1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

January 14, 2009

Airetrak Bathroom Fan Control

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.

The bathroom ventilation fan may be able to be used to help provide fresh air to help reduce moisture and improve indoor air quality. Make sure the fresh air is coming from a clean outside source. The Airetrak bathroom fan control from Tamarack Technologies is one low cost way to adapt your existing bath fan for this use. When needed it allows full fan capacity for extra ventilation for example when showering. Then adjusts the fan speed downward for constant ventilation to meet fresh air needs.

 airetrak6220220web20small 

***********************************

 Additional Information: http://www.tamtech.com/store/universal-fan-control,Product.asp

The Airetrak line of bath fan controls allow builders and homeowners to meet ASHRAE 62.2 guidelines for indoor air quality, and also make the home Energy Star capable.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

December 31, 2008

Day 366

Today is December 31, 2008. Since this was a leap year that makes today day 366. Happy New Year! For the last year I have posted a 1:5:10:365 EcoTip. I’ve had a number of people ask what I intend to do once the year of posts was completed.

It is my intention to continue posting – but probably not every single day. For the last year I’ve been encouraging people to do one thing for 5 to 10 minutes a day to help improve our home and planet. Prior to beginning this project our family had already taken many of the actions that were discussed – but there is always more that can be done. For this next year I plan to refine and improve those things about our home that will make it a better more sustainable place. I will report on those projects as they progress.

Yesterday I tackled our hot water heater. I don’t know its exact age, because it was present in our home when we moved in about 5 years ago, but it is making a lot of noise, which tells me its full of sediment. I tried draining the sediment and found there was enough to clog the drain valve – so I ended up spending about half the day changing out the drain valve, pressure relief valve and checking the sacrificial anode (:209, :210, :212, :213). The anode is still in good shape – so I will recheck it again in about two years. By the time I finished all this, there wasn’t enough time to finish flushing out the sediment. That will be my project for today.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

John Banta

December 30, 2008

:365 Soy Seal Foam Insulation

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.

1:5:10:365 EcoTip: Soy Seal polyurethane foam sealant contains approximately 12% soy based polyol and no CFCs. It is Greenguard Certified. The product is available in an insulating foam for gaps and cracks and another for windows and doors.

soyseal1 Source: http://www.soyseal.net/

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested: :071,  :072

It is important to use the correct expanding foam for sealing. Using a gap and crack foam for windows and doors may cause damage to the openings by expanding too forcefully. 

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

December 29, 2008

:364 Solar Clothes Dryer

Filed under: :364 Solar Clothes Dryer — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:10 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.

1:5:10:364 EcoTip: EPA’s EnergyStar program doesn’t rate clothes dryers because they are all about the same. There is one important solar exception which unfortunately has been banned from a number of communities.

thteepost 

Source : http://www.clotheslineshop.com/

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

Consider using a clothes line whenever weather permits and use your clothes dryer only when necessary. During winter the temperature only needs to be a few degrees above freezing in order to dry clothes. A slight breeze also helps speed the drying.

Although all clothes dryers use about the same amount of energy to do the same thing, it is important to keep them operating properly. Clogged lint screens or improper installations can waste lots of energy. These issues have been covered in other posts.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

December 28, 2008

:363 Clothes Washers

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.

1:5:10:363 EcoTip: The energy efficiency and water used by clothes washers can vary dramatically. In general side load washers are more economical than top load units. When rating clothes washers – EPA also considers how much water is removed by the spin cycle. The more water that remains behind – the more energy wasted in the dryer.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

EPA’s EnergyStar program has rated clothes washers for water consumption and energy efficiency. You can view a list of the top qualifying models at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=clotheswash.search_clotheswashers

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

December 27, 2008

:362 Attic Ice

Filed under: :362 Attic Ice — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:08 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.

1:5:10:362 EcoTip: Winter is a good time to check for attic ice. If it is not coming from leaks or ice dams then there must be excessive moisture coming into the attic from somewhere that is freezing on the cold underside of the roof. It may be that the attic ventilation is inadequate, but is also very likely that a moisture source is releasing moisture into the attic. Double check bathroom, laundry and kitchen vents to be sure they are dumping moisture laden air outside and not into the attic. The air infiltration sealing techniques discussed elsewhere in this blog may also help (search term infiltration).

