Article How to make your Home more Eco Friendly

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, Sep 10, 2012.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    And this is a serious discussion on how we can tweak/improve our homes little by little to ensure that we utilize the energy available to us most efficiently, saving our expenses, and this planet for future generations.

    I could think along the lines of

    - Proper insulation
    - Energy efficient lighting
    - energy efficient appliances
    - Making sure that the requirement is met ( not too little, not too much )
    - Proper plumbing, with minimal water loss.
    - Judicious use taps in Kitchens for cleaning/washing utensils.
    - Proper green environment around the house as far as possible.
    - Proper disposal of waste/garbage etc.
    - Efficient cleaning methods like Vacuum and moping only.
    - Use of devices such as solar heaters for water.

    Need suggestions/inputs on the list, so that we can compile a whole list of suggestions/Ideas that will/can help you save energy and cut down on those massive bills!
     
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  2. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Proper Insulation -

    Now I know most of the things mentioned in an Ideal scenario won't really be applicable to all keeping in mind the aesthetics, design, layout of the house + ownership issues ( you are bound to do lesser in a rented place than your own ). However if done right, and for a new place, a lot can be incorporated.

    1) Paints - now a days there are a lot of paints that have heat rejection/reflection properties designed into them. For those living in a house/villa, this can be incorporated at your bi-annual house painting scene. Yes, just budget a little higher, however it will help keep the insides cooler during the extreme temperature that we have to experience here in India.

    2) UV reflective film/blinds - For all the windows in the house. Depending on the design/view/facing towards the sun, one can invest in a decent sun film, that will help keep heat out, and your insides more comfortable. Which will translate into lesser/lower cooling bills when you switch your air conditioner on.

    - A cheaper alternate to the same is to use Aluminium foil ( however only on windows thru which you won't really be peeking out of :p ). I used this idea on a balcony window, and it helped keep the room cooler instantly. Moreover its cheaper, and easier to apply ( Just fevicol and aluminium foil ! ).

    3) Room insulation - Heavy thick drapes, proper door and window frame + design will help the insulation. People have used sheets of thermocol pasted on a wall + covered with wall paper to great effect ( yours truly :) ). On a higher extreme, sheets of Cork, which look extremely pleasing to the eye, have also been used as an insulation + design mural on the wall to keep it cool on the inside, and the heat inside the wall.

    4) Dust stoppers under the door, and around the windows help keep the cool air inside the room, helping cool your room more efficiently/quickly. Also ensure that any and all heat sources are removed from the vicinity ( a good step is to mount the power transformer for the A/C outside. Though its exposed to the elements and is difficult to access, however if invested in a good quality one, you won't really be needing access to it frequently ). Also it will open up more space on the inside.

    5) Ensure that when you are installing an A/C, especially a window unit, it is sealed properly, and there is no possibility of hot air mixing/merging. Woodwork putty is a good option ( strong enough to hold shape and close any holes, weak enough to be broken easily when any repair/replacement is needed ).
     
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  3. dbg

    dbg RAID Staff Staff Member

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    • Turn off appliances/electronics after use(except Computers :p). Electricity wastage is one of the biggest burdens we face.
    • If you have a Garden, grow some consumable foods instead of Roses n Lilies.
     
    Latest Given Reputation Points:
    JD666: 15 Points (keep the ideas flowing, lets make an article!) Sep 10, 2012
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  4. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Energy Efficient Lighting - Yep Incandescent Bulbs are on their way out, and CFLs don't like being switched on and off so much ( A CFL burns best if its left on for long periods, rather than frequent switching on and off ). LED Bulbs are the future, however their high cost is prohibitive.

    However, with the life of an LED bulb ( a few tens of thousand hours ) vs regular bulbs/CFL do make them a viable alternate from the start. If invested in a good quality bulb, you can be cutting off hundreds of watts in power consumption at night. And you won't mind if the kids want the bathroom light on or the living room light on.

    Moreover in one's personal house, a number of arrangements ( window blinds ) can be done that would allow one to permit natural light as long as its available, and make sure that they need conventional lighting only and when its needed.

    An extreme way to look at this would be to look at star charts for the period of a year over your locality, and figure out what the sun's average angle ( azimuth and elevation ) remains year around. Houses have been and can be designed around this concept as well. So you will know which portions to shield from the sun ( bedroom ) and which portions to be kept in such a manner that they get maximum light year round ( living room/dining room/recreation room ). But remember, thats taking it to an extreme.

    More points on this.
     
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  5. dbg

    dbg RAID Staff Staff Member

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    Yes.. having a properly designed house will add a lot of Eco-benefits, like JD pointed out about the max. usage of natural light.
     
