Energy Efficiency

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The Use Of Appliances With Energy Efficiency Check Business Electricity Prices

Electricity is no doubt consumed at incredible rate in manufacturing industries, commercial sectors and business hubs. Over consumption of electricity adds to their overall operation costs. Energy efficiency should be among their must-to-dos to reduce production cost and raise the level of profitability. Being ignorant of the benefits of energy efficiency, commercial sectors keep no curb on the use of electricity. There are several ways to keep electricity consumption in check and reduce business electricity prices.

Some facts are there to consider while shopping for electronics goods. Make sure to look for electronics devices that are labeled by an energy saving body. Such products are preferable for their limited absorption of electricity. Check the logo of the energy saving body on the products as the logo is a proof of authenticity of the products.

Integrated electronic appliances are energy-saving products. They are available in a wide variety. Integrated gadgets are highly recommended to use in day-to-day life as they consume less energy than other electronics goods. Hence, they cost less for energy consumption. Their use in business hubs is sure to keep business electricity prices at bay. With an in-built CD player or DVD player, a TV ensures energy efficiency more than a TV with a separate CD or DVD player.

Household and business electronics goods come with energy-saving features. Several appliances are available with an option of automatic standby. Such appliances when not in use, automatically shift to standby mode. An appliance consumes less energy in standby mode than on full power. It is the wise of you to purchase such appliances for use.

The degree of energy consumption by TVs varies with their types. So choose the type of television that ensures energy efficiency. A flat screen television needs three times more energy than a regular model. Choose a flat screen TV set of LCD type as it retains greater energy efficiency than plasma TVs. Do not forget to check the level of energy consumption and the rate of energy efficiency with every electronics product before making a purchase. It is sure to restrain the rise of business electricity prices . Appliances are available with a guide on how to use them.

Ensuring Energy Efficiency With Heat Meters

When Terminal 5 was being planned, there was significant environmental opposition and concerns over carbon emissions and the effects on local habitats, including the path of two rivers. When the project was given the go-ahead, these concerns were taken into account and stringent environmental targets were set for every step of the process, both during construction and for the long term future.

The building of Heathrow was a complex project; along with the environmental planning, the entire build had to be completed without any impact on the rest of the activity or infrastructure at the international airport. To achieve this significant construction was undertaken off-site, including the roof, which was partially assembled in Yorkshire and the latest technologies were employed.

When it came to the buildings interior, Terminal 5 utilized high quality fittings that ensured on-going energy efficiency and the minimisation of waste. Temperature control within the expansive interior was an area of focus. The need to regulate the temperature in such a huge space could lead to costly energy consumption, which would not be in keeping with the environmental targets.

The building was designed with large glass windows that allow the terminal to benefit from natural light and heat. To prevent over-heating, the design of the building incorporates areas of natural shade. Additional heating is used, but these design features reduce the requirement and the temperature is carefully monitored and controlled, to ensure energy efficiency.

The Micronics Ultraflo 2000Flow and Heat Meter is one of the fittings used forthis temperature monitoring. The Ultraflo 2000 is a clamp-on, ultrasonic flow meter,created to monitor liquid flow, but with the use of a temperature probe is effective as a heat meter.It has been installed (along with other products) to provide an energy measurement solution. By monitoring and managing the temperature, the Ultraflo 2000 is playing a small part in ensuring that up to 30 million people a day are happy, as well as minimising energy waste.

Terminal 5 is a huge construction, but Micronics flow and heat meters are equally suited to smaller scale buildings too. Creating a comfortable temperature in your business can lead to an enormous bill every month due to the energy consumed. If you want to measure the flow of energy used in your building, whether its a small commercial factory, a shopping centre or a building on the scale of Heathrow airport, installing a heat meter will allow you to monitor and manage the actual physical flow of energy used for heating.

A heat meter will allow you to identify where energy can be channelled more effectively for an improved outcome and reductions in both consumption and cost. The savings made through monitoring and changes can soon cover the cost of installing the heat meter. Many of the heat meters clamp on your pipework and machinery. This means that installing them requires no interruption to your processes and they can easily be removed for maintenance, or when they are used as a temporary measure.

The Ultraflo 2000 is supplied with electronics, sensors and all mounting hardware and also a temperature probe when it is used as a heat meter. Whilst installation is uncomplicated, Micronics have specialist engineers who can come on-site and install heat meters for you as required.

If you want a temporary monitoring solution; either to decide whether to invest in more permanent energy monitoring, or to identify areas of improvement for increased energy efficiency, it is possible to hire portable heat meters from Micronics. This can be ideal for inspections and to help you meet your own industrys environmental targets.

Whether you are planning a new project, or making improvements to an existing building, if energy efficiency and cost reductions are core to your project, Micronics can help you to achieve your goal.

Energy Efficiency Is The Only Way To Reduce Fuel Bills

With an average energy bill set to climb to 1406 in 2009 (from 676 in 2005), the Government has given a commitment to help consumers improve household energy efficiency and permanently bring down energy bills.

As the nation waits for confirmation of where Government support will be given, many organisations are offering advice and guidance into where and how families can make changes that will cut their household energy costs.

Figures from the Energy Savings Trust suggest that if everyone undertook a number of simple measures including: Fitting energy saving light bulbs, double glazed windows, installing a condensing boiler, cavity wall and loft insulation and jackets for hot water tanks, UK households could reduce energy bills by over 270 a year and save over 1.9bn in fuel costs*.

Paul Kellett, Technical Director at Anglian Home Improvements, an Energy Savings Trust recommended supplier said: It is increasingly becoming apparent that current fuel price increases are set to have dramatic effects on many peoples household bills.

But making energy efficient changes, ahead of the winter months, could lead to savings of thousands of pound on future fuel bills – as well as adding to a houses value. If people are considering making improvements we would urge them to look at the most energy efficient options.

