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Old 12-16-2012, 07:25 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by bigystyle84 View Post
My power bill is $500 a month in the winter. I'm in Canada though
One cheap way to save on power bill is swap incandescent lights for fluorescent ones.

I live in the US, so I'm sure Canada gets a lot colder, but in the winter I usually put a coat on in the house rather than use a space heater (my GTX 470 is practically a space heater already).
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:39 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by riva2model64 View Post
One cheap way to save on power bill is swap incandescent lights for fluorescent ones.

I live in the US, so I'm sure Canada gets a lot colder, but in the winter I usually put a coat on in the house rather than use a space heater (my GTX 470 is practically a space heater already).
Well depending on his location -30c or -22 f could be common.



In my area Howell NJ -15c or 5 f happens once or twice a year.

In a good year -10c or 14f is the worst that happens.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:44 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by riva2model64 View Post
One cheap way to save on power bill is swap incandescent lights for fluorescent ones.

I live in the US, so I'm sure Canada gets a lot colder, but in the winter I usually put a coat on in the house rather than use a space heater (my GTX 470 is practically a space heater already).
Guessing he's using electric heat, in that case may as well keep the incandescent lights, they're adding more heat, comes up to the same.

It's too bad electric is so much more expensive per watt of energy since it's more environmentally friendly to heat with electricity than gas which sends greenhouse gases out. But what can you do. I heat with gas and my gas bill is about 100 bucks per month and electricity is about 150/mo (I have lot of server stuff running 24/7). I'd be curious to know how much it would cost for me to heat electric. Then again natural gas is a fairly clean burning gas so I don't have to feel TOO bad for thinking about money before the environment, I guess.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:37 AM   #54
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Guessing he's using electric heat, in that case may as well keep the incandescent lights, they're adding more heat, comes up to the same.

It's too bad electric is so much more expensive per watt of energy since it's more environmentally friendly to heat with electricity than gas which sends greenhouse gases out. But what can you do. I heat with gas and my gas bill is about 100 bucks per month and electricity is about 150/mo (I have lot of server stuff running 24/7). I'd be curious to know how much it would cost for me to heat electric. Then again natural gas is a fairly clean burning gas so I don't have to feel TOO bad for thinking about money before the environment, I guess.
You are right. Entire house is heated with Electric Heat unfortunately. Its only 6 years old too. Not sure why the original owners went that way.

Hopefully going to get a heat pump installed within a few years. Out of my price range right now with new baby here.

My bill for rest of the year is generally under $200
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:57 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by philipma1957 View Post
Well depending on his location -30c or -22 f could be common.



In my area Howell NJ -15c or 5 f happens once or twice a year.

In a good year -10c or 14f is the worst that happens.
Hello, Howell, from Toms River!

With luck, we'll have a winter like last year's.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:53 AM   #56
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Hello, Howell, from Toms River!

With luck, we'll have a winter like last year's.
Yeah Hope so. How did Sandy treat you. I was lucky minor damage.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:55 AM   #57
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Yeah Hope so. How did Sandy treat you. I was lucky minor damage.
Untouched, with the exception of power loss. We're west of Rt 9. Turns out, the snowstorm that came after took down half of the trees in my neighborhood.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:11 AM   #58
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Guessing he's using electric heat, in that case may as well keep the incandescent lights, they're adding more heat, comes up to the same.

It's too bad electric is so much more expensive per watt of energy since it's more environmentally friendly to heat with electricity than gas which sends greenhouse gases out. But what can you do. I heat with gas and my gas bill is about 100 bucks per month and electricity is about 150/mo (I have lot of server stuff running 24/7). I'd be curious to know how much it would cost for me to heat electric. Then again natural gas is a fairly clean burning gas so I don't have to feel TOO bad for thinking about money before the environment, I guess.
True, but where does the electricity come from? Unless its a water, wind or solar source, chances are your natural gas heat will be cleaner.

Another option is to live in the room with the fireplace

Also, I've always wondered, how do pipes not burst in the winter under such cold circumstances? Or are your required to turn on the heat so they don't burst?

-edit- I live in MD, and I was pretty lucky that sandy did minimal damage.

