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joegum
18-05-2008, 10:50 PM
With gasoline, diesel, home heating oil, etc. continuing to rise in cost, it set me to wondering if anyone here is doing anything novel to increase fuel efficiency. I'm not talking about the "normal" stuff, like making sure your tires are properly inflated, etc. I'm thinking about things that are at least somewhat off the beaten path and that you have direct experience with.

Personally, I installed a pellet stove in my living room. I also installed several large windows 50" x 50" and glass block windows to take advantage of solar energy during the winter. This cut my gas heating bills by over 70%. But, I still need to buy pellet fuel (which is tax free here). So, I'm saving about 40% on my overall heating cost.

I keep my home painted white and my flat roof's coating is silver-colored. My home is also one-story and has a very low-to-the-ground profile. So, I don't need air conditioning in the summer... except for about three weeks in August, when I wish I had it.

Energy costs are getting bad now, but I really suspect that next winter, we're really going to get nailed. In spite of the fact that it's the middle of May, tonight we're supposed to go down to 30's. But, here in the US, all of the major candidates are announcing that they are going to combat global warming. (Yeah, I know. It's a deliberate hoax.) Nonetheless, they are going to implement strategies that are going to inflict great suffering by destroying the economies of the world by "fighting global warming." This will most certainly mean rising energy prices, inflation, and mass unemployment.. at least in the West. Think "Shock and Awe."

I had a friend who was an ex-police officer who used to say, " Criminals are stupid. That's why they're criminals." He had a point. These folks may be powerful, but underneath their veneer, I detect a kind of intellectual sloth.

They may be evil, but we can be smart.

-Joe

numbersix
10-06-2008, 09:54 PM
Just bought an electric power assisted bike to cycle to work 3 miles each way including home at lunch times (total 12 miles a day)
The battery is charged up at work so I have made a saving on fuel of about 12 per week.
The car has become an ornament on the front drive :p

Also bought a wood burning outdoor fire basket for barbeques etc. As we have woods a few hundred yards from our house its easy to bring back a few logs now and then from fallen branches etc...:D

cruise4
10-06-2008, 10:14 PM
"I had a friend who was an ex-police officer who used to say, " Criminals are stupid. That's why they're criminals." He had a point. These folks may be powerful, but underneath their veneer, I detect a kind of intellectual sloth."

Hey Joe I can't pass that up... the police officer worked for the real big criminal's and didn't even realise it, so tell me again who's the stupid one?

joegum
12-06-2008, 01:02 AM
Just bought an electric power assisted bike to cycle to work 3 miles each way including home at lunch times (total 12 miles a day)
The battery is charged up at work so I have made a saving on fuel of about 12 per week.
The car has become an ornament on the front drive

Also bought a wood burning outdoor fire basket for barbeques etc. As we have woods a few hundred yards from our house its easy to bring back a few logs now and then from fallen branches etc...

It sounds like you have a very thoughtful employer to let you charge the battery at work. It's so nice to have options.
I'll bet the outdoor barbeque is really great to avoid heating the house in the summer. :)

-Joe

joegum
12-06-2008, 01:06 AM
"
Hey Joe I can't pass that up... the police officer worked for the real big criminal's and didn't even realise it, so tell me again who's the stupid one?

Oh, he realized it. He saw it firsthand. He worked for a metropolitan department during a scandal-ridden corruption investigation. If he was still alive, he'd be on here telling you some of the most amazing stories.

-Joe :)

boots
13-06-2008, 11:48 AM
Hi Joe,

We built a house that has a 5 star rating (OZ) on a concrete slab It's the best house we have lived in. It is positioned to the north where 80% of the windows are with trees blocking the summer sun we only have ceiling fans and only had to use them a few times (it gets bloody hot here in summer).

During the winter we have a wood heater that has a high efficiency rating and is suitable for the size of the house, with plenty of wood at the back door, enough to last us 20years.

If we could only afford the cost of installing solar that would be next on the to do list but solar is so expensive to set up that it would take 40 years to justify the cost. That really shits me how they talk about carbon foot prints yet they make to expensive to buy.