Installing double glazing for example, cuts heat lost through windows by half. At Anglian we fit B-rated energy saving double glazing as standard, which offers potential savings of over 110 per year per household.

Further estimations on savings to be gained from implementing energy efficiency measures in the home include*:
Around a third of all the heat lost in an un-insulated home is lost through the walls. Fitting cavity wall insulation could save up to 120 on an annual fuel bill
Insulating an uninsulated loft can save around 155 a year If everyone in the UK topped up their loft insulation to 270mm, around 560m would be saved each year. That’s enough money to pay the annual fuel bills of around 530,000 families.
An ultra efficient condensing boiler will be 20% more efficient and could save up to 130 on heating bills.
Fitting an insulating jacket to the hot water cylinder could save around 30 per year
Setting hot water cylinder thermostats to 60C/140F could save up to 10 over the year
Using low energy light bulbs to save 10 on electricity bills each year.
By installing draught proofing you could save around 25 a year on your heating bills

Financial help may be available if you’re planning to make energy saving improvements to your home

*Figures are from www.energysavingstrust.org.uk

Double Glazing As An Energy Efficiency Measure

Double glazing involves adding a second pane of glass to the existing one while leaving a space in between. This space traps air that can act as an excellent insulator against noise and heat loss. Many people spend a lot of money buying home heaters to keep the house warm during the cold days. Windows that are single glazed usually loose up to 20 percent of heat. With double glazing however, you can save a lot of utility costs since the glazed windows and doors will conserve the heat energy in the house. During the hot days, the glazed windows keep the heat out thereby maintaining a cool atmosphere inside the house.

When looking for double glazing material that will help you conserve as much heat as possible, it is important to consider the efficiency of that material. UPVC is the most popular of the double glazing materials; it comes in a wide range of colors, sizes and styles. It is up to you to choose which of these fit into the design of your home perfectly. UPVC is also a suitable option for those operating on a tight budget because of its cost effectiveness. The material is also used when you want to make minor improvement to your home heat conservation system.

Other materials that can be used include hard wood and aluminum. Aluminum is quite durable as well as very strong. All these materials are suitable for double glazing since they do not react to adverse weather conditions, unlike wood. They are also not only energy conservatives, they also act as deterrent to would be burglars. Contrast to popular belief, double glazing does not have to spoil how your house looks; you can pick colors and styles that complement the general design of your house.

For high level of energy conservation, you can install secondary double glazing. This involves installing a second door or window on the interior side of the old one. You can save up to 135 pounds on your heating bills every year if you install double glazing in your house. You also save around 720 kilograms of carbon dioxide in the same time period.

If you are not sure about the best way to install energy saving double glazing, seek help from an energy efficiency advice center near you. Double glazing does not harm the environment in any way. On the contrary, you would be conserving nature if you adopted this natural way of conserving energy. It has been proven beyond doubt that double glazing can help you save over 50 percent of heat that would otherwise be lost if your windows were not glazed. Save energy and money by double glazing your windows and doors.

Hybrid Cars For Energy Efficiency

A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more discrete power sources to propel the vehicle. Common power sources include:

On-board or out-board rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) and a fueled powA hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more discrete power sources to propel the vehicle. Common power sources include:

On-board or out-board rechargeable energy storage system (RESS) and a fueled power source (internal combustion engine or fuel cell)

Air engine and internal combustion engines

Human powered bicycle with electric motor or gas engine assist

Human-powered or sail boat with electric power

The term most frequently refers to Hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) which comprises internal combustion engines and electric motors.

Early hybrid systems are being examined for trucks and other heavy highway vehicles with a few operational trucks and buses initial to come into use. The chief barrier seem to be smaller fleet sizes and the extra costs of a hybrid system are yet remunerated for by fuel savings, but with the price of oil set to persist on its upward trend, the tipping point might be reached by the end of 2008. Advances in technology and lesser battery cost and higher capacity etc. urbanized in the hybrid car industry are already filtering into truck use as Toyota, Ford, GM and others initiate hybrid pickups and SUVs. Kenworth Truck Company lately introduced a hybrid-electric truck, called the Kenworth T270 Class 6 that for city usage appear to be competitive. FedEx and others are preparatory to invest in hybrid delivery type vehiclesmainly for city use where hybrid technology may pay off first. The U.S. military is inspecting hybrid Humvees and other vehicles.

When the term hybrid vehicle is used, it normally refers to a Hybrid electric vehicle. These cover such vehicles as the AHS2 (Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Silverado, Cadillac Escalade, and the Saturn Vue), Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid and others. A petroleum-electric hybrid normally uses internal combustion engines and electric batteries to control electric motors. There are loads of types of petroleum-electric hybrid drivetrains, from Full hybrid to Mild hybrid, which proffer varying merits and demerits.
While liquid fuel/electric hybrids in the late 1800s, the braking regenerative hybrid was invented by David Arthurs, an electrical engineer from Springdale, Arkansas in 1978-79. His home-converted Opel GT was reported to get as much as 75MPG and plans are still sold to this novel design, and the “Mother Earth News” customized version on their website.

Hybrid fuel (dual mode)

Additionally, vehicles that use two or more different devices for propulsion, some also deem vehicles that use discrete energy sources or input types (“fuels”) using the same engine to be hybrids, even though to avoid confusion with hybrids as described above and to use in the approved manner the terms, these are perhaps more suitably described as dual mode vehicles:

A few electric trolleybuses can switch between an on board diesel engine and
Overhead electrical power depending on circumstances (see dual mode bus). In principle, this could be pooled with a battery subsystem to create a true plug-in hybrid trolleybus, though as of 2006, no such design seems to have been announced.

Flexible-fuel vehicles can be able to use an assortment of input fuels (petroleum and biofuels) in one tank characteristically gasoline and bioethanol or biobutanol, though diesel-biodiesel vehicles would also meet the criteria.

Dual mode: Liquified petroleum gas and natural gas are diverse from petroleum or diesel and cannot be used in the identical tanks, so it would be unfeasible to build an (LPG or NG) flexible fuel system. As an alternative vehicles are built with two, parallel, fuel systems feeding one engine. While the replicated tanks cost space in some applications, the augmented range and flexibility where (LPG or NG) infrastructure is incomplete may be a noteworthy incentive to purchase.

Few vehicles have been modified to use another fuel source if it is available, such as cars customized to run on autogas (LPG) and diesels customized to run on waste vegetable oil that has not been processed into biodiesel.

Power-assist mechanisms for bicycles and additional human-powered vehicles are also integrated.

Fluid power hybrid

Hydraulic and pneumatic hybrid vehicles employ an engine to charge a pressure accumulator to drive the wheels through hydraulic or pneumatic (i.e. compressed air) drive units. The energy recovery rate is elevated and therefore the system is more efficient than battery charged hybrids, demonstrating a 60% to 70% increase in energy economy in EPA testing. Under tests performed by the EPA, a hydraulic hybrid Ford Expedition returned 32 mpgU.S. (7.35 L/100 km / 38.4 mpgimp) City, and 22 mpgU.S. (10.69 L/100 km / 26.4 mpgimp) highway

The most recent hybrid technology is the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The PHEV is inclusive of a gasoline-electric hybrid whose battery pack (usually Li-ion) is upgraded to a superior capacity, which can be recharged by moreover a battery charger curved into the electrical grid or the gasoline engine (only if required). The car runs on battery power for the first 10 to 60 miles (16100 km), with the gasoline engine on hand for faster speeding up, etc.

After the battery is almost discharged, the car reverts to the gasoline engine to recharge the battery and/or return the car to the charging station. This may get around the fundamental barrier of battery range that has made nearly all pure electric cars impractical. Fuel rates, in principle, may be as low as 5 cents/mile. It’s not obvious yet whether converting an existing hybrid car will ever pay for itself in fuel savings.

The major problem is finding a good, cheap, high-energy battery packthe equivalent problem that has plagued the unpolluted electric car. If everyone plugged into the function grid to charge up their car this would seem to be just displacing the gasoline/diesel combustion crisis to the trait coal powered electrical generating plant. But, if cars were recharged tardy at night this would allow the base load of the electrical system to be more capable with a much more even base load and electrical power can also be generated by clean wind, hydro, tide power, etc. while most travel is regarding 30 miles/day this may be the cleanest personal transportation system at present available.

There is a “cottage” conversion industry for owner- existing hybrids, and more than a few huge auto industry groups (GM, Toyota, Mercedes etc.) plus the US Department of Energy are investigating this system. No chief car company (as of late 2007) offers PHEVs yet. The characteristic “cottage” industry conversion car is the Toyota Prius (cost of conversion $5k-$40k), as it is a full hybrid with sufficient power in its electrical system to maintain distinctive city speeds.

Fuel consumption and emissions reductions

The hybrid vehicle characteristically achieves greater fuel economy and lower emissions than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), ensuing in fewer emissions being generated. These savings are mainly achieved by four elements of a typical hybrid design:

-Recapturing energy generally wasted during braking etc. (regenerative braking) this is a mechanism that condenses vehicle speed by converting some of its kinetic energy into a further helpful form of energy, particularly in stop-and-go traffic.

-having important battery storage capacity to store and recycle recaptured energy;

– shutting down the gasoline or diesel engine in traffic stops or while coasting or other idle periods;

– civilizing aerodynamics; A box shaped car or truck has to put forth more force to move through the air causing added stress on the engine making it toil harder. Improving the shape and aerodynamics of a car is a fine way to help better the gas mileage and also get better handling at the same time.

– By means of low rolling resistance tires; (tires these days are made to give a fine, smooth ride but hardly ever is efficiency taken into consideration. These tires cause a great pact of drag, once again making the engine toil harder, intense more gas mileage. Hybrid cars use special tires that are more exaggerated than regular tires and stiffer, which decreases the drag by about half, humanizing fuel economy by mitigating stress of the engine.

– relying on mutually the gasoline (or diesel engine) and the electric motors for peak power requires ensuing in a smaller gasoline or diesel engine sized more for normal usage rather than peak power usage.

These features make a hybrid vehicle chiefly efficient for city traffic where there are recurrent stops, coasting and idling periods. Besides noise emissions are condensed, mainly at idling and low operating speeds, in similarity to conventional gasoline or diesel powered engine vehicles. For constant high speed highway use these features are much less helpful in reducing emissions.er source (internal combustion engine or fuel cell)

Air engine and internal combustion engines

Human powered bicycle with electric motor or gas engine assist

Human-powered or sail boat with electric power

The term most frequently refers to Hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV) which comprises internal combustion engines and electric motors.

Early hybrid systems are being examined for trucks and other heavy highway vehicles with a few operational trucks and buses initial to come into use. The chief barrier seem to be smaller fleet sizes and the extra costs of a hybrid system are yet remunerated for by fuel savings, but with the price of oil set to persist on its upward trend, the tipping point might be reached by the end of 2008. Advances in technology and lesser battery cost and higher capacity etc. urbanized in the hybrid car industry are already filtering into truck use as Toyota, Ford, GM and others initiate hybrid pickups and SUVs. Kenworth Truck Company lately introduced a hybrid-electric truck, called the Kenworth T270 Class 6 that for city usage appear to be competitive. FedEx and others are preparatory to invest in hybrid delivery type vehiclesmainly for city use where hybrid technology may pay off first. The U.S. military is inspecting hybrid Humvees and other vehicles.

