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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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Backdraft Dampers: A Must Have for Ventilation Systems

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Backdraft dampers allow air to efficiently flow through exhaust ducts to the outside, yet prevent the unwanted flow of air into a house when the exhaust fans are off. damper2They stop cold air from coming in, allowing a more comfortable temperature in your home. These dampers are most often used in bathroom exhaust systems, clothes dryer vents, kitchen range hoods and microwaves.

Fantech sensitive spring-loaded backdraft dampers provide a good seal against backdrafts. They are easy to install and work without noise or vibration.

The Cape Damper from Tamarack is made of a metal duct with a fabric sleeve attached. It is a one way air flow valve, designed to overcome the inefficiencies and limitations of traditional gravity or butterfly dampers. It is quiet and can simply be installed in either a vertical or horizontal position.

Either option will help prevent outside air from leaking into your home and allow you to save on energy costs.

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Earn LEED and ENERGY STAR points with SmartExhaust

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The SmartExhaust bath fan timer introduces a simple, smart, flexible, and economic solution for exhaust ventilation requirements. It is smart exhaust fandesigned as a replacement for the bathroom fan and light switch. By using a microprocessor to monitor and control fan operation, a precise amount of ventilation can be provided.

There are only two settings on the SmartExhaust switch – ventilation and delay. Ventilation is the minutes per hour that you want the fan to operate. Delay is the number of minutes you want the fan to run after the bathroom light has been turned off. The delay time provides additional run time of the fan to complete ventilating the bathroom after use. The SmartExhaust is so smart, you can tell it you don’t need the fan to run when you leave the bathroom. When you turn off the light, turn it back on then back off again within a few seconds it tells the SmartExhaust you don’t want the fan to continue running.

With SmartExhaust, you can earn LEED and ENERGY STAR points for enhanced exhaust ventilation and it makes standard bath fans ASHRE 62.2 compliant.

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The Many Benefits of Duct Sealing

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Duct Sealing
Duct Sealing

While checking every nook and cranny for possible air leaks, it can be easy to forget some of the bigger culprits right in our faces. Air ducts are placed throughout the house to bring heat and cool air, but they wear down after some time, developing cracks and leaks that can seriously influence the comfort level and energy usage in your home. Duct sealing is the simplest solution to this problem, but first you need to find out if your air duct system is in fact leaky.

Do You Have Leaky Air Ducts?

There are many signs that can tell you whether or not the duct system in your home is working properly or suffering from Father Time. Some indicators include:

  • Visible cracks/leaks in ducts
  • Rooms that don’t heat/cool like other areas
  • High energy bills during the summer and winter
  • Ducts that are tangled

Aside from the signs listed above, you can also have an HVAC contractor test your duct system to see if it needs sealing. Based on the results, you can then seal the ducts yourself or have a professional do it.

Benefits of Sealing Air Ducts

It’ll Bring Comfort Back
You know the room that is always too cold, too hot, or just to stuffy for anyone to relax in? Duct sealing could solve that problem. A properly working duct system will allow air to flow evenly throughout the home, so inconsistent cooling/heating will no longer be an issue.

Your energy bills will finally stop surprising you
Did you know 20-40 percent of your energy bill comes from leaky air ducts? Poorly insulated homes sap more energy than you realize, leaving you confused (and sometimes angry) with the high dollar amount of your energy bill. Sealing air ducts will allow you better control of the energy usage in your home, therefore better control of how much money is sent the energy company’s way.

Cleaner Air
Leaky air ducts pick up polluted air, carrying not only the air from your heating/cooling system but also pollutants like exhaust fumes, mildew/mold, and even pollen – which could be a serious problem for anyone with pollen allergies. Sealing air ducts will prevent dirty air from mixing in with your homes air system.

 

You can make duct sealing a DIY project or hire a contractor. Either way, the benefits of a properly working duct system will be felt throughout the house, your energy bills, and even through the safety level of air in your home.

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AC Filter Whistles Eliminate Guesswork and Cut Energy Costs

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AC Filter Whistles
Air Filter Alert Whistle

At this point in the year, it’s safe to say summer is in full swing, which is great. Summer means vacations, going to the pool, and fun in the sun. Unfortunately for many, it also means higher energy rates, usage, and bills. Keeping the home cool when it gets hot out can become quite a task. The more pressure that is put on the cooling system, the more energy required by it to cool the home, and the higher energy bills will be (as well as your anxiety when you receive it in the mail). Experts suggest replacing air conditioner filters regularly to help maintain system efficiency and decrease cooling costs. If you know the exact moment when it regularly occurs, then that’s great. However, if you need a reminder, consider using AC filter whistles throughout your home.

Also referred to as an air filter alert whistle, an AC filter whistle is made of two plastic pieces that snap together onto the filter. When the filter is clean, air is able to move freely through the material. In time, dust and dirt build up occurs. At this point, more air is being forced through the whistle. As time progresses, the accumulated dirt and dust causes the filter whistle to produce a steady, audible sound. When you hear this sound, it is time to either clean or replace the filter in your central air conditioner or furnace.

One of the great attributes of an air filter alert whistle is that it doesn’t need to be replaced along with the old filter. When you remove the dirty filter, simply clean off and reattach the whistle to the new one. This process can be repeated many times over, allowing you to increase the efficiency of your cooling system. This in turn will allow you to save money on energy costs, and spend more money on vacation, or ice cream, or anything else that will make the heat of this summer a bit more tolerable.

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Insulating with Duct Mastic Helps You Save in Summer

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Sealing Ducts
Duct Mastic

As the high temperatures across the country start to set records, what steps have you taken to reduce the amount of money being spent to cool your home? For many, the answer is insulating the attic, basement, and garage. While insulating these areas will definitely help you cut costs, there is another area that can easily be forgotten: ducts. According to Energy Star, ducts that are leaking air can easily release up to 20 percent of conditioned air flowing through them. This leads to energy loss, a less efficient cooling system, and higher energy costs. Applying duct mastic, whether tape or putty, for sealing ducts helps take care of all of these problems at the same time.

Mastic Tapes

A simple way to go about sealing ducts is through the use of mastic tape. The tape can be applied to flexible duct, fiberglass duct board, and metal ducts, including stainless, galvanized, and aluminum. It can be used indoors or outdoors, as it is weatherproof and able to withstand temperatures as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit to as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Duct Mastic Bucket

Another tool that is used for sealing ducts is the duct mastic, a fibrous adhesive sealant that has the consistency of putty, allowing it to be malleable. It can be used on ducts that lack insulation as well as for coating of thermal insulation on ducts and pipes. Like the mastic tapes, this sealant has the ability to withstand extreme temperatures. The duct mastic is non-flammable, non-toxic, and dries completely within 30 minutes of application.

Once ducts have been sealed, the problem of losing conditioned air through this source will be eliminated. Limiting the amount of pressure put on the cooling system in this way helps increase its efficiency and possibly its shelf life. The reduction in energy loss added to the increased efficiency of the cooling system leads to less money being spent during the summer months to cool the home. When less money is necessary to cool the home, you have more money to budget however you would like.

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Using a Smoke Puffer to Identify Air Leaks

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In most homes, drafts and air leaks can be easily detected by placing your hand to a window or electrical outlet located on an exterior wall. Other air leaks, however, are not as easily detected. These hidden leaks are costing the average homeowner hundreds of dollars every year in heating and cooling. A smoke puffer provides a simple way to identify air leaks and drafty spots in the home that are not so easily detected.

Smoke Pencil
Smoke Puffer

Also referred to as a smoke pencil, a smoke puffer uses batteries and fluid to point out where air is leaking out of a building. Installing and using this tool can be done in a few simple steps:

  1. Lay the tool on its side and fill the tank with the smoke fluid.
  2. Gently hold the vapor/power trigger for 6-9 seconds, allowing the vapor to warm up.
  3. Once the LED power light glows, press the vapor/power lever more firmly.
  4. Use the trigger on the smoke puffer to control the amount of time the vapor is dispensed; increasing the pressure applied to the trigger increases the vapor stream.
  5. See how air is moving the smoke to discover where the most air is leaking out of the home.

In addition to ease of use, the smoke pencil is ideal for identifying air leaks for a number of reasons. It is lightweight and pocket-sized for easy storage. Also, the fluid contains harmless glycerin and water vapor, instead of toxic chemicals. As a result, it poses no threat to an individual using it, or others in the area. Discovering where air is leaking out of the home is the first step to reducing this type of energy loss as well as the amount of money it is costing every year.

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Installing Roof Exhaust Vents Improves Attic Air

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Creating a desirable environment in the attic seems like a constant battle sometimes, doesn’t it? During summer, the air in this room is often too hot, and in winter the air is noticeably too cold. The problem is often poor insulation coupled with poor ventilation. Installing roof exhaust vents helps take care of the ventilation issue throughout the attic space.

Roof Exhaust Vents
Roof Exhaust Vents

Roof exhaust vents are an important part of an efficiently working system of attic ventilation. During the hotter months of the year, excessive heat build-up in an attic with inefficient ventilation can easily become a 150 degree problem. During months of extreme cold, the problem becomes condensation. Roof exhaust vents work with proper intake to continuously provide fresh air which removes the moisture and excessive heat that is caused by the unwanted stale air.

In addition to increasing air quality in the attic, the 8-inch by 8-inch aluminum roof exhaust vents include an aluminum screen to block animals from entering the home through the attic and a rain-guard for protection against inclement weather.

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An Efficient Bath Exhaust Fan Creates a More Efficient Home

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Bath Exhaust Fan
Bath Exhaust Fan

When you think of conservation in the bathroom, water is probably the first thing that comes to mind, right? However, a considerable amount of energy is used here also. Aside from lighting and water heating, energy is used quite frequently through the bath exhaust fan, especially since it is often left running even when the bathroom is unoccupied. Installing an energy efficient bath exhaust fan reduces energy use in the bathroom while helping to maintain a healthy home.

Proper ventilation can reduce moisture build-up, condensation, and molding without raising the energy bill. The typical exhaust fan achieves this while using a considerable amount of wattage for operation and up to 100 watts for lighting (if included). An energy-efficient bath exhaust fan operates using from 7-watts to 19-watts of power, lasts 70,000 hours (about 8 years nonstop), and if included, uses a light that consumes no more than 26 watts of power.

Exhaust fans are often left running too long for fear of the problems caused by excess heat and humidity, as well as simply being left and forgotten. An energy efficient fan with a humidity sensor detects the level humidity and shuts the fan on and off once the bathroom is below the 40% humidity level. This maintains proper indoor air quality, while ensuring the fan is not left running for too long, or not long enough. In addition, an energy saving bath exhaust fan operates quietly. In a nutshell, these fans save both energy and money, increase home efficiency, and decrease the amount of noise in the home.

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An Air Filter Whistle Alerts You to Change Furnace Filter

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Heating and cooling is the largest residential expense for the average home, contributing to as much as 43% of the energy bill. Improving the efficiency of your heating and cooling system is one way to save energy and money from this source. Experts suggest regularly changing your air filters is one way to ensure a properly running system. You may be wondering exactly how often is “regularly.” An air filter whistle alerts you when the furnace or air conditioner filter needs to be replaced.

Air Filter Whistle
Air Filter Whistle

A furnace filter whistle is constructed with two pieces that are simply snapped onto the filter for installation. A clean filter allows for the free passage of air through filter material. However, over time dirt and dust builds up on the material and forces more air through the whistle. This causes the furnace filter whistle to give off a steady sound to alert you that it is time to change the filter.

The furnace filter whistle is reusable. Once you have removed the dirt-filled filter, the whistle can be installed onto the new filter. The air filter whistle helps to not only improve the overall efficiency of your heating and cooling system, it helps keep the system running for longer than it would have.

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