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It is an easy task to improve the indoor air quality of your home while improving its energy efficiency at the same time. Knowing some basic steps is all you need to get started.
Improve Air Quality and Energy Efficiency by Eliminating Drafts
The first order of business is to eliminate as many drafts as possible. This will limit the quantity of airborne allergens that can enter your home from outside. The prevention of drafts will both improve the quality of the air inside your home and will also increase the energy efficiency of your air conditioning/heating system. Much of your high energy costs is due to loss of heat in the winter and in the summer, the loss of air conditioning,generates higher energy bills and it wastes your money and our natural resources.
Reducing drafts helps reduce the outside irritants and toxic particles that can be found suspended in outdoor air and have less chance of getting into your home.
Air Circulation Improves Improve Air Quality and Energy Efficiency
Circulating the air inside becomes very important as it allows the air to move around and the rooms will not become stuffy, stale and full of odors. Using an air conditioner to control the humidity in your home will also reduce or eliminate humidity and reduce the need for a dehumidifier which is very expensive to operate.
Create a Save Haven in Your Home
Your ability to control your indoor air quality and energy efficiency will allow you to create a safe haven in your home, This will help protected from airborne microbes such as small pox, anthrax, botulism, toxic gas, and radio active particle that can be released by terrorists or by accident.
Improve Air Quality and Energy Efficiency by Leakage Testing
A simple air leakage test is your first step you need to do to improve your indoor air quality and energy efficiency. All that is needed is a fan set up near an outer doorway. After placing the fan in the outer doorway, you will observe that eh amount of air that flows through the fan is equal to the air that is flowing through any leaks in the outer shell of the building.
If you use white smoke while you perform the leakage test, you will see openings in windows or door that are allowing your air conditioning and heating to escape or toxins to enter. Mold spores, dust, insects and pollen enter the home through these cracks.
Most people are aware of the fact that older homes are often drafty due to multiple leaks, but believe it or not, newly constructed homes can also have air leaks. It is estimated that new homes can have upwards of 300 square inches of air openings in the outer shell. If you have a ducted air circulation system in your home, these openings can create a significant level of pressure inside the home that will drive air through these openings. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that since you have a new home, you don’t have any leakage problems.
One final caveat. Before you go rushing out to seal up your home in an effort to improve its air quality and energy efficiency, you must make a committment to reduce the amount of chemicalproducts that you use. More and more studies are showing that the air quality within our homes is often worse than the air we breathe outside. Carpeting that gives off toxic fumes, cleaning products, personal care products and electronic equipment are only a few of the products that we use indoors that is contributing to “sick house syndrome”. So before you tackle the job of improving your air quality and energy efficiency, use more natural products in your home to keep you and your family safe.
There is a new breed of professionals who you will get to know about now when you start out to sell your home. They are called Domestic Energy Assessors and are out now in England and Wales performing a brand new service.
The role of the Domestic Energy Assessor is to produce Energy Performance Certificates for inclusion in Home Information Packs. If this is complete news to you then just think of these as being certificates, like those you see on new fridges, which will provide A-G ratings on the energy efficiency of a home, plus advice on how to make further energy savings.
Energy Assessors will use their in-depth knowledge and practical understanding of the thermal performance of your home to judge on the thermal energy efficiency of properties.
This requirement has been introduced by the UK government working on the theory that these assessments of the the capability of all buildings about to be sold will encourage us all to be energy efficient. This will be good for the nation as it will be thoroughly green. It will the idea is, help avoid the need for the energy whether renewable or not.
This type of certificate is required whenever the building is constructed, sold or rented.
In the short term home owners directly, and home buyers indirectly, will need to pay for these Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) and in order to possibly carry out work to improve poorly insulated properties, they will need to pay for general advice to clients on energy efficiency measures.
This is all very good in principle, but the UK government has chosen exactly the wrong time to do this. The credit crunch is hitting the house sales market hard, it is already very difficult to sell properties, and the value of most of them is falling.
