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What is a Ceiling Occupancy Sensor

Ceiling Occupancy Sensor High Bay SensorOne of the easiest ways to save energy when it comes to lighting is to simply turn the lights off when leaving a room. While this sounds simple enough, it’s also one of the easiest tasks to forget. As time goes on, lighting technology continues to advance. Also advancing is the technology being used with light bulbs and fixtures. Installing a ceiling occupancy sensor or a high bay sensor is a quick way to start cutting energy use and costs in any building, especially in commercial spaces that undoubtedly consume more energy than residential properties.

How do sensors work?

The sensors use what is known as passive infrared technology (PIR) that turn lights on and off based on two factors: ambient light levels and occupancy. As long as the ambient light is at a certain level, the sensor will keep the lights from turning on. They can also be set to turn the lights on and keep them on as long as occupancy, or movement, is detected. After the allotted time has passed, or no movement is picked up by the sensor, the lights will be turned off.

Where should I install it?

Buildings with high energy usage, such as hotel locations, warehouses, and other commercial and industrial buildings are ideal spaces for occupancy sensors. No intense or extremely difficult programming is required. The sensors are designed to be compatible with standard lighting systems. Additionally, they are programmed to work with CFLs, LEDs, and new fixture/retrofit installations.

How much can I save?

In buildings with high energy usage, lighting accounts for up to 25% of all energy that is being used. The sensors have been tested by the manufacturers to ensure they not only perform at the highest quality, but will last for years. Installing the ceiling occupancy sensor and the high bay sensor saves not only energy and money, but also helps add to the overall lifetime of your lights, as they’ll no longer be in use when they don’t need to be. Installing sensors leads to automatically reduced energy consumption, energy costs, and your carbon footprint.

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Knowledge is Power: Using the Efergy E2 to Track Energy Usage

Efergy E2
Efergy E2

At the end of each month, do you find yourself wondering why the energy bills are as high as they are? Professional energy consultants find that in most homes, residents are using much more energy than they realize. Not actually measuring energy usage can lead to spending 20 percent more on energy than necessary. Knowing how much energy your home uses is a great first step to reducing that amount. The Efergy E2 is a wireless energy monitor that allows you to track energy consumption in your home as it happens.

The Efergy E2 has a clear graphical display which shows electricity usage and what it is costing. In addition, it displays the amount of carbon dioxide that is released as a result of the energy being used. The E2 does all of this in real-time, meaning you can track this usage as it happens. It runs on 3 AAA batteries so there is no need to worry about tripping over wires or plugging it in.

Unlike other energy monitors the Efergy E2 allows you to not only view daily, weekly, and monthly data, but the information it collects can be loaded onto your PC in the form of a report via USB. This wireless energy monitor stores up to 8 months of history, in case you wanted to compare data. Knowing and understanding how energy is consumed around your home can help reduce that usage 5-20 percent, which of course decreases your home’s carbon footprint as well as energy costs.

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Dryer Vent Problems and How You Can Solve Them

LintAlert Dryer Indoor Alarm

In the United States, of the 95% of single family residences with a clothes washer, 92% of them also have a clothes dryer. As a result, dryer vent problems are a cause of concern for many homeowners. Unless cleaned regularly, the clothes dryer lint trap can become clogged with lint. Installing an indoor alarm, such as the LintAlert Dryer Safety Alarm, allows you to curb dryer vent problems by alerting you when it needs cleaning. Regular clothes dryer duct cleaning allows the dryer to work more efficiently and be much safer to use.

Certain dryer problems can be avoided by cleaning the vent when necessary, but how can you be sure when is necessary? The LintAlert indoor alarm for the dryer has a built-in digital pressure sensor to detect whether or not the dryer is on as well as existing levels of pressure. When the dryer lint trap is unobstructed, a steady blue light will be displayed. The LED lights light up in a slow progression based on the amount of pressure in the clothes dryer lint trap. When that last light is activated, the LED light bar will begin flashing as well as the LintAlert logo, and the alarm will sound with a buzzer beeping.

Clothes Dryer Lint Trap
Clothes Dryer Lint Trap

If clothes dryer duct cleaning is not executed regularly, the dryer can overheat, causing it to take longer than normal to dry clothes. When the dryer takes a longer time to operate, energy is wasted, also resulting in money wasted. A full dryer lint trap also increases the likelihood of experiencing a dryer-related fire. From 2002-2004 the United States Fire Administration reported that clothes dryer machines were part of approximately 15,600 U.S. building fires, 400 injuries, 15 deaths, and property damages totaling $99 million. Install the indoor alarm to protect your home and family while saving energy and money at the same time.

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Watts Up Pro – Power Analyzer for Appliances

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 95% of single family homes contain a clothes washer, 92% have a clothes dryer, and 74% have a personal computer. Among these people, how many of them do you think know the amount of energy each appliance is using? Do you know how much energy your appliances use, and how much each one is costing you? A power analyzer, also referred to as a power meter, is a tool designed to monitor appliances and provide reports on their energy usage as well as costs.

Watts Up Pro Power Meter
Watts Up Pro Power Meter

The Watts Up Pro Power Meter is an electricity monitor, watt meter, and power analyzer. Using this device is as simple as plugging it in, plugging an appliance into it, and turning the appliance on. It comes with a USB cable to be hooked up to your computer for analyzing after collecting data. This power meter will work for all electrical appliances that use a lot of energy, such as a microwave, wall air conditioner, or refrigerator.

For an appliance as costly as a refrigerator you may worry that you don’t need a more energy efficient model or that getting one would take too long to pay for itself. The power meter also has a payback calculator. This estimates the amount of time it will take for a more energy-efficient model to essentially pay you back, helping you then decide the best move to make regarding that appliance. You may be shocked to discover how much energy you’re using as well as how much you could be saving. A power analyzer is a wonderful tool to help you start saving energy and cutting costs.

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How to track HVAC and appliances energy usage?

Have you bought an Energy Star qualified appliance? Or an energy efficient heat furnace or air conditioning unit recently? The sticker says it’s energy efficient and give you statistics on how many Kilowatt Hours. per Year the appliance will use and how much it will cost. But how do you know for sure?

The answer is an Energy Monitor that will allow you to track your energy use in real time. Take for instance, the Blue Line PowerCost Monitor which can be easily installed on your electric meter outside the house. Once fastened, the sensor reads the amount of electricity that is being consumed real-time and wirelessly transmits the information to a hand held display unit. You track energy consumption by hour, day, week, month.

So back to the question of how do you know if you new energy star qualified appliance or HVAC unit really is as efficient as they say. To compare, you would take a baseline usage with the old appliance e.g. for an hour.

Then you would take the usage statistics with the new appliance. Make sure it a like for like comparison. The PowerCost Monitor should be accurate to with 5% of the actual usage. We recently had an HVAC contractor purchase the Blue Line Monitor so that he could demonstrate to his customers the before and after energy usage. The proof is in the pudding.