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

I inspected one home that was having problems with ice forming in the attic then melting onto the ceiling and walls when the days began to warm. The problem had suddenly developed one year. It turned out that a plumber had pulled the vapor barrier off the soil in the crawlspace to work on the septic line, and had not replace the barrier. The excess moisture coming off the soil was able to infiltrate all the way up through the house into the attic and was  sufficient to cause the problem to develop. Replacing the plastic barrier on the soil solved the problem.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

December 26, 2008

:361 Dehumidifiers

Filed under: :361 Dehumidifiers — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:07 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.

1:5:10:361 EcoTip: A dehumidifier can help manage moisture levels – but make sure you choose an energy saving unit that will work in the desired temperature range. Many consumer grade dehumidifiers waste lots of energy and don’t work well at temperatures less than 65 degrees F.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :360

A client of mine had a wet unconditioned basement. He installed a dehumidifier to help take care of the excess moisture, but found in spite of the unit running 24 hours a day – it wasn’t lowering the humidity and things were getting moldy. When I inspected his basement I found the temperature was around 50 degrees F and unit was frozen up and unable to remove the elevated levels of moisture that were present. Mold was growing on the things that were stored in the basement. I found that the unit he had purchased had an optimal operating temperature around 68 degrees and was not rated to operate at the colder basement temperatures. There are molds that can grow at temperatures all the way down to freezing (although slowly).

Additional information is available at the EPA’s EnergyStar website: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=dehumid.pr_basics_dehumidifiers

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

December 25, 2008

:360 Condensation Control

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.

1:5:10:360 EcoTip: Condensation on cold surfaces can be eliminated by reducing the humidity. Reducing the humidity lowers the dew point temperature. By lowering the dew point temperature below the temperature of the coldest surface condensation can be eliminated.

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :359

Humidity can be lowered by reducing the amount of moisture that is going into the air. Ventilating cooking, laundry and bathroom moisture to the outside can help. If moisture is entering the building from the outside – for example through a concrete slab or from outdoor elevated humidity, then dehumidification may be needed in the winter.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

December 24, 2008

:359 Cold Surface Condensation

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.

1:5:10:359 EcoTip: The dew point occurs when temperatures on a surface are cold enough to cause condensation to form. If this happens on the outside of a can of soda – its not such a big deal – but if it happens on or inside wall or building cavities – the condensed water can result in damage and mold growth.

184-missing-insulation-ir1

***********************************

 Additional Information:

The blue area in the thermal image shown above is missing insulation. If the indoor temperature is 68 degrees F, and the humidity is 50% condensation will develop if the surface temperature hits approximately 50 degrees or less. The condensed moisture can result in water damage and mold growth.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

December 23, 2008

:358 Microwave Oven Tester

Filed under: :358 Microwave Oven Tester — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:04 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.

1:5:10:358 EcoTip: If you use a microwave oven, it is prudent to keep your distance and only use an oven that is properly operating. A number of microwave leak testers are available that can be used to provide a rough approximation of whether an oven is leaking or not.

q660_product Professional Equipment Microwave Leak Detector

***********************************

 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

A Federal standard limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from a microwave oven. New ovens may not leak in excess of 1 mW cm–2at 5 cm and once placed in service may not leak microwave radiation in exceeding 5 mW cm–2 at 5 cm from the oven surface. The radiation level falls off quickly with distance, so staying 20 inches from an operating oven would reduce exposure 100 fold.

Interestingly enough – some European countries have safety standards that require workers wear safety goggles if exposed to microwave levels in excess of 1 mW cm–2 and some studies suggest that these low levels of radiation exposure can cause cataracts with cumulative exposure.

If your going to use them – it seems prudent to step away from the oven, and don’t let the kids watch the food cook.

Would you like to receive an email alert for each new 1:5:10:365 EcoTip? Sign up for a Google Alert.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.