Friday, January 26, 2007

Exreme Energy Efficiency

So what are some of the extreme things I do in the name of: Energy Efficiency. (Ok, some maybe nutty and or stupid.) We renewable energy folks always say "Energy Efficiency First" So here goes.

1. I rarely heat my home over 62 degrees. To stay warm I wear, undershirts, vests, wool socks and house shoes. Why over heat all 10,000 cubic feet of my home when only about 6 cubic feet (i.e. my body) needs to stay warm? At night my thermostat is set at about 52 degrees. I love sleeping cold under a warm down comforter (Mine is from Wisconsin's Company Store). Yes, if I had a partner, I would be fine turning up the heat.

2. My eight-year old son turns off lights when he leaves a room

3. I line up the items I want to place in the refrigerator beside the refrigerator - and then open the door part way and quickly put everything away

4. I wait until food cools off before I put it in the refrigerator

5. During the home heating season, I leave the hot dishwater in the sink until it cools off (yup, I do it with shower water too).

6. I used my clothes dryer once in the last 20 months (actually my German aunt used it). See right, I line dry instead

7. My outside doors are so well weatherstripped that my son has to work at opening them

8. I have a masonry house (i.e., rock walls (i.e., terrible r-value (i.e., no insulation))), but it is a beautiful 1100 square foot brick house. So I made my small bedroom even smaller - by studding out the walls, insulating, doing the electric, drywalling, etc.

9. I have some really cool fans (including a whole house fan) to keep me cool in the Summer. I got the floor fan in the picture from the University of Wisconsin's property disposal folks for $1. It was in the winter and my now ex-wife thought I was nuts. It is very 60ties and I dig it (can also be used as an ottoman)

10. Oh yeah, I grow a lot of my own food

If you have some good (or stupid) energy efficiency items - share them in the comments section (yeah, I know it is a pain to sign up.)

Niels' son really does turn off lights. He's the only boy who visits our house (overnights too!) that I don't have to chase around turning off lights. He also closes outside doors.

Speaking of kids, I have two teenagers. My extreme energy efficiency tip is to not go anywhere in the car unless there is at least three reasons for it. For example, one kid wants to be dropped off at a friend's house. It has to be timed with another kid being picked up from work, a trip to the grocery store, and taking soup to a sick friend. Not only it saves gas, but it saves my time.
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