Thursday, July 24, 2014


    Yesterday I started to insulate some of the skirting with this R-9.8 foam board I have. It's meant to be used as an exterior sheathing. Presently the north and south ends are complete. Our bedroom is at the north end and our kitchen is at the south end. The skirting has these vent holes along the surface. It sounds like a good idea because any gas build up would get pushed out from underneath. When I've been underneath to repair plumbing, etc. I noticed a lot of air flow. 
    I've thought a lot about that and realized that's where some of my winter heater costs have gone. Basically the heater has been trying to heat that space also inadvertently. If you have a large temperature differential on two sides of a surface the temperatures will seek to equalize and you end up with a heat transference from inside to outside. It also makes the floor feel colder. Anyway, as a result, the furnace ends up working more.
    Interestingly enough I went into the kitchen a couple of times and floor felt cooler to the bottom of my feet. The kitchen is in the south end of the house and there's a roadway the house edges up to. Apparently a bunch of the heat build up in the pavement was making it's way to the underside of my house.


    Here's some energy savings updates. For those of you reading this who don't know I've made some energy efficiency upgrades to the house so I can cut my utility usage. Some of the information of what I've done is included in previous posts and I also included them in my Offsets and Savings book available through many sites including Amazon.
    I now have final numbers for the June 23 to July 22nd meter reading period 364 kWh. The previous three years for the same time period has averaged 505 kWh. We're talking a 28% reduction from what has been normal in this house. That's roughly $20 for the difference in one months usage. 

    To give more of a picture of what's going on our average electrical usage in the house in October 2011 was 442 kWh per month, the average is now 370 kWh. I'm figuring the latter number will drop to about 330 kWh and that's if I don't do anything else to save the amount of electricity that's used in this household. I'd like to get it down low enough I can replace the grid energy with solar panels and we're headed that way it's pretty obvious.

    I'm also seeing a difference in the amount of propane that's being used. August through September average has gone from 83.7 gallons last year to 72.1 gallons this year. That's a 14% reduction. On a normal basis propane is about $2 per gallon so we're talking about $23 per month.
    I'm expecting to drop a lot more. So far, there are new energy efficient windows, a water heater wrap, and insulation in the ceiling of the house. I'm figuring next year I'll be replacing the present water heater with a tankless unit which should net about another 8 gallons of propane per month.


    Hopefully you can do a few things that will save you money long term.