When the term hybrid vehicle is used, it normally refers to a Hybrid electric vehicle. These cover such vehicles as the AHS2 (Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Silverado, Cadillac Escalade, and the Saturn Vue), Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid and others. A petroleum-electric hybrid normally uses internal combustion engines and electric batteries to control electric motors. There are loads of types of petroleum-electric hybrid drivetrains, from Full hybrid to Mild hybrid, which proffer varying merits and demerits.
While liquid fuel/electric hybrids in the late 1800s, the braking regenerative hybrid was invented by David Arthurs, an electrical engineer from Springdale, Arkansas in 1978-79. His home-converted Opel GT was reported to get as much as 75MPG and plans are still sold to this novel design, and the “Mother Earth News” customized version on their website.

Hybrid fuel (dual mode)

Additionally, vehicles that use two or more different devices for propulsion, some also deem vehicles that use discrete energy sources or input types (“fuels”) using the same engine to be hybrids, even though to avoid confusion with hybrids as described above and to use in the approved manner the terms, these are perhaps more suitably described as dual mode vehicles:

A few electric trolleybuses can switch between an on board diesel engine and
Overhead electrical power depending on circumstances (see dual mode bus). In principle, this could be pooled with a battery subsystem to create a true plug-in hybrid trolleybus, though as of 2006, no such design seems to have been announced.

Flexible-fuel vehicles can be able to use an assortment of input fuels (petroleum and biofuels) in one tank characteristically gasoline and bioethanol or biobutanol, though diesel-biodiesel vehicles would also meet the criteria.

Dual mode: Liquified petroleum gas and natural gas are diverse from petroleum or diesel and cannot be used in the identical tanks, so it would be unfeasible to build an (LPG or NG) flexible fuel system. As an alternative vehicles are built with two, parallel, fuel systems feeding one engine. While the replicated tanks cost space in some applications, the augmented range and flexibility where (LPG or NG) infrastructure is incomplete may be a noteworthy incentive to purchase.

Few vehicles have been modified to use another fuel source if it is available, such as cars customized to run on autogas (LPG) and diesels customized to run on waste vegetable oil that has not been processed into biodiesel.

Power-assist mechanisms for bicycles and additional human-powered vehicles are also integrated.

Fluid power hybrid

Hydraulic and pneumatic hybrid vehicles employ an engine to charge a pressure accumulator to drive the wheels through hydraulic or pneumatic (i.e. compressed air) drive units. The energy recovery rate is elevated and therefore the system is more efficient than battery charged hybrids, demonstrating a 60% to 70% increase in energy economy in EPA testing. Under tests performed by the EPA, a hydraulic hybrid Ford Expedition returned 32 mpgU.S. (7.35 L/100 km / 38.4 mpgimp) City, and 22 mpgU.S. (10.69 L/100 km / 26.4 mpgimp) highway

The most recent hybrid technology is the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The PHEV is inclusive of a gasoline-electric hybrid whose battery pack (usually Li-ion) is upgraded to a superior capacity, which can be recharged by moreover a battery charger curved into the electrical grid or the gasoline engine (only if required). The car runs on battery power for the first 10 to 60 miles (16100 km), with the gasoline engine on hand for faster speeding up, etc.

After the battery is almost discharged, the car reverts to the gasoline engine to recharge the battery and/or return the car to the charging station. This may get around the fundamental barrier of battery range that has made nearly all pure electric cars impractical. Fuel rates, in principle, may be as low as 5 cents/mile. It’s not obvious yet whether converting an existing hybrid car will ever pay for itself in fuel savings.

The major problem is finding a good, cheap, high-energy battery packthe equivalent problem that has plagued the unpolluted electric car. If everyone plugged into the function grid to charge up their car this would seem to be just displacing the gasoline/diesel combustion crisis to the trait coal powered electrical generating plant. But, if cars were recharged tardy at night this would allow the base load of the electrical system to be more capable with a much more even base load and electrical power can also be generated by clean wind, hydro, tide power, etc. while most travel is regarding 30 miles/day this may be the cleanest personal transportation system at present available.

There is a “cottage” conversion industry for owner- existing hybrids, and more than a few huge auto industry groups (GM, Toyota, Mercedes etc.) plus the US Department of Energy are investigating this system. No chief car company (as of late 2007) offers PHEVs yet. The characteristic “cottage” industry conversion car is the Toyota Prius (cost of conversion $5k-$40k), as it is a full hybrid with sufficient power in its electrical system to maintain distinctive city speeds.

Fuel consumption and emissions reductions

The hybrid vehicle characteristically achieves greater fuel economy and lower emissions than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), ensuing in fewer emissions being generated. These savings are mainly achieved by four elements of a typical hybrid design:

-Recapturing energy generally wasted during braking etc. (regenerative braking) this is a mechanism that condenses vehicle speed by converting some of its kinetic energy into a further helpful form of energy, particularly in stop-and-go traffic.

-having important battery storage capacity to store and recycle recaptured energy;

– shutting down the gasoline or diesel engine in traffic stops or while coasting or other idle periods;

– civilizing aerodynamics; A box shaped car or truck has to put forth more force to move through the air causing added stress on the engine making it toil harder. Improving the shape and aerodynamics of a car is a fine way to help better the gas mileage and also get better handling at the same time.

– By means of low rolling resistance tires; (tires these days are made to give a fine, smooth ride but hardly ever is efficiency taken into consideration. These tires cause a great pact of drag, once again making the engine toil harder, intense more gas mileage. Hybrid cars use special tires that are more exaggerated than regular tires and stiffer, which decreases the drag by about half, humanizing fuel economy by mitigating stress of the engine.

– relying on mutually the gasoline (or diesel engine) and the electric motors for peak power requires ensuing in a smaller gasoline or diesel engine sized more for normal usage rather than peak power usage.