The car is a small one and it helps but I would like to look into getting the tablets that are advertised on the head line page of DI site to save more money.

cruise4
13-06-2008, 04:14 PM
"Oh, he realized it. He saw it firsthand. He worked for a metropolitan department during a scandal-ridden corruption investigation. If he was still alive, he'd be on here telling you some of the most amazing stories."

Good oh. If the Police wake up there's real hope. And there are signs!

joegum
14-06-2008, 02:44 AM
Hi Joe,

We built a house that has a 5 star rating (OZ) on a concrete slab It's the best house we have lived in. It is positioned to the north where 80% of the windows are with trees blocking the summer sun we only have ceiling fans and only had to use them a few times (it gets bloody hot here in summer).
Wow, that sounds wonderful! Do you finds that the concrete slab acts as a sort of heat sink in the summer to help keep your home cool?


The car is a small one and it helps but I would like to look into getting the [B]tablets that are advertised on the head line page of DI site to save more money.

If you do, it would be interesting to get your opinion.

Thanks, Boots!

-Joe :)

boots
14-06-2008, 10:03 AM
Hi Joe,

Yes, the concrete slab does act as a buffer from the heat, because it is in contact with the ground, and the ground being cool ( 2 foot under the ground will be cooler if it is not indirect contact with the sun) the floor is buffered, with the addition of a wirly bird on the roof (a fan not electrically operated ) to extract hot air from inside the roof. You can minimize heat with inside the living area of the house. A verandah surrounding the house keeps the sun from hitting the windows and also insulation inside the walls and roof and pulmets on the curtains adds to the efficiency.

As they say every little bit counts.

Another thing that would be good for a concrete slab is to sink vertical concrete walls in the ground around the slab. Like creating a box under ground.


I will get these tablets that help maximize fuel efficiency and I will let you know how useful they are.

boots.

joegum
14-06-2008, 06:33 PM
Wow, sinking vertical slabs into the ground is a clever idea!
I wonder if the slabs would continue to act as a heat sink during the winter, or, if it would actually enable you to take advantage of geothermal heating during the winter. That way, you might only have to raise your home's temperature about 20 or so degrees no matter how cold it gets. I'm sure there's a way to design for this.

-Joe

boots
15-06-2008, 02:10 AM
Wow, sinking vertical slabs into the ground is a clever idea!
I wonder if the slabs would continue to act as a heat sink during the winter, or, if it would actually enable you to take advantage of geothermal heating during the winter. That way, you might only have to raise your home's temperature about 20 or so degrees no matter how cold it gets. I'm sure there's a way to design for this.

-Joe

Yes, it would. During winter if solar radiation can be utilized by getting the winter sun on to the slab then during the night it would be absorbed back int o the house.

I would recommend a book by Bill Mollison called " Permaculture:
A Designer's Manual.
Printed in 1988.

If you can get this exact book, which is 500 pages long, you would be amazed. It is brilliant, the most indepth book I have ever come across. There are other versions of it, but this one is the best.

good luck I hope you find it.

boots

joegum
15-06-2008, 02:22 AM
I just checked Amazon. They have

PERMACULTURE: A Designers' Manual by Bill Mollison and Reny Mia Slay (Hardcover - Oct 1, 1997)
8 Used & new from $88.99

and that's it. Maybe a new or updated version?

I'm going to do some searching around the net to see if I can get a better price.

Thanks,
-Joe

boots
15-06-2008, 01:34 PM
I just checked Amazon. They have

PERMACULTURE: A Designers' Manual by Bill Mollison and Reny Mia Slay (Hardcover - Oct 1, 1997)
8 Used & new from $88.99

and that's it. Maybe a new or updated version?

I'm going to do some searching around the net to see if I can get a better price.

Thanks,
-Joe

WOW, good find joegum expensive hey, but it's worth it. Man once you get this you will be amazed at the wealth of practical info in it, most at low cost improvements.

it's published by Tagari Publications Australia any problems PM me I'll see what I can do.

Still $88.00 is good for what you get. if you are into being self sufficient you wont need any other book.