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energy savings


wwc's Avatar
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01-14-11, 07:22 PM   #1  
energy savings

I have a oil furnace, fairly new and efficient for a oil furnace.

I would like to add a space heater to warm the two main rooms we stay in ( living room,dining room ) and not have to use the oil furnace as much.
With a electric radiant heater it heats a room very nice but not so much both rooms and the electric meter is spinning much faster when in use.

The question is since I'm using almost twice the electric am i saving money because of less oil use?

I don't know how to compare gallons of oil use to watts of electricity use.

I also thought of buying one of those new infrared heaters like Duraflame or Edenpure ,Lifesmart type heaters that claim to heat 1500 square feet, I have read good and bad reviews and don't know if they do what they claim or as effecient as they claim also, a dollar a day seems to good to be true.

Anyone have some good knowledge on these questions?

 
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Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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01-14-11, 08:12 PM   #2  
This page might be helpful: Heating Fuel Comparisons

Electricity is typically the most expensive way to heat. However, if you "zone" the heat to the rooms your in with a space heater you might save money.

I have no experience with the heaters you mention but IMO you are still using electricity to make heat. A dollar a day? Sure, if you only ran it for 40 mins a day.


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01-14-11, 08:33 PM   #3  
One kilowatt hour (kw/h) of electricity (1,000 watts for one hour) will produce about 3415 btu of heat.

One gallon of heating oil will, at 80% efficiency, will give you about 110,000 btu of heat.

It takes about 32.21 kw/h to give you the same amount of heat as you get out of a gallon of oil.

Presuming oil to be $3.25/gallon & electricity to be $0.15/kilowatt hour: At those prices, to get the same amount of heat as you would from a gallon of oil, it would cost you $4.83 in electricity. At $0.10/kw/h, the electricity would cost $3.22. You can look at your most recent electric bill to get the rates in your area.


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Perry525's Avatar
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01-19-11, 10:31 AM   #4  
Can we work on the assumption that you are trying to reduce your heating bill?
If this is the case?
Then the best place to start, is to look at your home. First of all go over the whole property from ground level to top of the roof and seal every hole and crack you find.
If you have an extractor fan in the bathroom and/or kitchen, turn the on, leave all the internal doors open, close all the windows and external doors and go round all the edges of the windows and doors, with a candle or joss stick to find the places where the air is coming in.
Check round light fittings and pipes where they enter the walls, floors and ceilings.
American homes are full of holes and something like 60% of the heat put into a home is lost to the sky through holes and cracks.

When you have finished, if you have extractor fans in the kitchen, bathroom or elsewhere, make sure each has an air tight cover.
When the fan is not in use make sure its closed air tight, this alone will reduce your bills by about 40%.

 
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01-20-11, 11:05 AM   #5  
Energy savings

Have you considered having an Energy Assessment (or audit or evaluation) conducted on your home? You may find that instead of having to use space heaters, which can be dangerous, you can simply air seal and add insulation in needed areas. Identifying these areas of air leakage is very important to energy savings and comfort levels...not to mention safety. In Kentucky, the estimated and approximate annual savings on energy bills is 20%. That's pretty good. And the most commonly used method of achieving this savings will pay for itself within several years. Check with your local community action agencies for more information.

 
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01-23-11, 06:37 PM   #6  
I know that telephone lines carry electric current, but use them to power up appliances or devices? This is new for me, actually. I am a little curious how it is being done, but I am no electrical geek to do something on the wirings. Kind of curious if this Free Electricity From The Phone Line is possible. Has anyone done this? Is this more effective then Fruit Battery? Well if it is, I'd like to try myself.

 
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01-23-11, 07:27 PM   #7  
Posted By: maive99 I know that telephone lines carry electric current, but use them to power up appliances or devices? This is new for me, actually. I am a little curious how it is being done, but I am no electrical geek to do something on the wirings. Kind of curious if this Free Electricity From The Phone Line is possible. Has anyone done this? Is this more effective then Fruit Battery? Well if it is, I'd like to try myself.
The voltage on a phone is less than half then normal household voltage. The current available is so small you could not run anything significant on it. Don't waste your time.


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wwc's Avatar
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01-26-11, 07:14 PM   #8  
yes I was trying to lower my heating costs but it looks like that is not a good way no matter what the TV commercials say about edenpure type heaters etc...

my electric is 8 cents a kilowat so just slightly cheaper than oil.

I will have to try checking my home for leaks, I'm sure i have them my house is 62 years old and is mad of block and stucco finish and there is NO insulation in the walls, I sure wish there was a way to fix that problem.
Also my windows are steel single pane with storm windows but that doesn't help much and I have to put plastic over them to help keep the cold out.

 
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01-26-11, 09:56 PM   #9  
Not that it is much consolation, but you're not alone and not the first to look at those ads and wish they could really save as advertised. I could go through the math for you, but as you have already concluded any savings would be small.

Air sealing is a good place to start. Along with that effort, start collecting the data on your home; sq. ft. of walls, windows, and ceiling; current insulation or r-values; and your total energy use; and type of construction. With that information, there are DIY heat loss calculators that will help you identify where those dollars are escaping.

stay warm,
Bud

 
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01-27-11, 02:25 AM   #10  
Lets start from the point, that your electricity is cheaper than oil.
When you look at this more closely, you will realize that you benefit 100% from heating with electricity.
With electricity, you get 100% of the heat you are paying for delivered direct into your home.
If you have an electric fire in the middle of a room and insulated from the floor (say a pad of four inch thick polystyrene) you benefit in receiving 100% of the heating you are paying for.
You do not loose heat by dragging cold air into your home (if it is properly sealed)
Compare this with heating from oil, first 10% of more of your heat is lost to the sky up the chimney as the oil burns.
The boiler need air to burn, it pulls cold air into your home to burn.
The heat is transported round the home in pipes, that loose an incredible amount of heat, under the floor, in the roof and walls.
Note: A radiator radiates heat through 360 degrees, radiators are normally fixed to walls, the warmest part of a room is the space between a radiator and the wall. This means you are loosing more then half of the heat from your radiator into the floor and walls, this is half of the heat that manages to get from the furnace to the radiator......so the total loss is horrendous.

Insulation!
There is no reson why you cannot start by insulating your ceilings. A lot or your heat is lost through the ceiling. Start by filling all the holes round light fittings and pipes. Then buy sheets of polystyrene, blue board etc: any similar closed cell insulation board.
Two inch thick boards are easiest to work with. Overlap them to get as much cover/insulation as you can, a minimum of four inches.
Carefully measure the spaces between your joists and cut the boards to size, then push them between the joists, work over the ceilings one room at a time, any gaps can be filled with a closed cell spray foam.
You will soon feel the difference and find your heating bill lower. Then do the walls, starting with the outside walls of your living room.

 
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01-27-11, 08:34 PM   #11  
thanks for the reply's.

I do have insulation in my attic right now but it may be too little, it is the pink fiberglass batting that fits between the joists and it goes to just over the top of the boards, not sure what r value it is now i don't remember but i know it is made for attics.

How can i insulate my walls since they are made of block and have drywall on the inside attached to furring strips, not much room there.
I talked with a insulation company about foam filing put in holes outside into the blocks but they said it would fill properly with how block is laid.

 
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01-28-11, 04:23 AM   #12  
There are problems with fiberglass insulation, it is an open cell insulation and as such air moves through it as does your heat and water vapor.

Putting this into context, fiberglass is better than nothing, but it does need to be fitted carefully (no gaps) and it does need to cover the joists in the roof. And it needs to be about 16 inches thick to do a half decent job, even then the wind blowing over it will pull your heat through and water vapor moving up from your home can freeze inside the fiberglass, thaw and make it wet and useless.

The best thing is to replace it with a closed cell insulation that is wind and waterproof, like polystyrene.

Insulating block walls that have drywall over them is easy, as long as the blocks are dry, they are a good insulation, much better than a wall made of sticks and fiberglass.

You merely remove the furring strips and drywall and glue sheets of polystyrene to the walls, then glue sheets of drywall over.

Mechanical fixings should be avoided as they are good conductors of heat and will provide an escape route out for your heat.

It is possible to buy sheets of polystyrene that have drywall already glued to them, this makes the process of fitting easier and quicker.

 
wwc's Avatar
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02-10-11, 03:10 PM   #13  
thanks sounds like a big expense and alot of mess to tear out all my drywall.

 
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07-10-11, 09:44 AM   #14  
Posted By: Perry525 Insulation!
There is no reson why you cannot start by insulating your ceilings. A lot or your heat is lost through the ceiling. Start by filling all the holes round light fittings and pipes. Then buy sheets of polystyrene, blue board etc: any similar closed cell insulation board.
Two inch thick boards are easiest to work with. Overlap them to get as much cover/insulation as you can, a minimum of four inches.
Carefully measure the spaces between your joists and cut the boards to size, then push them between the joists, work over the ceilings one room at a time, any gaps can be filled with a closed cell spray foam.
You will soon feel the difference and find your heating bill lower. Then do the walls, starting with the outside walls of your living room.
Why spend 10 times as much and go to all that work to fit pieces of foamboard between ceiling joists, when all you have to do is blow in loose fill?? I increased my attic insulation from R30 to R50 for about $400, and it took 2 hours. An equivilent amount of foam board would have cost thousands.

 
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