Show Notes: Air Quality and DIY Projects
It’s time again to get great prepared for cooler weather. We are getting a head start to be ready when the fall leave are changing color.
Thank to our guest: Kevin McJoynt with Gerber and Danze Plumbing fixtures companies
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The Cute And “Smart Energy Tracker For Your Home”
Glow is a smart energy tracker for the home. It gives users glowing real-time feedback about their energy use, leading to energy savings and reduced impact on the environment.
It may not hear you, but it certainly can give you a lot of information, simply by changing colour.
Owner Bob Perchetti opened the motel 22 years ago after retiring from a job in the tourism industry. His late business partner had the clown collection, but Perchetti had the dream.
If you look on the website or the kickstarter page, they seem to focus most of their attention on the inductive sensing, the device that you fasten to the electric meter and that does what the meter does- read the amps on the basis of the strength of the magnetic field generated by the current in the wire. While they say theirs is patent pending, the principle isn’t new.
Glow analyzes a home’s energy use data to understand how and when it uses energy. If it’s using more than normal, Glow turns amber, then red. When a home is saving money, Glow turns green. And if there is extended high usage, like if someone accidentally left the oven on or the fridge door open, Glow sends a helpful push notification to the user’s phone.
They actually monitor your electricity usage getting “an hourly average, we look at each hour and compare your usage to the normal for that hour (e.g. the six o’clock hour with higher normal usage). For this and projects we look back over the last 15-30 days. We can add in your goals to this as well so that you are encouraged to use less compared to the norm.”
They then have base data they can use to flag variances. It evidently responds more quickly when you are good and save power, and is slower to respond turning amber or red. “This plays on the neurochemical dopamine release that humans have when they see positive feedback (e.g. the green).” You can also set targets and budgets that help you reduce your consumption.
Most utilities now have online tools and apps that let you monitor your consumption, usually with bar charts; there are a few remote reading tools that let you see what is happening in real time. The first key difference here is that it really learns what’s going on in your home. The second is that you are not looking at a bar graph or your phone, but a device that is sitting there looking pretty on your end table, in your face all the time in its own subtle way.
8 Tips For Better Indoor Air Quality
Air pollution isn’t limited to the outdoors. Moisture, odors, gases, dust and a host of other irritants can affect air quality indoors, too. Try these tactics to help freshen your home’s air so you and your family can breathe easy.
- Open windows.Most heating and cooling systems recirculate inside air. When weather permits, give your system a break and let fresh air in. Open windows and place fans strategically to help direct fresh air through.
- Use exhaust fans.Turn on the kitchen fan to vent cooking pollutants, and the bathroom fan to curb mold-promoting wetness and cleaning-product fumes. Leave it running for about 45 minutes.
- Do doormats.They help prevent dirt and other outdoor pollutants from making it inside. Get two natural-fiber mats, one for inside and the other for outside your main entrance. Keep a shoe-free home, too.
- Test for radon.The naturally occurring gas is colorless and odorless. It’s also the second-leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. DIY test kits, available online and at your local home improvement store, are inexpensive and easy to use.
- Don’t mask odors.Scented candles and sprays can irritate lungs, too. Find the source of the smell, get rid of it, then ventilate well until it’s gone.
- Use a dehumidifier.Stay under 50 percent humidity to keep mold growth at bay. Clean your dehumidifier regularly, too, so it doesn’t switch from humidity-reducing friend to mold-harboring foe.
- Vacuum regularly.You’ll reduce the amount dust and other pollutants released when you walk around. Invest in a quality vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, especially good at trapping even tiny bits of dust and dirt.
- Take it outside.Painting, sanding, gluing — anything that generates particles, gases or other pollutants. If outside isn’t an option, open a nearby window and add a fan blowing air out. Clean up after your project quickly and well.
This Weekend: Give The Proverbial Squeaky Wheel A Little Grease
This Weekend’s Assignment: Take an inventory of everything that’s broken or annoying in your home, then fix at least one of the things that bothers you most.
Make a List of Issues: Either physically or mentally wander around your home a little bit, stopping in each room to identify anything that’s not working, feels off, makes too much noise, or just generally bothers you. Especially make note of the stuff that’s been that way for a long time, bugging you in tiny ways for days or months or even years.
Make a Choice: Pick one thing you can reasonably tackle this weekend. It doesn’t have to be a major project! Choose something you can cross of your list and know you’ll feel good about when it’s done.
What Is LiFi?
LiFi is designed to use LED light bulbs similar to those currently in use in many energy-conscious homes and offices. However, LiFi bulbs are outfitted with a chip that modulates the light imperceptibly for optical data transmission. LiFi data is transmitted by the LED bulbs and received by photoreceptors.
Benefits of LiFi:
- Higher speeds thanWi-Fi.
- 10000 times the frequencyspectrum of radio.
- More secure because data cannot be intercepted without a clear line of sight.
- Eliminates neighboring network interference.
- Unimpeded by radio interference.
- Does not create interference in sensitive electronics, making it better for use in environments like hospitals and aircraft.
By using LiFi in all the lights in and around a building, the technology could enable greater area of coverage than a single WiFi router. Drawbacks to the technology include the need for a clear line of sight, difficulties with mobility and the requirement that lights stay on for operation.
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