15 votes
Accepted

Practical and cheap ways to get warm at home this winter?

There are two main categories to consider here. The first is to improve the efficiency of how your home is kept warm - either by increasing the efficiency of the heating system, or by reducing the ...
user avatar
  • 3,601
13 votes

What form of electrical lighting has the smallest energy-footprint?

i signed up just so i could make this comment. THelper♦ provided a good link to a DOE report on this topic, which i was researching because my roommate is skeptical about the advantages of efficient ...
user avatar
  • 231
13 votes

Are plastic cups more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs?

It's correct that the production of 1 ceramic mug requires much more material and energy than the production of 1 plastic cup, but this isn't a fair comparison. Plastic cups are generally used once or ...
user avatar
  • 14k
12 votes
Accepted

Do switchable sockets left "on" use electricity if there's nothing plugged in?

No. With nothing plugged in there is no circuit, so no current can flow. An exception to this is if the socket or the switch has an indicator light - usually a neon one - that is illuminated when ...
user avatar
  • 3,601
12 votes

Practical and cheap ways to get warm at home this winter?

A: Insulate your attic. This can be done in an afternoon. Put 12-16" total in that space. B: Seal the leaks: Weatherstrip the doors and openable windows. All electrical outlets are punctures in ...
user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Use waste heat of electrical appliances in place of traditional heating?

Generally, it makes sense to save power, even during the winter. The difference between space heating and waste heat The main difference between home heating systems and waste heat from electrical ...
user avatar
11 votes

Are plastic cups more environmental friendly than ceramic mugs?

You've pictured a disposable plastic cup. If you assume that you can use it a few times, then you might consider that you get through one a day. A ceramic cup lasts until you drop it. The cup in your ...
user avatar
  • 2,037
9 votes

Does it matter where I charge my device?

Yes, it matters, a little, but it also depends on your location. In your car, the process of converting fuel to movement is pretty inefficient (about 25% to 30%, according to this). That movement (...
user avatar
8 votes

Lowering the heating thermostat at night: is it really worth it?

tl;dr: Yes, lowering the room thermostat at night will generally help save energy, assuming we are in the heating season (winter), rather than the cooling season (summer). Let's take two points in ...
user avatar
  • 14.6k
8 votes

Which is more energy efficient? Heating ten 1L water separately or one 10L water directly

Unless she's actually using the 1-2 litres of tea each time, there's more savings from simply boiling less water. We bought a small electric kettle with a flat bottom and glass walls to encourage ...
user avatar
  • 3,755
8 votes
Accepted

How much energy would it cost to stabilize 2 tons of water at 70 degrees?

The stabilisation energy rate will be exactly exactly equal to the rate at which energy is lost. Assuming the tank is closed, so there are no evaporative losses, there are two other ways energy is ...
user avatar
  • 14.6k
8 votes
Accepted

Does transporting plastic offset the benefits of recycling it?

tl;dr: No, shipping plastic waste to China for recycling does not offset the benefits, as it reduces the net energy savings by 3% or less. Polyethylene, The most common plastic According to ...
user avatar
  • 11.2k
8 votes

How to ensure you are using efficient chargers for cell phones, laptop computers, and other electronic devices?

Power ratings -- choose level VI Take a look at any external power supply (EPS) you have lying around -- you should notice, along with all the regulatory markings, a roman numeral I through VI in a ...
user avatar
  • 11.2k
7 votes
Accepted

Energy saving lamps suggestion

The wattage given on the fixture refers to the maximum that can safely be used. That will be dictated by two things: The internal wiring of the fixture, and the heat that it can tolerate. In reality ...
user avatar
  • 3,601
7 votes
Accepted

cost of energy for old crt vs new flatscreen

One of the key considerations here is how much time the appliance will spend turned on. If an old CRT TV is hardly used, then the environmental footprint of continuing to use it is very low, even if ...
user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How should I store fruits and vegetables in the fridge?

