Room For Improvement

Room for improvement

 I know a lady that, over a decade, blew through over a quarter million dollars and is now living in a one bedroom low-rent apartment, with an old car in the driveway. I’d say there’s some room for improvement there. I know a couple that earns six figure incomes each year and yet they both have to work overtime and part time jobs in order to cover their monthly bills. I’d say there’s some room for improvement there too eh? Heck, my next door neighbors NEVER EVER open their windows, choosing instead to have their indoor air constantly controlled via air or heat. Again…room for improvement.  So far this summer, we’ve only used our AC once on a 90 degree afternoon and the rest of the time we have our windows open and use fans to cool us. But there’s always room for improvement, especially when living in a 113 year old house.

Lately I’ve been trying to focus on ways to use less energy. And sometimes it takes spending  a little to save a little. Last month we installed a water heater timer and this month we installed some roll up shades on our west-facing kitchen windows. An investment of less than $20 and 15 minutes  time was a small price to pay to make our kitchen more comfortable. I suspect that in time, these little investments will be returned to us by way of  lower electric bills.





My hope is that WHEN the day comes that we can install solar panels, all of the energy reductions that can be made will have already been made, which is the first step when considering solar as an alternative energy solution for your home. What little (or BIG) improvements have YOU made to make your home more energy efficient? Please share your comments below, so we can all learn how we can lower our energy use, while simultaneously making our lives more resilient too!


10 Comments so far
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My house is 95 years old and not well insulated, tho I do have storm windows and doors all around that I’m thankful for. About 5 years ago I had a heat pump put in, and it runs in conjunction with my forced hot air oil burning furnace. It runs on heat pump till the temp gets down to 33 and then begins to burn oil. It has saved me a bundle of money on oil! And it included central air, which I’m happy to say, runs very cheaply, it surprised me. But I’m like you, I only run it if it’s above 90, cos I like the fresh air, sounds and smells of summer with windows open. And I don’t need to manipulate my environment unless its unbearable. 75 is not a reason to run A./C as far as I’m concerned. Cooped up all winter like a bear, I want to experience the outside as much as I can when it’s warm. This is a good post and I like your blog in general!

Comment by sarasinart

Sounds like you’ve got the best of both worlds! Thanks for sharing.

Comment by simpleintn

Two wood burning stoves,one youcan cook on.Evaporative cooler for summer for daytime temps over 90We use fans and drafting to move air.We cut the trash wood ourselves from the property.We like to party like it’s 1849.All good , always busy,get lots of exercise.

Comment by Carol King

Wow! I’d love to have a wood cookstove Carol. Sounds like ya’ll have a great ‘green cycle’ of trash-to-heat-to-cook. Keep partying and exercising though, it keeps you young!

Comment by simpleintn

My family in middle TN never had AC when I was a child spending summers there. But they’d open wide the windows in the evening to let in cool air and close them mid morning when heat began to come in. Even though I HAVE AC now, I hate to turn it on unless family from FL are visiting. I can’t hear outside noises, the dogs, cars arriving, etc. and prefer the connection with the outdoors.

Comment by Deanna Richardson

I completely agree about not having the AC on unless it’s simply sweltering. I just PREFER the open windows. And we do exactly what your family did- open overnight, close in the morning before the cool air inside is replaced with the warmer daytime air. It’s still an idea that WORKS!

Comment by simpleintn

Hey buddy! Shades *outside* (or awnings) work even better. With indoor shades, some of the sunlight is converted to heat when it hits the shade, raising the indoor temperature.

Comment by Daniel Sandoval

When we went to buy the shades I picked up a brochure for a “Solar Shade” that does indeed install outside the window. I never knew they existed until then. I think I’d prefer an awning though, that way it keeps the windows cleared. See? Always room for improvement. Thanks!

Comment by simpleintn

We’ve done a lot of things over the years to bring down the power usage including using the natural night cool to cool the house. We also unplug any appliances that are “vampires”–those items that draw electricity even when they aren’t “on.” The big thing we just did is install a batch heater that we made out of a neighbor’s cast-off old water heater and a cast-off sliding glass door panel. It’s old technology but we finally got it hooked up yesterday and, in 4 1/2 hours we had water so hot it had to be mixed with cold for a shower!!! This, by the way, is an outdoor shower situated above the garden so the water gets used more than once:):)

Comment by Sandy Aldridge

Well Sandy, seems like you would be the perfect person to write a ‘guest post’ for this blog, telling us all how it was done with some pictures to go with it. What do you say to that? Please? Good to hear from you. I’ll write to you next week with all the latest news.

Comment by simpleintn

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