The staff that produce Energy Performance Certificates are very experienced in construction technology, building condition surveying and domestic energy assessment and are Degree qualified professionals. They do not come cheap!
Now we do accept that most assessors will not simply stop at inspecting your property, they should also take the time to explain exactly what they are inspecting, how they are going to go about it and gladly answer any questions that you may have. But, most sellers are going to deeply object to being forced by the state to take on this additional burden of cost.
The energy assessor takes measurements to analyse the cost of heating, water and lighting for a house and makes recommendations to improve the energy performance of the house. To me it looks like you the government may think that an assessment is a quick hour in the property and thats it. I doubt they have fully considered the travel time to and from the houses to be assessed, time taken to assess, time to prepare and check the report, input the data, produce the certificate and then charge a fee which includes the professionals insurance, accountant fees, advertising and many other costs – the list goes on and on, after all they will have to make a living like everyone else.
Energy Efficiency In Renovation
The process of renovating a home or business can be a intimidating one. You wonder to yourself, “Well, the home should be remodeled.” But you are not able to precisely make up your mind what needs to be worked on. Other than the evident eaky roof, rotten basement, archaic tiles, old fashioned decorations and color, you ponder to yourself that there must be more that you can do in order to add value into your home investment. Here are a couple of tips: Before anything, always consult with a professional contractor if you can before starting any major home renovation project. He can give you more professional consultation regarding the issues directly relevant to your home. Let us look at going green: Using Solar Powered Panels: if you live in abundantly sunny regions, it might be wise to invest in solar energy. Though somewhat expensive to install, solar powered energy is by leaps and bounds more proficient and generates no carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Solar power is utilized to create electricity for a home and also to create heat. Altering the shade of the outside paint: repainting the outside of your home, use lighter colors. They colors reflect solar radiation. Encapsulating your crawl space, basement or attic: most crawl spaces are vented to the exterior which can cause heat or cool air to be lost. Having your crawl space is appropriately insulated with conventional 20 mil vapor barrier liners can produce better energy savings. It has been documented that nearly twenty percent of energy costs come from heat diffused in the crawl space, basement and attic. Radiant Heating: think about installing radiant heating to increase your basement heating systems. LEED and USGBC endorse radiant heating systems as a safer, more energy efficient heating system. That is due to the fact that radiant heating heats a home from the floor up as opposed to moving around warm air that will simply rise and leave the ground level of a home chilly. Furthermore, radiant heating provides better stability in temperature inside a home, permitting one to reduce standard temperature settings while keeping the same warmth. Do it yourself Energy Examination: create the time to record your energy utilization habits. Figure out what you are using on a monthly basis and start applying some of the above methods to see those figures begin to decrease. One of the first things to search for when completing an energy audit is air leaks. It has been estimated that nearly thirty percent of energy per year is lost through air drafts alone. If you take the time and complete this evaluation of your energy consumption habits, you will definitely save money.
Every residential architect knows that each home design requires a carefully planned kitchen, and every kitchen will need cabinets with lights. Countertop areas underneath display cabinets are very important. They serve both a decorative function as well as a practical purpose. Shadows underneath cabinets are both unattractive, and they can also make working with knives and other kitchen implements unsafe if visibility is obscured too much.
It is necessary for the architect to plan ahead to eliminate these dark areas with kitchen undercabinet lights that will fulfill both the functional and aesthetic demands of kitchen design. Architects should consider fixtures more sophisticated than generic puck lights and outdated fluorescent lights once promoted as energy savers.
When it comes to installing kitchen undercabinet lighting, it works to the benefit of all parties involved in the home building market to use the most robust engineering and undercabinet lighting manufacturing design available. This will combine the intentions of an artist with the precision of a scientist.