These features make a hybrid vehicle chiefly efficient for city traffic where there are recurrent stops, coasting and idling periods. Besides noise emissions are condensed, mainly at idling and low operating speeds, in similarity to conventional gasoline or diesel powered engine vehicles. For constant high speed highway use these features are much less helpful in reducing emissions.

How Much Money Can Energy-efficient Windows Really Save You

Some homeowners are reluctantly putting off the decision to replace their windows because they’re not sure if they will recoup their initial investment. Still others are putting the decision off until they see what’s going to happen with the economy.

Is replacing your windows with energy-efficient windows really worth the investment? How much money replacement windows will save a homeowner depends, of course, on numerous factors. At the top of the list is the type of window you choose and there are plenty to choose from. There are single-panes, double-panes, and triple-panes. There are coated and uncoated windows. There are windows with hard coating and windows with soft coating. There are windows will gas filling and there are windows without gas filling. Some windows are filled with Argon, some are filled with Krypton. Decisions. Decisions. Where does a savvy homeowner begin?

You don’t need to be Einstein to deduce that dual-paned windows will save a homeowner more money on their energy bills than single-paned windows. But does the same hold true with triple-paned windows? Will triple-paned windows save you more money than dual-paned windows? Here’s what Energy Star, a government agency which promotes energy efficiency, says: “All energy efficient windows have at least two panes, but not all double-paned windows are energy efficient. Twenty years ago, double-paned meant energy efficient; today, advanced technologies have enabled the development of windows that are much more efficient than traditional clear-glass double-paned windows.”

Just as a dual-paned window is much more energy-efficient than a single-paned window, so also a triple-paned window is much more energy-efficient than a dual-paned window. But what are some of these “advanced technologies” that Energy Star is referring to?

There are four things to look for when choosing an energy-efficient window:

1. The layers of reflective glass coating.
2. The type of reflective glass coating.
3. The type of gas used between the window panes.
4. The U-Value of the window.

Once you find a triple-paned window that is manufactured by a reputable company, you have narrowed the playing field considerably. Now you need to consider whether the window panes are coated, how many layers of coating the manufacturer uses, and the type of coating they use. Some windows are coated with a reflective coating, while others are not. By selecting a window with coated glass, the coating will reflect unwanted cold in the winter and unwanted heat in the summer, thereby reducing your fuel costs and saving you money.

But not all reflective coating is created equal. Also bear in mind that most window manufacturers only coat one pane of glass. Few window manufacturers are willing to go the extra mile by coating two panes of glass. Naturally, this will increase the initial cost of the window. Nevertheless, this extra coating will usually pay for itself in savings many times over. Once you have found a triple-paned window that coats two panes of glass instead of just one, you will have eliminated most of the windows on the market. But your search for optimal energy efficiency is not quite complete yet. Patience, dear reader; we’re almost at the finish line.

The next thing to consider is whether or not the window manufacturer uses hard coating or soft coating. Soft coating is much better because it is more reflective. So why doesn’t every manufacturer use soft coating on their windows? Again, soft coating costs a little more. But investing a little more for soft coating will usually pay for itself many times over.

Insulation can be further improved by placing inert gas between the panes of glass. Some manufacturers use Krypton, most use Argon. Again, Krypton costs a bit more than Argon, but the extra savings that come from Krypton gas is well worth it.

The exact energy efficiency of a window can be scientifically measured by a trained window expert. It’s a smart idea to have a trained professional measure the energy efficiency of your current windows. Some say, “I don’t need to replace my windows. My home is just a few years old.” That may be true. However, some homebuilders try to cut costs by installing cheap windows that are not as energy-efficient as they could and should be. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Have an expert measure your windows for energy efficiency. Usually, there is no cost or obligation for this free service.

Once you’ve checked around and are ready to get a free estimate on your windows, be sure to ask the representative for the exact U-Value of the window you are considering. The official standard of measurement for energy efficiency is called a U-Value, also known as a U-Factor. The lower the U-Value, the more energy-efficient the window is. Here is a sampling of a few popular windows and their U-Values:

Alside (Vinyl): 6000 Double Hung 0.30

Alside (Vinyl): R601 Double Hung 0.33

Andersen (Wood): Woodwright (Low-E & Argon) 0.33

Preservation: 9001/P601 0.30

Anderson (Wood): A series Double hung 0.31

Marvin (Ultrex): Integrity (Low-E & Argon) 0.29

Marvin (Ultrex): Infinity (Low-E & Argon) 0.29

Pella (Wood): Proline (Low-E & Argon) 0.32

If you are considering replacing your windows with any of these popular brands, be sure to ask the representative these four following questions:

1. Do you use multiple layers of soft coating on two panes?
2. Do you fill those panes with a gas?
3. (If yes) Do you use Argon or Krypton gas filling?
4. What is the U-Value of your window?

The answer to the first three questions ultimately determines the U-Value of the window. Therefore, question number four is the most important. The U-Value will tell you how energy efficient a window is and give you an idea of how much money you’ll be able to save on your energy bills. The lower the U-Value, the greater a window’s resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating value. One window, though not as well-known as Andersen, Pella, or Marvin, has been able to achieve an incredibly low U-Value precisely because they follow the criteria mentioned in this article. Consider, for example, the U-Value of the Bristol Window, manufactured by Winchester Industries in Saltsburg, Pennsylvania:

Bristol (Reinforced Vinyl, overall window U-Value with Krypton): .18

Bristol (with Alpha-10): .21

According to the company’s literature, this particular window has been known to cut homeowner’s energy bills in half, though the exact savings will naturally vary depending on a wide variety of factors. A window expert can test your windows to find out whether or not they need to be replaced and calculate approximately how much money you will save if your windows do need replacing. By comparing the amount of money a window costs with the amount of money you will save, simple math will determine whether or not it is cost-efficient to replace your windows.

