Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Does Daylighting Really Reduce Energy Consumption?


The recent United Nations report on the massive dangers of climate change has emphasized the need for people to cut their carbon footprints.  One of the best ways to do this in the home is to use daylighting. For many, the idea of using daylight means opening curtains, shades and blinds to allow sunlight to enter the house. While this is essential, it is not where the concept of daylighting ends. There are places in every home where the light that comes through windows and skylights is not enough. There will also often be places where there are no windows to allow natural light to enter – closets and basements are an example of this. These are areas where electric lighting has to be used all the time and from where a home’s carbon footprint increases. Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) or daylightingsystems as they are often called, offer the perfect solution to this problem.



The TDD Advantage

No home can exist without windows and perhaps, skylights also. Windows not only allow the entry of light but also fresh air into the home. However, they do have their drawbacks:
  • The amount of light that enters will depend on the direction the windows face.
  • Changes of the season can also impact the amount of light that enters from the windows.
  • Over time, the windows can become worn and allow rain and dust to enter even when closed.
  • Windows are often a weak point as far as security is concerned – it is from where burglars often enter.
  • Skylights often allow rain to enter the house.
  • Windows and skylights allow heat transfer from indoors to outdoors, reducing the effectiveness of heating and air conditioning systems.

Daylighting systems do not have these disadvantages. TDDs are designed to capture the maximum amount of natural light and carry it to even the most interior parts of a house. The use of special highly reflective tubes to carry the light through walls and ceiling ensures that there is a minimal light loss.

The Financial Benefits

Appreciating the benefits of daylighting systems in fighting climate change can be difficult. Converting the benefits into how they can reduce utility bills will serve to provide a clear understanding of the kind of efficiencies that can be achieved. The Energy Center of Wisconsin conducted tests to determine the kind of difference daylight systems can make and these were the results:
  •       The savings of lighting costs is up to 32 percent
  •       The savings on cooling costs is 25 percent

The results will vary from house to house, but there is no denying that using daylighting systems will result in a significant reduction in energy usage and the associated bills. In terms of the environment, the impact of one home going green may be less easily quantified, but the significance is not diminished.

Maximize the Savings

Installing TDDs made by a world-class manufacturer ensures that they will produce the maximum savings on power consumption. The quality of the system also ensures that you will have many years of trouble-free operation. Look for daylighting systems where the amount of light they produce can be controlled and which have a large variety of fittings so that what is installed will match your home’s d├ęcor.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Whole House Fans Are Useful In Winter

Summer is when you are most concerned about ventilating your home to bring down indoor temperatures, allow fresh air to enter and reduce air conditioning costs. That is why it is the season when the largest number of whole house fans are purchased. What many homeowners do not realize is that the whole house fan is as important in winter as it is in summer. Winter is when temperature variations increase – warmer in the day and colder at night. This leads to the accumulation of moisture indoors through condensation. This moisture can cause leaks to develop, damage insulation, cause wood to rot and enable the growth of mold and fungus which can be serious health hazards. The whole house fan is very effective in reducing the moisture that collects inside a home in colder weather and by doing so makes the house a safer and healthier place to live in.


What Happens Indoors In Winter

In the summer the hot air in the house rises and collects in the highest part, the attic. From here heat radiates through the structure, make the whole home hot. In winter, the opposite happens. Domestic activities like washing, bathing, doing laundry, cooking and so on cause increased levels of water vapor in the air. The heating that is used in winter causes the warm air to rise up to the attic. Here it cools down and the moisture it contains is lost by way of condensation. This causes dampness to form on surfaces like roof sheathing, rafters, trusses and so on. It also collects on all the miscellaneous items stored in the attic. The moisture may appear to be negligible in quantity, but over time it can seep into wood and enter joints and cracks in the cement and other structural components. As already mentioned, this can cause insulation damage, wood rot, electrical short circuits, mold and fungus and other problems. Beyond this, the moisture can form actual water drops and fall on the attic floor. From here it can seep down to the ceilings of the rooms below and cause water spots, paint damage, crumbly ceilings and even more mold and fungus formation. The effect of this humidity on the health of the occupants of the house can be serious. The cost of repairing the water damage can also be very high.

The Fan Solution

Running a whole house fan in winter may seem ridiculous. But it does make sense. Using the fan for short periods will not have a significant impact on any heating that may be being used. However, it will cause the moisture to be blown out of the house, making it much healthier and safer. The days of summer are slowly fading away but that does not mean that it is not the right time to invest in a whole house fan. Contact the dealer of a reputed whole house fan manufacturer and ask him to enumerate the benefits and savings that can accrue from using a whole house fan in winter.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Why Your Home Needs Proper Ventilation

A well-ventilated home is a happy and healthy one. Happy because the freshness that good ventilation provides elevates the moods of the occupants. Healthy because breathing fresh air is essential for good health. These are generalizations that everyone is aware of, but how many of us can enumerate the actual reason why ventilation is so important. Here are 5 of the most important ones:



    1. High levels of ambient humidity lead to moisture condensing inside a home. This moisture collects on windows, walls, furniture, tiles and so on. Over time the moisture can start to seep into walls and wooden window frames. From here to the development of mold, mildew and fungus is a short step. These can be a major health hazard for the occupants of the home as they are triggers for asthma and other respiratory diseases.Additionally, a lack of ventilation can provide a good breeding ground for dust mites which cause asthma, eczema, itching, sneezing, eye-watering and runny noses. Proper ventilation can help to prevent these unhealthy conditions from developing in your home.

    2. The same humidity can cause physical damage to your house. The moisture that collects all over the indoors can cause damage to paint, rotting and decay of wood, damage to fabrics and a stale musty smell that makes living in the house unpleasant.

    3. While the humidity levels may drop in summer, the health risks from inadequate ventilation remain. Keeping windows open may help to circulate air, if there is a breeze, but that also allows pollen and allergens to get into the home. This is what causes hay fever and fits of sneezing.

    4. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are toxic gases that cause serious health problems. There are hundreds of chemicals used in all kinds of products found in most homes that could cause a toxic reaction if inhaled long enough. VOCs can come from paint, air fresheners, cosmetics and all kinds of appliances and products. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in the worst case scenario the air inside a home could be 70% more polluted than the air outside.

    5. Many people are not aware of the dangers of Radon Gas. It is a naturally occurring toxic gas that develops when the uranium that is present in all rocks decays. Besides inhaling it, particles of the gas can attach to dust particles, which, if inhaled, could stick to the inner walls of the lungs. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that up to 14% of all lung cancer cases are Radon gas related.

The Solution

A whole house fan is the best way to fully ventilate a complete house and keep the indoor air fresh, clean and cool. These fans, which are mounted in the attic, suck out all the stale air from all parts of the house which is then replaced by fresh external air. The cooling offered by a whole house fan also makes it an ideal, energy efficient alternative to air conditioning. To enjoy the maximum benefits from the use of this type of fan, in terms of air circulation and reliability,buy one that is made by a reputed manufacturer.With a whole house fan, you can be sure your home will be well ventilated and a safe, happy place to live in.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Does an Air Conditioned House Need a Whole House Fan?

Air conditioning, which was considered a luxury a few generations ago, is now a necessary part of living in a comfortable modern home. The fact that this will significantly increase the electricity usage and the utility bill is taken for granted. However, the cost of cooling and ventilating a house can be significantly reduced by installing a whole house fan. The fan, which is installed in the attic, draws stale air out of the structure and it is replaced by cooler fresh outside air, so the air conditioning load is reduced. Among the many advantages of installing the fan are:


          ·  Faster cooling: The fan pulls warm stale air up from the lower levels of the house to the attic from where it is blown out. The air that is removed, is replaced by fresh cooler air that is drawn in from open windows. The cooling this creates is felt more quickly than that created by an air conditioner.

         ·  Energy efficient operation: The starting and running loads on the air conditioner are reduced so the unit has to work less hard and this results in lower power consumption and wear on the unit. It also makes the home more environmentally friendly.

         ·  Reduced Cooling Costs: A whole house fan consumes less than 25% of the power of an air conditioner. When used prior to starting the AC to bring down temperatures, the savings can run into hundreds of dollars a year.

         ·  Low Cost: A whole house fan is far less expensive than a window air conditioner and typically costs only about 10% of what you would need to pay for a central air conditioning unit, not including the installation and ducting cost.

         ·  Easy Installation: Most whole house fans are designed for easy installation and do not require any modifications of the attic joists or roof trusses.

   ·  Reduced Air conditioning replacement/upgrading costs:  As and when the air conditioning system in the house needs to be replaced or upgraded, doing it in conjunction with the installation of a whole house fan will significantly reduce the overall cooling load. This will result in a significant reduction in the cost of the new equipment.

         ·  Possible air conditioning replacement: In areas where the need for air conditioning is marginal, a whole house fan could remove the need for air conditioning altogether, resulting in lower equipment and running costs.

         ·  Significant Health Benefits: Whole house fans ventilate the house effectively, blowing out stale air and replacing it with fresh air from outside. This makes the interior environment a much healthier one, reducing the risk of allergic reactions and the spread of many communicable diseases.


It All Depends On the Quality of the Fan

The many advantages mentioned here make the decision to go in for a whole house fan to supplement the air conditioning a simple one. However, to get the maximum benefits and be sure of many years of trouble-free operation, the fan should be of the highest quality. A common error many people make is to associate top quality with high price. Contact the dealer of a reputed manufacturer and check the prices and many other positives. The result will make the decision to go in for the best an easy one.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Do Whole House Fans Really Work?

Before considering how effective whole house fans are, it is important to clear up some of the confusion that surrounds them. There are 3 main types of ventilation fans used in homes.They are:



           1.    The most common kind of ventilation fan is the exhaust fan that is used to remove odors from bathrooms, kitchens and other parts of a house.
          
           2.    Attic fans are used to blow warm air out of the attic so that cooler air can be drawn in. Warm air rises to rest on top of cooler air so the attic is where heat collects. By blowing warm air out, the attic is cooled and this, in turn, reduces the temperature in the house itself.

           3.    Whole house fans are also attic mounted but are much larger and more powerful than attic fans. Because of this, the airflow is far greater so air from all parts of the house is sucked up into the attic from where it is blown out. Cooler air is sucked into the home to replace the air that has been removed and this has the effect of significantly cooling the whole house.

The Whole House Fan Advantage

Once the outside temperature has reached a comfortable level, usually in the morning or evening/night, the whole house fan can get to work. Windows need to be opened (at least 1 in each room) and the fan turned on. The warm stale air from indoors is removed and fresh cooler air is brought indoors. Turning on the fan is just a matter of flipping a switch. The main benefits are:

          ·  With a good whole house fan installed, the need for air conditioning is either removed or reduced to a great extent.

                  ·  The coolness is coupled with a flow of fresh air through the home which is healthier and more energizing than the recycled air of air conditioning.
            
                  ·  Because of the amount of airflow they provide, whole house fans bring down interior temperatures faster than air conditioning does. This is what is known as the reduction in sensible heat – the heat that you feel.

                  ·  There is another type of heat – latent heat. This is the heat that has been absorbed by furniture, furnishings and other items in the house. These continue to radiate heat from a considerable period of time, which works to counter the cooling effect of air conditioning. The airflow from a whole house fan is continually moving through the house and as it flows over items that have retained latent heat, draws that heat out, bringing down the latent heat quickly so that the house stays cool.

Air Conditioning or a Whole House Fan?

A whole house fan can be either a standalone home cooling solution or can be used in conjunction with air conditioning. In both cases, the benefits are that cool fresh healthy air is circulated in the home and also that the electricity savings are significant.Depending on the size, a whole house fan will typically draw about 500 watts of power. An air conditioning unit that can cool a complete house will usually draw about 5,000 watt – 10 times more electricity. To find out more about the advantages of installing a whole house fan, contact the dealer of a reputed manufacturer

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Benefits of Installing a Whole House Fan

A large number of homeowners think that because they have an efficient air conditioning system installed in their homes, that is all they need. The talk of whole house fans is of those who have cooling problems and need to supplement the air conditioning. That is a fallacy. A whole house fan can work as a standalone unit to cool and ventilate a house but it can also function as a complement to air conditioning, increasing its efficiency, producing faster cooling and lower electricity bills. Here are the facts about whole house fans:
  • A whole house fan is installed in the attic. It draws the hot stale air from the rest of the house to the top of the building and then sends it outside and replaces it with fresh cooler air that is drawn into the home through windows and other ventilation openings.
  • When an air conditioning system starts working, it must first deal with the accumulated heat and stale air in the house before any real cooling can take place. Whole house fans dramatically reduce the time that is required for this and the effects of the air conditioning can be felt much sooner.
  • The reduced load on the air conditioning system means that it does not have to work so hard and so it consumes less power, resulting in lower utility bills.
  • In many cases, the fan is so effective in ventilating and cooling the house that the running of the air conditioning system is significantly reduced or even eliminated altogether.
  •  Whole house fans are not just for the summer months. In winter stale air often gets sealed in the house. This air is full of impurities that can be bad for your family’s health. A whole house fan will keep the air indoors clean and fresh, summer or winter.
  •       The stale air that accumulates in the house is unhealthy and often full of germs and pathogens. Whole house fans will quickly expel this stale air and by doing so, make the home a healthier place.
      Do Not Compromise

      You have one home and it deserves the best. A cheap fan from a company whose antecedents are unknown will never be able to provide your family with the benefits in terms of cooling, ventilation and health benefits that a fan from a world class manufacturer can. In addition, any notional savings will soon be lost as low quality fans consume more power and have a much shorter lifespan, making frequent replacement a common problem. A whole house fan from a reputed manufacturer, installed by an authorized dealer gives you the promise of years of trouble free use and no installation problems.Because of the health and financial benefits they offer, whole house fans are rapidly gaining in popularity as the best way to cool and ventilate a home. Beware of one-size-fits-all fans. To ensure optimum ventilation and power consumption, the fan has to be the right size for the house. Look for a manufacturer that offers a range of fans so that you can get the one that is right for your home.

Monday, April 23, 2018

How to Buy a Daylighting System

With the growing realization of the advantages of installing daylighting systems at home, the number of manufacturers and dealers of this equipment has mushroomed. As in any area where increasing demand results in greater competition, the quality of products available can vary significantly. Knowing how to buy the best daylighting system means you can look forward to many years of trouble free great lighting at the best prices. Here is what to look for when you make your purchase.

 Light Quality

Technology plays a key role in the amount and quality of light that is available. The efficiency of the roof mounted light collectors is what determines how much light is available. The type of reflective material used on the tubes that carry the light indoors is what affects the amount of light that is lost in transportation. The best technology means that the best lighting is available in the home.

Installation

Most daylighting systems are relatively simple to install. But issues like water leakage or heating loss can cause all kinds of problems. Buy only products that offer leak proof sealing to ensure water and air tight installation.

Will It Last?

Cheap daylighting systems may appear to be an attractive option, but how long will they last? Besides lower light availability, you could be looking at expensive repairs down the road. Always go with a reputed brand that is known for quality products. It will save you money in the future.

How Adaptable Is It?

A major advantage of daylighting systems is that they can be installed to provide light almost anywhere, even in the most interior part of a home. However, the distance and the type and number of bends in the piping that carries the light can cause serious losses. Use only a system that offers tubing that can take sharp bends and carry light for long distances without loss.

Functionality


A multi-functions daylighting system makes life easier. Features such as an optional LED lighting system that is integrated into the device to provide light at night reduces the need for having extra light fittings installed for use at night. Dimmers mean that the amount of light that is available can be controlled so that the lighting can match the way the room is being used at any particular time of the day. And ventilation kits can help to keep the air in the room fresh at all times.

Aesthetics

You want your home to look its best. Installing a daylighting system where the light fitting sticks out like a sore thumb leaves a scar on the appearance of the house. Look for daylighting systems where the range of fittings is large so that you can install those that go with the look of your home and enhances its beauty.

The Simple Solution

Dealing with all these issues and finding the right solutions can be tough, if not impossible, for the average homeowner. The simplest way to be sure that you are installing the best daylighting system possible for your home is to buy only from a reputed brand. In fact, buying from the brand leader in daylighting systems that is known for setting standards that others try to emulate will ensure that you get the best system that will give you the best light, trouble free performance and great looks.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Sunlight and Feng Shui

Every family wants their home to be a place of joy and peace. Over the centuries various practices have been adopted to improve the ambience and energy in the home. In recent times, the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui has become increasingly popular. In essence, Feng Shui is the art of arranging a home and the belongings in it in a way that creates positive energy. An increasing number of people claim that following the principles of Feng Shui has made their homes happier and improved their lives while others claim that it is all hokum. Whatever you may believe, the concept of filling a home with positive energy appears to be something that everyone would like to do.

Image Courtesy : https://pixabay.com
Learn From the Kids

Bring the Positive into Your Home

Whether or not you believe in Feng Shui, there is no denying that bringing natural sunlight into the home has numerous benefits. The easiest, most efficient and cost effective way to do this is by installing daylighting systems which carry sunlight into even the most interior parts of the home. Contact the dealer of a reputed manufacturer to find out more about the cost, health and other benefits that daylighting systems offer.

Unlike our ancestors, we spend most of our lives indoors. The amount of sunlight we are exposed to is restricted to the amount that comes in through windows and skylights – it is rarely enough to give us the sustenance and positive energy we need. In fact, there are usually parts of a home where electric lighting has to be used even during the day. A renowned researcher in the field of light has coined the term malillimination to describe the harmful situation that occurs when we are exposed to inadequate amounts of sunlight and excess amounts of artificial lighting. The wide acceptance of this theory is proven by the fact that the German government has banned the use of certain types of electric lighting during the daytime.

Forget about Feng Shui for a moment. Look at children out playing in the sun. A large part of the happiness they exude is from the positive energy that sunlight gives them. Keep them indoors under artificial light and you will notice that while they will still have fun, the energy will be less and different and the laughter not so exuberant. Sunlight makes a difference to mood and energy.

Feng Shui is all about maintaining the balance of nature – the Ying and Yang. If the energy that surrounds you is positive, you are energized and if it is negative, you are drained. Light surrounds you throughout your waking day and if it is the right kind of light, you will benefit from the positive energy that you receive from it.The key here is the “right kind of light.” According to Feng Shui, sunlight is a very strong source of positive energy and the body and mind both benefit from exposure to it. This belief is supported by modern medical science which accepts the fact that sunlight is a major nutrient and has great medical value in preventing sickness as well and assisting recovery from it.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Transform Your Home with Daylight

One of the biggest trends in interior design over the past few years has been the growth of the “Green” concept. Being green does not mean just using sustainable resources to create the interiors of a home or office. It means creating spaces that leave minimal carbon footprint on the environment. To most people, this simply means using better insulation to reduce heating and air conditioning requirements. That is a good thing but there is more – reducing the lighting load of a home or office not only saves electricity, it offers a number of health and productivity benefits. In addition, designing an interior around the idea of maximizing the use of natural daylight can give the space a stylish and elegant look that has a positive impact on those who occupy it.


