How to Save Energy: Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter (Google Power Meter was discontinued in 2012 but there are still good methods of saving energy in this article)
With the ever increasing cost of energy we must ask ourselves how can we save energy? This question can be answered easily by someone who understands energy saving methods and I will show you different ways to save energy.
Why do we want to save energy? To many this question is easy to answer and while some be thinking the answer is axiomatic you may be surprised at how some people answer that question. To me the core reason for saving energy is two things: 1) To save money and 2) It is incredibly irresponsible to waste good energy. It is kind of like cooking a Porterhouse T-bone and only eating half and throwing the rest of the delicious steak away. What an incredible waste!
Energy Savers Visiting High Performance HVAC - How to Save Energy: Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter
Many people who visit High Performance HVAC and have read several of the articles here understand that we want energy efficiency to be one of the considerations especially when considering the purchase of new HVAC equipment or even when making repairs. I think if everyone in the USA and Canada would repair their duct work tons of energy could be saved. Other recommendations include programmable thermostats and high energy efficiency condensers and air handlers. There are many other recommendations we have made here on High Performance HVAC and we will surely make many more in the future to help our readers.
Energy Savings Basics - How to Save Energy: Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter
Here is a basic list off the top of my head that will help many people save energy:
1. Windows and Doors leaking air. Visit your local hardware store and ask the people their how to stop drafts around your doors and windows. They will have several recommendations for you and this will save you lots of money on heating and cooling costs not to mention lowing the run time hours of operation for your HVAC equipment which will extend the life of the equipment in some cases. This action will save energy.
2. Duct work integrity – This will most likely have to be checked and repaired by a professional. As with one of my articles where I compare some duct work to a water hose that has several holes in it. You’ll never get good pressure from it or the volume of conditioned air you want and some of it ends up in a place where it is not needed. This action will save energy.
3. Humidifiers – by maintaining a higher humidity level in your home in the winter means you can dial down the temperature on the thermostat more because when it is more humid we feel warmer. It is basic science and the study of air proves me correct. Get a whole house humidifier and set it for 45-50% and don’t worry. Humidifiers save energy and money iun the winter. This action will save energy.
4. Insulate the water heater (following the manufacturer’s instructions) and possible get a timer for the water heater. You could also consider upgrading whenever the life of your old water heater is up. Upgrade to a heat pump water heater or consider going to tankless water heater. This action will save energy.
5. Get a programmable thermostat and program it for the times when you will not be at home. This action will save energy.
6. Turn the thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter. You may feel a little uncomfortable for a week or so but your body will adjust to the new settings and you will save money. This action will save energy.
7. When you need to replace your HVAC equipment consider getting higher SEER or AFUE equipment than you would normally buy. By doing this you can realize an incredible amount of savings simply because the newer higher efficiency equipment requires less energy to produce the same comfort level. This action will save energy.
8. Monitor your energy use. This can be difficult to do monitoring electrical use and gas use from a month to month bill. As of this writing there is no way available to monitor you gas usage (currently not available in the US and Canada – it is available in UK) as the method of monitoring electricity usage. Monitoring electrical usage is available from Google PowerMeter and you can find out all about this by going to Google.com/powermeter. This action will save energy.
Google PowerMeter and Saving Money and Saving Energy - How to Save Energy: Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter
Google PowerMeter has teamed up with various manufacturers to make some power meters which can be hooked up to monitor electrical usage in your home. There are different manufacturers offering different meters but they all pretty much do the same thing and that is track how much electricity you are using and then the device sends this information to Google PowerMeter where you can log in to you account and see how much energy you are consuming on an hourly basis. Google PowerMeter offers different charts and graphs so you can see exactly when your power use spikes. This allows you to see things you could never see before. For example – One man observed that his electricity usage was spiking at 1 in the morning every morning. A little investigation and he found his water heater was coming on at this time so he went and purchased an insulation blanket for his brand of water heater and installed a time on the water heater. The spike went away and the measured amount of savings equaled more $30.00 per month. Now you can see that by monitoring your energy use closely how you can save money and energy. That’s $360.00 per year in real savings that that man can use for other things. These things are quite common in commercial buildings where the building engineer and maintenance staff can monitor energy use and make simple corrections that save lots of money. Visit Google PowerMeter today and get started. The meter you see pictured is one I have for my house. It will be installed soon when I upgrade my panel.
There are other methods to save energy and the methods we mentioned here for saving energy and money we spend on energy are not comprehensive. There are many other ways for you to save energy and money and we will cover these in future articles so stay tuned for more later!
The Google PowerMeter requires the purchase of a meter from a third party vendor. Installation in your power panel is necessary along with a connection to the Internet which can be done wirelessly. In Virginia or North Carolina use the contact form and email High Performance HVAC. We may be able to offer you the service of hooking this up.
How to Save Energy: Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter