1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

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.

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 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

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December 22, 2008

:357 Air Washing

Filed under: :357 Air Washing — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:03 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.

1:5:10:357 EcoTip: Air washing occurs when air leak in the building envelope allow air to flow through insulation – reducing its effectiveness. Air washing can be diagnosed using thermal imaging or thermal leak detection in combination with creating a strong negative air pressure when the temperature difference between the inside and outside is at least 20 degrees F.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :113, :356

Performing the inspection without negative pressure (:356) helps evaluate the effectiveness of insulation when there is little or no wind or other pressure forces. Performing the inspection with a negative pressure simulates the way the building behaves when outdoor conditions are windy or there are other pressure forces present.

It is important not to cause back-drafting which can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or fire from flame roll-out when conducting negative pressure tests for air washing.  

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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 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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December 10, 2008

:345 Web Based HDD

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.

1:5:10:345 EcoTip: You can use a free internet service to calculate your Heating Degree Days by going to the BizEE Degree Days website. Their information is aimed at energy professionals, but can be helpful for building owners as well. For a chart of degree day data – enter your zip code, choose the weather station closest to you, answer a few additional questions and you will be presented with an excel spread sheet listing of the requested data.  

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :343, :344

The BizEE Degree Days website also has some excellent articles for both beginners and professionals for figuring out degree day information.

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October 23, 2008

:297 Motion Sensors

Filed under: :297 Motion Sensors — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:08 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:297 EcoTip:  Motion sensor light switches can be used for controlling lights in areas where its difficult to get people to turn off the lights.

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 Additional Information:

Motion sensors can save energy by turning lights off automatically when everyone leaves the room. They can also be used to improve safety. For example if you have a hall where the light switch is located at the wrong end of the hall – the motion sensor can be set to turn the lights on when the hall is occupied then off when everyone is gone.

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October 22, 2008

:296 Insulated Drapes

Filed under: :296 Insulated Drapes — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 8:52 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:296 EcoTip:  Substantial amounts of energy are lost through windows. Insulated drapes can increase whatever R-value your windows already have by R-6 or more.

Source: The Warm Company

 

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 Additional Information:

The warm company has an on-line book called Shades for Comfort You can download it free at http://www.warmcompany.com/wwpage.html. It provides detailed information on making your own insulated drapes, but will also be helpful in understanding what to look for if you decide to purchase insulating drapes that have been pre-manufactured.

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October 15, 2008

:289 Change Filters

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:289 EcoTip: Even if you don’t have a full scale service and cleaning for your heating system, you should change the filters. As the filter loads with dirt the air flow is reduced – which can waste energy. See EcoTip :110 for information on upgrading filters.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :110

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October 13, 2008

:287 Seal Attic Hatch

Filed under: :287 Seal Attic Hatch — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:40 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:287 EcoTip: As you are reviewing your preparations for winter – take a look at the attic access hatch and see if it needs sealing. You can use the techniques in :039 & :040 to look for air flow infiltration. Depending on the type of hatch, you may be able to use weather stripping.

Source: Battic at – http://www.batticdoor.com/atticstairinsulator.html

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :039, :040

Also take a look at the information from Battic. They have kits for sealing attic stairway hatches.

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