I have been seriously interested in the value of Infrared photography ever since I had my home inspection almost ten years ago and the inspector went around taking pictures with his ten-thousand dollar thermal camera. A DIY'er can know the value of insulating and caulking like a pro but to actually visually quantify and identify issues in your own home is amazing. So why didn't I just run out and buy an infrared camera ten years ago? Expense. Ten years ago infrared cameras were so price prohibitive that a home owner would never see the return on investment from energy savings.
The fear of summer electric bills is upon me and I am dead set to do anything I can to minimize them. In my quest for lower utility bills I found the easiest and cheapest green home upgrade....in a power strip? Yep.
Here in Oklahoma it's kind of hard to tell that Summer is right around the corner, but it is. Since air conditioning is a large portion of my utility bills I am moving my energy saving focus in that direction before it gets hot. When I bought this house the HVAC unit was virtually non-functional, and to be honest I was a tad scared to turn it on, so I had it replaced. Having a spiffy new HVAC I didn't pay much attention to it as a place to save money until I went in the attic and saw this; The main return air duct was patched together with plastic and duct tape.
Sound is an issue with any workshop, power tools are cool but make lots of noise. My workshop has the added benefits of being in a garage, close to neighbors and harboring a CNC table. My primary concerns are the air compressor, shop vacuum and the CNC router table since it will run patterns that could easily run 30 minutes, an hour or more. Luckily, I am designing a cabinet to hold the vacuum, compressor and most importantly the CNC table for both dust and sound control. The empty pockets created in my 2x4 frame design will create great places for sound damping panels.
It's that time of year again, the time when electricity costs are higher than the mortgage. It's hot outside and the air conditioner is running a good chunk of the day. You can't very well turn off the air conditioner, but it's not your only item using electricity. You can go around the house and turn off everything when not in use, put power switches on ~everything~ and...well...wear yourself plum out. Some things are worth turning off, some not as much, some not at all, but how can you tell? Enter Kill-A-Watt.