87% off electric heat bill: REALLY saving energy

**87% off electric heat bill: REALLY saving energy**



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I made this video to augment my article “REALLY Saving Energy with The Heat Bubble: how I cut 87% off of my electric heat by heating the person instead of the whole house”. This is a DIY alternative form of energy conservation

Camille Pearl comes over to my house and tests my energy saving theories for herself. We start off stripping off her clothes that are more than just a single, normal layer people might wear in a fully heated area. Then we have her stand in the cool area until she feels too cold, then move her to the desk with the micro personal heaters.

It was in this video where Camille first refers to this as a “bubble.” And now, that’s what we call this technique: “a heat bubble”.

She starts off too cold, and then spends 30 minutes at the heated desk area. At the end of the 30 minutes she is fully warmed up and feels like she could work there indefinitely.

We then turn off the micro heat and see how long she can hold out until she feels too cold to keep working. About three minutes and ten seconds.

Quick summary of micro heaters:
40 watts: incandescent light bulb in a chick brooder configuration
25 watts: heated keyboard
15 watts: dog bed heater / heating pad
2.5 watts: heated mouse

82.5 watts total.

A homemade approach to save the environment. Alternatives are sources for home production. This may be a big boost to renewable energy efforts.

Relevant threads at permies:

music by Jimmy Pardo
see she gets the point alright so you can see on the thermometer that it's like just a hair over 50 right now and so are you feeling a little cold from walking around the room my fingers are real cold my feet are cold um yeah I just pulled my sweater sleeves down alright um make yourself comfortable get some work done you thank you and don't mind if I do okay that's thirty minutes how do you feel I feel good I'm very comfortable tops of my feet it warmed up the tops of my hands warmed up okay so when you say the tops of your feet the tops of your hands warmed up I dig it too the bottoms of your hands the bottoms our feet warmed up right away right those were the first things um that I could feel the warmth from the warmth from the heat lamp is not nearly as noticeable as from the devices that I'm actually touching can you look up into the lamp and see what the wattage on it is 120 volts it looks like 40 watts all right so um now what does it feel like what's the temperature feel like where you are well um I feel like I'm in a warm little bubble I mean it could be 70 degrees in here for all I know okay how do you normally tolerate the cold um I get cold um pretty easily uh you know I can I can stand it but I get uncomfortable pretty fast and I typically work at a computer all day with the thermostat in my house set between 60 and 60 to 63 degrees but I frequently have to turn on a space heater on my feet keep it on for a while and then turn it off on my leg skate so it's kind of an ongoing process throughout the day and it seems like I mean I don't know how much energy we're using right here but it seems like we're likely using less than a space heater with require and in a way it's a lot more you know like low low maintenance because I'm not adjusting anything after I sat down all right so let's move to the next phase turn it up turn it all off tada keep on working but see how you feel getting cold alright so is it okay there I think that's called it that's time if you like this sort of thing come on out to the forums at permease comm where we talk about really saving energy homesteading and permaculture all the time

42 thoughts on “**87% off electric heat bill: REALLY saving energy**

  1. lou e

    Paul's kickstarter for his new book about how to … "Live a more luxuriant life, save money and REALLY make a difference in solving global problems. Environmentalism without sacrifice."   https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/better-world-book?ref=c7y …is going on now there are some great extras for backers, even when only backing for a few dollars. There are also some great stretch goals!! If you want to check it out the link is above. Ends May 10, 2019

  2. Alexis Tudor

    Wear hats as huge amounts of energy is lost via head. Use in an infrared light if you need more heat.

  3. A True Brit

    @paul wheaton
    do you know what paresis is? If you do not know already you will.
    I know this is an old video. The subject is in actuality.

  4. IGnatius T Foobar

    You know what they say … build someone a fire and you keep them warm for a day … set them on fire and you keep them warm for the rest of their life.

  5. Zwanzika Hatzel

    Aside from water bottles and wool sweaters, the way I really solved the issue of cold was to find a nice little nook in my house. I placed a very thick carpet on the floor, I then draped the walls with some tapestry and I hung a really heavy curtain all around the space. The space is really nice and cozy and it gets warm really quickly and it looks like a cool fort or a fortuneteller's tent! haha I suppose the same thing could be done with your bed. In medieval times canopy beds were common with aristocrats for exactly that reason. They keep you warm because they create a small insulated room inside the main room.

  6. OghamTheBold

    Warm wrists – for comfortable – warm feeling : tie socks – around draughty : loose cuffs – in real cold – erect : a bubble wrap box tent – over garden twine – strung across the room – traps 'FR€€' [more honestly – just waste] < PC fan heat R > G

  7. Brian Brewster

    This is LUDICROUS! 1) You have to have floor heater and overhead heater, 2) You have a bright light shining down directly over your face (annoying!), 3) how can you have a 50-degree room? I'm in second story apartment and in the dead of winter it still gets 80-degrees in here. I cannot zone control the heat in my tiny apartment. I have to open my window wide as possible to reduce temps 1 -2 degrees. Now – I've inserted a window fan and this seems to cool it down a lot more. Otherwise I want to die it gets so bloody hot. Oh yea, monitors (even flat panels) give off a good portion of heat, too.

  8. benjie414

    as far as i know, more electricity is used in summer, than winter. a.c. costs more to use than a furnace.
    also, a wood stove or fireplace can save a lot of $, in winter. but, in summer, a.c. is really the only way to cool down & dehumidify rooms.

  9. Bridge26

    This is phenomenal , by thinking this way and buy a few cheap items , Ive saved over 70% off my energy bills from 2 years ago , this video is priceless .

