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BOINC

BOINC is an open-source volunteer oriented distributed computing grid. It’s free, and harnesses the unused clock cycles from processors and graphics cards to attempt to cure cancer/AIDS/Ebola, map the Milky Way galaxy, fold proteins, search for extraterrestrial life, and others.

Power Usage

Assignment - Light - We take for granted the ease with which we illuminate our lives
Creative Commons License credit: abstract duck
We’ve lived in our house almost one and a half years now, and we’ve got a general feel now for how our power usage is. During the winter, we spend around $60 a month for our power bills, and $200-$250 a month during the summer. Running the A/C using takes a VERY big toll on our power usage!  Being the case, we’ve come up with a few ideas to how lower the costs of our power bill.

During the day, we set our thermostat to 80, and 76 at night after I get home from work.  This was fine and all, except we forget a lot of time to turn it back up for hours after I leave for work.  We ended up investing in a Hunter 44260 Programmable Thermostat.  It took about 5 minutes to install after I finally figured out what lines do what since we have a heat pump and not a furnace.  At least we don’t have to worry about a gas bill. 🙂

The next thing we did was replace most major 60 watt lights in our house with GE 13-Watt Energy Smart CFLs.  The nice thing with the state of CFLs these days is they don’t have a “warm-up” period anymore like they used to have.

We normally do laundry on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s.  This ends up being 3 loads total a week (two clothes, and one load of towels).  For the towels, we ran a line in our huge lanai to hang them on.  A lot of people complain that hanging towels make them hard, but we found the way to do it so they’re not:  Vinegar.  When you’re washing machine goes to the rinse cycle, throw a cup of vinegar in with the water as it’s filling up.  This will help to pull all the excess laundry detergent out of the towels, which is the thing that makes them so hard normally.  When doing this, DO NOT throw liquid fabric softener in with the towels; this only makes them worse.  Finally, when you go to hang them on the line, right before you put the clothes pins on them, shake them real hard once or twice, and do the same again when you pull them off.

What ways have you guys found to save even minute amounts of power around the house?

Mike

Mike is tech geek known for his creation of programs in bizarre but awesome fashion. He's an avid photographer, reader, cinephile, programmer, and into anything geeky; he'll be glad to talk about anything ranging from MMO's to PHP.

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4 comments to Power Usage

  • Jon

    Awesome dude. We’ve turned the heated dry off of the dishwasher and I normally take Navy showers (water on, rinse, water off, soap, water on, rinse). I’ve dropped the amount of running water time from about 5 1/2 minutes (short anyway) to about 2 1/2 minutes. With our shower head, it saves about 7.5 gallons. Anyway, was written great, good work!

  • Lia

    A way to save money is to plan ahead. In our home we plan a full week of meals out, and only go shopping one day a week, and get just the items for that week. Also once a month, we spend about $100 on groceries, because we buy the family/ economy packs of chicken and ground meat and freeze everything for the month. The rest of the weeks in that month we spend about $40 just getting the odds and ends for the meals, and our normal weekly bread, milk, fruit, etc … It is something to look into for your family.

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