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Save Money with a Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat

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Have you ever had that feeling while you were traveling that you forgot to do something before you left the house? Took out the garbage – check; turned on the alarm – check; adjusted the thermostat – “Oh no!” It is upsetting to realize that you are spending money to heat or cool LUX18666your home while you are away on your vacation. With the Lux Geo 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat you can easily change the temperature anytime from anywhere.

It is estimated, that if used properly, programmable thermostats can save you 10-20% on your heating and cooling bills. If you spend a good portion of your day out of the house,  shifting your temperature up or down by a few degrees will lead to noticeable savings on your bill.

In the past, thermostats could be a little daunting to program.  However, the Lux Geo 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat is easy to install and is even capable of working with your Amazon Alexa so you can control your home comfort with your voice! Simply download the LUX mobile app, set up your account and then in the Amazon Alexa mobile app menu under Skills, search for LUX Products and click enable. In the Alexa mobile app under Skills, clicking into the LUX Products Skill will show the proper phrases for using voice commands with your LUX/GEO thermostat.

In the app you can also use the Radius® geofencing feature to automatically save energy. This feature allows you to set your “away radius.” Once you get closer to your home, the system will turn on to bring your home to the optimal temperature. This way, if you have a varied schedule, you don’t have to set a specific away time.

The Lux Geo 7-Day Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat just made it a lot easier to save energy and money on your heating and cooling costs.

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5 Reasons to Buy Energy Saving Kits from Conservation Mart

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energybloggraphicConservation Mart is a minority, certified woman-owned business and thanks to our extensive product line and unsurpassed service, we’ve had the honor of supplying an impressive lineup of well-respected organizations. Through serving thousands of customers, we have built a substantial knowledge base of how to realize energy and water savings. We truly enjoy working with organizations to help them find just the right products for their customers. Here are five reasons why Conservation Mart is your best choice for energy saving kits:

1. Experience – Conservation Mart have been assembling Energy, Water, and Weatherization Kits since 2009 and have had the honor to serve hundreds of customers such as Utilities, Water Departments, Weatherization Agencies, and Corporations.

2. Customization – We have both energy and water kit assortments based on items that customers have ordered as well the ability  to do custom kits.

3. Packaging – We offer a variety of packaging options such as Ziploc bags, boxes, or canvas bags.

4. Inserts – We can include any inserts that a customer wishes to provide. Most customers opt to provide their logo and contact info which we include in our kit insert. We have also printed bilingual inserts, with English on one side and Spanish on the other side.

5. Include your Logo – We offer a selection of personalized, eco-friendly promotional products. You can have company’s logo printed on many items, such as a shower timer, temperature gauge, water ruler, or LED nightlight.

Our customer service team, located just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, makes your satisfaction our first priority. Call our toll-free number: 1-800-789-8598, and you will be greeted by a live person who will be able to give you a quote and help you build your kits.

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DIY Air Conditioner Covers Can Lead to Big Savings

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When summer is over, the window air conditioner is a gateway for cold air to come into the home and for warm air to escape. If you prefer to leave your air conditioner in the window, rather than lifting it out and storing it for the winter, you will want a cover that fits snugly over the unit to protect against air leaks.

There are a wide range of creative options like these:

 

air conditioner coversHowever, if you don’t have a lot of time for a big DIY project, you can purchase an attractive fabric window ac cover for less than $15.

Made in the USA, Endraft air conditioner covers are a beige, washable poly/cotton fabric and come with a 100% wind blocking liner, a roll of removable vinyl tape and a set of installation instructions. Endraft is unconditionally guaranteed to stop all cold drafts, dirt, and allergens that blow through idle room air conditioners.

air conditioner cover beige

With its high energy efficient insulating qualities, Endraft replaces non-insulating outdoor covers and can lengthen the life of an air conditioner. Exterior covers used alone cut off air circulation and trap the indoor heat. The heat then collides with the cold outside air and can cause condensation, rust, and damage.

Endraft has been tested by an independent laboratory, CON EDISON, and the LONG ISLAND LIGHTING CO., and its use has been suggested to many utility customers as a major way to reduce overhead. CON EDISON told one large cooperative complex in New York City that if it covered all of its room air conditioners with Endraft, it would save $70,000 per year in heating bills!

This easy and inexpensive DIY weekend project will save you a noticeable amount of energy and money each winter.

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Exorcise Phantom Loads and Energy Vampires with Smart Strips

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energy vampire 2Three pounds of carbon emissions are emitted from the average two-person household on a daily basis for appliances that are turned off! This is called a phantom load.

Appliances such as your TV, DVD player, and others that are thought to be turned off are actually only in standby mode, and use energy from the equivalent of 12 power plants and cost a billion dollars annually. TVs, computers, game consoles, and phones appear to be the largest energy vampires.

With Smart Strip Power Strips, the outlets work together, auto-switching your devices on and off automatically, saving you money on your electric bills. Three of the outlets always have power, allowing you to plug-in devices that should never turn off (one of those is transformer-spaced). Of the other seven, one of the outlets is the main outlet, and the other six of the outlets are “controlled” (three are transformer-spaced). Those six controlled outlets will automatically turn off whenever a 10%+ drop in current to the main outlet is detected, and automatically turn on when an increase of 7 watts or more in power to the main outlet is sensed. In other words, plug your computer into the main outlet, and its peripherals into any of the other six. When you shut down your computer, all of the peripherals will also turn off. When you turn on your computer, the peripherals will all turn on.

By using a Smart Strip at your work and entertainment centers, you will notice a significant savings on your energy bills, effectively banishing the energy vampires for good.

 

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Energy Saving Kits and Weatherization Workshops Available Across the US

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Weatherization Kit

The U.S. Department of Energy Weatherization Assistance Program provides grants to states, territories, and some Indian tribes to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families by providing energy conservation products.

The grants enable local governments and nonprofit agencies to provide weatherization services and home energy upgrades. The low-cost improvements, like adding weather stripping to doors and windows to save energy, lead to long-term savings.

In addition to helping families save money, the resources saved through energy conservation also helps our country reduce its dependence on foreign oil and decreases emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Weatherization Assiatance Program (WAP) has training centers across the country and boasts some impressive statistics:

  • Since the inception of the WAP, over 7 million homes have been weatherized with DOE funds.
  • Energy savings average 35% of consumption for the typical low-income home.
  • Occupants of weatherized homes experience in the range of $400 in annual savings on their energy bills, at current energy prices.
  • Weatherization measures reduce national energy demand by the equivalent of 24.1 million barrels of oil per year.

If you do not have a WAP in your area, look for a Community Action Partnership (CAP) program.

Their weatherization program is available for both homeowners and renters who receive fuel assistance. Using local licensed contractors, the program provides free major improvements, such as attic and wall insulation, air sealing, and other energy-saving repairs.

These organizations and other local agencies, like the Community Energy Project in OR, offer weatherization workshops to learn how to install energy saving devices in your home.

Energy Saving Kits often include items such as reusable vinyl storm window kits, door weatherstripping, pipe insulation, a compact fluorescent light and more.

Conservation Mart offers a wide variety of weatherization, energy conservation products and water saving devices directly to consumers and we are happy to customize kits for your organization. Please call us for a quote: 1-800-789-8598.

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How is the WaterSense Label on Showerheads Useful?

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WaterSense Labeled Showerheads
WaterSense Labeled Showerheads

WaterSense, a program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, uses its labels and certifications to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. The goal of the program is to help consumers make smarter choices with the water they use that save money and maintain high environmental standards. WaterSense labeled products and/or services are certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance. These products have the potential to help our country save billions of gallons of water annually.

When it comes to showerheads, water efficiency usually has to do with features such as low-flow and restricted-flow. Showering accounts for approximately 17% of residential indoor water use, proving to be one of the leading ways we use water in the home. For the average family, that becomes nearly 40 gallons per day of water usage which is close to 1.2 trillion gallons of water used annually in the United States just for showering.

Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). WaterSense labeled showerheads use no more than 2.0 gpm and ensures that these products still provide a satisfactory shower that is equal to or better than conventional showerheads on the market. The savings that come with simply switching to WaterSense labeled showerheads are absolutely worthwhile. An average family could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads. Because these savings simultaneously reduce demands on water heaters, they also save energy. An average family could save more than 370 kilowatt hours of electricity annually by using WaterSense products. To further put this into scale, if every home in the United States installed WaterSense labeled showerheads, we could save more than $2.2 billion in water utility bills and more than 260 billion gallons of water annually. Furthermore, we could avoid about $2.6 billion in energy costs for heating water.

Whether you are replacing an older, inefficient showerhead or looking for ways to reduce water use and utility bills in your home, look for WaterSense labeled showerheads along with faucets, faucet accessories, and toilets to help you identify models that save water and perform well.

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Going Green Can Mean Big Savings for Schools

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It’s that time of year again; children head off to school while administrators and the PTA crunch the numbers to make sure there is enough funding for everything that they would like to provide throughout the year.

Did you know that schools spend more on energy than any other expense except personnel? Energy is one of the few expenses a school can reduce without sacrificing educational quality.

Here are some suggestions for ways in which schools can save energy and money throughout the school year.

While it would be nice if students turned off the lights when they left the classroom, that is not often the case. Motion sensors turn lights on or off automatically, so energy is not being wasted when they go to lunch or out to recess.

Another energy saving device is a Smart Power Strip. If a teacher has a number of items plugged in, such as a computer, printer, and desk light, this strip can sense when the devices are in use or idle and turn them off automatically. These smart power strips can save up to 72% of the energy the systems use, and provide surge protection.

In addition to overhead lights, many areas of a school also use desk lamps. Schools may have hesitated switching to CFL bulbs for fear that they would leak mercury if they broke. LED bulbs use less power and last longer than CFLs or conventional bulbs and they do not contain mercury or other toxic heavy metals.

Another large expense is water. Installing aerators on kitchen, bathroom, and classroom sinks is an inexpensive way to causes a significant decline in water usage, which will result in cost savings for the school.

Schools around the country that are demonstrating ways to conserve energy and water not only save on the bottom line, they are also setting a positive example for their community.

