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Using an AirCycler Switch to Ventilate and Save

When you ventilate the bathroom, how often do you think about the amount of time that should be spent ventilating, or how much energy is being wasted by over-ventilating? If you’re like most people, these two issues have probably never really crossed your mind. The AirCycler Switch allows you to attack both of these problems simultaneously without a second thought.

AirCycler Switch
The AirCycler Switch controls both the light and fan

How Long Should I Run the Vent?
HVAC experts suggest that the bathroom fan operate the bathroom fan for no less than 15, and no more than 20 minutes after a shower or bath. By letting it run for this amount of time, the fan is able to exhaust the moisture out of the room. Running the fan longer also does this. It can however, waste a tremendous amount energy, leading to higher energy costs, and a higher carbon footprint. Operating the exhaust fan for less time can cause condensation problems such as molding and rotting. These can inflame respiratory-related health issues including asthma.

How Do I Set and Operate the AirCycler Switch?
This switch replaces both the light and fan switches in the bathroom. The settings on the switch are ventilation, delay, and the ability to cancel the delay. The timer switch uses a microprocessor, which watches and controls how long the fan operates. It does this in order to provide a specific amount of ventilation to the room.

  • Ventilation Setting – The number of minutes each hour you want the fan to operate.
  • Delay Setting – The amount of time the fan will run after the light has been turned off (this setting is great, as it allows the ventilation cycle to finish after the bathroom is no longer occupied).
  • Cancel Delay – Use this setting if you don’t want the fan to run after the light has been turned off. To activate this, simply turn the light back on again within a few seconds.

Once set, the microprocessor in the AirCycler Switch recognizes each of the settings and ventilates the bathroom accordingly. It does this by subtracting the delay time from the hourly ventilation time.

Take for example a situation where the hourly ventilation is set to 20 minutes, and the delay for 10 minutes. Someone spends 5 minutes in the bathroom (the ventilation runs during this time) and turns the light off when they leave. Afterward, the 10-minute delay kicks in, totaling 15 minutes the fan has operated for that hour. The microprocessor senses this and runs the fan for an additional 5 minutes over the course of that hour.

If during the course of an hour, the fan is operated for more than the 20 minutes that were initially set, the AirCycler will subtract that amount from 20 for the next hour of operation.

Limiting the amount of energy that is used (in many cases wasted) through bathroom ventilation provides you with more control over both the indoor air quality of the home as well as the amount of energy being consumed. Whenever there is less energy being used in the home, less money spent on energy bills is sure to follow.

low gwp spray foam

Understanding Low GWP Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation has been used to insulate both commercial and residential spaces for decades. This form of insulation traditionally contains blowing agents called hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), which allow the polyurethane to change from a solid into foam, providing the insulation with both its form and R-value. However, this heat trapping chemical also contributes to the depletion of the earth’s protective ozone layer. When insulating, low gwp spray foam provides the same quality of protection, without the added harmful emissions.

Measuring Global Warming Potential (GWP)

Across much of North America, regulators have introduced requirements to gradually eliminate HFCs, and limit their use, thus reducing their contribution to climate change. The measurement basis for these regulations is called Global Warming Potential (GWP). With carbon dioxide as the reference gas (assigned the number 1), researchers compare the impact different gasses have on the atmosphere. The higher the GWP number, the greater the possibility of a gas warming the earth in comparison to carbon dioxide.

Low GWP Spray Foam

While the HFCs in traditional spray foam lend to exceptional form and R-values, even a miniscule amount being released into the atmosphere can have significant consequences on the ozone layer, and rising sea levels to name a few. Low gwp spray foam provides the same excellent insulation without harmful HFCs. Not only does this foam meet changing government requirement, these foam systems also:

  • Deliver a consistent stream of polyurethane foam
  • Contain an R-Value of 6.6
  • Cure in approximately 1 hour
  • Great for sealing attic, crawl space, floors, ceiling, walls, and basement

Reducing the global warming potential of the substances we use in building projects will help reduce the impact we are having on our atmosphere. Contractors, home, and building owners can now feel confident when using low gwp foam to seal and insulate spaces.

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Tackle Water Demand with A Water Conservation Kit

The average family is wasting nearly 200 gallons of water every week through leaks, water you never even know is leaving.

Currently, 40 out of the 50 states in the US are expecting statewide water shortages within the next decade. Needless to say, we’re looking at a water crisis. To put this on a more personal scale, the average family is spending more than $1,000 annually on water bills. This doesn’t even include the amount being spent on water heating, or energy used to run appliances like the dishwasher or laundry machine. The simplest way to reduce this usage (and associated costs), is by installing items found in a water conservation kit

Shower

Water efficient products help save, at the very least, 20 percent more water in a home. Additionally, they tend to perform better than their non-efficient counterparts. For example, the eco showerhead in a water conservation kit uses only 1.5 gallons of water per minute. At the same time, it comes with 9 different spray options, and is self-cleaning. Replacing the showerhead can save enough water to amount to 88 loads of laundry. 

Faucet

The faucet is one place in the house where usage and waste are unfortunately easy to overlook. Leaving the faucet running for just 5 minutes can result in enough energy wasted to power a 60-watt light bulb. This waste also leads to 10 gallons of water literally gone down the drain. Installing faucet aerators drastically cuts down on this kind of waste to the tune of $250 over the lifetime of the aerator.

Toilet

The toilet happens to be one of the largest consumers of water in the entire home. A water conservation kit contains a few items to help combat this. The Toilet Tank Bank is a great water saver. It is installed in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush. It does this without interfering with the toilet’s mechanics, and it prevents odors.

Without even realizing it, the average family is wasting nearly 200 gallons of water every week through leaks, water you never even know is leaving. This equals over 9,000 gallons yearly, enough water for 300 loads of laundry! The first step to solving this problem is discovering it. The toilet leak tablets that come in the water kit do just that. They change the color of the water if a leak is present. Another great tool for combatting toilet water waste is the tank bank.

Saving water at home doesn’t have to mean a complete shift in your lifestyle. A water conservation kit comes with a variety of everyday products that are not only simple to install, but can save thousands of gallons and dollars over their lifetimes.

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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.