As for saving energy in the fridge, vegetable storing does not make a difference.* If you want to prolong the life of your produce to reduce waste, it depends on the vegetable. Many veggies and ...
user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Which is more energy efficient, a washing machine express wash, or normal?

I think a "general principle" is that "express wash" usually means one or more of the following reduce the wash cycle reduce the spin cycle skip a rinse cycle (e.g. by not using any softener) etc. ...
user avatar
  • 5,903
7 votes

Electrical usage data logging with wireless data transfer

It sounds like the Kill A Watt wireless might be what you are after. For more alternatives keep reading. There is another product line called the Watts-Up that has USB connections to computers on ...
user avatar
7 votes

How to choose between an electric, natural gas, or heat pump clothes dryer?

You need neither a tumble dryer nor a drying cabinet. I haven't used either for years, and we are a two person household in a 36m² studio apartment in England (so winters are rather humid). By far ...
user avatar
  • 2,393
6 votes
Accepted

Is the energy used to manufacture and install solar panels in proper balance with the energy output from them?

I asked my late father (an electrical engineer) this very question years ago and he said that essentially, the entire cost of a solar panel is the cost of the energy to make it. You dig dirt out of ...
user avatar
  • 1,777
6 votes

Should I worry about the minimum mark on our kettle?

In older kettles with an exposed heating element it does matter. If the element is not covered with water it will overheat and burn out. With newer kettles without an exposed heating element you may ...
user avatar
  • 3,152
6 votes

Anything similar to GravityLight that can be readily purchased?

The big advantage of GravityLight is that you can pull the weight once and then you have electricity for a relatively long period (I read somewhere it's 30 minutes). This is ideal when you need to ...
user avatar
  • 14k
6 votes
Accepted

How much, if any, does resolution effect the net power consumption of watching online video?

The Natural Resources Defense Council commissioned a study in late 2015 to understand the energy consumption from 4K TVs, titled The Big Picture: Ultra High-Definition Televisions Could Add $1 Billion ...
user avatar
  • 11.2k
6 votes
Accepted

For overnight heating, is it more efficient to use an electric space heater in a bedroom or a whole house natural gas furnace?

In terms of energy-efficiency within your own home (i.e. when we ignore energy losses outside the home), it will almost certainly be more efficient to use the electric space heater. It will be close ...
user avatar
  • 14.6k
5 votes

How can I use my own body as an energy source for greater environmental sustainability?

"Is there no significant consequence to how we use our bodies' own generated energy - from a resources sustainability point of view - or are there considerations one can put into use in terms of ...
user avatar
5 votes

Does repeatedly turning on and off an appliance tend to damage it?

Old tube TVs suffered from this a lot, especially the really old ones that used thermionic valves for the high voltage stages. Since everything heated up when you turned the TV on, then cooled down ...
user avatar
  • 3,755
5 votes
Accepted

How much energy costs do portable solar panels save in a house?

I'm afraid these little mini solar kits are much smaller in scale than rooftop panels. They can be great for charging gadgets when away from mains electricity, but they're not an economic substitute. ...
user avatar
  • 3,601
5 votes
Accepted

How can I more effectively cool my house by managing windows with outdoor temperature changes?

Unless you can secure windows so no-one can enter the house don't compromise your safety by having windows open while no-one is at home. Open windows of a vacant house make it easier for burglars to ...
user avatar
  • 3,152
5 votes
Accepted

How feasible would a gas-powered electric-engine based car be?

It would work, but there isn't much reason to do it. If you do this without batteries, you are giving up most of the potential advantages. If you simply have an internal combustion engine (petrol or ...
user avatar
  • 3,601
5 votes

Which is more energy efficient? Heating ten 1L water separately or one 10L water directly

The heat loss will be proportional to the surface area. If you boil ten litres, one litre at a time (rather than all ten litres at once), there's typically a lot more surface area, so the heat loss ...
user avatar
  • 14.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible