Author Topic: Help me Green my new home!  (Read 3867 times)

FastStache

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Help me Green my new home!
« on: May 05, 2014, 10:20:54 AM »
I am moving to a new home in about a month. The home was built in the early 80s.

What I know
Central Florida
Front Exposure - South
15 SEER ac unit
R30 insulation in the attic
Large Tree in SW corner of the house
Has a pool
Double paned windows
Roof replaced last year
Varialbe Speed Pool pump

Simple Changes I know of
upgrade thermostat to something like a nest
Use Fans when possible
Energy audit to check for window seals, insulation check, etc
Potentially add more insulation to the attic
Plant trees to the south
Do line drying when possible
Low Flow Showerheads
LED or CFLs

Medium Changes
Solar Blanket for Pool
New Appliances - doesn't make sense unless they break down
Wall Insulation?
Attic Fan

Big changes
Solar Water Heating
Solar Pool Heating
Solar for the whole house

My goal is to achieve an electricity bill under 100 on average. A lot of the terms thrown around the forum are foreign to me, but I would like to do my best to insulate the house and whatever else is low hanging fruit for energy savings. Any ideas or resources out there? A lot of the builder terms are foreign to me, but I am willing to learn more.


Jmoody10

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RetiredAt63

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Re: Help me Green my new home!
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2014, 10:30:03 AM »
Go hug that tree on the SW corner and tell it you love it - that is the perfect location for afternoon shade.  If it shades the whole house, so much the better.

Greg

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Re: Help me Green my new home!
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 01:39:31 PM »
Sounds like you have the right ideas.  Check out the Energy Star website for more possibilities. 
https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_index&s=mega

Also, look online for local energy efficiency groups and programs.  Get togethers (in-person version of this forum) are great places to share ideas.

aj_yooper

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Re: Help me Green my new home!
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2014, 01:59:49 PM »
Be vigilant on turning off lights and appliances-discuss at family meeting times.  Place insulation behind switch and outlet plates (at hardware or big box stores).  Avoid adding more hardscape to your property; decrease hardscape whenever possible.  Plant more trees.  Use drapes and shades to block the sunlight.  Lower temperature on hot water heater.  If you replace your hot water heater, get as small a unit that will meet your household needs as the wager does not have to be heated as much as in northern climates.  Go to your electric and gas websites and see if they have more ideas and energy saving incentive programs.  Old refrigerators and freezers should be retired before they break down.  They are very inefficient.

FastStache, way to go!

Emg03063

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Re: Help me Green my new home!
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2014, 05:19:21 PM »
Definitely up the attic insulation to R60.  Add a radiant barrier if you have ridge and soffit vents.  Consider putting some in if not. 

I've never heard of anyone doing this and don't know what the practicality is, but consider using the pool as a thermal reservoir (like a pond loop http://geothermal-house.com/geothermal-pond-loops.html, but using the pool instead of a pond).

You can also solar air heat in the winter if you're so inclined.

deborah

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Re: Help me Green my new home!
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2014, 05:32:55 PM »
Insulate everything:
  • Not using a room - check that it has a door snake so the room doesn't exchange heat with other rooms
  • Check hot water pipes are insulated
  • Check water heater is insulated (can buy blankets specially for this)
  • Check curtains are sealed all around - no gaps at the bottom, a pelmet at the top, no gaps at the side, and high rated backing
  • insulate yourselves - wear warm gear inside and have the thermostat lower, or wear thin clothes, and thermostat higher (depending upon the time of year
  • ventilation - make sure you can cool your home at night in summer

FastStache

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Re: Help me Green my new home!
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2014, 08:31:15 AM »
Insulate everything:
  • Not using a room - check that it has a door snake so the room doesn't exchange heat with other rooms
  • Check hot water pipes are insulated
  • Check water heater is insulated (can buy blankets specially for this)
  • Check curtains are sealed all around - no gaps at the bottom, a pelmet at the top, no gaps at the side, and high rated backing
  • insulate yourselves - wear warm gear inside and have the thermostat lower, or wear thin clothes, and thermostat higher (depending upon the time of year
  • ventilation - make sure you can cool your home at night in summer

What is a door snake?
Do you insulate all the hot water lines or only what is exposed in the garage?

Thanks for the reply

bacchi

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Re: Help me Green my new home!
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2014, 09:40:42 AM »
The sun is gonna slam in the summer.

1) Put up solar screens on the south and west windows. You can make them yourself with a kit at HD (and they look finished, too).

2) Does direct sun hit the AC compressor? If so, plant some shrubs or small trees around it for shade. That can save 10% off your AC bill.

3) Get some insulated shades for the south and west windows.

deborah

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Re: Help me Green my new home!
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2014, 07:39:50 PM »
Insulate everything:
  • Not using a room - check that it has a door snake so the room doesn't exchange heat with other rooms
  • Check hot water pipes are insulated
  • Check water heater is insulated (can buy blankets specially for this)
  • Check curtains are sealed all around - no gaps at the bottom, a pelmet at the top, no gaps at the side, and high rated backing
  • insulate yourselves - wear warm gear inside and have the thermostat lower, or wear thin clothes, and thermostat higher (depending upon the time of year
  • ventilation - make sure you can cool your home at night in summer

What is a door snake? A cylinder of material filled with something soft (batting, sawdust, rags...) that fits behind a door when it is closed to stop the air coming up underneath
Do you insulate all the hot water lines or only what is exposed in the garage? Whatever is easy to insulate - you can get foam cylinders to go around the pipes from the hardware store

Thanks for the reply
Also, in summer stop the sun from heating up things - windows especially - shade is your friend