat.
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Old 08-03-2022, 05:24 PM   #63
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Think, that's interesting, thanks for the comparison. My house is something like 1400 square feet and I'm one person so I should be doing a lot better than you. BUT (confession) I set the AC to 64 so it's basically running all the time. On the other hand, in the winter I set the boiler to 60.

I think 60% could be OK for your humidity. It's not radically over the normal 50%.

If you have time maybe you can PM me about changing your electric supplier.
If you run it that cold the equipment better be right.

Have your evaporator and condensor coils been cleaned lately?

Is the blower clean?
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:04 PM   #64
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SailinAway, my sister in law lived in FL for several years. She kept the AC at 76-78° but would drop it down to around 70. We went shopping once day and I bought her an oscillating fan on a stand. Used it on low only thermostat back up to 75 or so. Fan moved the air around and the AC took ot most of the humidity.

No AC at my house now. If it's humid, I put my fan in the opening on low at night and usually manage to get a good night's sleep.

Keep the AC set high and just use a fan to move the air.

Dave

PS Wintertime: sweaters/ swearshirts and a lap blanket help with the heat.
Dave, you're right about this. I did an experiment last week and slept 3 nights without the AC and just used a tiny fan on the nightstand. I was surprised that I survived the night. A fan really does make a big difference, even a small one.

Now fellas, stop telling me to put on a sweater. I can figure that out!
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:29 PM   #65
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Dave, you're right about this. I did an experiment last week and slept 3 nights without the AC and just used a tiny fan on the nightstand. I was surprised that I survived the night. A fan really does make a big difference, even a small one.

Now fellas, stop telling me to put on a sweater. I can figure that out!
I'm qualified to tell you to put on a sweater. My wife would wear a sweater in an oven set on broil.

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Old 08-04-2022, 08:57 AM   #66
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Default Exhaust fan

Our camp has no AC and no insulation, so on hot days the temperature is the same inside and out. We have a large window fan installed in the living room. At night, I close all the windows except the one in the bedroom and in the bathroom and set the window fan on exhaust. It pulls a nice breeze through the cottage. Even when it was 90+ during the day, I was able to sleep with a light blanket at night. I'm the type who keeps the house at 65 during the day in winter and 60 at night, so I am not a fan of super hot weather. The exhaust fan works! I believe we ordered it from Sears. It fits the lower sash of our front window.

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Old 08-04-2022, 09:27 AM   #67
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If you run it that cold the equipment better be right.

Have your evaporator and condensor coils been cleaned lately?

Is the blower clean?
I honestly feel that today's throwaway air conditioners are not worth paying to get them maintained. They last me about 3 years. My original unit lasted 20 years with no maintenance.
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Old 08-04-2022, 09:45 PM   #68
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My remarks were made assuming you have a central air system.

Portable window and floor units have filters that need periodic cleaning.
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Old 08-06-2022, 05:55 AM   #69
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Update: after 4 days away, we came back and, set at 60% humidity, the basement smelled a tad musty. I've moved it to 50, so we'll see what happens there. Maybe the sensor isn't so inaccurate after all.

We had turned the AC up to 85, which actually wasn't terrible in the house since the humidity had still been removed. It did take a while to cool down to 75, though, so I'm wondering how long it has to be set at 85 to save money when "catching up" on our return home. I have to think having it set at 85 for the days it was 95+ saved us a few bucks.

I've got the AC set to 74 right now—we tried 75, but that was just a tad warm. 72 was cool enough to need blankets, so I'm thinking 74 will be fine and save us some moolah.

I wish I could have tested the water heater temp when we returned (after putting it on vacation mode). The tank, 50 gallons, is in a well-insulated closet, so I don't think there's much standby loss at all. I did turn on "energy saver" mode, though, which is supposed to tailor itself to our water use habits.

The last thing I've been thinking about is the dryer and cooking. We can easily do more grilling and use smaller burners when cooking, but I don't see much of an alternative to drying clothes—given its location, it would be a pain to hang outside and hanging inside would increase humidity that the dehumidifier would have to pull out...though now that I think about it, my washer has an extra spin mode that might help. It's a Speed Queen, which is so powerful it'll spin those things almost dry on its own. To the basement!

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Old 08-06-2022, 07:58 AM   #70
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Update: after 4 days away, we came back and, set at 60% humidity, the basement smelled a tad musty. I've moved it to 50, so we'll see what happens there. Maybe the sensor isn't so inaccurate after all.

