Energy Efficiency

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Does High Amplifier Energy Efficiency Mean High Cost

If you are about to acquire a new stereo amplifier, you may be concerned about how efficiently your amp works. I will show you exactly what the term “power efficiency” means plus why you need to take a closer look at this number in your selection of a brand new amplifier.

A fairly large amount of power is radiated as heat should you get a low-efficiency amp. This can contribute to several issues: Amps that have small power efficiency are going to waste some energy. It is smart to bear in mind the added energy expense while choosing between a high- and low-efficiency product. The squandered energy is radiated by the amp as heat. Amplifiers that have lower efficiency typically have various heat sinks to help dissipate the wasted energy. These heat sinks use up a good amount of space and make the amplifier large and heavy. Further, they raise the price of the amp. To help radiate heat, low-power-efficiency amplifiers need to have adequate air movement. As a result they can not be placed in areas with no circulation. Also, they cannot be installed inside water-resistant enclosures.

Amplifiers that have low efficiency require a bigger power source to create the identical amount of audio power as high-efficiency products. Further, because of the large level of heat, there will be significantly greater thermal stress on the electrical elements and also interior materials which may cause dependability complications. In contrast, high-efficiency amplifiers can be made small and light.

While buying an amplifier, you’ll find the efficiency in the data sheet. This figure is frequently shown as a percentage. Class-A amplifiers are amongst the least efficient and provide a efficiency of around 25% only. On the other hand, switching amplifiers, also referred to as “Class-D” amplifiers provide efficiencies of up to 98%. Acquiring an amplifier which has an efficiency of 90% as an example shows that 10% of the energy that is used is squandered while 90% will be audio power.

Then again, there are a few things to note about power efficiency. First of all, this figure will depend on on the level of energy that the amplifier is providing. Amplifiers have greater efficiency while delivering larger output power than when operating at low power mainly because of the fixed power that they consume irrespective of the output power. The efficiency value in the amp data sheet is usually provided for the greatest amplifier output power.

To determine the power efficiency, the audio energy that is used by a power resistor which is connected to the amplifier is divided by the overall energy the amp consumes while being fed a constant sine wave signal. Since the efficiency is dependent upon the audio power, usually the output power is swept and an efficiency graph generated which can display the amplifier efficiency for each level of output power.

When choosing a sound amp you will need to weigh efficiency versus fidelity given that low-efficiency analog amps frequently deliver the maximum audio fidelity whilst digital models will have greater distortion. However, digital amplifiers have come a long way and are offering better music fidelity than in the past. Class-T amplifiers come close to the music fidelity of analog amps. Due to this fact picking a switching amplifier with good audio fidelity is now possible.

Taking The whole House Approach To Home Energy Efficiency

In this industry, there are times when energy efficiency experts come across some fairly prodigious claims about the potential effectiveness of the products they provide to homeowners. While these assertions are great for selling products, they don’t always create a realistic picture of the ultimate benefit to the homeowner.

Instead of claiming the added efficiency that a single product will offer, it’s much more effective to create a profile of your entire house’s energy system – one that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of your home’s energy use. With this approach, we can take a more realistic look at which improvements will result in the most impactful improvement of your home.

Understanding “Whole House” Energy Efficiency

Be skeptical of any company that provides you a single product but quantifies its potential energy savings for your home. These “miracle cure” solutions are not always as effective as they seem!

For example, let’s say that a company claims that replacing your windows and exterior doors with ENERGY STAR approved windows and doors can save you up to 25% on your annual heating and cooling bills. Unfortunately, this is only likely in some cases.

Let’s look at these two examples…

House A is an old, drafty colonial house that is poorly updated by its owners. However, the furnace is fairly modern, and operates at about 85% of the efficiency of a new, modern system. Unfortunately, the air ducts that channel the heat from the furnace have several air leaks, and the furnace is being stored in a cold, uninsulated basement. The attic also has a mere 4″ layer of old fiberglass insulation installed. While the windows are not ENERGY STAR approved, they do have double-paned glass.

House B is a 1970s home, whose owners take the time to update it when possible. In this case, the furnace is very outdated, and while it still works, it operates at about half the efficiency of a new, modern system. The owners service their system frequently, and have already sealed all holes in the air ducts. Their basement is finished and insulated, and the attic is properly sealed and insulated with new fiberglass insulation. They have single-paned windows installed that are not ENERGY STAR approved.

