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July 20, 7:07 PM [GMT -5]

Programmable thermostats do not always save money,especially with a heat pump in the winter months. A temperature difference of two degrees heating will cause the resistance electric heat to come on and wipe out any savings. You will wait for a long time before any heat pump will make up that difference with out resistance heat. Also,you might consider a spray water mist for your outdoor unit like they use out in the Southwestern states. Water vapor will move alot more heat than just air alone. Mine works great and runs up to 35% less! Note: you cannot use a Chlorinated water system for this spray system. It will eat the coil. You can use Saved rain water though.

July 07, 8:27 PM [GMT -5]

Plant trees! TFH should have had that as No. 1 in the first place, and furthermore, the other commenters missed the boat, also.

July 07, 8:17 PM [GMT -5]

I agree with BobbyCarl that there is the potential of raising the house humidity too high when using an evaporation cooler/swamp cooler. However, in many parts of the US the humidity is so low that adding moisture to the air in the house is a benefit. Our skin isn't nearly as dry. I monitor the humidity with a meter to keep it within an acceptable level.

Since the cooler brings outside air into the house there must be an escape path to vent the hotter air. I vent the air out through the garage and attic and thus slightly cool areas that wouldn't get any cooling when using our AC.

Coolers are less expensive to run than ACs.

July 07, 8:10 PM [GMT -5]

Just got done sealing all our ducts. It had made a HUGE difference in the comfort in the house...the upstairs bedrooms now are cool. We found a couple of ducts that weren't connected, and some rather large holes. Just make sure you don't buy the stuff called duct tape...it will self destruct after a couple of years. The roll I bought cost quite a bit. But my theory is that it will last for a long time. And I used the adhesive in a pail, and used a brush to spread it on. But it is very surprising what a difference it makes in the house's comfort.

June 08, 5:48 PM [GMT -5]

Swamp coolers increase the humidity level in the house. These high humidity levels can cause serious (and dangerous) mold growth. I do not recommend using evaporative coolers.

May 25, 12:00 PM [GMT -5]

I am phasing out all of my CFLs and replacing with LEDs. From initial checks it appears that CFL are a lot cheaper than LEDs, but this is not the real world data I have seen. I have had about 25% of my CFLs burn out in less than six months. I take the time to write the install date on my bulbs and I have tried a few manufacturers and never buy the "cheapest". CFLs also significantly dim after the initial install, and take a while to reach full light level.

I have yet to have an LED bulb need replacing and the light is amazing. You may need to consider an online store to get what you really want since it seems the home centers don't always carry the higher wattages. What I did was purchase some, and if they were not bright enough they were moved to places where I could do with less light.

This year I also got a new heat pump and high efficiency furnace. So that will be some energy savings.

Once my local utility provider called me and said "we just noticed that you seem to be using significantly less power than you used to". I guess maybe they thought I was doing something illegal before or something, but I just replied, "good for me".

June 21, 12:28 PM [GMT -5]

i don't understand why someone needs a programmable thermostat. i already turn my a/c temp up when i leave the house & turn it back down when i return. what's the advantage of (an expensive) programmable type?

July 23, 12:15 PM [GMT -5]

I agree Kim and believe a better alternative for CFL's although costly would be moving towards LED (light emitting diode) Technology. LED's draws very little power & produces very little heat. (efficient & savings in your pocket) Not to mention they last 50x longer so less garbage in landfills.

June 26, 1:07 PM [GMT -5]

I really like all of these suggestions except 1 - the CFL bulbs, and the reason comes from the fact they are made with mercury and can not be disposed of like an incandescent bulb. They are considered "Hazardous Waste" and must be handled as such, especially if they get broken. I believe if you are going to promote the use of this particular product you MUST take the responsibility to also warn of the hazards, the proper fixtures and usage and especially the way to handle the "hazardous waste" situation if they do get broken along with the fact they must be disposed in a certain manner when they "burn-out", as they should not just be "thrown away".

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