Friday, August 23, 2019

Importance of garage ventilation

Air circulation in a garage is important, whether it is through a window, a fan, or a vent. Garages are kept shut most of the time and opened only when the car is being taken out or being brought in. This lack of ventilation could make the air inside the garage harmful to health.

What causes the build-up of toxins in the garage?

When the car engine is running, it is giving out a steady stream of carbon monoxide. When you start a car and drive it out, or when you bring it back in, the brief time that the engine is running, you have trapped carbon monoxide in the garage. Over time, the percentage of carbon monoxide in the garage builds up and if there is no vent for it to be expelled and replaced with fresh air, it increases the toxicity of the air in the garage.

Garages are used not only to keep cars, but they are also used to store other DIY paraphernalia like paints, chemicals, pesticides, etc. The fumes from these items contain toxins which are being released into the air in the garage. These toxic fumes can build up when there is a lack of ventilation.

How does an unventilated garage affect the air in the house?

Garage ventilation may not seem like a big deal to you as the time that is spent in the garage may be minimal. You may reason that the brief exposure to the toxins in the garage is not harmful to you or your family. But consider this! Is your garage abutting your home? Most do. Do they share a common wall? They probably do. This means that the carbon monoxide that has built up over time in your garage is permeating directly into your living spaces through the wall.

The fumes of your DIY paraphernalia also build up in an unventilated garage, when temperatures go high and will seep into the house through tiny structural cracks that can occur between joints in any kind of home. It can even enter the house when the door between the garage and the main house is opened.

Apart from polluting air inside your home, the heat build up in an unventilated garage can radiate through the common wall and raise the temperatures in the house during summer. This can decrease the efficiency of your cooling system and can increase your electricity bills as the cooling system will have to work harder to bring the temperature down.

A perfect way to ventilate your garage is by installing Solatube's RM 1500 roof-mounted solar fan. It runs the whole day without using electricity so entire space is cool with no additional cost. Call (408) 844-0081 to make an appointment with one of our consultants. You can check out our solar ventilation solutions for the garage at

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Reduce Your Lighting Bill

A home that is not well lit can be a dreary and depressing place. That is why homeowners go the extra mile to ensure that their homes are will illuminated. A downside of this is that often electricity consumption increases resulting in high utility bills. It is possible to keep a home bright and happy while minimizing the power consumption. All it takes is the cost-effective purchase of user friendly new technology and adopting some simple power saving concepts.

  • Maximize The Use Of Daylight: Sunlight is clean, healthy and free and when the sun is out, the use of the light it produces should be maximized. The obvious way to do this is to keep curtains and blinds open to allow light to enter the home. However, this may not be enough. Geographical, environmental and architectural design issues may not allow adequate amounts of sunlight to enter. That is when electricity has to be used to add brightness to the home, even if it is bright outside. Adding windows and skylights to allow more light to enter a house, if at all possible, is a costly, messy and time-consuming process that could also ruin the appearance of the home. Daylighting systems, or Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) offer an economical, clean and quick way to bring more natural sunlight into your home. TDDS use roof mounted light collectors to capture sunlight and then carry it, via special highly reflective tubes, to the most interior parts of a home. This means that even parts of the house where there is no access to sunlight, such as closets, can be illuminated with bright, clear natural light. Installation of TDDS is quick, clean and does not require any structural modifications to the home. And, of course, TDDs run for free.
  • Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs: Use only LEDs in your home. They consume only about 20% of the electricity of traditional bulbs and last far longer. This more than compensates for the slightly higher cost of the LEDs.
  • Control Brightness:  It is possible for a room to be over illuminated. A room that is so bright that it hurts the eyes or makes people in it uncomfortable, is an overly bright room. Reducing the wattage of the bulbs used will make the room more comfortable and also lower the amount of electricity consumed.
  • Choose The Right Fittings: Light fittings are an integral part of the décor of the home and styles and designs are chosen for that reason. While there is no need to compromise on this, using fittings that work with the décor but do not obstruct the light that is radiated will also allow fewer lights or lower wattage bulbs to be used.
  • Use Dimmers: The amount of light required in a room can vary depending on time of day, occupancy and what is happening there. Dimmers allow you to control the lighting to suit the requirement and by doing so, control the amount of electricity consumed.
  • Sensors And Timers: Installing these enable you to set the time when lights come on or ensure that lights do not remain on in empty rooms.
These few basic steps can make a significant impact on your utility bills. The right place to start is by installing daylighting systems. This will reduce the need for electric lighting during the day and with these in place, deciding on the other actions you can take to reduce power consumption becomes much easier.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Making Your Home Green

