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Community and Q&A

What type of degree do you suggest for green building?

Terrell Whitworth | Posted in General Questions on

I already have a BFA and was curious what I could do to take advantage of my construction experience. Aka I’m getting old and can’t keep doing this forever.

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  1. Alan B | | #

    I'm finding these programmable thermostats have a flaw
    At the beginning of winter I started with 67ºF while i am awake and 66ºF while sleeping and found it adequate so i programmed the thermostat for it. 67F seemed to be the coolest i could be barely comfortable at.
    When it got below 20F outside i needed 68F while awake to not be cold in the house.
    At 10F outside i needed 69F (70F indoors at 0F and lower outdoor), so these days i adjust it manually, daytime depending on the outdoor temp and 2F cooler at night.
    So in the end i have to run it manually, now i could just set it for 69F and 67F at night, but that would produce less savings, so that means i need a thermostat that has an outdoor thermometer and can use outdoor temps as part of its programming.

    Also those savings they trumpet must be for very large or inefficient houses, $150 would pay for the heat for about 1000HDD which makes little sense

  2. User avater GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #

    Response to Alan B
    If these studies show an average savings of $138 per year, and if the researchers claim that this amounts to savings of about 12%, that would indicate that the homes in the study had an average energy bill for heating and cooling of $1,150 per year, or $96 per month.

  3. Alan B | | #

    I find it very hard to believe
    The savings they claim would cover more then a month of my heating bill (and winter is 4-5 months long), so unless it has a very high setback i don't think its likely. Mind you i have no data to back up what i am saying just personal experience so i could be very wrong.

    At 25c/m3 they are claiming it saves 524-580m3 of gas saved, if thats 12 percent then the average home would use 4600m3 of gas a year, and the local utility here (4500HDD, serves a good part of southern Ontario) says the average household uses 2200m3/yr. This just does not add up, unless they are averaging Alaska and other very, very cold climate zones. If this is so then they should state that, only above maybe 9000HDD could you save more then $100 a year on a very aggressive setback. As for cooling i will assume since central air systems will have an average COP of over 2.5 the average price of electricity used will compare similarly for gas used for heating for the same delta T change. This is an area i don't know nearly as much about so if i am incorrect then i apologize.

    I'm not disregarding savings from a programmable thermostat if used, i am just saying their claims are hard to believe and a far cheaper programmable thermostat should produce similar savings to this one (which are less then they claim) but do look a lot more utilitarian then this device.

    I also don't like my data being sent to a corporation for analysis, but i do agree that this smart device may produce an extra few dollars of savings a month, but the payback rate for this device compared to a regular programmable thermostat is probably similar to payback on new windows (again a best guess opinion).

  4. User avater GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #

    Response to Alan B
    The researchers looked at both air conditioning costs and heating costs.

    And it doesn't surprise me that the average cost for heating and cooling a U.S. home is $1,150 per year. That sounds about right.

    Whether the Nest is responsible for 12% savings is a whole other question. But that's what the researchers are reporting.

  5. But Why? | | #

    A nest thermostat would
    A nest thermostat would likely cost me MORE money in the long run or its logic board would blow up. I can't imagine what it would do when you have people waking at 4:00 AM and leaving at 4:30 AM then people waking at 6:00 AM and leaving at 8:00 AM and then someone else waking at 10:00 AM or 11:00 AM or noon and leaving then depending on the day of the week. And then you have people coming home at 11:00 AM or it could be noon and another home at 1:30 who falls asleep and then another wanders in at 2:15 and falls asleep and then a 3rd and 4th get home between 3:00 and 3:30 Most hit the bedrooms by 10:00 but then one will get off work and be home at 11:30 and then one will be out until 2:30 or 3:00 drinking mostly on weekends. I would save more money if it just shouted "shut the dang door" or "go back and turn off the lights" at everyone that went past.

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