Another thing to consider is a window’s warranty. While most windows are only made to last for approximately 10 years, Bristol windows come with a transferrable 50 year warranty. That’s a huge difference. Instead of replacing your windows 5 times over the next 50 years, you can save additional money by only replacing your windows once.

Look at it this way: The government is giving you a huge head start. One thousand five hundred dollars is nothing to sneeze at. Now consider all the money you will probably save in the meantime. Often, the savings alone will pay for the windows within a few short years. It’s smart to have an energy expert help you do the math. If you still live in a home with energy wasting windows, you will pay for windows whether you replace them or not. The question is, would you rather pay extra money to your utility company for energy-deficient windows? Or would you rather invest in your home’s future value while dramatically reducing your energy bills by replacing your windows with energy-efficient windows? The choice is yours.

Unbeatable Design Expertise for Maximum Energy Efficiency

Adrian Troop, Sales & Marketing Director for Nu-Heat Underfloor & Renewables believes that the conclusions of the Energy Saving Trusts (EST) heat pump field trials serve to underline Nu-Heats existing procedures and policies. He assesses Nu-Heats capability in response to these conclusions.

Design

When the report was made public in September the Trusts Head of Business Development Simon Green commented that the trials showed that heat pumps are very, very sensitive it is imperative they are designed to heat the relative load; if they are undersized or oversized, then the efficiencies are significantly reduced. Nu-Heat works tirelessly to ensure that maximum heat pump efficiency is achieved through good design and an understanding of the technology, says Adrian.

Yutaki ASHPNu-Heat designs and supplies complete packages ready for installation after establishing the most suitable system for each individual project. The first stage of the design process is to correctly size the heat pump by assessing the heat loss through full heat loss calculations. With a wide range of heat pumps available, including ground source (GSHP), air source (ASHP) and exhaust air (EAHP), Nu-Heat can specify the most appropriate model.

Requirements for the installation of ASHP are relatively simple – in essence space outside by a wall where they can be sited and space inside for the other system components. As a rough guide, installation of a GSHP requires space approximately 2.5 times the internal floor area of the property. If there is insufficient land, vertical boreholes can be drilled, dependent on ground and geological conditions. The heat pump needs to be housed inside with the other system components.

Ethical selling

Nu-Heat takes a strong ethical stance, says Adrian, and where it is obvious that a heat pump will not work efficiently, such as in a badly insulated older property, we will explain why it is not a suitable solution. The most important issue is the quality of the building in terms of insulation. Ideally the building heat loss should be 35 40W/m – and if this isnt achievable then a heat pump is not likely to work efficiently.

In such a case, Nu-Heat will offer alternatives for installers to suggest to the customer, such as a condensing boiler partnered with underfloor heating (UFH), enhancing the efficiency of the boiler and giving a degree of fuel savings. Even for a well-insulated property, a GSHP might be the ideal, but the budget could indicate an ASHP as a cheaper but still effective choice.

Integration

Heat pumps work most efficiently with the lower temperatures of warm water UFH. UFH is core to Nu-Heats business, and the company has invested a great deal in understanding all the elements necessary to design a fully integrated system. This can also include solar thermal for domestic hot water. Nu-Heats solar design and sizing process uses its own unique calculation package to specify the ideal configuration of cylinder, solar collectors and ancillary components for the project,

One point of responsibility

ESTs report highlights the need for responsibility for the installation to be with one company. Nu-Heat offers total product support available in one place to any installer which is a great help to those considering heat pumps for the first time. Nu-Heat also offers on-site and commissioning support on the complete range of heat pumps, along with technical back-up via telephone and email and comprehensive installation and user manuals. By using one supplier there is assurance that all products and parts are compatible, making installation stress free and uncomplicated. Nu-Heat is also committed to the end user and part of our service is to make sure that customers understand how to control their heat pump system.

Accredited training

The report also flagged up the need for a review of installation guidelines and training. Nu-Heat saw the requirement for well-trained installers and opened a specialist training centre in 2008. Courses in heat pumps, solar thermal, photovoltaic and underfloor heating are NICEIC approved and focus on the principles and suitability of the technology. They cover the different models available, benefits, health and safety and the latest news on government grant funding.

MCS

MCS training in progress Successful completion of a course enables application for acceptance onto the NICEIC Competent Persons (CPS) register. Membership of the CPS means that installers are eligible to apply for their own Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) number so they can quote for work as both a competent person and a MCS approved installer. Nu-Heats umbrella scheme provides a simple route for installers committed to a business future in renewables to achieve MCS approved status.

When a renewables project has the benefit of first rate design, correct sizing and well trained installers a truly energy efficient system can be realized, says Adrian, and this is exactly what Nu-Heat is committed to achieving.

Selecting The Right Windows For Energy Efficiency

Selecting The Right Windows for Energy Efficiency

New window technologies have increased energy benefits and comfort, and have provided more practical options for consumers. This selection guide will help homeowners, architects, and builders take advantage of the expanding window market. The guide contains three
sections: an explanation of energy-related window characteristics, a discussion of window energy performance ratings, and a convenient checklist for window selection.

Selecting the right window for a specific home invariably requires tradeoffs between different
energy performance features, and with other non-energy issues. An understanding of some basic energy concepts is therefore essential to choosing appropriate windows and skylights. As illustrated on the following page, three major types of energy flow occur through windows:

(1) non-solar heat losses and gains in the form of conduction, convection, and radiation;
(2) solar heat gains in the form of radiation; and
(3) airflow, both intentional (ventilation) and unintentional (infiltration).

Insulating Value

The non-solar heat flow through a window is a result of the temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors. Windows lose heat to the outside during the heating season and
gain heat from the outside during the cooling season, adding to the energy needs in a home. The effects of nonsolar heat flow are generally greater on heating needs than on cooling
needs because indoor-outdoor temperature differences are greater during the heating season than during the cooling season in most regions of the United States. For any window
product, the greater the temperature difference from inside to out, the greater the rate of heat flow.