Cabinet lighting strips are now much smaller than the generic types of competing fixtures available to architects and builders. They are easy to conceal beneath the forward undersurface of even the most ornate and custom cabinetry. Special glare shields in the linear strips direct the light backward away from the eyes. This minimizes reflective glare and creates a more even distribution of light under the kitchen cabinet. Dimmer controls allow the homeowner to make further adjustments, literally fine tuning illumination over countertops to match that of general lighting in the room. This makes for superior aesthetic qualities and more comfortable environment for food preparation, parties, and other special hosted gatherings.
New custom kitchen undercabinet light fixtures use LED bulbs to generate color temperatures capable of aesthetically complimenting the wide range of granite and marble countertops frequently found in custom home kitchens. A newly introduced 2800K led festoon has been specifically designed to mimic xenon as a compliment to the warmest of color tones and backsplashes. LED lamps at 2950K are designed to emulate warm white lighting common in more contemporary style kitchens.
The energy saving value of LED technology cannot be emphasized enough. LED undercabinet lights are 60 percent more energy efficient than xenon equivalents, and the staggering lamp life of up to 50,000 bulb hours makes replacements very rare. If a replacement is necessary, a single festoon lamp can be purchased to replace the one that has failed. It is never necessary to purchase a new undercabinet lighting fixture when you design your kitchen lighting with festoon based LED lighting strips.
LED kitchen undercabinet lights also help contribute to reduced cooling costs. Many people prefer to leave these lights on to provide low level night lighting in the kitchen. A hot burning light source will trigger the thermostat to activate the HVAC system, driving up power bills in the process. However, LED bulbs are cool light sources that produce luminance through an electrical current rather than the ignition of a contained gas. The forward throw heat is so negligible it has no impact on room temperature readings.
For applications that specifically call for an architect to use kitchen cabinet or undercabinet lighting in the cooler 5000K color temperature range, LED Festoon lamps are now available. The cooler color temperature lamps also provide higher lumen output, thus brighter light.
As lighting technology continues to advance, more exciting choices are becoming available to enhance the beauty and energy efficiency of homes worldwide.
Energy is day by day becoming costly because prime sources are gradually depleting. Our energy requirement is continuously on the rise. Our life is totally bounded by the use of energy. There is much kind of energy sources, some are conventional and some are unconventional. We consume more of conventional energy such as fossil fuel, solid fuel and of course electrical energy. Such kind of fuel is stored energy and we have right kind of technology to use them. Such fuels are the gift of nature and resulted out of volcanic eruption in its origin. They are not usually in the process of continuous generation. But we are so used to these fuels that it is gradually becoming an uncontrollable situation. This kind of energy sources is convenient from use point of view. Our entire transportation and industrial technology largely depend on fossil fuel. Electrical energy is also obtained largely from burning coal, a solid fuel. Day by day extensive research has been intensified to develop renewal kind of energy sources. Whatever be the kind of energy sources, energy efficiency is the most important issue today. We now give much stress on Technologies which are energy efficient. To get more work done with reduced energy is the prime objective behind technology development.
Energy bill substantially increases unless we avail the latest technologies and sufficiently careful in spending energy in appropriate ways. To cut down production cost, energy efficiency measures are extremely important for any business houses. There is some conventional loss of energy such as poor insulation, unproductive heat generation, over use of machineries and so on. Energy efficiency can be well achieved by turning our attention to all these things by careful observation and planning. Ways and means are available to make the devices of our daily use more energy efficient. Energy efficiency is truly an outcome of right kind of awareness and practices. To get enriched with relevant kind of Information and to orient our life style is a result giving approach to reach to energy efficiency. It is more or less an attitude linked benefit. It is not only a cost saving measures but also an attempt to check the depleting source of conventional energy. Energy efficiency measures are necessity for our own and global benefits. Without sacrificing our basic comfort, we can well achieve it only by turning our attention to save energy in scientific ways.
Conventional energy being depleted over extensive use, enough attention is now being paid to develop renewable kind of energy such as solar energy. Initial investment cost for solar energy is little high but in long run it is extremely economical. It is of course limited to a specific area of use. The technology of generation of solar energy and its application is itself energy efficient. In spite of all these efforts still electrical energy and energy from fossil fuel dominate the consumption front. This necessitates innovation in multiple kinds of their uses with an eye on energy efficiency.
How energy efficient is the various types of cooktops? This is a question that everyone wants the answer to when they are shopping for cooktops. While most of the newer models of induction, electric and gas cooktops have acquired the Energy Star rating, some are still more eco-friendly than others. The key is to find the balance between your needs and those of the environment when shopping for cooktops. An appliance is not truly efficient if your productivity is decreased.
Induction cooktops are some of the very energy efficient types of cooktops on the market today. Because induction cooktops use the transfer of electromagnetic energy to heat the cookware rather than the cooktop, there is virtually no loss of energy. Approximately 90 percent of the energy produced is used. This means that induction cooktops may help you to save money on your electric bill each month as they offer some great energy saving benefits. Your kitchen will also stay cooler using these cooktops, thus reducing your monthly utility bills even more. If your primary concern is reducing your carbon footprint, then induction cooktops are probably the best choice for you.
Electric cooktops are another type of cooktops that help with energy efficiency. Today’s electric cooktops boast a number of features to reduce the loss of energy. Many models have duel size burners, reducing energy wasted from pans sitting on heating elements that are too big. Some electric cooktops also have an automatic shut-off feature if you accidentally leave the burner on. Many do not require as high of a voltage of electricity as induction cooktops, making the monthly operating costs slightly lower in some cases. If the green in your wallet is just as important as the green in the environment, electric cooktops may be the correct answer for you.
Gas cooktops are preferred by many as it offers a different cooking style. They are still a favorite among professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts. Gas cooktops may give you more control over the heat than induction cooktops or electric cooktops and, as a result, cook food more evenly. If cooking with gas is important to you, you can slightly increase the energy efficiency of gas cooktops by choosing a model with a lower BTU. Gas cooktops may cost less to operate each month depending on your rates for natural gas. With the cost of electricity on the rise, gas cooktops are definitely the gourmet, budget friendly choice for those looking for energy saving cooktops.
Once you decide whether induction cooktops, electric cooktops or gas cooktops best fit your needs, you should consider some of the durability factors of the various models within that category. Is the appliance insulated? Is it vented? The answer to these questions will help you to pick the cooktops that will work best for you and your situation.
The Green Deal UK aims to reduce CO2 emission and boost energy efficiency in the country. It has great potential to save large amount of money for householders and businesses, as well as to secure energy supplies for the future generation.
In December, 2010, the UK Government introduced the Energy Bill in the Parliament. The bill proposed ‘Green Deal’, that aims to revolutionise the energy efficiency in UK homes and businesses. The most ambitious energy efficiency drive in the UK to date, it enables private firms to offer green improvements to the residents and businesses at no upfront cost, and to recoup payments in instalments on the energy bill. The deal is an attempt by the UK Government to tackle the climate change and secure future energy supplies in the country.
The Green Deal is designed to encourage households and businesses in the UK to retrofit energy saving measures. The government has attempted to create a framework that allows selected private firms to provide energy saving measures to households and businesses without bringing additional costs to them. The policy makers consider it a long-term solution to energy related problems. It is expected to minimise the energy wastage, and help households and business-owners to save money when it comes to boost their energy efficiency. The Green Deal is the biggest ever shake-up in UK energy efficiency history.
Once it comes into force, the Green Deal will allow people to take out loans to improve the energy efficiency of their properties including insulation, heating and lighting. The loans which are to be attached to the property, will be paid back over a fixed period through the savings made on energy bills. As per the estimates, an average house will have 6000 of measures installed, that will be repaid in a time period of more than 25 years. The household will not be required to pay up-front installation cost. Since the repayment will be attached with the electricity meter, the scheme is open to all, without any inspection for credit history and employment status.
