1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

December 21, 2008

:356 Heat Loss Inspections

Filed under: :356 Heat Loss Inspections — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:02 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:356 EcoTip: Heat loss inspections are best performed when the temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors is at least 20 degrees F or greater. The large temperature differences make it easier to spot missing insulation using infrared cameras or a thermal leak detector such as discussed in :355.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :036, :355

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December 20, 2008

:355 Thermal Heat Detector

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:355 EcoTip: Air infiltration and missing insulation in our homes is a major energy waster. Thermal imaging is a sophisticated way to have your home analysed for these issues – but Black and Decker has come up with an inexpensive do-it-yourself Thermal Heat Detector. It allows you to set a base temperature and then scan for temperature variations – which can indicate energy loss.

p91097b

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :040, :041, :042, :043, :044

In the winter if you are inside the house, one would look for cold spots. Standing outside one would look for warm spots. If you are using it during the summer it would be the opposite.

More information is available at: http://www.blackanddecker.com/productguide/product-details.aspx?productid=20626

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December 19, 2008

:354 Green Plumbers

Filed under: :354 Green Plumbers — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 4:59 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:354 EcoTip: Green Plumbers USA is a national training and accreditation organization that can assist in locating plumbers that have been specifically trained in a variety of areas of plumbing specialty that help conserve water and energy. You can search their data base of green plumbers in your area at http://www.greenplumbersusa.com/consumers/find-greenplumber

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December 18, 2008

:353 Chemical Info Search

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:353 EcoTip: If you would like to know what health and safety concerns there are for a chemical ingredient in a product – try searching the Household Products Database Health Effects Search.

household_masthead1

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 Additional Information:

The database allows you to search by product name, type of product, manufacturer, ingredient, and health effect.

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December 17, 2008

:352 See I’m Green

Filed under: :352 See I'm Green — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 4:57 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:352 EcoTip: Would you like to tell the world about your environmental activities? Would you like to see what others are doing? See I’m Green allows environmentally aware people to show their green pride by putting a marker over their house on a map and then tell what they are doing.

http://www.seeimgreen.com/

seegreen

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December 16, 2008

:351 Household Products Database

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:351 EcoTip: The National Institute of Health US Department of Health and Human Services has published a Household Products Database that provides information about the many health and safety hazards associated with household products. It can be found on the web at: http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/index.htm

household_masthead

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December 15, 2008

:350 Gray Water Best Practices

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:350 EcoTip: The use of gray water for landscaping and other types of reclaimed water use is becoming more popular. For a long time the use of gray water was discouraged and frequently required expensive and difficult permits. That is starting to change. If your area doesn’t permit the use of gray water yet – see if they won’t consider adopting the best practices published by the National Science Foundation.

 head

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :349


The following has been published by the National Science Foundation as best management practices for the use of gray water systems:

  • First and foremost, avoid human contact with gray water. 
  • You may use gray water for household gardening, composting, and lawn and landscape irrigation, but it should not run off your property. 
  • Do not surface irrigate any plants that produce food, except for citrus and nut trees. 
  • Use only flood or drip irrigation to water lawns and landscaping. Spraying gray water is prohibited. 
  • When determining the location for your gray water irrigation, remember that it cannot be in a wash or drainage way. 
  • Gray water may only be used in locations where groundwater is at least five feet below the surface. 
  • Label pipes carrying gray water under pressure if confusion between gray water and drinking water pipes is possible. 
  • Cover, seal and secure storage tanks to restrict access by small rodents and to control disease-carrying insects. 
  • Hazardous chemicals, such as antifreeze, mothballs and solvents, cannot be in gray water. Do not include wash water from greasy or oily rags in your gray water. 
  • Gray water from washing diapers or other infectious garments must be discharged to a residential sewer or other wastewater facility, or it can be disinfected prior to its use. 
  • Surface accumulation of gray water must be kept to a minimum. 
  • Should a backup occur, gray water must be disposed into your normal wastewater drain system. To avoid such a backup, consider using a filtration system to reduce plugging and extend the system’s lifetime. 
  • If you have a septic or other on-site wastewater disposal system, your gray water use does not change that system=s design requirements.

Additional information is at: http://www.sahra.arizona.edu/programs/water_cons/tips/re-use/gray.htm

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December 14, 2008

:349 Lavatory Gray Water Recovery

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:349 EcoTip: Flushing the toilet doesn’t require potable water. The Aqus system by WaterSaver Technologies saves water by storing up to 5.5 gallons of water from the lavatory for flushing the toilet.

aquas

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 Additional Information:

More information about the Aqus system is available at http://www.watersavertech.com/AQUS-System.html

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December 13, 2008

:348 LED Can Lights

Filed under: :348 LED Can Lights — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 3:50 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:347 EcoTip: New energy efficient products are constantly becoming available. I just found some LED lights that screw into a conventional ceiling can light socket. This is an EcoOption product at Home Depot. I’m planning on installing a set this weekend. So I’ll let you know how it goes.

sharp_led_22

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Suggested Review:

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December 12, 2008

:347 Base Temperature

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:347 EcoTip: When calculating your energy use using heating degree days the base temperature of your home is the outside temperature that doesn’t require any additional heat from your furnace to maintain. A passive solar home will have a much lower base temperature than an uninsulated leaky building. To make the most accurate energy use calculations for your home it is necessary to adjust the Base Temperature.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :343, :344, :345, :346

For general calculations a base temperature of 65 degrees F has been used in the United States, but your building may be much lower. The typical base temperature used in Britan is several degrees lower.

A well insulated building will do a better job of maintaining the indoor heat generated by appliances and occupants- which can lower the actual base temperature some.  When doing comparisons the closer your base temperature is to the way your building functions the better.

What is apparent is that the use of HDD can be highly variable and there are quite a number of inaccuracies that enter into the mix. A good article for explaining the problems in more detail is at http://www.energylens.com/articles/degree-days#base-temperature-problem For now it sounds like trial and error is the most practical way to determine your homes base temperature.

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