Home Energy

Last Revised: March 4, 2024

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Here are a few articles that deal with saving energy in your home.

How to Know When to Change a Furnace Filter                             

Does a Setback Thermostat Save Money?                              

Making Home Electricity From Wood

The so-called "Portable Air Conditioners",

the kind that roll around and have only a single clothes dryer sized vent hose that goes out a window sound like a good idea, don't they?
But---- they are less efficient than window A/C's and actually ADD to the humidity in your house.
Here's a short Youtube video that explains why:
Portable A/C Cautions

Effect of Thermostat "Deadband" or "Hysteresis" on Furnace Cycle Time

The culprit is the Honeywell T1 Pro (TH1110D2009) thermostat

Hoywell T1 Pro Thermostat
---and it's inability to communicate how to work with my manufactured home's forced air furnace.
An Arduino project to get the answers, in 3 parts. (Note: Part 3 has the solution if you need it:)

Part 1:
Our furnace failed over the New Year's holiday, 2021 to 2022. It was a horrible set of service calls to get it fixed. We ended up with a new thermostat (that wasn't part of the problem). That thermostat has a VERY short "deadband" which causes the furnace to cycle much more often than it used to do.
To get a handle on the problem, I started this project to record furnace cycle times so I could go to the thermostat mfr and/or service company to lengthen the total cycle time during the heating season. In other words, I'd like to furnace to cycle only about 4 times per hour rather than 6 or 8 times per hour as it does now in the colder weather. I think that means that I'd need a dead band of 3/4 to 1 degree F between off and on.
Here is a short video showing the first part of the project:
My Furnace Cycle Time Project Youtube Video Part 1
Here's a link to my Furnace On Time Arduino IDE code

Part 2:
Well, it's autumn of 2022 and I have my furnace ON time blower sensor project working properly and my excel spreadsheet amalyzing the data as I want it to do.
For most of the summer I have been recording the furnace's blower activity while air conditioniing the house. This process gave me the opportunity to work out any kinks in the system, but my thermostat handles cooling differently from heating, so I still didn't have any hard evidence of my exact too short cycle time concerns to take to the HVAC company.
I did, however, make a second video about the system and I include a graph or two and a look at the spreadsheet format so you can see what's up. That "Part 2" video is here:
Arduino - Furnace Blower ON Time Sensing Project, Part 2

Part 3:
Now it's spring of 2023 and I have all the answers that I need.
It turns out that after spending a lot of time with the Honeywell customer support operation and more time with the local HVAC company, I arrived at a set of parameters that stretch the cycle times out to acceptable rates. I document a lot of this information, and, if you have similar problems, some advice for you, in this, my third and last video on the subject:
Too Short Furnace Cycle Time, Solved, Part 3