Under the Green Deal, people will be provided with financial support to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Though the deal seems quite beneficial, government will have to take initiative to make it more effective. It’s needed to deliver the policies which encourage the public to take-up Green Deal. Additionally, the financial model must be attractive to the investors, i.e. the default risk should be minimum. In short, the government will have to establish a strong, recognisable Green Deal system that could create confidence and trust, both among potential consumers and service providers. However, the full detail could be available after the launch of Green Deal in 2012.
The Green Deal is open to all, homeowners, tenants, businessmen. If implemented properly, it will surely cut down the CO2 emission, and improve the energy efficiency in the country. If you’re also interested in this deal, and want to opt it, you can register your interest with a reputed company that provides this facility. Using Internet, you can find some reliable websites which help you apply for green deal. Considering your buying criteria, you can choose the best among them, and ensure a reduced energy bill and improved energy efficiency for your premise.
While many in Washington still warn about the dangers of carbon emissions and climate change, the reality and perhaps the one thing that experts on both sides agree on, is that Americans are paying less attention to global warming than they have in the past. To end this uncertainty, the Senate after months of behind the scenes maneuvering will begin the debate on the critically important legislation which could help American consumers, businesses and the federal government to save millions of dollars each year by using less energy, and using less energy will be a step forward in the fight against climate change in the U.S.
The new energy efficiency legislation introduced by Senators Shaheen and Portman could come up before the U.S. Senate for approval. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, also known as Shaheen-Portman Bill will help to reduce the energy bill of U.S., improve its economic competitiveness, create new American jobs and enhance U.S. energy security. The bill has been endorsed by more than 200 businesses, trade associations and advocacy groups.
What is the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act?
The Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a 19-3 vote, it includes provisions that will directly improve energy efficiency in buildings, industrial processes and federal agencies, the provisions in the bill include strengthening energy efficiency requirements in building energy codes, incentivizing energy efficiency using rebates and for certain equipment, encouraging energy efficiency supply chains through a new supply star program.
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found implementation of the bill would save about 9.5 quadrillion btus (british thermal units) between 2014 and 2030, or nearly one tenth of the annual energy use in the U.S. As the second largest consumer of energy in the world and the worlds biggest economy it is critically important for the United States to improve energy efficiency, the bill has received bipartisan support with seven Republicans and twelve Democrats in favor of the bill. It contains a variety of policies and programs to reduce residential, commercial and industrial energy use and focusing on sectors and areas with energy savings potential such as the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, the bill also restricts inefficient energy practices that will cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars and millions of jobs every year. One of the components of the bill also requires the Federal Government- which is the largest user of energy adopt energy saving techniques and best practices to operate efficiently.
Commenting on the bill Senator Portman said Washington can seem pretty divided these days, but there are some things on which we all can agree. This bill is one of them it is good for the economy and good for the environment. By making it easier for employers to use energy efficient tools, we are helping them to reduce their costs, enabling them to put those savings towards expanding their companies and hiring new workers.
The bill has received positive feedback and widespread support, the only constraint halting the success of the bill are the amendments lawmakers are trying to attach to it. The successful passing of this bill will not only help in mitigating climate change in the U.S. and reduce carbon emissions but also be a trendsetter for other countries to follow suit.
In spite of rapidly increasing bills, many people are still spending more than they need to on their utilities. More often than not, this is due to careless habits and a number of common myths and misconceptions about saving energy. The following seeks to dispel some of these misunderstandings in order to help you cut down on your electricity consumption significantly.
Appliances which Are Turned Off Consume No Energy
The reality is, that if an electrical appliance is turned off, it will usually still be drawing some power unless it is disconnected from the power socket entirely. Some appliances even draw as much energy when they are supposedly switched off as they do when they are actually in use. A great deal of modern household appliances ranging from televisions to computers have a standby mode. While on standby, such appliances may consume less power, they are consuming something nonetheless. Save energy by ensuring that devices are switched off at the power strip or unplugged entirely. Likewise, unplug mobile phone and laptop chargers when they are not in use, since they will continue to draw power otherwise.