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Trend: LED Vintage Edison Light Bulbs

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LED Vintage Edison Light Bulb
LED Vintage Edison Light Bulb

The old-school Edison style light bulbs of the 20th century were evolutionary yet far from the different variations of light bulbs that have been developed today. The first models of light bulbs developed by Thomas Edison used carbon filaments and wasted a ton of energy and subsequently, a ton of money as well. Although it is rare that any of these initially developed models are used today, the perception of what some of the first light bulbs looked like has not been forgotten and has recently become the perfect way to give any space an antique finish.

Now, with new LED models of these old-school Edison bulbs, anyone can achieve a vintage look in their home or establishment while simultaneously saving energy. For example, an Edison style model from Bulbrite only uses 4 Watts of energy, which compares to a 40 Watt incandescent and has an average long life of 15,000 hours.

Homeowners everywhere are loving this trend and have found a number of different ways to display and use these light bulbs to an extra touch to their interior/exterior design. There are several different models of the Edison style bulbs, such as A19, Globe, Chandelier, and Torpedo, making them suitable for a variety of locations including outdoor lanterns, ceiling fixtures, pendants, and more. Vintage Edison light bulbs offer all-in-one satisfaction by combining style, energy conservation, and convenience.

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What is Title 24 Compliance?

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View our Title 24 LED Troffers/Panels
What is Title 24?

Title 24 is a collection of energy standards that address the energy efficiency of new (and altered) homes and commercial buildings. Since 1978, California residents are required to meet the energy efficiency standards contained in Title 24, Part 6 of the California Code of Regulations. Because energy efficiency reduces energy costs, increases reliability and availability of electricity, improves building occupant comfort, and reduces impacts to the environment, this has made a big impact on the how lighting and other home fixtures are used in California.

As these standards are important and necessary for California’s energy future, the goal of the California Title 24 energy standards is the reduction of energy use to benefit all. Homeowners save money, California has a more secure/healthy economy, the environment is less negatively impacted, and electrical systems are more stable.

California’s building efficiency standards have saved more than $70 billion in electricity and natural gas costs since 1978.

How does it affect lighting?

All homes and commercial buildings must achieving Title 24 compliance in California. Any new homes, or the remodeled part of new homes that require building permits, are also subject to these standards.

Within these standards includes guidelines for lighting. According to Title 24, at least 50% of the wattage in the kitchen must be consumed by high-efficacy lighting, which usually includes LEDs and fluorescents. To qualify as high-efficacy, light fixtures must be certified by the manufacturer to the California Energy Commission and can’t contain a socket that allows low-efficacy lighting, such as an incandescent. LED fixtures must offer a minimum of 90 on the color-rendering index (CRI), which measures crispness and color accuracy. Also, the color temperature must range between 2700-4000k for indoor use.

High-efficacy lighting is also defined as:

  • 15 watts or less: Minimum of 40 lumens/watt
  • 15 to 40 watts: Minimum of 50 lumens/watt
  • More than 40 watts: Minimum of 60 lumens/watt

As exhibited, it is very important for Californians to follow these standards when proving lighting for their homes and buildings. Moreover, light fixtures with Title 24 compliance are ideal for any home in order to assure energy efficiency. You can find more information about the current Title 24 standards here.

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Internal Driver vs. Instant Start for LED T8 Tube

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LED T8 Tubes
LED T8 Tubes

LED T8 tubes, which used to be exclusive to fluorescent technology, are the new standard for commercial and household lighting. These tubes are ideal for replacement, emitting the same amounts of light as fluorescent T8s yet using a fraction of the power and lasting up to three times longer. LED T8 tubes are also mercury-free, dimmable, more efficient, and have high-quality directional light. When replacing your fluorescent tubes with LEDs for your home or workspace, it is important to be aware of these two types of technologies:

Internal Driver
T8 lamps with internal drivers are 1 of 2 ideal energy saving choices when upgrading traditional linear T8 or T12 fluorescent lamps in fixtures. With internal drivers, the ballasts are removed from the fixture and the power is wired direct to the sockets. Since no power is wasted on the ballast, these type of tubes tend to be more efficient. Consumers also experience less long term maintenance costs since you have one less part to maintain in the future by eliminating the ballast. These LED T8 tubes are designed to provide appropriate light levels while utilizing a dedicated internal driver. However, some cons associated with internal drivers include: required electrical modifications, limited dimming, dangerous installation and higher installation costs.

Instant Start
T8 lamps that are instant start compatible require no rewiring of the fixture. Since this step is not necessary, instant start tubes offer a simple way to replace the fluorescent lamp with your new LED lamp. Instant start ballasts ignite lamps by applying a significant voltage across the lamp during starting. However, no cathode heating is applied before or after the lamp ignited. The high voltage applied across the lamps typically ignites them within 50 milliseconds. Emissive material is also released during this since the cathodes are not heated with instant start ballasts. It is the most energy efficient type, but yields the fewest lamp-start cycles, as material is blasted from the surface of the cold electrodes each time the lamp is turned on. Instant-start ballasts are best suited to applications with long duty cycles, where the lamps are not frequently turned on and off.