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  6. rpm

    rpm Lizard king Staff Member

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    A dirty 1.5Tr Air conditioner can consume upto 2 Amps higher than a clean one. toothbrush and bottle water spray is your friend with those tender fins.
     
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  7. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Keep those pointers rolling in guys.. we have an article taking shape here.. and everyone's contributing to it!
     
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  8. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    user raspberry pis for your media server.
     
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  9. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Care to elaborate sir BanHammer!
     
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  10. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    Basically raspberry pi consumes about 700mAmps at 5V to power a full hd video. So if you get that device and put something like xmbc, you can use it as the media centre for playing videos and audios and as download and upload server.
     
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  11. harryneopotter

    harryneopotter NEO is my middle name ! Staff Member

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    Raspberry pie - A credit card size GNU/Linux box based on ARM processor, fully capable of playing/streaming FULL HD Videos at very low level of power consumption. Cheap as well !

    Raspberry Pi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    --- Double Post Merged, Sep 10, 2012 ---
    800px-RaspberryPi.jpg
     
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  12. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    On the topic of Insulation I also thought of Carpeting.

    - It helps reduce heat loss, and also helps reduce sound reflection in a recreation room. Though requires more maintenance than regular flooring, owning to the super dusty conditions that we have in India. However with proper sealing and isolation, I feel Carpeting is any day a better option than regular flooring. Just needs regular maintenance and periodic cleaning with a good quality vacuum cleaner. And as long as the kids are grown up enough to not spill anything on it. :)
     
  13. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    I think rpm and RajaPraveen can shed more light on this.

    Energy efficient appliances -

    - Today nearly every appliance that you see around you, comes with an energy rating/efficiency rating. However just getting any energy efficient appliance is just half the deal. Making sure you've got the right capacity/rating/power is also very important.

    For instance if you are/were to upgrade your refrigerator from say a 220 litres to a 340 litres in the interest of bigger capacity/better cooling, it might be prudent to go slightly bigger and get a 370-390 litre capacity instead. Having just enough will get the job done, but will also keep the compressor running to keep the refrigerator cool. Having slightly bigger would mean slightly more power consumption, however the down time or compressor cut out time will be higher, which would ensure a longer life and more or less the same power consumption.

    Also invest in a good digital thermometer, that can be installed in the inside of the Refrigerator. Unless you've got one of those high tech digital Refrigerators, I have generally noticed that they either tend to get too cold, or too warm, but never the right temperature.

    - The same goes for microwaves. For a small family a 20-25 litre Microwave will suffice for regular usage, you do not really need to invest in a 40 litre + unit. Just make sure that the unit remains clean inside out for maximum heating efficiency.

    - A/C's and geyzer/Water heaters are probably the biggest consumers of electricity in the house. Having an expensive energy efficient A/C might not make sense now, however the savings over the life of the unit, will pay for itself.

    - Instant water heaters are really good for those in a rush, but they really kill the meter when they are switched on. Have a fixed time of operation of the Water heater. Most of them warm up in 10-12 minutes tops. If you are too lazy to monitor that, you can always invest in a mechanical timer switch. The timer starts when you switch it on, and after a pre-set time interval, it automatically switches it off. Very very very useful!!

    - I'll let the experts talk about the A/C bit.
     
  14. RajaPraveen

    RajaPraveen Black Jeebus Staff Member

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    Instead of buying a normal A/C buy an Air conditioner inverter because that saves a lot of power money and which in turn helps the environment.
     
  15. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    What would the difference be? Between the two types of A/C?
     
  16. RajaPraveen

    RajaPraveen Black Jeebus Staff Member

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  17. Acroback

    Acroback RAID Rookie

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    1. Buy a RO with storage capacity or fill water in bottles for your usage. Also time your RO working time with your utensil cleaning time. Once you have filled your bottles or RO tank is full, switch of the filter till it get empty. Saves a lot of water and electricity.
    2. Use a single geyser to heat water instead of 2 or 3 you have. Use buckets to take bath and save water and electricity.
    3. When you are not using your modem/small appliances, turn them off. e.g turn off your ADSL modem before going to sleep. Saves electricity.
    4. Use a ring CFL in your big hall instead of 4 different CFLs, works better.
    5. Use a semi automatic washing machine instead of a fully automatic washing machine. Saves a lot of water and electricity. PLus gives you freedom and flexibility to control detergent or to remove/add clothes later.
    6. Do not use washing machine to wash small amount of clothes. Let them collect till a substantial capacity is collected and then wash together to save water and electricity.

    PS:- I use all of this shit.
     
  18. Rockfella

    Rockfella Nordic Staff Member

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    We do 2 but still prefer minimal showering :p, 3, 4, 5, and 6 at home.
     

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