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April 28,2010- Energy Savers...

We can all do things to reduce our carbon foot print. We can use use less energy; we can use it more efficiently. Today we have a FirstLook at two items which will help us use less energy and to use it more efficently.

We have floor vents for both the heating and AC systems. This never made much sense to us. A heating vent in the ceiling meant all the hot air stayed at the ceiling. An air conditioning vent on the floor meant the cold air stayed around our ankles. These systems should be done as two separate systems: AC vents only from the ceiling, heat only from the floor registers. However, we can still do something after the fact with a product such as the AirFlow Breeze Ultra.

The AirFlow Breeze is a remote-controlled fan sized to fit the typical vent opening. It can be mounted in the ceiling or just dropped into the 6″x10″ or 6″x12″ floor register opening. The remote allows the easy control of the unit when mounted overhead. The unit has two fans with three different speed settings and a combined output of 115-150 CFM. This is more than sufficent to raise or lower the temperature of a typical room by 3-5 °F, enough to solve the majority of problems in both winter and summer.

The power connector is in the back, but an access opening in the front allows the cable to be routed to the rear. Being able to route the cable from the front is a nice touch. It gives the option of moving the AirFlow from room to room, or when permanent installation is not possible. With a fan like the AirFlow Breeze, there’s no need to adjust the temperature of the whole house and waste energy when we can solve our “problem room” just with better air flow.

Using energy efficiently is one thing, but sometimes we are using energy even if we don't think we are. Many of today's devices are on "standby" even when we think they have been turned off. This is so they can turn on faster when needed. Newer energy-efficient equipment is better at managing the amount of "standby" energy used, but still...it adds up.

One way to make sure devices are actually "off" is to disconnect them from the outlet. Of course, nobody is going to actually pull the plug of every connected device when not in use. Belkin's Conserve power strip was designed to make that task as simple as clicking a button. Standby Power impacts both the environment and the electricity bill. It can account for up to 10% of a household's power consumption. The savings can add up quickly over the course of a year.

The Belkin Conserve is a different from other power strips. It has both Always-On and Switchable outlets. Devices requiring a continuous power (routers, DVR, etc...) can be plugged into the two Always-On outlets. The six Switchable outlets are for any device (TV, computer monitor, etc...) that does not have unattended, timed, or automated functions. Power to the Switchable outlets is controlled by a remote switch, which can be wall mounted or used as a portable control button. The remote switch is battery powered and has a 60ft range. It is based on RF technology and unlike the typical TV remote control, it will work even if the Conserve is in another room.

A register booster fan like the AirFlow Breeze costs only about $5.00 per year to operate. It helps circulate heat and air conditioning more efficiently and eliminates the need for space heaters or room air conditioners. The Belkin Conserve cuts off the power-using devices at the source and will pay for itself in the first year. There are lots of ways to be "green," but these suggestions are painless, saves money, and reduces energy use. A win-win for everybody. [Permalink] -Energy Savers


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