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Practical Ideas to Reduce Heating and Cooling Bills Now and In the Future

by Barbara 4. February 2014 06:37

Question about how to reduce my energy bills without spending a lot of money.

Q: "My gas bills this winter almost doubled with the very cold weather. Can you give me some ideas about how to reduce my bills without being cold? Thanks. Phil"

Answer: First, contact your gas company to learn if they have a one time free energy audit available to customers. If not, I suggest you contact several insulation contractors in your area to give you their opinions about the R values in your attic and side walls. You may choose not to add additional insulation. With some rebates available in some areas, adding insulation may not be as expensive as you believe.

Next, check for air leakage from your unused electrical outlets that are on the outside walls of your home. Safe Home sells a variety of plugs and covers to reduce the leakage. For examples, look at the electrical outlet covers and sliding door outlet covers such as CoverPlug Duplex Outlet Cover for Electric Outlets, the Plug Guard Energy Saving Safety Outlet Cover, the IVORY STD 3-Prg 1 Screw Outlet Cover,6/PK, the Kiddy Cop Outlet Covers, Leviton 12777, 12/Box, or the Sockit Lockets.  We installed the Care Cover outlet covers one bitterly cold January years ago and learned how much cold air was blocked from entering our home.

If you choose outlet plugs, I suggest you purchase insulating covers that install behind each electrical outlet. To install, remove your current outlet cover, push the insulation around the plugs and replace the liner and the outlet plugs.

Use insulating foam around all water lines into your home. Make sure the "flaps" seal tightly on exhausts from clothes dryers.

Purchase a set back thermostat for your furnace. Many utility companies have a rebate to help pay for this unit.  Do remember that setting the temperature back means that time is required to get the temperature to a comfortable level. We learned in June 2013 that our original furnace was undersized: the new one comes up to daytime temperatures much faster. We keep our nightime temperature set at 68 degrees and daytime at 72 degrees. The natural gas fireplace keeps the family room comfortable on the below zero days and nights.

Change your furnace filters regularly. Choose a MERV rating that works with your furnace. Too high of a MERV rating means you'll not get much air through your filter. Safe Home filters have two layers of filtration. When the white layer gets gray, it is time to change the filter. The second layer filters out odors and chemicals; the first, dirt, dust and pollen. Safe Home filters come in one inch sizes that are self-sealing due to an internal frame and in 4 inch filters that have a self-sealing perimeter.

Use supplemental electric heaters where you need them. We suggest the ECO SAVE Ceramic Heater that is compact and efficient and used only 750 watts of electricity. If your feet get cold while the rest of you feels comfortable, then consider the Toasty Toes Heated Footrest.

If you have the money and your furnace is 15 or more years old, consider replacing the furnace. Make sure you get at least three bids. If the BTU ratings vary a lot, get another bid or two. YOu don't want an oversized furnace nor an undersized one (like the one we had for over 20 years).

We replaced both AC and the main furnace this summer with next to the highest efficiency units. (Total cost was $5400 less the rebates.) The new furnace is two stage, i.e. two blower speeds. We got rebates from both the gas and electric companies. Also we did not choose the most expensive units available. Sometimes you have to choose between a few thousand dollars and paying your HVAC person annual AC and heating tune-ups.

This past month we did use an electric ceramic heater set at 65 degrees F in our tiled bathroom and another one in the kitchen (ceramic flooring). That took the chill off in those rooms. Unfortunately, our new kitten has yet to learn to keep his claws in. So the insulated window shades remain up even in the cold weather. (A toss up between ripped shades and more insulation or keeping Buddy from climbing them.)

If you have other questions, please contact us.

Sincerely, Barbara

750 Watt ECO-SAVE Ceramic Electric Heaters Allow Efficent Small Area Heating Due to Compact Size

by Barbara 4. November 2013 14:07

Question about the ECO-Save Ceramic Electric Heaters.

Q: "What makes this electric space heater better than a Cozy Legs panel for an office area?"Thanks. Sara

Answer: The Cozy Legs is great for under desk heating. It is, however, a radiant heating panel. So there is no fan. Also for best use, you need a stand. So moving it is somewhat awkward.