Productivity and Mood Improvement

A person who is happy is said to be in a sunny mood. There is a reason for that – studies show that sunlight is a natural uplifter of mood. Sunlight indoors creates a positive aura that fills a room with positive energy. In the home that means a happy atmosphere. In the workplace, it creates an environment where people are more efficient and productive.

Better Sleep

By giving the body adequate exposure to sunlight during the day, the natural activity/sleep cycle of the metabolism is strengthened. Besides being more energetic during the day, the quality of sleep at night is improved. This has a positive cascading effect on all aspects of health and fitness.

Reduced Energy Use

By increasing the amount of natural light available indoors, the use of electric lighting is reduced which leads to lower utility bills. Another benefit is that studies show that doing any activity that involves the use of the eyes is better done in daylight as the strain on the eyes is reduced.

More Attractive Interiors

Designers and interior decorators are incorporating daylight as an integral part of the planning. Sunlight gives an aura of openness, making an enclosed space feel more open and airy. Additionally, sunlight brings out colors better. The Color Rendering Index (CRI) rates how lamps render color. The best CRI is for natural daylight because it has the full spectrum of colors.

Maximize the Sunlight

Most buildings, whether residential or commercial, have areas where there is not enough natural light or where the movement of the sun causes the room to darken at certain times during the day. Adding windows or skylights, even if possible, is an extremely costly and complicated job. And the problem may still not be resolved. However, by installing daylighting systems, the light that is outdoors can easily be brought indoors. Sunlight can be brought to even the innermost parts of a home or office where electric lights have to be used during the day. Daylighting systems are an elegant, easy to install and extremely efficient and cost-effective way to use daylight to add to the look of a home or commercial space. The best way to learn about all the benefits that these systems offer is to contact the dealer of a leading manufacturer.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Effects of Indoor Light Pollution

We all need light. Without it we are unable to function and life, as we know it, would be very different. However, too much light, especially artificial light, can be a huge problem. Everyday people are exposed to large amounts of artificial light even during the day from office lighting, computer monitors, TVs and even domestic lights that are put on during the day. This excessive exposure has a name – Indoor Light Pollution. New research shows that the effects of this on the body maybe much worse than was initially thought.



Research Results

Early research showed that inadequate exposure to natural light could affect cognitive abilities. The human brain, like that of most other mammals, is tuned to a day/night cycle and functions at its best when it is exposed to adequate amounts of natural sunlight. The human body is a very flexible organism and is able to adapt to conditions quickly and continue to function at optimum levels. However, if it is placed in conditions that it is not designed for over a long period of time, the effects of the unnatural environment will begin to show. But now there is more cause for worry than the issue of cognitive ability.

Researchers at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands studied the health of rats that were exposed to excessive artificial light. Their health, over a period of some months,was compared to another group that was exposed to much less artificial light. The results showed that the rats that had more artificial light exposure had less muscle tone than the other group and also showed signs of the early stages of osteoporosis. The rats exposed to artificial light also became fatter and had indications of weakened immune systems.There were also signs of muscle atrophy and reduced motor performance.

The Way Out

Luckily, it appears that the effects of this indoor light pollution are reversible. When the rats in the study group were returned to normal levels of artificial light exposure, their health returned to the pre-study levels after a few weeks.

The modern city dweller lives an indoor life, often lit by artificial light. Even at home, many houses require electric light to be used during the day because not enough natural light is able to enter. The use of daylighting systems will go a long way in reducing the dependence of artificial light during the day and allow for the human metabolism to function in a more natural light environment.

A Healthy Home

Daylighting systems use light capture devices and special tubing to carry sunlight through walls and ceilings to even the most interior parts of a building. They are easy to install and once in place, have no operating cost. In fact, the availability of natural light indoors means that the use of electric lighting can be reduced which will help to bring down utility bills. Great lighting, better health and economy all in one package is something that no homeowner should ignore. To find out more, contact a daylighting systems dealer.