  10. hansonsux

    My 10×12 bedroom warms up just fine (no electric blankets or anything) with a 7 fin electric radiator on its lowest setting 600 watts, and I use a plug in thermostat instead of the built in one. I'd say the frequency in which the thermostat cycles, I could get away with a 300 watt heater. If I'm busy, it hardly comes on at all (tv and computer on etc) 71f during the day, and 73f at night, are typlical.

  11. Mark Adams

    You can fart that will heat up the room too just make sure you eat a lot of beans and keep your arce away from any open flame you might explode!

  12. Brad Meyers

    We used heat lamps for our young livestock when I was a boy. Thanks for this video to remind me. I bought a heat lamp to use in my workshop in the garage. It hangs just over my workbench and kept me warm. I didn't need to run my propane heater and try to heat the whole garage.

  13. Matt Sorensen

    Or consider, wearing a sweater and a comfortable coat along with A super Soft RUSSIAN HAT/SOVIET MILITARY W/EAR FLAPS SHAPKA-USHANKA . A small heater and a lamp and the job is doneThe best part is new get up and leave and go throughout your house or go outside your Don't immediately freeze. your that much more warmer and comfortable, if you want to take it to the next level get a poncho. Happy commonsense day you're welcome

  14. techtiptricks

    You reduce electrical usage in Florida and you'll notice on the next billing cycle virtually no difference. There Fraudsters here. I was gone for 2 weeks on vacation with all breakers off and only running a refrigerator for 2 weeks and the electric bill was within 8 dollars of the previous month.

  15. Timothy Classen

    We really need to be practical. We need this kind of idea to save more money. Thanks for posting this video on YouTube.

  16. vigosts

    A typical ameribeauty! Honeys need to be warmed up from time to time oohh hon come here oohh u'll get lots of the babies to become a mommy like!

  17. Frauenfoerderer

    I recommend using a hot water rubber bottle (1.5 liter) and a thick bedcover to warm yourself – inspired by the japanese kotatsu-system ( https://www.google.com/search?q=kontatsu&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=SXUjU6_6E86ThgeR0oCwCA&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1241&bih=753#q=kotatsu&spell=1&tbm=isch ).

    I started using this combination on top of the tried and tested long underwear, turtleneck sweater and thick socks this winter with amazing results! I work at home on my laptop, sitting on a sofa I put the hot bottle (wrapped in a towel while really hot) on my lap and cover myself with the bed-cover from chest-level down to floor-level, which insulates the heat really good. This warms the whole body from its center very nicely and easily for hours! Even my fingers, which get cold very quickly, stay warm; should they get somewhat cold, I alternately put them under the blanket to warm up on the bottle.

    Also use the bottle for a cozy sleep of course.

    Try it, you'll be impressed!

  18. joe breskin

    I like this video a lot. I've done this basic practice for decades now.
    the black rubber mats they make for starting plants are awesome for the floor, though a 2' baseboard heater under the desk also works fine, just sucks more watts
    I used a 75-150 watt spotlamp (outdoor PAR bulb on a triac chopper dimmer) above the desk instead of the brooder lamp above the keyboard and that just about made all the heat one needs in a writer's office. 
    Now I work standing up, on an old Precor 718e stair climber machine, and my legs make all the heat I need except for the 10 watt halogen task light about 12" above the keyboard that keeps fingers nimble. 

  19. metaspherz

    Thanks for your video. Great effort to reduce your carbon footprint and still provide a cozy work space. Just a note: Your total wattage might be a wee bit more since it didn't include the monitor in the total watts listed which also radiates heat (my 24" is Energy Star compliant and the screen radiates 84 degrees and the power supply is a hot 94). The laptop also uses wattage and exhausts heat from the vents and the power supply (only when recharging, of course).  While these 'other' incidental heat sources produce heat all year and wouldn't necessarily be included as part of your micro heater list in your seasonal energy reduction efforts, they cannot be ignored as relevant ambient heat sources that warm the immediate work area as well.
    I used an infrared thermometer to to get the surface temps.
    Btw, several years ago I owned a desktop PC that vented a steady 98 degree air flow into my computer room (thanks in part to the uber hot 8800 GTX video card )and my 52" 3D plasma screen that had a surface temp of 103. My 8' x 10' computer room stayed a toasty 84 degrees in all but the most fridged weather. Needless to say, combined they heated my small room allowing me to keep the heating vent closed when they were on — which in turn was problematical during the hottest Summer months….

  20. Peter Jolliffe

    I tried living with less heating but anything under about 64 degrees gave me terrible problems with condensation and mold in the house.


    I have my work station set a bit different. I have a recliner with a ergo keyboard in my lap my laptop is on a swivel stand the mouse is on the armrest of the chair. When it is cold I will wear thermals a knit hat,electric blanket, I also have decent footwear with heating pad for feet should they need. I was thinking why not build a frame that can go over your workspace and insulate that very well so all you would need is a 100 watt bulb to keep warm. We usually have heat to contend with.

  22. Jeff Dumsley

    Us as human beings also use energy within ourselves, if you want to know where to get an unlimited supply of energy for nothing google (Truth Contest) and click on the present.

  23. Mean Israel

    Me and my family would be living like Chilly the Penguin if we had to endure 62 degree temps in our home during the winter season.

  24. Mean Israel

    Camille, you said that you keep your house thermostat set at 62 degrees…did you actually mean 72? I ask because, 62 degrees in a house setting is considered cold here in Illinois. My thermostat stays at 72-73 degrees during the winter season unless we're dealing with sub-zero temperatures outside.
    Please clarify…

  25. Grumpy ol' Boot

    Well, at least she's wearing a sweater, now she just need a highnecked one .. you'd be surprised at how big a difference it makes.

  26. Eaglez Nesty

    I love wasting energy. I leave all my lights on all day. I also turn up my heat to 74. I have very old Windows that let air in. I do this because I can.


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