We had turned the AC up to 85, which actually wasn't terrible in the house since the humidity had still been removed. It did take a while to cool down to 75, though, so I'm wondering how long it has to be set at 85 to save money when "catching up" on our return home. I have to think having it set at 85 for the days it was 95+ saved us a few bucks.

I've got the AC set to 74 right now—we tried 75, but that was just a tad warm. 72 was cool enough to need blankets, so I'm thinking 74 will be fine and save us some moolah.

I wish I could have tested the water heater temp when we returned (after putting it on vacation mode). The tank, 50 gallons, is in a well-insulated closet, so I don't think there's much standby loss at all. I did turn on "energy saver" mode, though, which is supposed to tailor itself to our water use habits.

The last thing I've been thinking about is the dryer and cooking. We can easily do more grilling and use smaller burners when cooking, but I don't see much of an alternative to drying clothes—given its location, it would be a pain to hang outside and hanging inside would increase humidity that the dehumidifier would have to pull out...though now that I think about it, my washer has an extra spin mode that might help. It's a Speed Queen, which is so powerful it'll spin those things almost dry on its own. To the basement!

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If it's just the humidity while you're away, maybe a dehumidifer would be more effective and cheaper to operate? We have this one pumping into a sink, works incredibly well

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-06-2022, 08:08 AM   #71
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Think, sorry you've fallen on hard times and have to count pennies like this. ;-(

An alternative for the dryer is to dry your clothes outdoors until they're almost dry and finish them in the dryer for 10 minutes. That will soften them and take out the wrinkles. It's definitely labor intensive. In the winter you can do the same but indoors, which will add needed humidity but be labor intensive and not improve your interior decoration.

For the AC, why blankets? Use a sheet and a fan and turn up the AC a few more degrees.

Don't forget to recycle the water from the dehumidifier while you're on this conservation kick. My basement is very humid and I'm finding it does not need to be dehumidified every day. Maybe once or twice a week. Open the basement door on the rare dry day.
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Old 08-06-2022, 08:15 AM   #72
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If it's just the humidity while you're away, maybe a dehumidifer would be more effective and cheaper to operate?
Bearing in mind that a dehumidifier used in the living space will add heat. My 6000 BTU AC uses .6 kWh per hour and the dehumidifier uses .4. I don't know if there is an increased risk of overheating and fire with a dehumidifier that runs all the time versus the cycling of an air conditioner. I'm never comfortable leaving things on when I'm traveling. I'd rather be safe than save a few dollars.
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Old 08-06-2022, 08:31 AM   #73
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Think, sorry you've fallen on hard times and have to count pennies like this. ;-(

An alternative for the dryer is to dry your clothes outdoors until they're almost dry and finish them in the dryer for 10 minutes. That will soften them and take out the wrinkles. It's definitely labor intensive. In the winter you can do the same but indoors, which will add needed humidity but be labor intensive and not improve your interior decoration.

For the AC, why blankets? Use a sheet and a fan and turn up the AC a few more degrees.

Don't forget to recycle the water from the dehumidifier while you're on this conservation kick. My basement is very humid and I'm finding it does not need to be dehumidified every day. Maybe once or twice a week. Open the basement door on the rare dry day.
Hahahaha! Absolutely not hard times, but definitely my selectively cheap side (as I mentioned in our PMs).

I've got a tight financial plan—the only way to afford camp, toys, etc. on teachers' salaries—so this is just finding ways to mitigate the increase in electric costs.

Talking to a solar guy Tuesday and heating guy soon...

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Old 08-06-2022, 09:05 AM   #74
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Default NHEC feature

NHEC has this monitoring feature on their Smarthub app. You can monitor your usage daily.

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Old 08-06-2022, 09:48 AM   #75
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NHEC has this monitoring feature on their Smarthub app. You can monitor your usage daily.

Dave
That's very cool, but I have Eversource at my main home and I think they only read that once a month.

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Old 08-06-2022, 11:20 AM   #76
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That's very cool, but I have Eversource at my main home and I think they only read that once a month.

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Thinkxingu, go to your particular app store and download the SmartHub app. The icon is green with a circle of white little squares and a white circle with the word Hub in the center.

It will ask you who your provider is and for your account number. NHEC changed over to hi-tech meters. My meter is "read" monthly, but I can see the usage daily, weekly, current period, even over the last year.

