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  #1  
Old July 10th, 2008, 12:40 PM
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Looking for "Green" ideas

Hi All. We're putting together a July newsletter now and want to includes some tips for 'greening up' with HomeSeer. Any and all ideas that result in some kind of energy saving would be good. So, if you have any tips or tricks you'd like to share with the world, please post them here. We'll include the best ones in the next newsletter.

Thanks!

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  #2  
Old July 10th, 2008, 02:21 PM
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I wish I had something more exciting than using CFLs and using motion sensors to turn lights off when not in use, but that's all I have! I'll be watching this thread for ideas.
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Last edited by rmasonjr; July 10th, 2008 at 02:25 PM. Reason: sp
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  #3  
Old July 10th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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I agree... cf bulbs have reduced my electric costs...
also same goes for motion sensors... but I also use ds10a's too..

garage:
open either garage door or door to house and lights come on
after 8 minutes of no movement lights off

utility room
same as garage

crawl space
open door and light on plus motion tripped
close door and light off after motion gives an off

used to use sunset and sunrise for front porch lights (2 of them)
first went from bulbs to cf - 10hrs a day . from 36kw a month to 7.8kw
I have reduced the time even more by kicking off the porch light at 11pm and off 1hr before sunrise.....

next is for me to add a motion sensor to kick on the lights before 11pm if someone comes to the door....

ds10a on freezer, fridges (beer expecially) where you dont always go to them as I have them in the garage... this way you will know when they are open


my newest is appliance modules on all my computers except the hs machine
.... so I can turn on any computer when I want remotely to save cost...
example is I remote home now and then (as I am right now)... so hs machine is up... turn on appliance module, my computer acts as if it was a power outage and turns on.. in a few minutes I can remote in and use the machine...
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  #4  
Old July 10th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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I'll toss one in. Most modern electronics (A/V and computer gear) are never really "off" when you turn them off. Instant-on and IR circuitry are still active. Granted, the power draw is small... but if you add up all the gear in your house, it might be significant. Add an appliance module to a power strip and then plug your media gear into it. Then, add an event in HomeSeer that cuts power to the module during nighttime hours or when the house is unoccupied.

I'm also guilty of leaving battery chargers plugged in all the time. These 'vampire' loads could be addressed in a similar way.
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  #5  
Old July 10th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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Buy a HomeTroller!

Motion Sensors everywhere...

Haven't gone the CFL route yet, need dimmables that fit in ceiling can lights, but a measure for the meantime is a longer ramp up and have them only come up to 60 to 70%

Since I am a Mainlobby user, setting up the MLWMI plugin to allow remote startup/shutdown of all my computers.

1wire temp sensors cycle my ceiling fans
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  #6  
Old July 10th, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macromark View Post
I'll toss one in. Most modern electronics (A/V and computer gear) are never really "off" when you turn them off. Instant-on and IR circuitry are still active. Granted, the power draw is small... but if you add up all the gear in your house, it might be significant. Add an appliance module to a power strip and then plug your media gear into it. Then, add an event in HomeSeer that cuts power to the module during nighttime hours or when the house is unoccupied.
I already do this for my bedroom a/v. I noticed one day that the heat coming off the Satelite receiver was incredible! Now I have an event in the morning that turns on the appliance module and then turns on the DTV receiver (it has to re-connect and download the tv guide) then 2 minutes later turns on my TV and a/v receiver. They are all turned off when i leave.
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  #7  
Old July 10th, 2008, 03:25 PM
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When the no occupancy event fires cycle through all controllable devices in the house turning them off automatically. This has saved me more than once with the iron ( honey did we turn the iron off? ) and the electric heater in the bathroom as well as turning up the thermostats.
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  #8  
Old July 10th, 2008, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rupp View Post
When the no occupancy event fires cycle through all controllable devices in the house turning them off automatically. This has saved me more than once with the iron ( honey did we turn the iron off? ) and the electric heater in the bathroom as well as turning up the thermostats.
im gonna replace the outlet for the coffee pot.. I cant tell you how many times I have turned around to go check... got tired of argueing that the coffee pot will turn off after 3hrs anyway.... but that isnt good enough..

