By Carl Seville, Networx
One of the biggest causes of excessive energy use in homes comes from the amount of electrical equipment, lighting, and electronics we have, and how often it is left on when not needed. I am a green building consultant in the Atlanta area and I work with Atlanta electricians and remodeling contractors to try to improve energy use in houses. Here are my suggestions for installing automatic switches to save energy at home:
Starting with lights, we often turn them on when we walk into rooms, even if there is enough light to see without them.† On top of that, they are too often left on when not needed.† If no one is in a room, then there isnít much point in having a light on.† A little lighting here and there for security Ė to make intruders think you are at home and to have enough light so you donít trip over something or fall down a flight of stairs Ė is fine, but donít leave on so many lights that someone walking down the street thinks that youíre filming a movie in your house.
If you have the old, soon to be discontinued incandescent light bulbs, they produce a lot of heat (about 90% of their energy is heat and only 10% is light), so in the summer, lights left on heat up your house, requiring more air conditioning to keep it cool.
If everyone was just responsible and turned things off, we wouldnít need to worry much, but we are a lazy bunch and, apparently, we need help operating light switches.† That is where occupancy controls come in.† There are many devices available that will control lights, fans, and electronic equipment: turning it off automatically when it isnít needed, saving energy in the process.
Next: Occupancy sensors and manual-on sensors