You've got nothing invested but a little bit of your time. Eversource may very well be part of the SmartHub program. If it is, you'll be able to easily monitor the usage. Best part of the whole app is you can select being notified in the event of a power outage by text message.

Hope you will be able to do it.

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Old 08-06-2022, 12:27 PM   #77
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Thinkxingu, go to your particular app store and download the SmartHub app. The icon is green with a circle of white little squares and a white circle with the word Hub in the center.

It will ask you who your provider is and for your account number. NHEC changed over to hi-tech meters. My meter is "read" monthly, but I can see the usage daily, weekly, current period, even over the last year.

You've got nothing invested but a little bit of your time. Eversource may very well be part of the SmartHub program. If it is, you'll be able to easily monitor the usage. Best part of the whole app is you can select being notified in the event of a power outage by text message.

Hope you will be able to do it.

Dave
I just checked and, unfortunately, Eversource is not included. Thanks for the tip, though!

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Old 08-06-2022, 01:32 PM   #78
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Default FREE Hot Water

Years ago my father in law had a cabin on a lake in Maine and routinely had free hot water May 15th thru October 15th.

How? He had about 1,000 feet of hose in his attic and used that as his source of hot water every season. Seemed to work very well for him as that attic hose would heat the water very well during those sunny days. Rarely ever ran out of it......

Now if you had a week of cold rainy days then it definitely wouldn't work as well.
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Old 08-06-2022, 01:39 PM   #79
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I just checked and, unfortunately, Eversource is not included. Thanks for the tip, though!

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Sorry it won't work for you. Hopefully those with NHEC that are interested in monitoring will give it a try.

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Old 08-06-2022, 02:45 PM   #80
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Bearing in mind that a dehumidifier used in the living space will add heat. ... and the dehumidifier uses .4....
To that 0.4 KWH/hr of electric input turned into heat by the dehumidifier, add about 0.3 KWH for every pint of water ("a pint's a pound, the world around") condensed by the unit.
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Old 08-06-2022, 02:55 PM   #81
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...The last thing I've been thinking about is the dryer...but I don't see much of an alternative to drying clothes...
Our house is heated in the winter, cooled in summer by the heat pump. The heat pump of course uses electric power to run, so you'd think that the highest months of power use would be in winter. Most of the time that is true. While the house is superinsulated and loses heat very slowly in winter, it also gains heat slowly on those hot days of summer. The calculated worst case AC load, for continuous 95 F and 74 F dewpoint outside air, is less than one ton. Yet the worst power bill ever was for one month in mid-summer, when it peaked around 300 KWH over the highest winter month. Why? Family members were here then, and it seemed we were forever doing loads of beach towels, and the electric dryer was the reason for the huge power use.

Bottom line regarding dryer use - don't buy thick, beach blanket-sized towels for waterfront use. Kids can survive very well with thinner, smaller towels. The "higher authority" in the family may argue otherwise.
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Old 08-06-2022, 04:46 PM   #82
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Our house is heated in the winter, cooled in summer by the heat pump. The heat pump of course uses electric power to run, so you'd think that the highest months of power use would be in winter. Most of the time that is true. While the house is superinsulated and loses heat very slowly in winter, it also gains heat slowly on those hot days of summer. The calculated worst case AC load, for continuous 95 F and 74 F dewpoint outside air, is less than one ton. Yet the worst power bill ever was for one month in mid-summer, when it peaked around 300 KWH over the highest winter month. Why? Family members were here then, and it seemed we were forever doing loads of beach towels, and the electric dryer was the reason for the huge power use.

Bottom line regarding dryer use - don't buy thick, beach blanket-sized towels for waterfront use. Kids can survive very well with thinner, smaller towels. The "higher authority" in the family may argue otherwise.
None of you ever heard of a clothesline to dry wash loads? Kids get one towel for the weekend and when they're not using it. it goes on the porch rail or the clothes line. We always had a clothesline in the basement for rainy days, winter. Once in awhile, the dryer was used for a few minutes to fluff stuff. My grandfather built a washing machine ca. 1920 with a treadmill powered by the family dog. No electricity used. We also had wire frames to hold trousers while they dried, putting in a crease, and no need to use an electric iron.

Last edited by Descant; 08-06-2022 at 04:51 PM. Reason: added last sentence, fixed typos.
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Old 08-07-2022, 01:55 AM   #83
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Update: after 4 days away, we came back and, set at 60% humidity, the basement smelled a tad musty. I've moved it to 50, so we'll see what happens there. Maybe the sensor isn't so inaccurate after all.

We had turned the AC up to 85, which actually wasn't terrible in the house since the humidity had still been removed. It did take a while to cool down to 75, though, so I'm wondering how long it has to be set at 85 to save money when "catching up" on our return home. I have to think having it set at 85 for the days it was 95+ saved us a few bucks.

I've got the AC set to 74 right now—we tried 75, but that was just a tad warm. 72 was cool enough to need blankets, so I'm thinking 74 will be fine and save us some moolah.

I wish I could have tested the water heater temp when we returned (after putting it on vacation mode). The tank, 50 gallons, is in a well-insulated closet, so I don't think there's much standby loss at all. I did turn on "energy saver" mode, though, which is supposed to tailor itself to our water use habits.

The last thing I've been thinking about is the dryer and cooking. We can easily do more grilling and use smaller burners when cooking, but I don't see much of an alternative to drying clothes—given its location, it would be a pain to hang outside and hanging inside would increase humidity that the dehumidifier would have to pull out...though now that I think about it, my washer has an extra spin mode that might help. It's a Speed Queen, which is so powerful it'll spin those things almost dry on its own. To the basement!

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Damp Rid placed around the house will lessen the humidity problem.

The calculation on the AC isn't straight forward without knowing the factor of air exchanges your home has every hour.
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Old 09-23-2022, 10:53 AM   #84
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Default Update: reduced my electricity use by 67%!

I just got my Eversource bill. Compared to September last year, I've reduced my electricity usage by 67%! The bill was $76 for 199 kWh. The August bill was $134 for 454 kWh. This is before I switched to Direct Energy as my cheaper supplier, which should be reflected in my next bill.

In August I (like many Americans and especially here in New Hampshire) suddenly became aware of the full meaning of inflation and I brainstormed and studied all the ways I could find to reduce expenses with electricity, telephone, internet, gasoline, heat, water, and home maintenance. I calculated the kWh of each electrical appliance in my home. I tracked my money-saving actions each day, which added up to 48 actions in one month. A sample:
  1. Turned off the 53-gallon family-sized water heater
  2. Lowered phone and internet bill from $1500 a year to $627 by dropping the Consolidated Communications landline, signing up for two years of unlimited Tracfone for $199 a year, and talking Consolidated into giving me their new-customer rate of $36 a month including fees for internet-only service
  3. Reduced use of air conditioning and dehumidifier sunstantially
  4. Changed lightbulbs to LED
  5. Recycled water from the dehumidifier
  6. Collected rainwater from the roof
  7. Negotiated a discount of about $300 for car tires
  8. Obtained wood from my property
  9. Used Gas Buddy to find cheapest gas in the area
  10. Eliminated some trickle charges
  11. Bought a new electric lawnmower, snowblower, and other yard gadgets (brush blade for the string trimmer) so I am no longer dependent on expensive and unreliable workers
  12. Dry the laundry outdoors and put in it the dryer for 10 minutes to get the wrinkles out

I still have quite a few things left to do, like finding the best way to get hot water for the shower, changing my Medicare advantage plan, and finding someone to split a recalcitrant maple tree.

I realized that I was living as if I had unlimited cheap resources, with no real mindfulness about how much I was using, even though I'm normally frugal. That's not wise environmentally or financially. Simply becoming more aware of what I'm using and how much it costs has made a big difference in my expenses.

Utility companies make if so difficult to reduce costs that probably most of us can't face the amount of time it takes to do the research and negotiate with the companies. By the way, thanks a million to Thinkxingu for doing the research on energy suppliers and sending me to Direct Energy. It sure feels good to be depriving Eversource and Consolidated of their exorbitant increases.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:08 AM   #85
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I just got my Eversource bill. Compared to September last year, I've reduced my electricity usage by 67%! The bill was $76 for 199 kWh. The August bill was $134 for 454 kWh. This is before I switched to Direct Energy as my cheaper supplier, which should be reflected in my next bill.

