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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Lighting Plan Is an Essential Part of a Home Renovation

A major reason why so many homeowners feel unhappy with the results of a home remodel is that they ignore the importance of lighting in creating the look and feel they want in the house. Moving or removing walls, changing flooring, adding rooms, painting and décor are all important aspects of the remodel. However, in the final analysis, how all the changes appeal to the senses depends on how they look and that is where lighting has a major influence. That is why architects and interior designers place so much emphasis on lighting planning when designing the interior of a home.

Lighting planning is more than simply deciding how many lamps are needed in a room and where they should be placed. There are three main elements to lighting planning and understanding what they are will ensure that a home is lit as it should be so that it looks warm and inviting and is also functional.


Mood

What are the moods you want to create in different parts of the home? Should the living room be bright and open during the day and quieter and calmer in the evenings? Should the kitchen be lit the same while cooking as when the family is eating there? Should the bathroom have two light zones – bright near the mirrors and subdued in the bath area? How you feel in a room will depend a great deal on how it is lit. Keep the moods you want to create in mind when planning your renovation.

Function

What will a room be used for? What will people be doing in it? The lighting must match the function of the room. Recessed concealed lighting may look very nice, but will it be right for a study or office where a lot of reading will be done? Will the glare of excessively bright lights ruin the TV watching experience? Mood is important, but so is function. The lighting in a room must be right for what the room is used for.

Looks

There are innumerable types and designs of light fittings available. The choice of what should be used in the home is generally a matter of personal taste. However, that being said, there is a place for everything. Excessively ornate fittings may look odd in a kitchen. Purely functional fittings may look out of place in a living room. When choosing light fittings, balance your personal preferences with the mood and function factors mentioned above. This will help to create a room people enjoy being in.

The Daylight Advantage

During the daylight hours, there is nothing like natural sunlight to illuminate the interior of a home. Not only does it create a bright and positive aura, but it also stimulates the mind and body to be active. In many homes, there are places where there is limited or no access to sunlight because of the lack of windows and skylights or obstruction to the flow and entry of light. The solution to this problem is a simple one – install daylighting systems. Quick to install, highly efficient, with zero electricity consumption and with elegant light fittings to suit any interior décor, they are the ideal way to add the kind of lighting that makes a home remodel successful. To know more about what daylighting is, how it works, where it can be used and to have all your questions answered, contact a dealer in daylighting systems who will do a free in-home consultation.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Daylighting Systems and Tax Credits

The various benefits of installing daylighting systems have been well publicized. Broadly speaking, they are:
  • An improved ambiance in the house with more natural daylight
  • Lower utility bills as there is no need to use electric lighting during the day
  • The lower use of electricity means that the house is a greener place
  • More exposure to sunlight while indoors offers numerous health benefits
What many people are not aware of is that installing daylighting systems has another major financial benefit – users are entitled to tax credits.



Tax Credit FAQs
  • Are tax credits the same as tax deductions? No, they are not. Tax credits are deducted from the total tax liability of the person or entity paying the tax before the liability is calculated. Tax credits, however, are deducted directly from the total tax liability.
  • How are tax credits claimed? IRS form 5695 is used to claim tax credits. The form can be downloaded from the IRS website.
  • What Documentation is required to file the claim? The following documents are required for claiming tax credits:
  • A receipt that shows the total cost of the equipment/product for which the credit is being claimed
  • In some cases, the receipt for the installation costs of the equipment/product
  • Proof of date of when the equipment/product was placed in service
  • The manufacturer’s certification statement
  • Are there any local incentives that can be claimed? Local utilities may offer various financial incentives or benefits for the use of energy-efficient products. To know what you may be eligible for,visit the website of your state energy office or local utility. Information may also be obtained from the Energy Star website.
  • Are all products with an Energy Star rating eligible for tax credits? Until 2013, all Energy Star labeled products were eligible for tax credits. However, today some equipment/products may not be eligible. Visit the IRS website or consult a tax professional to learn more about specific product eligibility.
Check the Total Cost

While calculating the total cost of using daylighting systems, there are a number of factors to be taken into account. These Include:
  • The total cost of the product
  • The cost of installation
  • The savings on utility costs
  • The long-term maintenance costs. This is something people often do not take into account.Installing a daylighting system from a leading manufacturer means that you can be sure of trouble-free service for many years without having to worry about repair or replacement expenses. With less reputed or substandard brands, the risk of losing all the financial benefits due to frequent maintenance or replacement costs increases manifold.
Be Sure Of What You Install

To be sure of buying the best daylighting system for your home, contact the local dealer of the manufacturer that is known to be a brand leader in terms of innovation and quality. That way you can be sure that you are buying the best and most cost-effective daylighting system. The dealer will also be able to do a quick and clean installation, so you do not have to worry about any ancillary installation costs that you have not budgeted for. You will also have access to top-rated light fittings for the daylighting system, so once again quality and reliability is assured.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Brighten Up Your Home the Natural Way

A home is like a living organism and is the pivot around which family life revolves. It’s easy to take the home for granted and not notice when it starts to look old and worn. Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential, but they cannot prevent the feeling of staleness that creeps into the aura of a home as the years pass. The staleness may not be noticed, but it will have a negative impact on the comfort and happiness of those who live in the home. It is when the need for rejuvenating the home becomes obvious that people start to think about remodeling. Remodeling is a costly, time consuming and disruptive exercise. If you think your home requires a new look, changing the lighting may be all you need to do to give it a fresh new look and feel. Doing this can be quick, hassle free, environment friendly and very economical if you maximize the use of natural light. 


  • Mirrors do not absorb light, they reflect it. By doing so they really change the lighting in a room. Placing a large mirror opposite a window that lets in light will have a measurable impact on the brightness of a room. Mirrors and frames are available in all sizes and designs so finding some that match your décor will not be a problem.
  • Dark colors tend to absorb light. If a room has dark colored walls, repaint them in light or pastel shades. This will not only make the room brighter, but it will also open it up and give it the feel of being more spacious.
  • Check to see if your window treatments are partially restricting the amount of sunlight that gets in.  Some treatments can block light, even when open or may not be designed to open completely. In either case, the room is not getting all the natural light it should. Something as simple as changing the blinds, shades or curtains can make a huge difference to the look of a room.
  • Heavy dark fabric can make a room look heavy and dark. Changing the upholstery of the furniture to lighter and less heavy colors and fabrics will make a significant difference to the brightness.
  • Check to see if there are any obstacles like tree and hedges blocking the entry of sunlight and if there are, trim them.
·     Install daylighting systems to maximize the amount of natural light in the house and to bring it to places where artificial lighting is used even during the day. Once installed you can look forwards years of free natural light diffused through elegant fittings.

Consult a Daylighting Expert

To truly appreciate the difference that daylighting systems can make to your home, consult an expert in the field. The right way to do this is to contact the local dealer of a reputed manufacturer and ask for a free home daylighting assessment. This will give you all the information you need to know to make an informed decision about brightening up and changing the look of your home using natural light.