TAG: Energy costs

Home Heating by a Robot

Warm Up Robot

Heating our homes in winter consumes vast amounts of energy and costs households a great deal. But imagine if there were a robot that could store heat and then moved around the house to warm cold areas? Drum roll please for…..Hagent, the mobile heater robot. This small robot shaped like a black box is amde up of movable wheels, sensors and Phase change materials (PCM). PCM  absorb heat from a hot body and change their phase (from solid to liquid or vice versa) and then release the heat by again changing their phase. Designed by Andreas Meinhardt and Daniel Abendrith… read more

Energy Leaks at Home

www.prlog.org

It is widely said that the most expensive part of a building construction is its interior design and architecture. But there is one more important thing to check and that is “energy wastage”. In the US, it’s estimated that billions of dollars are wasted each year because of air seal leaks in doors, walls and windows. Nearly 40% of energy spent on cooling or heating a building is wasted because of this invisible problem. Any small improvements in each building can save the total power of the nation. Leaks in buildings are usually detected by a  “blower door test” which… read more

Measure Actual Electric Costs with MeterPlug

Measure Actual Electric Costs with MeterPlug

Reducing our electricity use can help us live a little greener, by decreasing our overall energy consumption, and it can also help us to save money on our bills. But how do you know what’s using the most electricity and costing the most money? It’s one thing to know what the appliance sticker says, as far as how much electricity it uses, and another thing entirely to know exactly how much money it will cost you every month. But a useful little gadget can help make that information a lot more transparent, by telling you exactly how much juice each… read more

Check Your Thermostat

Check Your Thermostat

If one thermostat controls your entire home’s temperature, it is best to keep it set at 78 degrees F (25 degrees Celsius) during the summer and 68 degrees F (20 degrees Celsius) during the winter. If you can, have multiple thermostats, installing one in each room of the house. When you use one thermostat for the entire house it can create uneven temperatures throughout your home. Plus energy is wasted heating and cooling unused rooms, which will probably show up on your bills. If you have a different thermostat controlling each room, you can individualize the temperature to the room,… read more

Going Green This Winter

Going Green In Winter

Going green should be a year-round practice. That includes during the winter months when we are usually indoors a lot more. Even though it is cold out, you can still be eco-friendly in your house, activities and lifestyle. Save energy by making sure that your doors and windows have a good seal on them. Doors and windows can be letting cold air in and warm air escape. By making sure that both are sealed, you’ll stay warmer and save on your heating bills. Keep using your bike for shorter commutes and errands. Biking can be harder in rain or snow,… read more

Small Buildings Present Energy Efficiency Opportunities

Small Buildings Present Energy Efficiency Opportunities

While some developers and builders focus on putting up new energy-efficient buildings, there’s a lot to be said for using an existing asset, such as an older building, and retrofitting it for energy efficiency. About 30 billion dollars worth each year, to be precise. According to a new study, taking advantage of energy efficiency opportunities in small commercial buildings could yield $30 billion in savings each year, which would not only reduce their environmental footprint, but would also help to strengthen the bottom line for those businesses. Small buildings (structures under 50,000 square feet) make up some 95% of all… read more

Making Air Con Efficient

Making Air Con Efficient

Air conditioning is one of the greatest users of electricity during summer months. Luckily, innovations are being made to create efficient alternatives. One alternative is Ice Energy. Found in the Ice Bear system, ice energy doesn’t replace air conditioning, but is integrated into an existing AC system to create a hybrid that is energy efficient. Ice Bear attaches to existing rooftop air conditioning system and uses the existing airflow, so it is easy to install. It is best suited for commercial building and comes in Ice-ready rooftop units. But how does it work? Ice Bear is essentially a thermal tank… read more

Why Skinny Homes Are All The Rage

Shaft House

Narrow homes are quickly becoming both a fashion statement and an effector of environmental change. Ranging anywhere from 5 – 15 feet in width, these tiny houses are great conversation starters, and make real on their ecological stipulations. These miniature houses usually only sacrifice width, and have the normal length of an average-sized home. They oftentimes have two or three stories, and come with the full range of amenities you would expect from a normal home, just in a smaller package. This means that everything from heating bills to water usage is cut in half. With less piping needed to… read more

Making Solar Cheaper

Cost of Solar

Recently a California-based company named Alta Devices announced the news that it had achieved a record for the efficiency of an individual solar cell. Alta Devices have broken their own previous record of 23.5% and the new efficiency levels of 27.6% has been verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Alta Devices makes solar panels using gallium arsenide. Gallium arsenide is a more efficient material than the silicon-based cells which are currently more prevalent. To keep prices down the company uses remarkably small amounts of gallium and arsenic. This is done by creating layers of gallium arsenide only a micron thick. The development… read more

The Heat Is On

The Heat Is On

Winter is the season for excess when it comes to energy usage. The temptation to raise the thermostat all the way up on cold days is sometimes too much for homeowners, and they pay for it in their energy bill. We’ve compiled a few tips on how to keep track of your heat usage without compromising your comfort. Nest Learning Thermostat: $249.99 from Apple Do you want control over your home at your fingertips? Then you’ll love the Nest Thermostat. It’s currently in its 2nd generation of delivering energy monitoring excellence for anyone with an iPhone, Macbook, or iPad. Remotely… read more