Custom Home Builders Vaincrease Energy Efficiency Of My Home

Custom Home Builders VA:What can I do to increase the energy efficiency of my current home?

by: www.CustomHomeBuildersVA.com

Most advisers agree that energy prices are going to continue to go up. If you look at the possibility of further devaluation of the dollar combined with the possibility of draconian energy legislation, the opportunity of extraordinary escalation of energy prices exists.

Many Americans are living in homes larger than they need. Homes that were built for size rather than quality.

In my opinion, getting prepared for high energy costs is a critical component of any preparedness strategy.

First do all the conventional things to make your home as energy efficient as possible.

Add insulation, upgrade windows and doors (while you are doing this it is an excellent opportunity to upgrade your security), change light bulbs, upgrade appliances, install water heater blankets. If the plumbing pipes have relatively short runs it is very likely that a propane fired tank-less water heater would make sense.

Secondly, consider your heating system. This is an intensive area of energy for many homes.

We recommend wood-fired outdoor boilers where feasible. These units circulate hot water and can be used for many heating applications including home heat, domestic hot water, greenhouse radiant heat and swimming pools, to name a few.

If you have a heat pump, a propane furnace installed with the heat pump is a very good combination. This allows for an energy efficient propane furnace to do the heating when the heat pump is out of its operating range. While there are very efficient and comfortable heat pumps, the back-up heating strips on heat pumps are very energy intensive. Propane is still primarily produced in the United States.

Also, we have had very good experiences with geo-thermal. While it is still electric based, it provides an excellent source of heating in mild climates and is incredibly energy efficient.

We always recommend some alternate options in heating, so there is some source of heat in the event of grid failures. For example, if you have a geo-thermal heating system, install a wood stove as the back-up.
There are a number of structural changes or modifications which could result in much greater energy efficiency. These would include adding a vestibule or windbreak if you have children or go in and out of the house a good bit. You might be able to earth berm part of the north side of your house, or add a solar room to the south side of the home, just to name a few possibilities.

Amish Built Solid Wooden Gun Cabinet.

When you think about something handmade in the United States you first would think of Amish made. The reason is the pride and tradition that the Amish have earned over the decades. The son of a fathers father was a woodworkers craftsman and was shown the way to marry the wood pieces together and make a beautiful wooden gun cabinet that any home owner would be proud to display in their living room or den. This old fashioned traditional way of making furniture will let you the customer describe your wants and needs to the craftsman. Whether it to be made of a specific type of wood, cherry, oak, walnut or mahogany of a certain dimension that the gun cabinet has to be to fit into a particle place or setting. Being hand crafted and not pounced off with a jig on a machine allows you to have that custom one of a kind piece to fulfill you requirements.

If you are a collector or have a passion for firearms, rifles, shotguns, muzzleloader and pistols you are going to want a place or area to them. Way collect them if you cannot share them with the people you know would appreciate them. I cannot think of a better place than in the security of my home to show them off.

Having a handmade wooden gun cabinet to pass on to your heirs would be a precious family heirloom by its own right. If that beautiful crafted cabinet was to have your prized collection of rifles and shotguns to showcase inside your heirlooms cabinet and guns would be kept safe from damage and pass on to generation to generations to come.

If you cannot find an Amish craftsman locally there are some fine furniture makers all across America that still take a lot of pride and integrity in their craft. Most wooden gun cabinets are fitted with locks on the cabinet doors to insure that only authorized persons are to have access to your firearms inside. The gun storage supplies should be lockable to keep the ammunition and guns separate.

You firearms are not the only things that you can display inside your cabinet. I have seen arrowhead collections, Hummels, hunting knives and collectible knives. The display cabinet is very versatile. With the cost that you have already invested into your collection investing in a way to display them and keep them secure from damage helps protect that investment for you and your grandsons someday.

Air Conditioning Systems

Air conditioning refers to a system for controlling and regulating the humidity, ventilation and the temperature of a building or room for making it comfortable for the occupants. Air conditioning finds application in domestic, commercial and industrial fields.

Air conditioning also form an integral part of the medical and transportation sectors also, in both hospitals and transporting temperature fragile goods.

Conventional methods of air conditioning require a large energy source for maintaining the temperature. This translates into a high-energy requirement, high cost and high carbon dioxides emissions which has negative impacts both economically and with regard to the environment A break through in the air conditioning field came with the use of a new technology which makes use of the latent heat from the outside environment for controlling and regulating the indoor temperature. Using this technology Daikin has startled the Air conditioning industry with the production of its all-new Altherma! Daikins Altherma has high-energy use optimization.

This has been made possible with the advent of the new technology which absorbs the latent heat from the environment for its process. Altherma from Daikin has literally revolutionized the air conditioning industry.

Conventional air-conditioning systems depend upon water at heightened temperature during winter seasons to regulate the temperature. Modern day buildings are well-insulated structures built specifically with the comfort and well being of the occupants in mind. These well insulated buildings have made it easier for the working of the air conditioning systems making a reduction in the temperature of the water circulated thus saving a lot of energy. Altherma comes with a hydro-box that is compact and can be installed in limited spaces out side the building.

Air conditioning refers to the cooling and de-humidification of indoor air for thermal comfort. In a wider sense, the term can be referred to as any form of cooling, heating, ventilation or disinfection that modifies the condition of air.

An air conditioner or an air-con is an appliance, system, or mechanism designed to stabilize the air temperature and humidity within an area, typically using a refrigeration cycle but sometimes using evaporation. Most commonly for comfort cooling in buildings and transportation vehicles. Refrigeration air conditioning equipment usually reduces the humidity of the air processed by the system. The relatively cold evaporator coil condenses water vapor from the processed air, sending the water to a drain and removing water vapor from the cooled space and lowering the relative humidity.

For air conditioning in residential homes, some countries set minimum requirements for energy efficiency. In the United States, the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) often rates the efficiency of air conditioners. The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient is the air conditioner. The SEER rating is the BTU of cooling output during its normal annual usage divided by the total electric energy input in watt-hours during the same period.

Know Why The European Energy Efficiency Rules Are Worthy

When it pertains to initiatives on climate change and control of emissions, the European Union is one of the most proactive governmental blocks as they go on with setting standards for energy efficiency. Recently, the EU issued new rules that will help ensure energy efficiency by requiring all industrial, commercial, and household machines and appliances to have labels displayed. As part of the major roster change, this is to ensure that energy efficiency will be a top priority to help commercial agenda move forward.

The rules on energy efficiency issued by the European Parliament insist that all building that are new and constructed after 2020 should have to be powered by renewable energy sources. Buildings account for a significant proportion of greenhouse gases emitted and it has long been recognized that stringent action should be taken to apply energy efficiency rules for new building stock.

The EU has been one of the most proactive governmental blocks pertaining to the war against climate change and in controlling emissions, continuously setting high standards of energy efficiency. They have recently issued new energy efficiency rules that expand the need to display labels on industrial, commercial and household appliances and machines. This is part of a sweeping roster change, aimed at ensuring that energy efficiency is at the top of the commercial agenda going forward.

Since buildings have a lifespan of approximately 50 years, the environmental impact should not be underestimated. Renovation and retrofitting can only go so far and new emphasis is being placed on sustainable efforts during the process of construction, as well as during the design phase. The European Union’s energy efficiency rules dictate that all buildings made after 2020 will conform to this philosophy.

The European Parliament is convinced that education is paramount when it comes to achieving high energy efficiency standards and as such, labels must now be attached to energy consuming products for industrial or commercial use across the Union. Windows and framework must also be appropriately labeled, so that users can see how much energy they are responsible for and can choose wisely, in advance.

If consumers, individuals or corporations are in possession of all the right information, they can choose to include appliances that work well according to their sustainability objectives. Each appliance or asset must perform with ultimate energy efficiency in the “carbon era” of tomorrow, or the user will be responsible for additional fees in one way or another.

The concept of carbon taxation or “cap and trade” restrictions is not new in the European Union, as their Energy Efficiency Scheme has been in place since 2005. Such concepts are beginning to become clear in the United States, where the corresponding legislation is already being considered, which will most probably include a cap and trade and taxation options.

In order to provide detailed information pertaining to energy use and carbon emissions, procedures and systems need to be implemented at the boardroom level for each organization. Quite apart from greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency drives savings, which every organization should be focusing on these days.

Around the world, governments tend to agree that we must aim for as much as an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as based on 1990 levels, by the time we get to 2050. If not, considerable and detrimental change could be caused to climate and weather patterns. This level of change will, nevertheless, call for consistent and urgent action and implementation of new energy efficiency rules, everywhere.

Federal Brace, A company on the move.

This week Ive chosen to recount the incredible year Federal Brace has had bringing their customers Beautifully Crafted, Confident Supports. They have doubled their countertop bracket line by announcing the release of ten new styles. These fresh new countertop bracket designs augment the large selection of countertop supports already available under the Federal Brace brand.

The companys new Enterprise Support, Foremont Support, and Perrine Decorative Support styles are part of the new countertop mounted support line. The use of these brackets within this application type is to support an elevated bar directly from the lower countertop level. The brackets are mounted directly to the sub-counter and elevated on a counter or a bar on support plates at the top of the bracket.

Federal Brace announced the Bracket Backer , a designing enhancement with backer board trim that protects soft wall material behind brackets in heavy weight applications. This product is designed to prevent sheetrock flexing or crushing of soft wallboard materials.

They provide free video guides and tips regarding countertop and countertop bracket installations. These videos feature trained professionals using various support styles and types in many different applications. They create these videos for the benefit of their customers so they may gain knowledge of the countertop installation process and to see their countertop supports in action.

Federal Brace is no longer just a kitchen countertop support company. To finish out a year of expansive growth, the company is introducing a full line of sixteen shelf brackets. These new offering will include designs from Federal Braces most popular countertop support models. Now customers can match their countertop supports with decorative shelf brackets elsewhere in the home.

The Brunswick style support was featured for The KBISs Best In Show, in Chicago, where it garnered much interest and positive comments related to both its strength and style. At the IWF show, in Atlanta, wood workers marveled at the craftsmanship of the brackets and showered Federal Brace with positive comments.

When it comes to the customers needs, their needs are their number one focus and the driving force of their business. To meet the needs of the consumers they have expanded their offices and added more personal. They have added more dealers and distributors throughout the continental United States. Federal Brace has helped thousands of homeowners with countertop support solutions and is steadfast in supplying Beautifully Crafted, Confident Supports for America. Onto 2011!

Roof Shingles Prices – Take Out the Guess Work

Spring is the season for roofing and most of the building supply houses will have sales weekly that offer roofing supplies. Depending on what product you will need the prices can be relatively small to several hundred dollars. Roofing products are pretty versatile and can range from peel and stick roofing shingles to steep roof pitches that come in a roll, asphalt, wood shake, lamented and steel. Steel shingles can even be shaped to resemble wood shake. Steel shingles cost around $58.00 a bundle and three bundles cover 100 square feet.

The most common roofing shingle is an asphalt shingle and they can come in various sizes and tabs. Corning offers a three tab roofing one. A collection of asphalt shingles is normally between $15.49 to $60.00 a bundle depending on the warranty the company offers. Corning even offers an asphalt shingle called the Heritage that is a three tab asphalt tile that gives the illusion of wood shake and is available in various colors to match the exterior of the home’s siding and trim. The Heritage shingle can normally withstand 130 mph and a three bundles should cover 98.4 square feet.

Shake is probably the oldest form of shingle still sold in the United States. Wood shake comes in two sizes, medium and large. The medium wood shake measures 18″ by 7 1/2″ and a bundle normally covers 15′ and costs around $22.00 a bundle depending on the home building store pricing. The large wood shake is 24″ by 10″ and a bundle normally covers 20′ and costs around $35.00 a bundle. Wood shake is also available to complete the hip and ridge of the roof. A bundle cost around $43.00 and covers sixteen linear feet.

A new type of shingle that has recently gained popularity is the laminated asphalt shingle. The laminated asphalt shingle has a 53 year warranty, is algae resistant and is said to withstand winds up to 80 mph. They are reported in the advertisement to be so cheap that the bundle price could not even be listed in the advertisement. The home building stores want you to call or come in for pricing as they feel the they were to low to place in their company ads. These laminated shingles are said to be part of the new green movement and are environmentally friendly. Three bundles weigh 235 lbs and cover 100 square feet.