I did go as far as walking out the house (after going back) and she said ... did you unplug it? because turning it off isnt good enough...

Sooooooo I said.. yes I unplugged it, including the microwave, stove, washer, dryer and fridge.... i got the nasty 1 finger salute.. but I deserved it..

but yeah I have 5 double outlets and 4 ssr227 singles that I think im gonna have to install......
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  #9  
Old July 10th, 2008, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TeleFragger View Post
im gonna replace the outlet for the coffee pot.. I cant tell you how many times I have turned around to go check... got tired of argueing that the coffee pot will turn off after 3hrs anyway.... but that isnt good enough..

I did go as far as walking out the house (after going back) and she said ... did you unplug it? because turning it off isnt good enough...

Sooooooo I said.. yes I unplugged it, including the microwave, stove, washer, dryer and fridge.... i got the nasty 1 finger salute.. but I deserved it..

but yeah I have 5 double outlets and 4 ssr227 singles that I think im gonna have to install......
Then make sure you have your event send the off command, wait and send it again, wait and send it again... cause you know otherwise one time the command will fail, the coffee pot will burn the house down and your wife will definately have the last word
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  #10  
Old July 10th, 2008, 07:34 PM
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and your wife will definately have the last word
she had the last word when we got married.. notice how they have the guy say I do first.. then she does.. of course she gets the last word!!!!!
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  #11  
Old July 10th, 2008, 07:53 PM
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Well they used to have the phrase "promise to cherish and obey" I've been holding that over her head for decades! but then they also had divorce court and none of this unreconcilable differences...

The times have changed.....
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  #12  
Old July 10th, 2008, 08:34 PM
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Bill Brower Bill Brower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macromark View Post
I'll toss one in. Most modern electronics (A/V and computer gear) are never really "off" when you turn them off. Instant-on and IR circuitry are still active. Granted, the power draw is small... but if you add up all the gear in your house, it might be significant. Add an appliance module to a power strip and then plug your media gear into it. Then, add an event in HomeSeer that cuts power to the module during nighttime hours or when the house is unoccupied.

I'm also guilty of leaving battery chargers plugged in all the time. These 'vampire' loads could be addressed in a similar way.
This was a topic of dicussion a long time ago.
You need a digital watt metter because if I remember right the X-10 modules have a load associtated with themselves also.

Someday I hope to have HS monitor my power generating equipement when I get off the grid (long future dream).
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  #13  
Old July 10th, 2008, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macromark View Post
I'll toss one in. Most modern electronics (A/V and computer gear) are never really "off" when you turn them off. Instant-on and IR circuitry are still active. Granted, the power draw is small... but if you add up all the gear in your house, it might be significant. Add an appliance module to a power strip and then plug your media gear into it.
That actually was the first thing I automated. The OFF state of the equipment was in my opinion excessive and the cabinet was always warm even when everything was OFF, everything else expanded from there.

Almost all the lights inside and outside the House are set to turn off after there has been no activity in the area for a period of time. This also includes my Airpanels, TV's, Ceiling Fan's, Dehumidifier's, computers, printers, Treadmill and other items.

No activity in the entire house for XX time and the speaker Amps, NAS, well pump (soon), and all the lights are turned off. Everything is then powered back on when any of our cars are detected returning home, lights are turned on if it is Dark. By the time we get inside the house everything is running like it was never off.

HS also monitors some solar panels and Batteries that I use for certain items in the house.

Forgot to mention HS also controls the Heating, different heating cycles during the day and when we are away.

StevenE
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  #14  
Old July 11th, 2008, 12:09 AM
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I am focusing on the big energy users like the the flourescent lights in my garage/workshop. I have 24 x 40watt bulbs. I now have them controlled by a fixture module controlled by Homeseer. If no motion in the garage for 30 minutes - turn them off. When I reenter the garage (DS10a on the door) , turn them back on.

