Category Archives: Saving Energy

This section specifically looks at ways we can save energy at home!

11 Mar

Sprawlstainable – New and Improved for 2014

Spawlstainable began as a two year chronicle of Dan and Mary Deweese’s journey to create a more sustainable lifestyle while living in the suburbs. Their 2 year goal was to reduce their energy consumption by 50% (which they did) and to grow 10% of their own food (which they didn’t). After the two years was up they had many followers, and had enjoyed their blogging experience, but new things came along and Sprawlstainable went dormant, without updates, for another couple of years. Now, Mary is resurrecting Sprawlstainable with new categories, a new mobile compatible word press template, and most importantly, a new commitment to adding content, because, even though the blogging had taken a hiatus, the Deweese’s journey towards sustainable living did not, and there is a lot to write about and catch up on…..so welcome to the New and Improved Sprawlstainable Blog….Thanks for Visiting!

Mary Deweese

11 May

Blog Post – Actual One Year Savings Data on our Geothermal System

graph

 

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29 Jun

The Decision to Go Geothermal

SYSTEM-final-blog

The heating and cooling systems on our trusty suburban ranch was more than twenty years old when we decided it was time to replace them with new, high efficiency models. So Mary and I began our due diligence on the subject and started comparing available options. When I first learned about geothermal heating and cooling for residential applications, it was both fascinating and a little intimidating. It seemed like a technology that everyone should be using, but since they weren’t, I was skeptical that it could really be as advantageous as it seemed to be on the surface.

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29 May

Actual Energy Use Data Year 1- See How Our Energy Saving Strategies are Adding Up!

gas use to march 2011

Last updated April 25, 2011

We are implementing energy saving strategies to attempt to reduce our energy use at our home by 50% In this post I am going to be updating graphs showing our total energy use for Electric and Gas showing the difference between the average energy usage of the last 5 years to our current usage. Read More

13 May

How We Saved 38% in Energy Costs for our Home Lighting

light

I wanted to show you how easily you can save money by changing out some of your light bulbs to compact fluorescent or LED.  With a few packages of new bulbs we saved 38% off the total cost of running lights in our house.  Read more to see exactly how we did it. Read More

27 Apr

Drill, Baby, Drill: The Dirt on Geothermal Installation

Dirt Left After Geothermal Installation

One of the factors to consider when choosing a geothermal heating and cooling system are the ramifications of the exterior installation requirements. Unlike traditional systems, there is quite a bit of work that needs to be done outside the home to place the lines in the ground that are needed to carry the liquid that runs to the compressor inside the house. The photo here shows a simple illustration of where the holes were drilled in our yard, 200′ deep and 10′ apart. (Geothermal systems can also be installed horizontally, or in pond or open loop systems, but in our situation vertical loops were the best option.) Read More

26 Apr

Time Lapse Geothermal Drilling and
Trenching Videos

time-lapse

We’ll be doing a number of posts about our new geothermal heating and cooling system. It is a substantial investment in our home, and will go a long way towards meeting our goals of reducing our energy bills and our carbon footprint.

These videos are made from time lapse photography we captured during the outdoor portion of the installation process. Read More

26 Apr

Begin with the End in Mind: Our Home Energy Audit

Energy Audit Montage

With our goal of slashing energy costs by 50% over the next two years, we needed to know what we were dealing with in terms of the condition of our house.

We decided to get a home energy audit, which can be a great way to understand the current condition of your home for energy savings opportunities.  In our case, two technicians from St. Louis based Home Green Home spent about three hours in our house. They checked the levels of insulation in the attic, walls, and basement. They used an infrared camera to look for areas of heat loss and inefficiency, and they performed a blower door test to analyze the air exchange in the house. Read More

25 Apr

Where We’re Starting on Home Energy Use

meter

Before we embark on this journey toward a more sustainable suburban homestead, we need to establish where we’re starting in terms of our energy usage. After all, if we have a goal of cutting our energy usage by 50% over the next two years, we need to know how much energy we’re using now and what it costs us to keep the lights on.

So here are some specifics on our situation and a little background on our baseline energy consumption. Read More

16 Apr

We’re Part of the Problem… Now What?

in the middle of the sprawl

Not too long ago I woke up and realized…I’m living as part of the problem: the middle of suburbia…in an outdated, energy hog of a house, a big grassy yard, and a car I drive every time I need anything because I’m smack dab in the middle of residential sprawl.

What can I do about the environmental problems?  Should I move to the city and live in a dense urban core?  Should I move to the country and live off the land and off the grid?  Certainly being in the suburbs is the worst place to be…everybody says so. “Sprawl”: it is a bad word, and I am part of it.  I grew up in a cul-de-sac neighborhood…and now I live in one. Read More

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