Posts made in May, 2011


Energy Audit


Posted By on May 16, 2011

I think I have found part of our energy hog!

To help supplement our pellet stove in the heating of our home, we have an EdenPure Electric Heater.  We purchased this heater after reading multiple reviews and even speaking with a couple very happy users.  EdenPure is known for being a safe electric heater.  The unit itself stays cool to the touch with the heat blowing directly from the front.  I even stacked the old newspapers on it, the kids tossed their book bags against the sides… never did anything get warm to the touch.  I was always careful to keep the front clear.  We ran the EdenPure basically all winter on the highest setting, with absolutely no problems with tripped breaker, hot cords, etc.  We did however, have a high electricity bill…

Energy Audit info:

29.04 KWH/24hrs

Comments: I did look into whether this energy usage is inline with what is expected for the unit, trying to rule out a malfunction in our unit.  Per the EdenPure website, these units will use no more that 1.5 KWH/hr.  So our unit is working within the expectations.
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77 KWH / 24hrs
-01.21 KWH – refrigerator
-00.64 KWH – computer station
-03.06 KWH – pellet stove
-29.04 KWH – EdenPure
=43.05 KWH left to find.

 

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Reduce, Re-use, RECYCLE!


Posted By on May 16, 2011

~51 billion plastic bottle go into US landfills annually!

~Plastic bottles START to decompose after 700 years!

Wow, these 2 facts alone paint a scary picture for the future of our environment.  However, there are companies out there that are working to develop ways to keep these containers out of landfills.

I recently caught part of “Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Trash,” a CNBC Special Report.  During the report, CNBC highlighted Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC.  This company is based in New Hampshire and has taken recycling to the next level.  Among other innovations, Foss Mfg has developed Eco-fi.  Eco-fi is a polyester fiber made from recycle plastic bottles.

Eco-fi.com states that 48 plastic bottles can be used to create a 6’x8′ carpet, 17 bottles can be used to create a sweatshirt.  Approximately 10 plastic bottles converts to 1 pound of fiber.

Foss Mfg. is one of many companies that have found viable solutions to a global problem; but the sad fact is, even with statistics such as those stated above, only approximately 30% of recyclable materials are recycled.  The other 70% end up in landfills.

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Test Drive Green Cleaning Products


Posted By on May 11, 2011

Let’s consider for a moment the products used to clean a bathroom.  I use a toilet cleaner that has bleach in it, Windex on the mirrors & fixtures, Comet in the tub & sink, and a disinfecting floor cleaner.  We have hard water so on top of these cleaners, I use a Lime/Rust/Calcium remover…  Wow, it’s no wonder I end up with a headache as well as sore shoulders from trying to reach behind the toilet.

Aside from the possible dangers of breathing in this cocktail of chemicals, when all the cleaning is done and the bathroom is sparkling, where do these chemicals go?  Unfortunately they don’t dissolve or dissipate, they are all washed down the drain or get tossed into the trash on paper towels.  The environmental impact is much more far reaching than many people consider.  This does not even take into account the manufacturing process for these products.

The alternative to conventional cleaning product would be eco-friendly or green cleaners.  Typically many people steer away from these products because they are more expensive than their counterparts.  And, how well do they really work? Who wants to spend twice as much on a product that isn’t going to work as well?

The solution: The Enzyme Complete Cleaning Kit from greenhome.com.  This kit contains 16 oz of 5 green cleaning products: Tub & Tile Cleaner, Kitchen Cleaner, Mildew Cleaner, Floor Cleaner, and Stain Eraser.  This kit is on sale until May 16 for $29.  After the sale the kit will return to its normal price of $34.  At either price, this is a great way to “test drive” green cleaning products and discover for yourself whether or not green products will work for you.

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Energy Audit


Posted By on May 9, 2011

Since it was a bit chilly last night, we decided to run the pellet stove.  This was a great opportunity to check the electrical draw of our main heat source in the home.

  • We have a 3 year old 25-PDV Englander pellet stove.
  • We always have the fan is set on 9 (the highest level).
  • The auger speed (controls the amount of pellets dispersed) was typically set at 9 for most of the winter.
  • These settings would give the highest output of heat, and were the settings I used for the audit.

Energy Audit Info:

  • 3.06 KWH/24 hrs.

Comments: I feel this is a reasonable electricity draw for the main heat source of a home.  I would be interested to compare this figure to that of a heatilator on a wood stove or the blower on a forced hot air furnace.
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Total KWH adjusted to April figures:

77 KWH / 24hrs
-1.21 KWH – refrigerator
-0.64 KWH – computer station
-3.06 KWH – pellet stove
=72.09 KWH left to find.

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Window Box Gardens


Posted By on May 4, 2011

Limited space for a garden, but want fresh vegetables for your salads?  Here is a great solution from HGTV.  Window Box Gardens

This is a neat project for any family.  Kids love to grow plants, what better plants to grow than vegetables!  Another great idea would be a kitchen window box filled with herbs.  mmm, fresh parsley, basil, cilantro, mint….  We always have a cherry tomato plant in a pot on our porch/deck.  This plant is probably too big for a window box, but my kids love “stealing” those sweet juicey tomatoes from the plant.

Do you plant garden vegetables in a unique way?

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