Friday, November 13, 2015

Whoa Nellie! Lot's of energy savings for Nov 2015!

With the furnace at idle, I was running my condo at about 15-16 kWh's a day!

Looking back at last November, I can distinctly remember how it was we got clobbered with frigid weather right in the middle part of the month. On the morning of the 14th, it was only 16 degrees above zero! This year, however, the month of November has been a dream as you can see on the graph of power used! The question is, when will the other shoe finally drop?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Some winter considerations for condo dwellers!

Forsyth MO. - Recently, I moved to a condo having forsaken the stick built life. My building is a three story affair supporting 15 units, (some of which are unoccupied during the winter season). I purchased a top floor corner unit which had a number of good selling points. For one thing the kitchen has a window that looks out – something that was important to me for some vague reason. It also has both a spacious front area and balcony that overlooks a pool with a river in the distance. Above me is an attic space that should provide good insulation, but, I have three walls that face the outdoors. So, I have to see how that shakes out. Following are a few of the things I like to do to get ready to get through the really cold spells we get from late December on into March!

Space heaters!

As I am single and living alone, my tenancy during the winter months are to ensconce myself into my office/bedroom where I can write, watch TV and sleep the cold days away. My infrequent ventures out of that space are mainly to raid the fridge in the kitchen. So, one of my strategies was to invest in a couple of small space heaters that contained thermostats to properly heat that space while retarding my electric furnace stat downwards to a cool setting of 64ยบF. Past experience had shown me some pretty amazing savings by following that type of scheme.

Windows and sliding glass doors!

In my current location, I have two windows (bedroom and kitchen), a front door and two large sliding glass door the run the length of the outdoor balcony. Of these,my largest concern was the sliding glass doors that looked to be dual pane and which were covered by vertical blinds. These could prove to be a big transmitter of heat and would bear close watching. 3M makes a very good window film that past use, by myself, proved to be valuable in adding another layer of dead airspace where needed and at an affordable cost! These films are easy to install when two people are around and more of a challenge for just one.

My front door appeared to be good to go as I checked the clearances around the top and base for excessive air flow. If needed a simple towel can be used to help seal out the weather on any really cold days. As this area also has a storm door, I plan to check to make sure there are no excessive gaps – If I find any, I'll make sure to seal them properly.


One area that sometimes avoids detection are the locations under sinks where the pipes enter the walls. Any gaps you find can allow for a lot of the heat you paid for to easily escape. To that end, I plan to inspect them and then apply some foam gap filler available online at Amazon, if needed.


Even though I found my furnace cooling fins to be somewhat clogged with dust, I could ignore that face as it used resistive heating elements to warm the house in the wintertime. By keeping my thermostat set low, I hope to keep the use to a minimum.

Well, those are the main area I plan to inspect and repair for this fall. As we move closer to the start of winter, I hope to update this post from time to time.

Update: November 24, 2015 - I've ordered some 3M film, enough to cover one of the sliding glass doors. When that gets installed, I plan to set up an experiment using three temperature sensors so that I might quantify how much (or how little) it helped. I'll post a link here.