Energy Efficiency And The Us Heavy Industry

Heavy Industry’ is a rather amorphous term. According to Wikipedia, Heavy Industry signifies the production of goods that are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production.Examples of such industries include steel, chemical, mining, and construction equipment, machinery.

The United States is the largest consumer of energy in the world, using 94.9 quadrillion BTUs in 2009 and heavy industry in the United States accounts for about 31% of all energy consumption, significantly more than any other sector of the economy. Seven energy-intensive industries use three-fourths of this power; these are aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, metal casting, mining, and steel. All these heavy industries are also under tremendous pressure to reduce their huge dependence on expensive non
renewable energy.

A recent study by the European Commission thinks not. The study estimates that the United States has the potential to save about 45 TWh energy per year, through use of energy efficient transformers. Even a 0.01 percent gain in the average efficiency of utility transformers installed in the U.S. in a single year, can save as much as 2.9 Twh energy.

The environmental benefits of energy-efficient transformers are also significant and the study by the European Commission believes transformers could well emerge as a major focus for energy efficient
initiatives in the industry.

Energy Guzzling Industries
Chemical Industry,
Paper and Pulp Industry
Iron and Steel Industry
Mining Industry

Is the Answer Energy-Efficiency

Energy efficiency is already playing a significant role in the Heavy Industry, but with growing concerns of greenhouse gas emissions and skyrocketing cost of energy, it obviously needs to do more.Before the 1970s, the U.S. energy consumption grew in parallel to gross domestic product (GDP). Had that trend continued, current U.S. energy demand would have more than doubled, currently, the energy consumption is 1.5 times that of 1970. Reduction in energy consumption has resulted from a combination of energy efficient methods and a shift from energy-intensive manufacturing toward a service and information-based economy.

Do Energy Efficient Transformers Hold the Key?

As energy costs rise and availability becomes uncertain, the necessity of utilizing energy-efficient products becomes imperative. Additionally, a globally competitive business environment is causing businesses to cut costs in order to remain competitive. Of particular interest are distribution transformers
that are the largest loss-making components in electrical networks.

In a typical grid, electric transformer loss contributes to about 40-50% of the total transmission and distribution loss. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that on a conservative estimate 61 billion kWh annually can be attributed to transformer losses. These losses cost end-users $3 to $4 billion annually. An energy-efficient transformer is therefore an important means to reduce transmission and distribution loss. Energy saving transformers can additionally save the equivalent of more than 70 million tons of CO2 emissions.

The answer to energy efficiency is in making distribution transformers efficient; and thankfully, manufacturers have the technical know-how to offer better, cost effective, low loss, energy efficient transformers.

Energy Efficient Distribution Transformers

Distribution transformers distribute power from power generating facilities to end-users and while energy loss during transmission is inevitable, measures are taken to reduce it considerably.However, for energy to be consumed voltage needs to be reduced and it is at this point of stepping down electricity that distribution transformers lose energy. Even though only a small portion of energy is lost it is in a permanent manner and standby power losses account for 2% of total electricity production.

Despite high average efficiencies of 95 to 99.75%, transformers have a significant environmental impact because they continuously consume power.

The energy losses in electricity transformers fall into two components, namely, no-load losses resulting from the energized iron core, which is a permanent phenomenon, and load losses, arising when providing power to users. Load losses also result from the resistance of the coil when the transformer is in use, and from eddy currents due to stray flux.

Technical solutions exist to reduce transformer losses by 75% at minimum when replaced by modern transformers or even by 90% when replacing transformers over 30 years old. Energy-efficiency can be improved with better transformer design, like selecting better, lower-core-loss steels; reducing flux density in a specific core by increasing the core size; increasing conductor cross-section to reduce current density; good balancing between the relative quantities of iron and copper in the core and coils.

An energy efficient transformer is an important means to reduce Transmission & Distribution loss and can save up to 120 TWh / year. Energy efficient transformers can provide considerable environmental benefits too. For example, a typical urban distribution transformer rated at 400 kW has lifetime losses equivalent to 125 “”184 tons of CO2 emissions; a more energy-efficient design can reduce these emissions to 56 tons.