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Conservation Kits Provide Instant Savings

As the climate crisis on our planet has become a climate emergency, a lot of us are looking for different ways to improve our carbon footprint. While this may initially seem like a daunting and expensive task, it truly isn’t. There are many small ways to start saving both energy and water around your home or building that won’t break the bank. Conservation kits are prepared with these types of savings in mind, and the items they contain provide instant savings once installed.

Improving Energy Efficiency

According to Time.com, “On average, remote workers have seen a $40-50 monthly increase in their energy costs—or as much as $600 a year.” With energy bills steadily on the rise, employing measures that can produce savings right away is even more pressing. Common items you’ll find in conservation kits include:

  • LED Light Bulbs, which use up to 80% less energy than their incandescent counterparts
  • Closed Cell Foam to limit drafts and heat from entering through doors
  • Outlet Gaskets that block air leaks from outlets
  • Rope caulk to seal air from entering through windows
tidy room filled with furnitures

Help Me Save Water

Each day, the average home in the United States uses approximately 80-100 gallons of water at home. A surprising number, right? When you consider the amount of times we wash our hands and dishes, flush the toilets, and even shower, this number really begins to take shape. Let’s take a step back, and see how we can bring this number down.

  • Low flow aerators reduce the amount (but not the pressure) of water coming from faucets. Their flow rates range from 0.5-2.0 gallons of water per minute.
  • Low flow shower heads follow this same concept, except with the shower. Many of these shower heads are also self-cleaning.
  • A toilet tank bank is placed in the toilet tank to limit the amount of water used per flush.
  • Outdoor water savers allow you to expand water savings outside of the home and into your gardens.

Saving energy and water at home, or in your building, can actually be quite simple. With a few quick installations of items found in conservation kits you can be well on your way to helping the climate and your wallet at the same time.

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Using A Green Loan for Home Efficiency

brown wooden table and chairs

“Creating a green home is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint right where you live, while at the same time placing money right back into your pocket.”

Our homes are responsible for approximately 20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. While some may want to add energy saving upgrades, many have held back because of the costs. Adding energy and water efficiency products to your home or building just got a little bit easier. Using a green loan, you can easily get started on completing those projects that will increase the overall efficiency and savings in your space.

How does a green loan work?

This type of loan can be used to complete major renovations, such as installing tankless water heaters, solar panels and energy efficient doors and windows. Additionally, the funds can also be used to make faster green improvements, including:

  • Low-flow showerheads
  • Low-flow aerators
  • Eco toilets
  • LED lights
  • Adding or updating insulation
  • Programmable thermostats

When searching for products that meet energy and water efficiency requirements, look for the Energy Star and WaterSense labels.

How much can I save?

The products installed and projects completed with a green loan can certainly help lower your utility bills. At the highest level, LEED-certified homes can save an average of 15% on the cost of energy annually. Taking into account that the average family in the United States spends between $2,000-$3,100 on energy and water bills every year, that can equal savings of roughly $300-$465.

Creating a green home is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint right where you live, while at the same time placing money right back into your pocket. Check with your local bank or credit union to find out more information on getting started with one of these loans.

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Protection With A Tamper Proof Smoke Detector

Having a safe home or building is a top priority, whether you’re ensuring the safety of your family home, or your commercial or industrial space. Installing the right equipment can go a long way in providing that necessary protection. In addition, it can provide you with a sense of comfort, knowing your space is properly secure. A tamper proof smoke detector is a great tool that supplies all this and more.

Setting up the Detector

One of the most important parts of installing a smoke and fire alarm is knowing where to place it. A smoke alarm is your first line of defense against such an emergency. It should be installed in a central location, and there should be at least one on every level of the home or building.

Detectors should be installed 20 feet (at the very least) from combustion appliances, such as ovens and furnaces, as well as those that burn fossil fuels, wood or other biomass.

Install the smoke detector at least 10 feet from areas that produce high levels of humidity, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Measure out at least 3 feet of space between the detector and heat/AC ventilation.

Replacing the Detector

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests that smoke alarms in homes be replaced after 10 years. A tamper proof smoke detector has you covered in that the warranty lasts for 10 years. From installation to replacement, should issues arise with the alarm, you can take comfort in knowing it will be covered without additional out of pocket cost. Make it a habit to test detectors weekly to ensure all parts are working properly.

A dependable smoke detector is an essential tool to have in place in the case of an emergency. This device can help you feel both prepared and confident in the safety of your space.

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Install a Faucet Regulator for Simple and Immediate Savings

On average, a newly installed faucet aerator is designed to use as much as 2.5 gallons of water each minute left running. While this may not sound like a whole lot initially, this can equal to thousands of gallons of water used and wasted by the end of the year. With wasted water comes wasted energy used to heat it, and rising costs for both. Installing a faucet regulator (also called an adapter) is a quick way to realize immediate savings on all three without losing pressure. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the best one for you.

What kind of aerator does my faucet have?

Faucets are fitted with either male or female threading. A designated male aerator will have the threading on the outside of it. The standard thread size for a male aerator in the United States is 15/16”-27. The threading for a female aerator is placed on the inside of the aerator. Size is typically 55/64”-27. Once you know the type of aerator being adjusted, you can find the perfectly fitted faucet regulator. Additionally, adapters are available to convert the aerator from male to female, and vice versa.

Water Savings

Once you’ve looked over the kind of aerator to be retrofitted, the next subject to decide is the amount of water you’re hoping to save. As well as many threading options, a faucet regulator is available with many options for savings. The lowest amount of water that can be used through an adapter is 0.5 gallons per minute, and the largest flow rate is 2.2 gallons of water.

The regulators are designed with savings and pressure in mind to allow for the most savings without the loss of comfort. Simply twist in to your faucet or aerator, and you’re ready to start saving!

faucet regulator
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4 Tools in Energy Efficiency Kits That Also Keep You Warm

Brown Wooden House during Snow

With the changing seasons, a lot of us find ourselves playing the temperature game with the thermostat. This constant battle not only wreaks havoc on the energy usage, but the bills as well. Keep things warm inside, and the chill on the outside with energy efficiency kits. These kits – like a swiss army knife for combating drafts – are packed with supplies that properly insulate doors, windows, and other unintentional air entryways.

Foam Switch Gaskets, Outlet Gaskets, and Child Safety Caps

Unless every outlet is in use all the time (and I hope not, cause phantom energy loss can account for 5% of your home’s energy usage), those tiny slits in the wall are letting outside air slowly creep into your home. Along with outlets, the surrounding area behind the outlet and light switch plates also offer a way in for air. These leaks make the house colder than it should be and can cause energy loss of up to 20%.

Plastic Window Kit

Windows can let air in even when closed, but cold weather also makes them vulnerable to frost build-up and condensation. Plastic window kits, also known as shrink and seal window kits or window insulation kits, are installed over the entire window to provide airtight insulation from outside air. Kits are installed from the inside, and require a hair dryer (or some form of blowing heat) to “shrink and seal” film over the window. This method of insulation works on any type of window, is easy on the budget, and can increase R-Value (insulation level) by up to 90%.

Rope Caulk

Nearly every energy conservation kit features rope caulk, a substance is so easy to install a 5-year old could do it (we’re not kidding, just watch). Rope caulk is primarily used to combat cracks, gaps, and openings of every kind. Simply clean the area being sealed (remove dust, dirt, etc.), peel of the amount needed, and stick it into the open area. I think of it as 2-minute insulation.

The benefits of rope caulk don’t stop at insulation:

  • It’s cheap!
  • It’s durable through most weather conditions, so you don’t have to worry about it cracking during cold months
  • Just as easy as it is to install is how easy it is to remove (and clean up after), making this an easy insulation answer for renters

Door and Window Foam Tape

Foam tape is best used with sliding or swinging doors and windows. The tape blocks outside air by sealing the open space between the edges/side of doors and windows. Foam tape installs easily and is very cost effective.