A U-factor is a measure of the rate of non-solar heat flow through a window or skylight. (An R-value is a measure of the resistance of a window or skylight to heat flow and is the reciprocal of a U-factor.) Lower U-factors (or higher R values), thus indicate reduced heat flow. U-factors
allow consumers to compare the insulating properties of different windows
and skylights.

The insulating value of a singlepane window is due mainly to the thin films of still air on the interior and moving air on the exterior glazing surfaces. The glazing itself doesnt offer
much resistance to heat flow. Additional panes markedly reduce the U-factor by creating still air spaces, which increase insulating value.

In addition to conventional double-pane windows, many manufacturers offer windows
that incorporate relatively new tech- nologies aimed at decreasing U-factors.
These technologies include low-emittance (low-E) coatings and gas fills. A low-E coating is a microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide coating deposited on a glazing surface.

The coating may be applied to one or more of the glazing surfaces facing an
air space in a multiple-pane window, or to a thin plastic film inserted between panes. The coating limits radiative heat flow between panes by reflecting heat back into the home during cold weather and back to the outdoors during warm weather. This effect increases the insulating value of the window. Most window manufacturers now offer windows and skylights
with low-E coatings.

The spaces between windowpanes can be filled with gases that insulate better
than air. Argon, krypton, sulfur hexafluoride, and carbon dioxide are among the gases used for this purpose. Gas fills add only a few dollars to the prices of most windows and skylights. They are most effective when used in conjunction with low-E coatings. For these reasons, some manufacturers have made gas fills standard in their low-E windows and skylights.
The insulating value of an entire window can be very different from that of the glazing alone. The whole-window U-factor includes the effects of the glazing, the frame, and, if present, the insulating glass spacer. (The spacer is the component in a window that separates glazing panes. It often reduces the insulating value at the glazing edges.)
Since a single-pane window with a metal frame has about the same overall Ufactor as a single glass pane alone, frame and glazing edge effects were not of great concern before multiple-pane, low-E, and gas-filled windows and skylights were widely used. With the recent expansion of thermally improved glazing options offered by manufacturers, frame and spacer properties now can have a more pronounced influence on the U-factors of windows and skylights.

As a result, frame and spacer options have also multiplied as manufacturers offer improved designs. Window frames can be made of aluminum, steel, wood, vinyl, fiberglass, or
composites of these materials. Wood, fiberglass, and vinyl frames are better insulators than metal. Some aluminum frames are designed with internal thermal breaks, non-metal components that reduce heat flow through the frame.

These thermally broken aluminum frames can resist heat flow considerably better than aluminum frames without thermal breaks. Composite frames may use two or more materials (e.g. aluminum-clad wood, vinyl-clad wood) to optimize their design and performance, and typically have insulating values intermediate between those of the materials comprising them. Frame geometry, as well as material type, also strongly influences thermal performance properties.

Spacers can be made of aluminum, steel, fiberglass, foam, or combinations of
these materials. Spacer thermal perfor- mance is as much a function of geometry as of composition. For example, some well-designed metal spacers insulate almost as well as foam.

The table on page 3 shows representative U-factors for window glazing, frame, and spacer combinations under winter design conditions. Due to their orientation and their greater projected surface areas, domed and other shaped tilted and horizontal skylights have significantly higher U-factors than do vertical windows of similar materials and opening sizes.

Get The Facts On Energy Efficient Windows Part 2

It’s easier to shop for new or replacement windows if you know the same things the window manufacturers know. This is the second part of a series on options and features that can make new windows more efficient.

Things To Know About Energy Efficient Glass Choices
Here’s a list of glass or glazing choices that can make windows more efficient. Quality replacement windows will offer these features.

Unless they are handmade in a local shop, virtually any windows you buy today will be at least double pane, which is two layers of glass sealed with an air space in between. This is also known as insulating glass, or sometimes double glazing. Some window companies fill the air space with argon, a nontoxic gas used to increase energy efficiency and lower the amount of heat the glass will conduct. Insulating glass is a great first step in improving efficiency. Plus, added benefits of insulating glass include cutting down on outside noise and making your home more secure from glass-breaking intruders.

Better window brands also offer tri-pane insulating glass, which is also known as triple pane or triple glazing. We’ll get back to this in a second. But first, here are some upgrades to insulating glass.

LoE-272 glazing (glass) is a double metallic coating that is applied to the inside glass surface in between the panes. It reflects heat into the room in winter and keeps out the sun’s heat in summer, optimizing room comfort and reducing utility usage. How does it know the difference? The sun is higher in the summer, so the coating is especially engineered to block these rays. This can significantly lower air conditioning bills. In the winter, when the sun’s rays are lower, the coating will allow the light through, naturally warming rooms. This warming is enough to make a difference in your heating costs.

In addition, this coating decreases the damaging effects of UV rays. Benefits of LoE-272 glass include both an enhanced U-factor and improved Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. (U-factor is the amount of heat loss to the outside, and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is how much heat from the sun your windows let in.)

LoE-366 glazing (glass) is three metallic layers of silver, and like LoE-272, it allows heat into the room in winter and keeps out the sun’s heat in summer. The difference is, LoE-366 glazing is tweaked to block more heat so it is recommended for warm climates, such as Georgia, where cooling costs are high and also for areas where intense exposure to the sun is an issue, such as a large wall of windows facing a southern exposure.

Tripane glazing, offered in Marvin window products, provides advanced energy efficiency. The air spaces between the three panes of glass are filled with argon gas or, for even better insulating value, krypton gas, and that it is available with LoE coatings to match a variety of climate requirements.

Energy Panels are sometimes confused with storm windows. Actually, this glazing option is a removable exterior glass panel finished on the edges by a frame. Energy panels cover the outside glass surface of each sash, and can further increase energy efficiency for wood windows with single glazing, such as those used in historical homes.