In August I (like many Americans and especially here in New Hampshire) suddenly became aware of the full meaning of inflation and I brainstormed and studied all the ways I could find to reduce expenses with electricity, telephone, internet, gasoline, heat, water, and home maintenance. I calculated the kWh of each electrical appliance in my home. I tracked my money-saving actions each day, which added up to 48 actions in one month. A sample:
  1. Turned off the 53-gallon family-sized water heater
  2. Lowered phone and internet bill from $1500 a year to $627 by dropping the Consolidated Communications landline, signing up for two years of unlimited Tracfone for $199 a year, and talking Consolidated into giving me their new-customer rate of $36 a month including fees for internet-only service
  3. Reduced use of air conditioning and dehumidifier sunstantially
  4. Changed lightbulbs to LED
  5. Recycled water from the dehumidifier
  6. Collected rainwater from the roof
  7. Negotiated a discount of about $300 for car tires
  8. Obtained wood from my property
  9. Used Gas Buddy to find cheapest gas in the area
  10. Eliminated some trickle charges
  11. Bought a new electric lawnmower, snowblower, and other yard gadgets (brush blade for the string trimmer) so I am no longer dependent on expensive and unreliable workers
  12. Dry the laundry outdoors and put in it the dryer for 10 minutes to get the wrinkles out

I still have quite a few things left to do, like finding the best way to get hot water for the shower, changing my Medicare advantage plan, and finding someone to split a recalcitrant maple tree.

I realized that I was living as if I had unlimited cheap resources, with no real mindfulness about how much I was using, even though I'm normally frugal. That's not wise environmentally or financially. Simply becoming more aware of what I'm using and how much it costs has made a big difference in my expenses.

Utility companies make if so difficult to reduce costs that probably most of us can't face the amount of time it takes to do the research and negotiate with the companies. By the way, thanks a million to Thinkxingu for doing the research on energy suppliers and sending me to Direct Energy. It sure feels good to be depriving Eversource and Consolidated of their exorbitant increases.
One more thing....Think very carefully about how you vote in November.
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Old 09-23-2022, 11:26 AM   #86
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One more thing....Think very carefully about how you vote in November.
Well said


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Old 09-23-2022, 12:01 PM   #87
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Why?
Are certain candidates in a position of authority going to go to price caps?

If not, CAPITALISM rules supreme.
We make more money in Europe on Natural Gas... so it isn't going to get cheaper here.
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Old 09-23-2022, 12:24 PM   #88
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Why? Are you serious?
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:06 PM   #89
Sue Doe-Nym
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Default Why???

I was just thinking the same thing……we must be on different planets! Why, indeed.
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:35 PM   #90
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Why? Are you serious?
Quite serious.

We are sending more LNG to Europe from a 2018 EO... so natural gas prices are up for electricity... not to mention the local infrastructure was not designed for the higher level of demand from all the new building in the State.

We went from 13M b/d of refining capacity to 12M b/d between 2016 and 2020... that isn't coming back and more refiners are scheduled to close because investors consider prices to be too low.

So all that leaves is coal, that has to be brought in by rail... not a federal issue... and I haven't seen a lot of interest at the local level to redevelop the rail lines for year round freight use.

The secret... learn to be an actual conservative and conserve.

Those of us that do... we don't even feel any of the present pain that the rest of you seem to be moaning about.
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:39 PM   #91
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I just got my Eversource bill. Compared to September last year, I've reduced my electricity usage by 67%! The bill was $76 for 199 kWh. The August bill was $134 for 454 kWh. This is before I switched to Direct Energy as my cheaper supplier, which should be reflected in my next bill.

In August I (like many Americans and especially here in New Hampshire) suddenly became aware of the full meaning of inflation and I brainstormed and studied all the ways I could find to reduce expenses with electricity, telephone, internet, gasoline, heat, water, and home maintenance. I calculated the kWh of each electrical appliance in my home. I tracked my money-saving actions each day, which added up to 48 actions in one month. A sample:
  1. Turned off the 53-gallon family-sized water heater
  2. Lowered phone and internet bill from $1500 a year to $627 by dropping the Consolidated Communications landline, signing up for two years of unlimited Tracfone for $199 a year, and talking Consolidated into giving me their new-customer rate of $36 a month including fees for internet-only service
  3. Reduced use of air conditioning and dehumidifier sunstantially
  4. Changed lightbulbs to LED
  5. Recycled water from the dehumidifier
  6. Collected rainwater from the roof
  7. Negotiated a discount of about $300 for car tires
  8. Obtained wood from my property
  9. Used Gas Buddy to find cheapest gas in the area
  10. Eliminated some trickle charges
  11. Bought a new electric lawnmower, snowblower, and other yard gadgets (brush blade for the string trimmer) so I am no longer dependent on expensive and unreliable workers
  12. Dry the laundry outdoors and put in it the dryer for 10 minutes to get the wrinkles out

I still have quite a few things left to do, like finding the best way to get hot water for the shower, changing my Medicare advantage plan, and finding someone to split a recalcitrant maple tree.