I am also monitoring my refridgerator ON time via a DS10a triggered by a CR magnetics current transformer. It is an older model and it runs alot. Based on this info, I will be able to estimate the payback period for a new energy efficient model.

Steve Q
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  #15  
Old July 11th, 2008, 06:08 AM
Stuart Stuart is offline
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I have 2 of my wireless phones set to charge only 3 hrs a day while we are out. Works pretty good. saving 21 hours of charging and have yet to have the phones complain about not having enough power.
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  #16  
Old July 11th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
I have 2 of my wireless phones set to charge only 3 hrs a day while we are out. Works pretty good. saving 21 hours of charging and have yet to have the phones complain about not having enough power.
Won't they stop charging when the batteries are fully charged?
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  #17  
Old July 11th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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Won't they stop charging when the batteries are fully charged?
yes.... they will but they are still plugged in...

I have my craftsman lawn mower hooked up on an appliance module.. so I turn on a virtual device... and in 18hrs an event shuts it off..... it is convenient....
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  #18  
Old July 11th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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Nobody has touched on HVAC yet - big savings there!

I have a heat pump system, and so big changes in the temperature setpoint ends up costing you more. The way around that is that when the security system is armed in away mode, a flag is set, and the temperature is set back only a small amount. If the flag is set for more than an hour, then the temperature is set back more (the theory being that if we are gone for an hour, we might be gone for quite a while).

Also, when the security system is armed in night mode, and since the only time somebody is sleeping on the main floor is when we have somebody in a guest room, then the temperature on the main floor is set back quite a bit and so we are only heating/cooling the upstairs.

Also using the security system, if somebody fails to close a door completely (or opens a window without turning off the AC) then after 5 minutes of that, HomeSeer turns off the thermostats until that is corrected, then it will resume the AC.

We have a hot water dispenser (my wife likes her hot tea) and HomeSeer turns that on a bit before she might use it in the morning, then off during the daytime, and then back on in the evening until bedtime. Saves a good deal of electricity on that one since heating water takes quite a bit.

There is also a third pipe hot water circulating system since without it, we would waste a HUGE amount of water waiting for the hot stuff to make it to the showers on the upstairs floor, but circulating the hot water all the time just makes the water heater work more, so here again HomeSeer turns them on just a bit before they will be needed, off during the day, back on in the evening, etc.

My water heaters are the kind that have a forced air vent, and the heater will not operate if the power vent is not working. That gave me a GREAT way to control my water heaters without having to mess with gas lines. When we are away, one of the heaters is turned off - if we are away on vacation, then both are turned off. This is another great savings area.

Taking care of the really "green" air actually takes a little green but... If you are in a bathroom and the light has been on for more than 2 minutes, then chances are you are in there making some toxic green clouds of gas. So, HomeSeer turns on the exhaust fan, and then 5 minutes after the light is turned off, it turns off the exhaust fan. How is this green? Well, people who are considerate enough to turn ON the exhaust fan manually may not remember to go back and turn it off later, so this takes care of that.

There are other lights in the house where the kids would notoriously leave them on, so these have HomeSeer monitor them and turn them off. In case they are still being used, it first dims them to 50% or so, and then 8-10 seconds later it turns them off.

That is it off the top of my head!
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  #19  
Old July 11th, 2008, 10:19 AM
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In case they are still being used, it first dims them to 50% or so, and then 8-10 seconds later it turns them off.
WOW I didnt think of that... I need to add that to mine!!!!! few times i have walked out of the garage and back in... and the lights shut off while I made it 1/2 way in.... this is because of the ms14a taking some time until it detects motion again (think I read every 10 seconds it checks)... so I have to wave my arms so I dont trip.... and the lights are back on!!!
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  #20  
Old July 11th, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
yes.... they will but they are still plugged in...
But, if they aren't charging, they aren't consuming any power, right? Maybe a tiny amount for the LED that indicates the battery is fully charged but that would be negligable.

I'm asking because I have a lot of chargers in my shop that stay plugged in all the time. Maybe I need to plug them into a Kill-A-Watt to see what they pull when charging vs not charging.
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