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Old 12-17-2012, 12:20 PM   #59
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It's too bad electric is so much more expensive per watt of energy since it's more environmentally friendly to heat with electricity than gas which sends greenhouse gases out.
Can you be sure that your electricity was produced using "environmentally clean" methods? You're actually lucky because Canada is the world's second largest producer of hydroelectricity. Just don't tell that to environmentalists bemoaning the damming of rivers. However, some provinces still heavily rely on electricity made from burning coal. The swing can be as wide as almost 98% hydro in some areas, to over 70% coal in others.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:18 PM   #60
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Well, on the top of my head.. PSUs in the PC space tend to be designed so that the efficiency sort of plateaus at half of its rated Wattage. So this could be some incentive to use higher rated power supplies as it will be drawing less power off the wall although reality is that it wont scratch much off your monthly power bill.

If your system draws say ~300W, a PSU with let's say have a 600W rating (careful to know that some PSUs rate their maximum peak and not continuous power rating.. those two are very very different things..) tend to use components or designs in a way that they can handle such power loads i.e. cooler operation -> quieter at lighter loads as it wont really stress the PSU much. However, for PSU that are say 400W, it will be very likely to get hot or be noisy unless its a really quality PSU with very high efficiency. Logically you will be stressing the PSU more so.

And unfortunately.. higher quality PSUs tend to be that of higher wattage PSUs although it doesn't mean you can't have lower rated ones. It's just that manufacturers like to market big Watts with high efficiency so bit of a bummer here.

Abit OT... but a more efficient lighting system at home could probably save more bucks than optimizing your desktop PC
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:17 PM   #61
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Well, on the top of my head.. PSUs in the PC space tend to be designed so that the efficiency sort of plateaus at half of its rated Wattage. So this could be some incentive to use higher rated power supplies as it will be drawing less power off the wall although reality is that it wont scratch much off your monthly power bill.
Well it all depends on your usage, right? Let's use my computer and usage patterns as an example.

2600K@4.5GHz, single GTX 560Ti @stock, two HDDs, two SSDs

I'm thinking my highest load, which is during gaming, is probably around 300W-ish. Otherwise, I'm around 120W-ish. All numbers pulled out of nether regions.

In the past week I've probably spent no more than around 8 hours gaming. The computer has probably been idling (web browsing, watching streaming vids, being AFK) around 80 hours (rough estimate, I do turn it off every night and I put it into sleep mode if I know I'm going to be AFK for more than an hour).

I think I would be better served with something like that Seasonic 360W Gold PSU than a 600W unit.

On the flip side, some kid home on break and spending literally 12 hours a day actually IN game may see more efficiency out of a higher wattage unit.

The other thing is how do we KNOW that 50% is where all PSUs are the most efficient? We don't. 50% is just one of three points (20/50/100) where ECOS tests for 80Plus efficiency. For all we know the peak efficiency of one given PSU can be 60% while another PSU may be 80%.

Thoughts to ponder.

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Abit OT... but a more efficient lighting system at home could probably save more bucks than optimizing your desktop PC
This is true. I'm sure there are probably (I'm too scared to look ) some forums out there for light bulb enthusiasts where people are talking about this kind of stuff.
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:41 PM   #62
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Can you be sure that your electricity was produced using "environmentally clean" methods? You're actually lucky because Canada is the world's second largest producer of hydroelectricity. Just don't tell that to environmentalists bemoaning the damming of rivers. However, some provinces still heavily rely on electricity made from burning coal. The swing can be as wide as almost 98% hydro in some areas, to over 70% coal in others.
Yeah true, depends on area. Here it's all Hydro. Though if all the Hydro plants were to fail at once I imagine we'd fall on the southern grid which may use other sources too. Hydro does have some environmental impacts, but they are much less severe than coal or even nuclear, which is probably the cleanest form of non renewable sources. Coal being probably the dirtiest.


As for pipes, most people like to heat their houses above zero, so pipes freezing is not an issue.

I keep my house around 10C-13C when I'm not home or sleeping, for that reason. That and to keep the cat somewhat warm at least. I bring it up to 20-23 when I'm home. I have a fully automated system though that is tailored to my shift work schedule so when I get home it's always to a nice hot house.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:45 AM   #63
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The other thing is how do we KNOW that 50% is where all PSUs are the most efficient? We don't. 50% is just one of three points (20/50/100) where ECOS tests for 80Plus efficiency. For all we know the peak efficiency of one given PSU can be 60% while another PSU may be 80%.
I think ~50% is a safe assumption given numerous charts show it, and such plots have a lot more than three test points.

For example, XBit starts their loads at 50W and pushes it upward in small increments:



Even if the peak is somewhere between 40-60%, there's usually less than 1% difference between it and 50%.

Every PSU test I've seen follows a similar trend, and I've never seen or heard of a unit that attains peak efficiency at 80%.
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