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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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Can A Shower Clock Help You Save Water?

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Efergy Shower Timer and Alarm
Efergy Shower Timer and Alarm

When you take a look in your bathroom, what gadget do you think is missing or could be useful to your personal time? Helping you save time and money, a shower clock , aka shower timer is a gadget that tracks how much water you are using and/or how much time you are spending while in the shower to then remind you of when to turn the water off. When you think about it, shower clocks are essential because of how they can help you in several ways. First, they can help you with your morning routine. As it is easy to get off track from your schedule,  shower clocks can help you limit your time in the bathroom and make you more aware of exactly how much time (and water) you are wasting. A shower clock can also help save energy and lower your water bills. People often like to let the shower run although they are not using it at the moment. With a shower clock, you will be more inclined to make good use of the shower water during the time allotted. Because of this, more people are able to conserve water and cut down on their bills. The shower clock does not only have to be used in the bathroom, either. They can be placed in your bedroom or over the sink in your kitchen to monitor other tasks that are a part of your daily routine.

Now that you know how convenient and helpful a shower clock can be, take a look at three of the clocks we offer that would be the perfect addition to any bathroom:

  • AM Conservation SS010-S-BLB STOP In Time Shower Timer – This water proof 5 minute sand Shower Coach timer from AM Conservation is easy to install. Simply affix the suction cup on the back of the shower timer to the wall. When you start your shower, rotate the shower timer so that sand start to flow. When the sand has stopped flowing, your 5 minutes is up.
  • Efergy Shower Timer and Alarm – This newly redesigned easy to use, battery-operated, shower timer allows you to monitor the amount of water you use at every shower. Quickly and easily calibrate it to your shower by using the measuring bag supplied. We recommend no more than 35 liters (9.25 gallons) or less than 4 minutes. Use the lanyard supplied to hang it on your showerhead, or affix it to the wall using the suction cap. Turn on the timer every time you shower and follow the progress on the visual display. The alarm will sound when you have used your target volume of water.
  • Showertime Shower Timer – This simple device will gently remind users when it is time to turn the shower off. To install, use either the suction cup or adhesive back to adhere the Showertime in a visible location on the wall of the shower. Press the bottom portion of the Showertime when you step into the shower, and a blue LED will illuminate. After 4 1/2 minutes, the blue LED will change to a flashing red LED for 30 seconds, serving as a convenient reminder of the amount of time that has elapsed.

To answer the question at hand, shower clocks can absolutely help you conserve water along with other perks like saving money as well. Investing in your own is an easy step towards living an environmentally-friendly life.

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How To Conserve Water Outside Using a Water Hose Timer

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waterhosetimerSaving water at home can be easy and affordable at the same time. In reality, making conscious decisions about how much water you are using on a daily basis both inside and outside of your home is all it takes. Let’s take lawn watering, which is a common activity for outdoor home maintenance, for example. One of the best ways to conserve water outside of your home is by using a water hose timer when sprinkling your lawn.

Water hose timers, which work just like egg timers, can be twisted to set up different time durations for the hose to turn on and off. This is beneficial because while deep-soaking your lawn is sometimes okay, most lawns only need about 1 inch of water each week. Continuously running water for the lawn will result in an over-saturated yard and ultimately, a lot of wasted water. Therefore, sprinkle only when your lawn shows signs of needing it. Over-watering is bad for plants and lawns because it promotes shallow root growth and reduces hardiness. To determine whether or not the lawn needs watering, walk across the grass. If you leave footprints, it’s time to sprinkle. This is also where the conservative water hose timer comes into play. Here are three benefits of using a water hose timer:

  • Automatic On/Off – Automatic sprinkler controls are convenient for you and the environment, preventing you from forgetting to turn your hose off and causing the sprinkler to run all day long.
  • No Batteries Required – Without batteries, a water hose timer is much easier to manage and take care of. The timer will run on its own without any outside help, making it a smooth and easy addition to your yard hose.
  • Ergonomic swivel for easy hose attachment – By effortlessly attaching to your hose, these water timers are user-friendly and quick to install and use.

Using a water hose timer is one of many ways you can begin to conserve water in your home. Take the first step by adding this convenient tool to your yard.

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Bathroom Exhaust Fan Timers: Perfect Solution for Forgetful People

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bathroom fan light timerProper ventilation is key to keeping a mold-free bathroom, but how often do people actually remember to turn on the exhaust fan? Perfect example is my 10 year old son who leaves the bathroom all foggy because he didn’t remember to turn on the fan switch. Apartment owners can probably experience this also, as their tenants frequently leave moldy bathrooms. The times they do remember to turn the fan switch on, they frequently leave it on and forget to turn it off. Either you don’t get the benefit of ventilation, or you waste money.  A great way to solve this problem is a bath fan timer.

Timer Settings and Operation
Bath fan timer switches are a replacement for the light and fan switches that allow for automatic timing of the length of time the exhaust fan runs.  The AirCycler SmartExhaust Delay Timer Switch is a popular model that will turn the fan on automatically when the light is turned on.  No more flipping two switches.  A delay timer setting allows you to specify how long the fan will stay on after turning the light off, while a separate timer setting will make sure the fan operates a certain number of minutes each hour. It comes in both toggle and decora switch formats.

As an example, suppose someone turns on the bathroom light for 5 minutes, with the hourly ventilation set to 20 minutes, and delay timer for 10 minutes. After the person leaves and flips the switch off, the fan will run for the additional 10-minutes delay time, totaling 15 minutes of operation for that hour. The microprocessor in the device will keep track of this and make sure the fan runs for another 5 minutes during that hour.

If you don’t want to have the fan run after a quick visit to the bathroom, just quickly flip it on and off again after turning it off, and it will cancel the delayed start of the fan.

So consider using an exhaust fan timer to make sure your bathroom gets the proper amount of ventilation without having to rely on people to turn the fan switch on and off.  Not only will you have a better ventilated and dryer bathroom environment, you’ll also save some money by not leaving the fan on too long.

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How Water Heater Timers Save Money

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Water heater timers
Water heater timers

Turning on the hot water is not the same as heating it up. Seems a little trippy, right? Even if the hot water is not in use, your water heater is doing its best to keep that water hot for you – a process that uses up energy and adds unnecessarily to your heating bill. One simple solution for this problem is to install water heater timers. These devices allow you to control when the heater operates and help erase a bit of the bloat on your energy bill (translation: they will save you money).

Cost of Heating Water

Unlike heating for the home, which is only needed during cold months, water heaters run all year. Rain or shine, snow or sun, we all take hot showers year-round. In the average home, this amounts to about 18% of energy usage devoted to heating water – the second largest energy use in the home. The percentage can get higher/lower based on factors such as:

  • Whether or not your state has peak electric pricing hours
  • Number of hot water users in the home
  • Showers or baths
  • How long a shower lasts, etc.

Heaters work daily to keep water at a high temperature and ready for use whether someone needs hot water or not. Putting this in terms of money, if your heater is a 5500 watts tank, heating costs around $50-60 or more a month.

How Timers Work

Water heater timers are programmable devices that control when a water heater is turned off and on. With this device, your water heater will provide hot water only when its scheduled to do so instead of maintaining hot water throughout the day.

To get the best use out of water heaters and timers, employ one or more of these tips:

  • Program the timer to only heat water during peak off-times
  • Use less hot water during peak hours
  • Insulate water heater (make sure to follow instructions for your type of heater: gas or electric)
  • Flush heater every 6 months to prevent buildup of mineral deposits (dirt that sinks to the bottom of the tank, like sand and stones)

Water heater timers are easy to install, will operate with any existing heating system, and provide better control over your hot water energy usage and heating expenses.

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Can a CFL Be Used with A Timer, Photocell, or Motion Sensor?

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timersIt takes complex technology to get compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) to save 75% more energy than incandescent lighting, but is this same technology limited when it comes to lighting controls such as timers, photocells, and motion sensors?

Not Like Incandescent Bulbs

The short answer to the above question: yes, CFLs are limited. Electronic or digital controls such as timers, photocells, and motion sensors were created to work with the simplicity of incandescent light bulbs, not CFLs.

Problems with CFL Bulbs

The big issue is that CFLs were designed with some features that are very specific:

  • Specific input voltage – Dimmers make it possible for the voltage to go up and down. CFLs are not made for this change in voltage.
  • Restricted start-up time – Constantly turning a CFL bulb on and off can reduce the lifespan. Some light switches can turn lights on/off at a rate of 120x per second!
  • Temperature – A CFL bulb installed with an outdoor motion sensor is susceptible to the drops/rises in the temperature outside. This may stop the sensor from working properly.

So, Can a CFL Be Used with a Timer, Photocell, or Motion Sensor?

For some (not all) CFLs the answer is yes, but only under certain conditions.

Again, electronic or digital light controls pose a problem for CFLs, but mechanically controlled devices (like some timers) work just fine.

Before purchasing a dimmer, motion sensor, timer, etc., make sure the device is compliant with its stated UL section, otherwise the CFL will not last as long as the listed lifespan. The UL (Underwriter Laboratories) section tells you if the device is functional and safe.

Another Way to Save Energy: Dimmers

Though you can gain more than 80% in energy savings by using daylighting controls and occupancy sensors, another way to maximize the energy efficiency of CFLs is by using dimmers. Just check that purchased bulbs specifically state on a label or somewhere on the packaging that they are dimmable, because attempting to use a non-dimmable CFL in a dimmable light fixture could shorten the lifespan.

The complex technology in CFLs may have a few limitation, but that 75% in energy savings translates in the home, on your energy bills, and also in the environment.

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Saving Made Simple with A Programmable Timer

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Programmable Timer
Programmable Timers

There is almost no better feeling than to be in total control of the way your money is spent, agreed? It is very much possible to get this feeling each time the energy bill arrives. I know this sounds crazy. After all, who likes to look at bills? However, installing a programmable timer in your home will give you control over the appliance it is connected to, which will decrease energy consumption, which in turn makes paying energy bills a task that is completed with much less frowning.

Getting the Most Out of an Appliance
Heating and cooling requires the most residential energy, and accounts for more than half of utility costs in the typical household, as much as $680 annually. While weatherproofing the home is a great way to reduce both consumption and costs, it can be costly depending on the scale of the insulation project. An appliance timer is a quick and cost-effective solution to this costly problem.

An appliance timer is plugged into a standard 120 volt, 3-prong wall receptacle. This timer allows up to 2 on/off settings per day. The green and red trippers on the timer indicate when the appliance will be turned on (green), and when it should be off (red). The timer is intended for use over the following appliances:

  • Heaters
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Heavy duty appliances
  • Heavy duty lamps

Saving on Water Heating
The water heater is a great appliance. It supplies heated water to every corner of the home that needs it. What isn’t so wondrous about it is that it runs all day, whether or not you need it to, maintaining the water temperatures. This is how water heating is easily follows heating and cooling as the next largest utility cost in the average home.

A water heater timer allows you to program the water heater on your schedule. It is for use with water heaters that run on 240 volts. The timer provides a maximum of 42 off/on settings per week, or 6 off/on daily operation settings. Installation is simple, and this type of programmable timer is able to work with your current system. To get the most out of this timer, it is best used:

  • When the home is empty
  • During peak hours
  • At night when everyone is asleep.

Taking Complete Control of Lighting
Do you know how many lights there are inside your home? Now think about how often the lights are left on (including over night for security reasons in some cases). With the average home containing approximately 30 light fixtures, lighting is the next highest consumer of energy, and the next place you want to install a programmable timer.

The easiest way to regain control over the way lights are used in your home is to install an occupancy sensor. Not to be confused with a motion sensor, which controls lights solely based on movement in a room, an occupancy sensor detects body heat, turning lights on and off based on the vacancy of a room. The great thing about this type of timer is its ability to operate with LED, compact fluorescent, and incandescent lighting, eliminating the need to get rid of the lights you currently have. It has the ability to cover 20 feet to the side and 40 feet ahead, and provides many options for saving:

  • Lights can be turned off between 30 seconds to 30 minutes after the last person has left a room.
  • “Manual-on” with automatic turn off
  • Ambient light sensor adjusts for light sensitivity

By reducing the power load from one or all of these sources, you will immediately begin to save energy and money without making a major change to your home. Bottom line: installing a programmable timer will help make your life a little easier and your wallet a little heavier.

