Linda Diane Feldt
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Energy Saving Ideas and Projects
Insulate Band Joists - we did this the first year I moved in, and it clearly saved more than 10% on heating costs.
Insulate bath tub - I have an old fashioned pedestal tub. I placed insulation around it, focusing on the outside wall, then installed wainscoting over that. Hot baths stay hot longer.
Install Metal Roof - Made from a recycled material, fully recyclable when it is replaced, reflects heat in the summer (it has eliminated one room air conditioner), lasts 50 years or more. For photos click here.
On demand water heater - I installed an Aquastar hydropilot hot water system. No water heater, hot water only when you need it. I haven't had enough time to compare energy bills yet but I love the system.
4 cylinder truck - my '95 Ford Ranger extended cab is only four cylinders. The folks at Varsity Ford insisted that I couldn't get by with it, and wouldn't sell me one. Gene Butman Ford was happy to meet my needs, and didn't belittle my choice. Sure, it doesn't have a lot of pick up, but it does fine for normal driving. I just don't do a lot of passing. I get 25-30 MPG, depending on city or highway driving.
Dehumidifier - I dump the water into the washing machine. It is soft water, good for the clothes, and saves water.
Low Flow Shower Head - gives a great shower, saves A LOT of water.
Low Flow Toilets - Having had three, the Kohler brand is the best I've seen so far. No trouble flushing, or with cleaning. My first washed the bowl with a straight line of water. That doesn't work. The swirling action seems critical. Some toilets have given this idea a bad name. Kohler does a god job.
Fluorescent lights - I hate the type of light, so I use them where ambiance is not the issue. Hall lights, utility room, front porch. Noticeable shift in electrical bill.
Cistern -I was able to use my cistern to water all my outdoor plants. I just build up the brick to about 2 feet from the ground, put a concrete lip on it, wooden slats, and a pump with a 15 foot metal intake. Now there is a leak in the cistern, it doesn't hold water, and I don't know what to do. I'd love to have it back in use. But who will crawl down a tiny hole in the ground to fix it?
Sauna - take a sauna on a cold morning, and use less heat to heat the house the rest of the day. I built mine without a kit, using cedar lap boards I cured in front of the furnace for two months.
Newspapers -Using on-line sources I cut my subscriptions. Saves money, paper, and the fuel used to deliver it. A substantial environmental impact.
Dishwasher - I got an Asko Dishwasher. No rinsing needed, uses less water, is nearly silent, and at 10 years old is still doing a great job without a single service call. It usesless water than hand washing - less than 2 gallons for a normal load. It also heats the water so I can leave my water heater at a lower setting.