4 Energy Saving Tips from Paul Wheaton

(1) Compact Fluorescent bulbs do not save energy (most of the time)

(2) 57% of home energy use comes from natural gas (29% electricity, 9% oil, 5% Propane). Energy used for heat is more than 1/2 of home energy use.

(3) 3 types of heat: (a) Convective heat (we heat air and the air heats us) = least efficient and most common form of heat, (b) Radiant heat (line of site for heat source). Sun, campfire, wood stove. Rotate self to get warm. Pretty efficient form of heat, (c) Conductive heat is most efficient. Think warm coffee mug. Touch it = heat.

(4) Solution # 1 – heat self by (a) reducing the area heated to where you are spending your time, (b) 1500 watts to 235 watts when sitting at computer desk by using micro-heaters: House at 50 degrees, totally comfortable with heated dog bed for feet, heated keyboard, and 40 watt overhead incandescent light bulb

(5) Solution # 2 – Rocket stove for heating with 1/10 the wood of a wood stove, and 1/1000th of the wood smoke. Smoke comes out clean and nearly room temperature.

(6) Solution #3 – Berm house = better than passive solar. Wheaton introduces the idea of a house that combines the technology of John Hait’s berm houses (his book) with the low cost building approach of Mike Oehler ($50 and up underground house book) to get what he calls a Wofati, described in this article. Also in this article, Wheaton compares Straw Bale and Cob with the Wofati construction. He also discusses Sepp Holzer’s root cellar structures.

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