The average home spends more than $2,200 per year on energy bills and roughly half of this amount goes towards heating and cooling, according to the Department of Energy. When a programmable thermostat is set and used properly, a homeowner can save about $180 annually. But the problem is, virtually everyone with a programmable thermostat doesn’t set or use it properly. Nest Labs, a Palo Alto-based start-up, aims to solve this problem with a new thermostat that’s simple, sleek, intuitive, and smart.
A few months back, the New York Times put a spotlight on the obscene energy use of cable, DVR, and other set-top boxes. There are 160 million set-top boxes in the US, according to the EPA, and these boxes annually consume about $3 billion in electricity. What’s shocking is the fact that about 66% of this electricity is spent when no one is watching and no shows are being recorded. In the home, the DOE estimates that two set-top boxes will use about 500 kWh of energy every year — more energy than it takes to run a new refrigerator!
*This is a sponsored article in association with Plastics Make It Possible.
In conjunction with the Solar Decathlon, Plastics Make It Possible created an interactive home to show people how plastic products can be used to make a home comfortable and energy efficient. For example, window coverings can reduce home heating and cooling, flexible plumbing can be used for direct runs to deliver hot water faster, and plastic-encased solar shingles can blend into the roof while creating energy from the sun.
One of the many friends of Jetson Green in attendance at Greenbuild this year pointed our attention to the ecobee thermostat, a high-tech, wirelessly connected, programmable thermostat. In addition to controlling temperature, ecobee also gives you control over the fan settings (allowing you to have the air circulation operate for a minimum number of minutes per hour). Ecobee measures humidity and can be used to control humidification/dehumidification equipment.
Jaga Climate Systems, a manufacturer of energy-efficient and designer radiator systems, announced at Greenbuild the expanded availability of products in the US. Jaga has built up a US distributor network, so architects, designers, and contractors can access products through representatives in California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington.
Radiant flooring is a popular method for heating a space. Typicaly, installing a radiant slab on grade has required the time- and labor-intensive process of laying down wire mesh and then tying the tubing to the grid of the mesh to provide an even layout. But using the Creatherm radiant floor panel makes it faster and easier to install radiant tubing, as well as providing an insulation layer beneath the floor.