When used in reference to buildings, green is not a color – it is a statement that the structure is ecologically friendly. That means that it makes, preferably, a positive impact on the environment or, at least creates only a minimal negative impact. There is no set standard on what makes a building green. Generally speaking for a building to be truly green, it must have been designed and built with the environmental factors in mind.

Image Courtesy: Pexels
What It Means

However, that does not mean that older buildings, especially homes, cannot be made greener. These are a few of things that can be done. Remember, going green means reducing resource consumption, so utility bills reduce saving significant amounts of money. Over time, the green changes that are made will pay for themselves.
  • Install Daylighting Systems: Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) collect light from the roof and use high tech piping to carry the light through walls and floors to even the most interior parts of a home. This eliminates the need to use electric lights during the day, reduces power consumption and brings down electricity bills.
  • Install A Whole House Fan: These attic mounted fans run at a fraction of the cost of air conditioning. They suck warm stale air out of the home and replace it with cooler fresh air drawn in through open windows. The cool air, drawn in during the mornings and evenings when the exterior temperatures are low, can keep the home pleasant for many hours. A whole house fan may eliminate the need for air conditioning. If the ambient temperature is very high, air conditioning may still be required, but the load will be greatly reduced so the power consumption will come down and that means lower electricity bills.
  • Upgrade the Insulation: The warmer the home is in winter and the cooler in summer, the less power consumed to heat or cool it.
  • Be Water Efficient: Install sanitary fittings and appliances that use a minimum amount of water.
  • Use Energy Efficient Appliances: Replacing older fridges, washing machines and so on with new energy efficient ones will have a major impact on the amount of power the home uses.
  • Use Solar Energy: If viable, consider installing solar panels to provide electricity and heat to the home.
These few upgrades can turn any home into a green, energy efficient one.

Make Your Home A Greener and Healthier Place

Of all the modifications, installing TDDS and whole house fans are the easiest and among the most cost-effective. Unlike windows and skylights, TDDs are quick to install and can carry light to even the most interior parts of a home. No structural changes have to be made. The same is true of whole house fans. The attic installation does not affect the rest of the home or the building structure in any way. With both these in a home, it becomes a greener, more comfortable and healthier place. 

Purchasing the best quality products is not as expensive as people may presume and it will ensure many years of trouble-free service and money saving. Contact the dealer of a reputed manufacturer to now more about daylighting systems and whole house fans and how they can change your home environment.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

How Do Whole House Fans Work?

Before the advent of the whole house fan, there were 2 basic options for staying cool at home in the hot weather:
  • Using a ceiling or table fan to blow air on people within the small air flow area so that they felt a little cooler.
  • Using air conditioning to cool the structure.
The problem with the first option is that all it really does is circulate the same old air and it is the movement of the air on the skin that creates a sense of coolness. The room itself or the house does not really become much cooler. Air conditioning does effectively cool the room or house, but it consumes a huge amount of electricity, so the operating cost is high. Also, buying and installing air conditioner is expensive. Another factor to keep in mind is that with air conditioning, the amount of fresh, clean air that enters the home is limited. The need for a cost effective and highly efficient way of cooling the home has been met with the development of the whole house fan.

Cool Air, Fresh Air, Indoors And Out

Whole house fans have revolutionized the way homes are cooled. They stand out for their efficiency and effectiveness. Air conditioners and fans are costly to buy and run or operate in an efficient manner. They also take time for the cooling to become tangible. A properly designed and manufactured whole house fan from a leading company will effectively cool down a home in just a few minutes. Whole house fans do not push air in the direction where the limited circulation is required. Instead, they pull the stale warm air out of the whole house. Because of the outflow of stale air, fresh cool air is able to enter the home though open windows and cool the whole house. Whole house fans are mounted in the attic so they are able to pull air from all the lower floors.

While a whole house fan can be used at any time of day, the best results are obtained if it is used when the outside temperature is lower than the temperature indoors. This new air will be cooler than the air it replaced. Once the interior has been cooled, closing the windows will help to retain the coolness for hours until it is time to run the whole house fan again. For example, running the fan in the morning will cool the house and keep it comfortable through the hot afternoon. This is done at a fraction of the cost of running an air conditioner.

All Whole House Fans Are Not the Same

How effective a fan is and its durability and reliability depends on how it is manufactured. If you are considering installing a whole house fan, look for one made by a highly reputed company that has the following features:
  • Longer lasting strength and energy efficient operation with brushless motor
  • Rust proof operation and durability with powder coated metal fan blade
  • Fan with 5 blades for smoother airflow
  • Insulated ducting ensures quiet cooling
  • Airflow is maximized with a damper box design
  • A cleaner look as there are no visible vents
  • Dishwasher-safe intake grill which is easily removable for quick and easy cleaning
  • Innovative technology for near silent operation

Look online for the dealer of a whole house fan manufacturer that offers all this and more.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Green Homes 101

Being “green” or environmentally friendly may have been a trend a generation or two ago, but today it is a critical factor in helping to protect the planet. What exactly does it mean, especially in the context of a home? A green home is one that has the minimum possible negative impact on its surroundings and the environment. The definition of what is a green home may vary, but in essence, it is a home that uses less energy, water and other natural resources and creates the least possible waste and does this while also being a healthy place in which people may reside.

Image Courtesy: Pexels
Homes being built today usually incorporate the green factor in the design and construction. In the cases of older homes, it is generally possible to incorporate new technologies to make them greener.

Going Green – The Basics

When planning green home, keep the following factors in mind;

• Insulate the home to reduce the energy required for heating and cooling

• Use environmentally friendly materials. These will minimize the use of hazardous chemicals, some of which could linger on after the home is occupied. There will always be construction waste, but in this case, the toxicity generated will be the minimum.

• Maximize the use of natural light to reduce electricity consumption. Tubular daylighting devices (TDDs) or daylight systems as they are also known bring daylight into even the most interior parts of a home so that the use of electricity is minimized.

• Install energy efficient appliances to further reduce power consumption.

• Install washing machines, dishwashers, etc. that use less water to bring down water usage.

• Consider fitting solar panels to heat water and generate electricity. Not only will this further reduce 
utility bills, but surplus power can also be sold to power companies and turn the home into a profit center.

Cutting Corners = Cutting the Green

People often try to keep their construction or renovations costs within budget by cutting corners, especially on the green aspects of the project. For example, instead of going in for the best in TDDs, they may choose the cheapest option, even though the price differential is not that much.The assumption is that daylight does not change so as long as it gets into the house, it’s okay. Sadly, that is to the case. Firstly, cheap TDDS will not carry the maximum amount of daylight indoors so electricity may still have to be used to supplement the lighting in the room. Then comes the issue of installation – a reputed brand will be designed for quick and easy installation. Installing a low quality one maybe much more complicated and cost far more in terms of the amount of work required. After that, there is the problem of reliability and durability. With a reputed brand, you are sure of many years of trouble-free service. With low quality TDDs, you don’t know when problems will arise and how much the repairs will cost.

When creating a green home, do not compromise on quality – it will only cost more in the long run and subject you to needless repair and replacement hassles in the future. As with TDDs, go for the best and really enjoy your trouble free and comfortable green home. In many cases, such as daylighting systems, the cost of buying the best is not as much as you may think.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

A Daylight Device Buying Guide

Although Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) or daylighting systems have been around for many years and are being widely used today in new homes or being installed on existing ones, there are many who are still not familiar with what they are. People may know the term, have a general idea of what they do and know that using them can naturally brighten a home while reducing utility bills. But how do you go about buying one? As with any product being bought for the first time, the more you know about it, the easier it is to make the right purchase decisions.