The ECO-Save Portable Electric Heater Features Include:

  • Energy Saving
  • Low wattage
  • Reduced fire risk
  • Keeps you warm for less $$
  • Safety tip-over shut off protection
  • Variable speed fan
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Ceramic Heating Element
  • Voltage: 120V 60Hz
  • Power: 750W
  • Weight: 4.63lbs
  • Dimensions: 8.86"x8.86"x12.4", 11” H x 7.5” Diameter
  • ETL Listed.
  • Warranty: 6 months by manufacturer
Another advantage is that you can use two of these in the same area as a single 1500 Watt heater and get better heating coverage.

Thanks for your question. Please contact us if you are interested in a quantity purchase.

Sincerely,
Barbara

24 Volt Heater for Large Construction Vehicles Provides Over 2100 BTU Heat Output

by Barbara 8. January 2013 07:08

Question about the Product: Roadworthy Back Seat Heater Plus 24 Volt

Q:"How much heat does this 24 volt heater produce? Our company operates large construction vehicles in colder climates. The vehicle heaters do not product enough heat to keep our employees comfortable. Thanks. Tom."

Answer: The 24 volt model of the Roadworthy Back Seat Heater would meet your needs. as it generates over 2100 BTU's of heat when it is operating. It hard-wires to the battery. The Back Seat Heater has an on-off switch, a heat control, a heat with fan or fan only modes. The vehicle engine MUST run in order to use the heater and fan. Wattage consumed is 600 watts.

Powered by the vehicle's battery, this truck heater is easily installed in different locations within the vehicle. The outer housing stays cool during use. An ignition block allows truck heater operation only when the engine is running. Unique cell design: 100% efficient heat transfer to room air.

Roadworthy Heaters are assembled in the USA.

Notes to Remember about Roadworthy Back Seat Heaters:

  •  Not intended as primary heat source. Air output is 20° to 30° warmer than air input.
  •  Alternator must produce 45 to 40 amps for enough power to operate heater.
  •  Mount low, along floor, under elevated seats, on wheelwells, or on the floor.
  •  Start vehicle before turning on heater. Operate heater and fan ONLY if engine is running.
  • Installation required. Included: wire, optional dash mounted switch and universal mounting bracket. 

 Roadworthy Back Seat Heat Model 4000 (24 Volt Only) Specifications:

  • Patent #4,9000,898 and 323,553
  • Voltage: 24V DC
  • Current: 25 amp @24 VDC
  • Power consumption: 600W, 2100 BTUs
  • High temperature cut-out recycling limit switch
  • Wire harness length: 20 ft
  • Universal mounting bracket
  • Auxiliary control: optional dashboard on/off switch
  • Controls: off, fan only, heat
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Fan rating: 102 CFM
  • Assembled in USA
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Dimensions: 5.25 in x 7.25 in x 8.25 in
  • Weight: approx. 6 lbs
  • Made in USA by Family Safety Products

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely,
Barbara

 

Heating a Small Bedroom with Cozy Legs Panels?

by Barbara 3. March 2008 07:15
Q:"Would you be able to heat a small bedrooom if you braced one of the Cozy Legs panels to the ceiling?" Thanks. Melodee

Answer: No, the Cozy Legs panel is not meant to heat large areas like a bedroom The panel must be mounted vertically, either using the optional metal stand or adhesive attachment to a wall. So it could not be braced to the ceiling. The unit is typically used under a desk and is an energy efficient way to provide supplemental heat without blowing fuses. The power used is equivalent to a 150 watt bulb.

I hope this answered your question.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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cozy personal heaters | electric heaters

Does a 115V AC Cozy Legs use a standard USA outlet?

by Barbara 30. January 2008 11:05

Q: "My Cozy Legs radiant heater's instructions state to plug into a 115 VAC outlet. Is that a standard American household outlet?" ..Kay.

Answer: Yes, that is a standard USA outlet. Your question sent me to investigating alternating current and its voltages. (Somehow I don't recall learning this in high school physics. Or maybe I forgot?)

For residential alternating current (AC), the voltages 110V AC, 115V AC, 117V AC, 120V AC, and 125V AC are all functionally the same. Electric companies have slowly increased the line voltage over the last 100 years to cope with increased loads. The tolerance is generally +/-10%. That's +/- 11.5 volts in this case. So, a 115VAC appliance will run between 103.5 and 126.5VAC. Interestingly enough, AC power in Mexico is about 127 VAC with occasional power surges causing appliances to blow fuses.

For years, Safe Home Products has sold Kill a Watt meters and Watts Up meters that give you electrical information such as power quality of an AC outlet and what voltage, watts or amps an appliance draws, etc.
Thanks again for your interesting question.

Sincerely,
Barbara