Putting energy efficiency kits to good use – the gaskets, child safety caps, plastic window kits, rope caulk, and foam tape – will go a long way towards stabilizing the temperature in your home, saving energy and preventing energy loss, and allow you to subtract a few dollars from that energy bill.

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How A Reusable Face Mask with Filter Reduces Waste and COVID-19 Transmission

As businesses, schools, and universities are looking forward to welcoming employees, customers, and students back to their facilities, many of us are faced with the same problem. How can we create a safe environment for everyone, while maintaining the closeness that we’ve all been missing during this time? One of the easiest ways to get this done is to provide a reusable face mask with filter. While the N95 masks of course are being saved for healthcare and front-line workers, washable poly-cotton masks are a great way of providing such security while we’re still in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis.

Limiting Transmission

Many of us have learned that it is possible to be a carrier of the novel coronavirus without even knowing it. When wearing a face mask, you can immensely reduce the chance of transmitting the virus, as well as the likelihood of getting it from another person. This graphic from the Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Odisha easily illustrates how wearing a face mask can greatly impact your health with regards to contracting the virus.

Limiting Waste

A major positive that has emerged from the virus and stay-at-home orders has been the impact on the environment. Across the world, water and skies are appearing clearer, and the impact of climate pollution has tremendously dropped. We can help maintain this by continuing to reduce the amount of waste piled onto the earth. Having a washable face mask let’s you continue this work by not only keeping you safe and aiding your health, but allowing for reuse time and time again with a simple wash. The ability to wash your face mask also saves money that would be used on purchasing disposable masks that have to be discarded after every use.

While we are all excited to resume the human interactions we’ve missed due to COVID-19, we can’t stress enough the importance of doing so responsibly. Using a washable, reusable face mask with filter gets us started on the track to doing just that.

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LED Ready T5 Fixture: What it is and How it Saves

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For years, the T5 light fixture has been the source of illumination for gymnasiums, warehouses, industrial, and other commercial buildings. These lights are such a staple in these settings, that they can be easily forgotten or overlooked when efficiency upgrades are being made. When looking to increase building lighting efficiency, the LED ready T5 fixture should be considered at the top of the list. These energy and cost-efficient fixtures make replacement quick, and maintenance simple.

What is an LED Ready T5 Fixture?

While they look just like fluorescent fixtures, LED ready fixtures are designed to specifically house energy saving LED T5 lamps. The name is an indication of just how these fixtures work. They don’t contain a ballast, allowing the light to be installed without bypassing a ballast, or having to spend money on an LED tube that is ballast compatible.

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Time Saving Technology

Along with the time saved during installation, this fixture saves energy by using energy-efficient LED lamps in it. LED lamps are made to last for 50,000 hours on average. That’s more than twice as long as the standard 24,000 a fluorescent is rated. The technology is such that an LED using the same amount of watts as a fluorescent lamp can produce an even higher lumen rating, emitting a brighter light than the fluorescent.

Endless Options

The LED ready T5 fixture provides a smart and simple solution to replacing outdated fluorescent fixtures. There are fixtures that hold from one to eight lamps at a time. The LEDs they house are available in a wide range of color temperatures, wattages, and lumen ratings. The fixtures are also available in high bay and linear, giving you even more options when it comes to creating efficiency in your commercial or industrial space.

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Tier 2 Advanced Power Strip for Advanced Savings

Taking energy efficiency to the next level in your home or business is as simple as plugging an outlet into the wall. The catch: it needs to be the right one. Standard power strips provide power non-stop to all electronics plugged into them. Smart power strips allow for savings by letting you control one or a few outlets, while the power strip controls the rest. A tier 2 advanced power strip takes those savings even further by allowing multiple options for control while providing optimal surge protection for your devices.

We covered the difference between a tier 1 and tier 2 power strip earlier if you want to go into the details. Now, let’s dive into the major benefits of a tier 2 device.

Multiple Sensors

The tier 2 power strip has built-in sensors that detect both motion and infrared (IR) remote control signals. It is equipped with an intelligent algorithm that looks first for IR signals from a remote, and then looks to detect motion if no IR signals are found. Without the presence of either, the adjustable countdown timer is initiated, and powers off devices after that time has passed with no activity present. Additionally, some strips even feature bluetooth technology, allowing for control over devices right from your smartphone.