I realized that I was living as if I had unlimited cheap resources, with no real mindfulness about how much I was using, even though I'm normally frugal. That's not wise environmentally or financially. Simply becoming more aware of what I'm using and how much it costs has made a big difference in my expenses.

Utility companies make if so difficult to reduce costs that probably most of us can't face the amount of time it takes to do the research and negotiate with the companies. By the way, thanks a million to Thinkxingu for doing the research on energy suppliers and sending me to Direct Energy. It sure feels good to be depriving Eversource and Consolidated of their exorbitant increases.
Draft dogs at door and windows - also check the weather stripping for replacement. Make sure you lock the units.
Both interior and exterior storm windows... and window quilts.

4-H taught us a lot in the 70s.
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:54 PM   #92
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One more thing....Think very carefully about how you vote in November.
This is a serious thread for people who are struggling to afford the basics. Please don't hijack it to make a political statement.
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Old 09-23-2022, 02:21 PM   #93
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This is a serious thread for people who are struggling to afford the basics. Please don't hijack it to make a political statement.
Unfortunately elections have a direct influence on the price of basics.
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Old 09-23-2022, 03:02 PM   #94
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This is a serious thread for people who are struggling to afford the basics. Please don't hijack it to make a political statement.
I made no such political statement. I simply said to think very carefully about how you vote. As a matter of fact, I’ll say it again. Think very carefully about how you vote. Perhaps if people vote a certain way (I’m not suggesting which party they should vote for), their “struggles to afford the basics” may improve. You can stick your head in the sand all you want, but facts are facts.
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Old 09-23-2022, 03:29 PM   #95
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Unfortunately elections have a direct influence on the price of basics.
No. They don't
Demand has a direct influence on the basics.

The 2018 EO allowing more LNG to be sent to Europe was capitalism as it normally works.

The shutdown of the 1M b/d of crude refining is capitalism as it normally works.

The scheduled shutdown of the Houston refinery at the end of 2023 will also be capitalism as it normally works.

A price cap... or a price support... that would not be capitalism as it normally works.

Releasing the SPOR was an attempt to avert capitalism... it might be working... but it will only be for a short period of time before it can no longer do so.

The industry has stated we need demand destruction to bring the balance back into line... so far... people have just been working on substitution.
Can't get gasoline... go to electricity... but then the grid can't handle the demand.

Europe is only going to reduce demand so much... and as long as they are willing to pay more for the energy than Americans, we will ship it there until we run out of ships.

I would hate to see this generation to have to deal with the war rationing that our Greatest Generation did.
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Old 09-23-2022, 03:36 PM   #96
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John, I am talking in general not specifically regarding fuel. Hope that helps.
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Old 09-23-2022, 03:44 PM   #97
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Well said JM. A lot of people would like to believe it is politics that cause high prices but forget that business is world wide. Just like they want wage increases but don’t expect consumer prices to go up when people are paid more.


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Old 09-23-2022, 05:48 PM   #98
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I made no such political statement. I simply said to think very carefully about how you vote. As a matter of fact, I’ll say it again. Think very carefully about how you vote. Perhaps if people vote a certain way (I’m not suggesting which party they should vote for), their “struggles to afford the basics” may improve. You can stick your head in the sand all you want, but facts are facts.
Most things in life relate to politics one way or another. But not every thread is about politics. How about you open your own political thread so you can post your facts? This one is about how individuals can save money on utilities today.
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Old 09-23-2022, 06:13 PM   #99
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John, I am talking in general not specifically regarding fuel. Hope that helps.
This would also be incorrect. As most economists would tell you, the Chairman of the Fed, the war in Ukraine, and worldwide supply chain issues have more impact on inflation than any potential results this November.

Back to the topic at hand--as Sailin and John have pointed out--it's easy to reduce your utility bill without too much pain, and the implications of doing so are great all around.

I'll also add that investments in insulation, solar, heat pumps, etc are a whole lot cheaper with the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Check details with your installer if you're considering these things
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Old 09-23-2022, 06:19 PM   #100
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This would also be incorrect. As most economists would tell you, the Chairman of the Fed, the war in Ukraine, and worldwide supply chain issues have more impact on inflation than any potential results this November.
I am not talking about this November? Please do not bring politics into this discussion.
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