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Cut Lighting Costs with an Occupancy Sensor

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Occupancy Sensors
Occupancy Sensors

Have you ever experienced the sense of relief that comes with turning the lights on after a sudden nighttime power outage? Motion sensors, or occupancy sensors, bring the same relief and don’t require an act of electrical failure to do so. These power-saving gadgets turn lights on/off based on the ability to detect a human presence or not. By installing the best motion sensor for the area, you’ll save energy, money, and won’t have to remind everyone when to turn off the lights!

Which sensor is best for your environment?
There are three types of sensor technologies to choose from: passive infrared (PIR), ultrasonic and dual-technology. After choosing the right technology, pick which application – a wall switch, ceiling sensor, or wall sensor – to use for your area.

Technology: Passive Infrared (PIR)
PIR sensors need a direct line of vision in order to tell if a room is occupied or not, which is why they are most effective in enclosed areas, such as a:

  • bedroom
  • closet
  • entryway
  • lobby area
  • private office
  • or storage

Best Application for PIR Sensors
For most areas, especially in the home, a wall switch or ceiling sensor will bring the best results in sensing movement. A wall sensor is better for places like a warehouse.

Technology: Ultrasonic
Ultrasonic occupancy sensors are somewhat the opposite of PIRs. They don’t need a direct line of vision to detect motion and can even see around corners and objects. This sophisticated technology is sensitive to motion up to 25 feet, but because they can cover larger areas than PIRs, ultrasonic sensors are mostly used in places such as:

  • cafeterias
  • classrooms
  • libraries
  • hallways
  • and multi-stall restrooms

Best Application for Ultrasonic Sensors
Wall switches and ceiling sensors are more commonly used for ultrasonic sensors.

Technology: Dual-Technology
When a space calls for both PIR and ultrasonic sensors, like a conference room or lecture hall, a dual-technology sensor is the best option.

Best Application for Ultrasonic Sensors
Because of the versatility of dual-technology sensors, any application can be used. Just keep the size of the area in mind when choosing. For example, conference rooms and lobby areas can use any application while classrooms and lecture halls should use ceiling sensors.

Energy Savings
If lighting accounts for 35-45% of the energy usage in your home like it does for office buildings, installing a motion sensor can significantly reduce lighting costs. According to EnergyStar, you can boost energy savings by more than 80% using daylighting controls and occupancy sensors.

 

As energy costs continue to go up and new standards are set for lighting (such as the phasing out of the incandescent light bulb), keeping on top of the best energy practices saves you the hassle of making drastic changes in the long run. Even better, the short-term benefits are just as significant.

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Lamp Timers: Lighting Your Home Your Way

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Lamp Timer
Lamp Timer

When you go on a vacation, leaving a light on in the home can be a good way to keep unwanted visitors out. Making sure a light is left on before leaving your house oftentimes gives a sense of comfort when returning. Having lamp timers can provide you with this comfort as well as help you save energy. Instead of keeping a light on when you are leaving the house, you can set the timer to turn a light on or off at a specific time of the day. Among the most efficient of these tools is the Intermatic Plug-In Lamp Timer.

These plug in Intermatic timers fit right in to 2-prong outlets, which are common in most areas of the home, and they provide up to 24 on/off options per day. It can be used for turning lights as well as appliances on and off. Upon pulling out a tripper, the targeted appliance or lamp will be turned on for a 30-minute time frame, shutting off when the tripper is pushed in. This device has an amperage capacity of 15amps, wattage capacity of 1,750 watts, and power specifications of 125 Volts AC and 60 Hz. This lamp timer is easy to use and will help you light up your home the way you want.

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Control Outdoor Lights with a Solar Timer Switch

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Do you wish you had a programmable way to control your outdoor lights? I know lots of people that waste energy by leaving their outdoor lights on all the time when they are out of town. This is especially wasteful when they leave the lights on their second residence/ holiday home.

There is a need to leave the lights on for security purposes but it sure would be nice to have it turn on at dusk and then have it turn off during daylight hours. There is a way to achieve this programatically via a Solar Timer switch. Take a look at the Aube Timer Swiitch. When you first install it, you enter your location and the date and time. The solar switch then calculates the daylight hours for your location and will automatically turn the lights on and off. The solar switch can be used for outdoor lights and motors.

So stop leaving those outdoor lights on all the time, and install a Solar Timer Swiitch.