Fluorescent Lights Are Unsightly, Inefficient Strip Lights Often Found in Offices
While this is partly true, modern fluorescent lightbulbs are actually extremely energy-efficient, consuming around a fifth of the amount of power as the traditional incandescent lightbulb. They might be more expensive and take a short time to reach full brightness once switched on, but changing all of the lighting fixtures in your home or office will make a very significant saving on your electricity bills. These bulbs fit into the same sockets as any other standard bulb. Also, fluorescent lightbulbs last, on average, about ten times longer.
Maintaining a Constant Temperature with Your Thermostat is More Efficient
The cost of heating a home normally accounts for the majority of a household’s utility bills. However, many people assume that keeping the thermostat on a constant temperature throughout the day and night is more energy-efficient than turning it down during the night and up during the day. In reality, the opposite is usually the case, and it is typically much more energy-efficient to have your heating on at a slightly higher temperature for several hours per day at two or more separate intervals. Additionally, lowering your thermostat temperature by one or two degrees makes little different to the ambient temperature while cutting energy consumption by as much as ten percent.
Setting Your Boiler to a Higher Temperature Will Make It Heat Water Faster
This is simply not true, since it will take the same amount of time for the boiler to reach a set temperature regardless. If you set your hot water boiler to ninety degrees, it will still take the same amount of time to reach seventy degrees, which is normally an optimal temperature for most requirements. Setting it higher simply wastes money by heating water more than necessary. The same applies to air conditioning units and central heating systems.
Spreading of industrialization world over and population explosion, our natural resources have been ever shrinking. In India, the last two decades the rise of spending power of the middle class has increased their energy consumption drastically. Each and every family have around 2 to 4 bedroom flats, with one or more television, fridge, Air conditioners, and lighting to illuminate their homes . Over dependence on non-renewable sources of energy like coal powered energy stations screams for the expansion of energy saving systems by bringing in LED lighting company in India. The LED lights are designed in such a manner, that they can last longer and consume a lot less energy than their previous counterparts. A LED lighting company proudly states that their products with help the new urban India reduce its ever growing energy consumption drastically, with new and improved array of products. They boast, with their enhanced technology they have created a new range of products which with not only last longer and stay brighter but will also be cost effective as well.
Urban India is moving a step ahead with the rest of the developed world in the area of good quality LED Lighting, with the presence of LED lighting company in India. LED lighting Delhi, have a wide variety of products which aims to brighten up the streets of the urban jungle. They are revved up to meet the ever growing demands of LED lighting services by these products which not only have longer life, but also encompass smaller size, better design, light output with no ultra violet and infra red radiation that is harmful to our eyes. They are a lot safer to use because of lower voltage and lower heat operation.
A new LED lighting company in India said that LED lighting is the future, and the next wave of revolutionary lighting systems. LED products are more brilliant and emit higher color saturation when compared to conventional light sources. You get different color effect from the same light source, which is good for home use for decorative purposes in festivals like Deepavali. These products from LED lighting company are also said to have unbreakable plastic bulbs, weather proof, and shock proof to a certain degree. Also has silent operation and fast switching capabilities. Development of solar powered LED lighting India has even a brighter future.
LED lighting services have proven to be a the best lighting solution for places which need to be lit for a long duration of time such as streets, parking areas, reception areas, living rooms, hallways, restaurants, offices, kitchens ,lobbies etc. They do have more of a initial cost, but due to their efficiency, longevity, more durable compared to conventional breakable fluorescent bulbs, and also reduces trips to the doctor because of low UV imitations they turn out to be more cost effective solution. LED lighting services have also been developed to make benefit of the best renewable source of energy Sun. LED lighting services are the most efficient lighting service available in market today, reducing the damage done to your pocket and suits your varied needs.
Reference website: www.ikioledlighting.com