“The world is warming up to something spectacular”, “Will the 2012 London Olympics provide more opportunities for swimmers, since most of London will be under water?”, and “Polar bears need air conditioners”, are some of the quotes that are doing the rounds on the Internet. All the above pertain to a single issue: Global Warming.
Everyone today, has a tip or two at hand, to contribute less to Global Warming. People say it boils down to every single human on this earth. True enough. But can one do it effectively? Will one benefit personally from doing so? The answer is yes.
However, there is a more compelling reason to start saving energy. Your own bills!
The DIY Energy Saving Kit looks at the concept of saving energy from an entirely different perspective. Its objective is to help a person save his/her money, through means that are unbelievably simple. The kit is replete with an energy audit guide and customized audit forms.
Many people don’t know where to start saving energy and money. The guide on Energy Saving Tips offers various answers. It could be a wall, the attic, an AC, or anything!
One should start with the Professional Energy Audit Guide. It is an exhaustive ‘document’, and one needs to be no rocket scientist to understand it. It is filled with diagrams, and useful tips. For instance, the fact that most electronic appliances consume a small amount of power even in standby mode is unknown to most people. The energy lost is small, but significant. This is just an example.
For those nerds and geeks who still miss their science classes, this guide describes some measuring instruments, like the IR thermometers in detail. This guide encourages you to take up Russell Crowe’s character in ‘A Beautiful Mind’, but only to find ‘hidden’ energy holes that can lead to significant losses! The guide takes you through the concept of an audit, advanced audit tests, and various methods to collect energy loss data.
Once the data has been collected, there is a set of energy cost workbooks that has been provided. For people who want to catch up on their mathematics, there is bad news!
There are no formula in these workbooks. No complicated patterns. Everything is customized to help the user do a complete energy audit in the easiest way possible.
‘Developing an Energy Savings Plan’ provides audit forms, and energy usage charts. These charts tabulate the energy usage of household electric and electronic appliances. The modified charts to help the user reduce the energy usage, and the calculations can be understood by even a fourth grader! The examples provided are germane and succinct.
Now, let’s go through all these workbooks.
At first sight, an energy audit form looks like an insurance form, or even a SWOT analysis form. But these forms are extremely effective. Only when one starts filling in, does one realize that these are details that are explicit, but often forgotten. When one organizes all the factors, it becomes very easy to analyze.
There are four kinds of workbooks that have been provided. A cost workbook, an energy loss workbook, a heating estimator and a workbook that calculates heat loss through ducts, have been filled in with formulae, and all one has to do is enter the data, and Presto!. The calculations are over!
The cost workbook deals with the energy usage of appliances that are used daily, and appliances, that are used only occasionally. One has to fill in the data obtained earlier, and the workbook gives you the total cost, cost per billing cycle, and cost per month. One interesting feature is that this workbook can be used anywhere in the world, and one has to only enter the cost per Kilowatt-Hour (kWh).There are two example workbooks provided to give the user an idea.
The energy loss workbook can be used to approximate energy loss in under-insulated areas, like a basement. When the obtained data is entered, this workbook gives you the energy loss, cost of electrical power, and cost of natural gas that would be required. An example of a living room wall is provided, to enhance understandability.
The heating estimator and the duct heat loss workbook are based on the thermal concepts of heat and mass transfer. Don’t worry, there’s no gobbledygook involved. Every formula has been pre-loaded into the files. The heating estimator calculates the rating of an insulating system for a specific area. For people who have their outdoor air conditioning units far away from the indoor unit, the duct heat loss workbook can help to calculate the possible energy loss that may occur in the ducts.
There is also a guide on the usage of these energy calculators. This provides a comprehensive text that will enable the user to calculate easily.
Another feature of this kit is all units are standard units, or British Thermal Units (BTU).
The best part of the kit is the Home Buyer Energy Checklist. Though it seems a bit longer than a shopping list, it helps prospective buyers find appropriate homes. If one uses this checklist, the hidden energy costs associated with a house can be minimized. The guide wants you to ask the realtor questions on the basement, attic, and fireplace; you name it. Its there!
There is a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions in the “Complete Guide to Energy Saving” book. Heating and cooling, tips on appliances and energy conservation constitute major part of this book. There are a lot of tips on every topic, and one would wonder if every single issue could make a difference. This book more or less summarizes the contents of the DIY Energy Saving Kit.
This kit lives up to its title. One can do everything by oneself, and end up saving a significant amount each year. A piece of advice; as mentioned earlier, this kit encourages you to do outdoor audits as well. If your neighbors think you are paranoid, let them do so.
Simply don’t care. It is you who’s going to save on energy costs. You may end up losing your mind, but do not let madness hinder your audit process. This kit is a scientific compilation, takes practicality into account and can potentially produce good results.