Surge Protection That’s Fireproof

Advanced power strips come complete with enhanced surge protection in the form of the metal oxide varistors (MOV). These components are designed to dissolve heat much faster than traditional surge protectors. It is also covered by a fireproof ceramic casing. This technology makes it possible to prevent a fire from occurring in the event of a power surge.

Know and Control Energy Usage

The tier 2 power strip communicates and records energy usage data. This includes the history of the energy used by the devices that are plugged into it as well as the real-time data. All of this information can be accessed through a mobile app available for both iOS® and Android® devices. Through the app, users can manage and predict electricity usage and costs, get updated on surge and ground status, sign up for promotions, and complete product registration as well as receive support. In addition, data records are also stored in a raw format, allowing easy access by evaluators and program admins for statistics, installation verification, and tracking.

As technology evolves, the way we use it evolves as well. Using a tier 2 advanced power strip to control the energy consumed by devices is an ideal way to continue to enjoy our tech with the added bonus of energy efficiency.

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Choosing a Double or Single Ended T8 LED Tube

Now that you understand more about ballasts, retrofitting, and the benefits of switching from fluorescent to LED, let’s get into even further detail about LED T8 lights. These lamps come in a few different configurations. The most obvious of which is the single and double-ended tube. Knowing whether you’ll need a double ended T8 LED or a single ended T8 LED tube for your lighting project gets you on the right track to completing the ideal renovation.

What Kind of Lamp is the Single Ended T8 LED Tube?

Single ended tubes receive all of their power from one side. This is the side that contains both the neutral and live pins. It is known as the input end. Many of these types of lamps are direct-wire, and do not require a ballast in order to operate. However, if you are using this lamp in a retrofit, the lampholders will require replacement, and the ballast removed.

What Kind of Lamp is the Double Ended T8 LED?

On the double ended T8 LED, you will find the neutral pins on one end, and the live pins on the other end of the tube. Traditional fluorescent lamps also have this double ended configuration. When replacing fluorescent tubes with LEDs, using the double ended LED lamps can make retrofitting much easier.

If this is your first major lighting project, consider enlisting the assistance of a licensed technician or electrical expert. Once these lamps are installed throughout your building, they are guaranteed to bring energy and dollar savings for years to come.

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How to Fit an Aerator into Your Faucet

The average household faucet consumes over 2 gallons of water each minute it is left on. This may sound small, until you consider this can equal up to 3,000 gallons of wasted water each year. High efficiency aerators can help you save water and deliver a steady and forceful stream of water, while saving at the same time. A high-quality faucet aerator adapter helps you connect a water saving aerator to almost any common faucet styles. Here’s what you need to know before you get started.

Sizing It Up

Nickel and dime is the phrase to keep in mind here. Start by removing the washer and insert from the inside of the aerator. Grab a nickel, and place it over the aerator. If the size is close to that of a nickel, you have a regular size aerator. An aerator that a dime can fit in is a junior-size aerator.

Male and Female Threading

Determining the threading is slightly easier than discovering the size. A female threaded aerator will be screwed onto the faucet with the threads on the inside of the aerator. A male aerator has the threading placed on the outside, top of the aerator. Pretty simple, right?

Different Streams

Another thing to consider when choosing a faucet aerator adapter is the type of water stream it produces:

Spray stream resembles the pattern distributed by a shower head. This type is ideal for bathrooms in commercial spaces.

Aerated/Bubble stream works by mixing the water with air. This pattern is softer than the other options, and produces no splashing. This type is found commonly in residential environments.

Laminar stream is great for spaces that require high flow, and no splashing, such as health-care establishments.

The smallest of changes can get you on the road to having a major impact on water consumption in your community. Doing a task as simple as fitting a faucet aerator adapter over your faucets can save up to 3,000 gallons of water each year. This can be done without much effort, and without sacrificing any water pressure.

Faucet Aerator Adapter
Faucet Aerator Adapter