Which House Would Benefit Most From Energy Efficient Windows?

In this case, we can see that the owners of House A are paying much more for their heat than the owners of house B. While replacing these old windows would increase the energy efficiency, there are many more cost-effective ways to reduce their utility bills.

For example, instead of spending $10,000 or more on a window upgrade, the owners of House A may want to consider using the same money on a combination of air sealing the home to eliminate the drafts, insulating the basement, repairing the air ducts, or sealing and insulating the attic.

In the case of House B, however, we can see that the basement and attic are insulated, and the home has already been air sealed. Because the furnace is outdated, heating comes at a premium. In this case, it can be very cost-effective to keep as much heat inside the house as possible. So replacement windows are a pretty good idea.

But even in this case, the savings will take many years to balance out the cost of the windows. In the end, much of the value of the upgrade will be appreciated through the increased comfort, beauty, and value of the home.

Professional Energy Efficiency Evaluation In Connecticut & New York

Before deciding on a major energy efficiency upgrade for your home, it’s worth the effort to hire a professional to inspect your problem and make recommendations on the most effective upgrades for your home.

Each house will have its own unique energy-using system; professional and customized energy efficient upgrades are well worth the investment in energy savings and comfort for your home.

Replacement Windows Improve Home Energy Efficiency And Value

In these days of high energy costs many people recognize the importance of improving the energy efficiency of their homes, especially since heating and cooling can account for up to half of a homes total energy usage. While energy efficient replacement windows will save money on heating and cooling bills, they also have many other benefits such as adding beauty and value to your home, and making your living space more pleasant!

There are many obvious reasons to replace old windows that are rough and worn. Creating a new look for your home from the inside out is possible simply by replacing old windows with new ones. With the many styles of windows that you can choose from, and the variety of colors available, replacing your windows could be the home improvement step that dramatically changes the way your home looks and feels. Whether your new windows let in more light, blend into the background, stand out with a bold exterior contrast of color, or serve as a focal point within your rooms, a new window can defiantly bring excitement into your home.

Besides the pleasing esthetic benefits of replacing your windows, there are many more practical reasons to replace them as well. Over time wood windows may begin to rot and can also warp or become infested with termites. Casement windows may have cranks that stop working or counter weight cords that have broken. Paint or even vinyl on windows can peel with age. Correcting these types of problems is important for the upkeep of your home. With todays more advanced window technology window manufacturers have figured out new ways to make sure that your windows will not only be energy efficient but also incredibly durable. Recent improvements include coatings that may help reduce heat transfer in your home and protect interiors from potentially damaging sunlight that can fade pictures, furniture and carpets.

A not-to-be-overlooked factor that makes replacement windows both important and eminently sensible, is the amount of energy that can be saved when replacing old, drafty or single pane windows with new highly energy efficient multi-pane windows. High efficiency replacement windows will help make your home more energy efficient, and a highly efficient home uses less power for both heating and cooling, which in turn helps you save money. Simply switching single-pane windows to double-pane windows will help decrease high energy bills in the cold winter months by blocking out more of the cold winter air and keeping in more of the warm air heated by your furnace. Likewise the same is true of the cool air generated by your air conditioning unit during the hot summer months.

When determining what replacement windows to use it is wise to follow the recommendations of the Energy Star national energy performance rating system. Replacement windows with an Energy Star label meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and US Department of Energy.

ENERGY STAR is a government program under the management of the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy designed to help everyone save money and protect the environment by identifying and utilizing energy efficient products and practices. The use of Energy Star approved windows and other household products can save about a third on the average home energy bill without sacrificing style, features or comfort.

How To Guide To Improving Air Quality And Energy Efficiency In Your Home

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.

Conclusion

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.

Domestic Energy Assessors Help Homeowners Show the Energy Efficiency of Their Homes When Selling

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

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.

Create Distinctive Kitchen Undercabinet Lighting To Combine Unexpected Warmth And Energy Efficiency

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 Efficiency – An Issue Of Extreme Importance

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.

Energy Efficiency of Cooktops

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.

cooktops

Green Deal – The Biggest Energy Efficiency Drive In The Uk

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.