Storm and Screen combinations are two movable glass panels and one movable screen panel. The individual panels can be set up multiple ways depending on the season and homeowner’s needs, and can be easily removed from the interior for cleaning.

Framing Your Choices for Window Materials
Besides the glass, what your window frames and sashes are made of also makes a difference. Since the frames and sashes represent 10-30% percent of the total area of each window, the frame properties will definitely influence overall efficiency.

Wood Windows
Wood and aluminum clad wood are naturally better insulators than vinyl and aluminum. This means wood windows do not pass temperature extremes through their frames as readily as, say, aluminum windows. Ever stand near the interior of an aluminum window when it’s cold outside? They can feel very cold! Stand near a wood window, and you won’t notice the cold as much.

From a thermal point of view, wood-framed windows have a positive influence on a window’s overall U-factor (see below for the definition of U-factor). Well-built and well-maintained wood windows from a good manufacturer can have a very long life. Paint protects the exterior surface and allows you to change the color easily.

Wood windows with a clad aluminum exterior are another excellent choice for improving home efficiency. They possess the same properties as wood windows, and the sturdy exterior aluminum cladding acts like a coat of armor against the elements. Considered to be among the best, Marvin clad windows’ exterior color finish is extremely fade resistant and strong so they are a great choice for low maintenance good looks that last for decades.

Fiberglass Windows (Composite)
Another strong choice you can make in upgrading your energy efficiency is composite or fiberglass windows. As a window and door material, fiberglass comes closest to perfection. A quality fiberglass, such as Ultrex used in Integrity and Infinity replacement windows, is extremely strong and warp resistant much more so than vinyl. Besides helping your replacement windows last a lifetime, the strength of fiberglass keeps the shape of your windows intact for decades to come. The more your windows stay in shape, the better that layer of air sealed in between the insulating panes of glass can do its job.

What’s more, fiberglass expands and contracts very little, unlike vinyl, which can grow and shrink measurable amounts in the temperature extremes that windows and doors endure. The low rate of thermal expansion in fiberglass, again keeps your windows sealed tight, to prevent energy-robbing air leaks from finding their way in over the years. And finally, fiberglass is 500 times less thermally conductive than aluminum, which means it doesn’t allow in the heat or cold extremes from the outside.

With this knowledge under your belt, you can shop for replacement doors and windows and feel confident that they will add newfound comfort and energy efficiency to your home.

In case you missed it, please read GET THE FACTS ON ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS Part 1.

Illuminating The Future Of Kitchen Lighting Energy Efficiency By Capitol Lighting

It doesn’t matter if you live in a home with a modern kitchen that has all the fancy upgrades, or one that just has a single overhead light in the center of the room. If you’re not using the latest generation of energy-efficient bulbs, it’s time for a lighting upgrade.

“Kitchen lighting has made great strides in the past couple of years, not just from a design standpoint, but with regards to energy efficiency. So upgrades are definitely worth looking into,” says Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for the American Lighting Association (ALA) and an associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s School of Interior Design. He travels the country tracking trends, and one he’s noticed lately is the focus on energy conservation.

“Lighting manufacturers are spending a considerable amount of time, and dedicating a lot of resources to developing fixtures capable of using more energy-efficient light sources than the standard incandescent,” Rey-Barreau says. “And it’s no coincidence that this trend is growing in popularity at a time when energy costs are on the rise,” he says.

As recently as two years ago, the only fixtures available for the kitchen that used the most energy-efficient light sources available today – fluorescents and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) – were not aesthetically pleasing. In today’s marketplace, however, decorative energy-efficient fixtures are available in every product category, whether you’re looking for something traditional, modern or artsy.

“We know consumers want to capitalize on the fact that compact fluorescent bulbs are approximately three to four times more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and LEDs can be three to 10 times more efficient, so we’ve dedicated a lot of resources to developing new fixtures that utilize the technology,” says Scott Roos, vice president of product design for Juno Lighting Group. “We’ll be introducing an LED under-cabinet unit in the fall that requires just eight watts of energy to provide the same illumination as an 80-watt halogen light source. Our new LED down light will be 40 percent more energy efficient than a compact fluorescent and 75 percent more energy efficient than an incandescent.”

Holtkoetter International, Inc., a manufacturer of residential lighting fixtures based in St. Paul, Minn., plans to release several models of fixtures that use LEDs early next year. But energy-saving products are nothing new for Holtkoetter. “We’ve been offering fixtures that take halogen IRC bulbs, capable of improving energy efficiency by 50 percent, for the last five years,” says company president Paul Eusterbrock.

Infra Red Coating (IRC) bulbs are designed in such a way that the heat they generate can be recycled and turned into light.

Hubbardton Forge, a lighting manufacturer out of Chandler, Vt., meantime has concentrated its efforts on developing decorative fixtures that take compact fluorescents. “We have offerings in every category for decorative fixtures that really enhance what you get out of a compact fluorescent,” says George Chandler, president of Hubbardton Forge.

No matter which of the new technologies you choose to go with, when shopping for energy-efficient fixtures, Rey-Barreau says it is important to look for the Energy Star label. In order to qualify for the Energy Star designation, the product must meet specific performance criteria for energy-efficient performance set by the U.S. Department of Energy.

As for concerns people may have about the quality of light given off by compact fluorescents and LEDs, Rey-Barreau says that “while in the past color rendering may have been a concern, it is no longer a problem. Consumers can rest assured the quality closely matches that of incandescents.”

Today’s advancements are quite impressive, but what does the future hold? Rey-Barreau expects the lighting industry to work hard at getting more products on the shelves that use the most energy-efficient technology developed to date – LEDs. “Right now LEDs are still kind of expensive, but once they become more readily available, the cost will come down significantly,” he says.