The Ergosphere
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
 

Think globally, take care of yourself

My electricity consumption is down 9% from last year.  The only thing I've changed is to replace a power-hungry CRT with a higher-resolution LCD.  If I'd known 9% of my electricity was going to the tube, I would probably have replaced it sooner!

I'm also experimenting with better ways to insulate windows.  I'm not completely done with the first room (still working out design details), but things look very positive.  It already takes more than 12 hours for the temperature to fall from 65 to 55; doing all the windows might increase this time considerably and seriously reduce the flow of cold air off the glass.  Comfort level is up with only one and a half windows covered in one room.

I'll have to compare heat demand vs. degree-days later, but this could be substantial.  The materials are inexpensive, and the construction methods are very basic.  What would happen if everyone cut their heat requirements by 10% or more, just because they wanted to be more comfortable and spend less?

Think globally, take care of your own business.

 
Comments:
People should check the specifications though, some of the bigger LCDs draw a lot of power.

FWIW, my old 19" Hitachi CRT would draw about 70W. It died and I stepped down to a apare 17" Viewsonic I had. It is drawing 55W at the moment.

That's measured through my Kill-A-Watt, which is even better than checking the specs.

Rather than go to an LCD, I'm delaying a bit before I switch all the way over to a notebook
 
My 19" LCD is rated at about 70 watts (I knew it was a hog when I bought it), but that's still a light appetite compared to the 250-watt CRT it replaced.  And I couldn't beat the price/resolution at the time.

The tube strained my UPS; the LCD doesn't faze it a bit.  And the screen-saver power seems to be very small.
 
What technique are you using to insulate?
 
Transparent heat-shrink film, applied in an unorthodox manner.  Reusable.
 
I -- too -- am moving beyond replacing lightbulbs with CFL. I have placed all 'entertainment' on strips so that they can turned off when not in use ... Computer systems, of course, as well.

Had bought an Energy Star screen ... but did not have direct link between electrical use and computing time (too many other variables and not enough data collection).

And, I spent the weekend putting up insulating board and filling some hidden (in utility room) air gaps. What a comfort level difference for about $50 in cash investment and about five hours of work. Now, back to further insulating the attic after the new year ...

It is impressive just how far small efforts can go. Now, the question becomes how to mobilize people who have not internalized such thoughts.
 
The only thing I can think of that will get people to pay attention is word of mouth.
 
EP, how old was your CRT? I can't find specs on mine at the moment.

BBB, in addition to having your entertainment goodies on a power strip, make sure your rechargers are also turned off when not in use. Some of them can draw alot.

I have removable solid insulation in our basement sliding glass doors. Without it, the basement would be unlivably cold. We also have our wood fireplace stuffed with foam. Since we don't use it and our couch is in front of it, I might put more solid insulation in the front glass.

I need to get a Kill-a-Watt; it sounds like a good product, and a cool toy!
 
I can't remember exactly when I bought my big tube, though it was after 1998.

My window insulation is a roaring success.  I've only finished work on one room's worth and the effect is amazing; the place used to stay about 20° above the outdoor temperature and this has risen to about 28°.  I've got parts made to do the window in the computer room and materials for the big window in the living room.
 
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