This is what you need to know.
  • Forget about sizes. While a bigger window will allow more light to enter than a small one, that does not apply to TDDs. If you are installing the top-rated daylighting system, the small size of the roof top light collector can be misleading. Its small size is possible by the application of cutting-edge technology which allows it to maximize light capture.
  • Buy TDDs only from the dealer of a daylighting systems manufacturer that is known to be the leader in its field. This will ensure that the system will give you trouble free service for years to come and any support you may need will be available.
  • TDDs cost less than windows or skylights, but that is not all. While evaluating the economic benefits of TDDs, remember that not having to use electric lighting during the day can significantly reduce your electricity bill.
  • Although TDDs can bring more daylight into a room where the light from windows is not enough, that is not all they can do. Because they use high tech tubing to carry light through walls and around corners, they can bring daylight into even the most interior parts of a home, where previously electric lights were the only option.
  • Installing TDDs of the leading manufacturer is easy. Those who like DIY projects at home can typically do the job in a day. Alternatively, the dealer can do it in just a few hours.
  • Buying from the leading manufacturer means that the dealer will offer you a free daylighting assessment. With a number of different models of daylighting systems to choose from, you will be helped to choose the one that is right for your home and your needs.
  • Additionally, the leading manufacturer will also have a number of additional features like occupancy sensors, dimmers etc. to enhance the usefulness of the system.
  • There will also be a wide selection of light fixtures to choose from so you can be sure that what you install will suit the décor of your home.
Do Not Cut Corners

You have one home and it is the center of your life. It deserves nothing but the best. In the cases of the best TDDs, that does not mean that installing one will empty your bank account. The best daylight systems, from the best company, are surprisingly affordable. Buying the best means the maximum amount of daylight, trouble free operation, easy installation and fixtures and options that will add to the beauty of daylighting experience.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Daylighting 101

There is a reason why most people open the curtains of a bedroom soon after they get out of bed. Besides the feel-good factor of seeing a bright sunny day, the sunlight acts as a trigger to start the internal circadian clock of our bodies which keep us going the rest of the day.The sunlight allows us to think more clearly, function more efficiently and have the energy to get through the day. That being the case, a house that is optimized to use daylight to the maximum is obviously a healthy and productive place to be. This is a established scientific fact – a search for “health benefits of daylight” will reveal the amount of research that has been done on this subject.

To be able to use daylight for the maximum benefits, it is important to understand what it is.

What Is Daylight

There are 2 types of daylight:
  • Direct sunlight is the light that comes directly from the sun. It is bright and carries heat. It also may cause glare and cause shadows to form. Excessive time spent in direct sunlight can cause eyestrain.
  • Ambient light is the light that is reflected off surfaces. This light is softer and does not cause eye strain. This is the light that fills a house after it hits on and is reflected off floors and walls. Ambient light does not cause dark shadows or form.
The application and use of daylight depends on light intensity. Brighter more direct light acts as a mental and physical stimulant and increases the body’s ability to perform tasks that require mental focus and concentration or physical activity. Softer light is calming and reduces stress, helping the body to unwind and relax. The ideal daytime indoor lighting comes from a natural light source that illuminates through diffused ambient light that is neither too harsh nor too dull.

The right amount and use of daylight can transform a home both in terms of beauty as well as in the comfort and productivity of those who live in it.

The Right Daylight for Your Home

Windows and skylights allow light to enter a house, but there are places in most houses where they do not allow for adequate light to enter. The lack of daylight in these areas creates the negative impacts mentioned above. A dark spot in the house affects the atmosphere of the whole structure. Using electric lighting does not provide the same benefits as daylight does and is also more expensive because of the power consumption. The use of daylighting systems can remove the dark places and fill them with natural sunlight so that the aura is the same positive one as the rest of the home. Even a dark closet can be a downer. Daylighting systems that capture sunlight, and carry it to even the most interior parts of a home offer the perfect solution to this problem. The clean, crisp and clear daylight that is diffused through elegant light fittings adds color and character to a room and makes it a more positive space to be in. Buying daylighting systems from the leading manufacturer ensures years of trouble-free service and ideal lighting with no running cost.