Posted in ENVIRONMENT, RESEARCH

Thermostat Strategies Impact on Energy Consumption in Residential Buildings

hvac control systemsThese days, we see an emerging technology in the HVAC control systems used in residential buildings. This is the introduction of sensing, communicating and computing devices. This complete set which includes software, devices and services are called collectively as ‘smart thermostat’.

A research was recently conducted by the BPA, exploring the possible benefits completed through initial assessment together with partners from various national research groups. The objectives of the research include possible development of different methods used in the measurement and the verification of the impact of thermostat strategies on energy consumption in residential buildings. On the website Thermostatistics, you can find the newest smart thermostat models for your home.

The Goal

The goal of the study conducted was to prove whether or not the hypothesis was correct. The hypothesis involves the potential improvement when it comes to efficiency after replacing a manual control in a residential building with an automated control using an especially designed digital device that is connected to a software.

This only means that the smart thermostat system has to meet the needs of the occupant by means of gathering data via the user interface and sensors. It also focuses on analyzing the needs and characteristics of the building, while automating the control of the HVAC systems. When all of these factors are met, the users would be able to take advantage of the ease-of-use, efficiency, information, automation, as well as the empowerment of other behaviors, including remote monitoring.

smart thermostat

Methods for Measurement

The so-called traditional methods in the assessment of technology, including the use of controlled and random trials, are not applied accordingly to the new generation of controls that are software based, alongside some related services. As such, research organizations have sought to create a unit of measurement that will determine the efficiency in residential HVAC systems, including methods for the evaluation, especially during the operation through the analysis of data coming from the networked thermostats, using a particular rating stem, such as miles per gallon.

How Does Smart Thermostat Work?

smart thermostat worksIf you are not yet aware how these smart thermostats work, the first thing that might come into your mind as you enter a house that has one is that they are magical devices which completely changes the way the house is operated. While this might be true, there is also science behind the technology implemented.

These smart thermostats allow homeowners to change different thermostat settings right from your smartphone, computer or other mobile devices. Other systems can be operated using Voice, using devices built for this purpose. This can offer a higher convenience level, since you can do things such as turning up the AC as you are nearing home. You may also increase the temperature as you curl up on your couch, without the need to walk around to press a switch.

usageMost designs of smart thermostats give you the ability to view usage history, thus allowing you to track the specific time when your heating or cooling spiked up, providing you a better understanding as to how often the system is running, and your possible energy consumption for the month. This, in turn, gives you the ability to learn more about your adjustment habits.

Energy Consumption

energy consumption.Aside from the fact that a smart thermostat technology can make your life more convenient, it can also give you better control on your finances. Of course, you need to expect investing initially on the equipment. The good part is that it can save you money eventually. How so? Smart thermostats have been marketed with the capacity to save money on energy consumption.

This is because smart thermostat system learns the user’s adjustment habits, while optimizing heating and cooling. While a standard programmable thermostat may have the capability to do so, the system may become challenging to program with all of those buttons. On the other hand, smart thermostats are easier and quicker to setup and program.

Bottomline

Of course, implementing a smart thermostat system still requires some factors to be taken into consideration. For instance, your home should be designed in a way that will accommodate the devices and equipment. If not, you may have to expect spending a little bit more to make everything work. However, if you are looking forward to witnessing the impact of this thermostat strategy on energy consumption, this is a good opportunity for you.

 

Posted in ENVIRONMENT, HUMAN

Reusable Zeolite Water Softener for Clothes Washing

saving waterWith the move towards saving our planet earth, a lot of things have been taken into perspective in order to meet the goal. One of them is making good use of water. While drinking water should be filtered accordingly, and cannot be reused, water that is used for other uses can. For this very reason, attention has been directed to the implementation of reusable zeolite water softener for water used in clothes washing.

An Innovative Approach

use of water softenerInitiatives in pushing sustainability have continued to take the lead in almost all industries. This is motivated by the demand of the implementation of next-generation solutions which can help in achieving sustainability goals a lot easier. The use of water softener, as well as the process which involves reverse osmosis (RO) have particularly taken center stage these days.

The system involving these technologies claims, not just efficiency, but also reduces the overall amount of salt and water usually needed in a standard softener regeneration phase. Natural zeolites are economically and environmentally acceptable hydrated aluminosilicate substances. They come with amazing sorption and ion-exchange properties.

Their overall effectiveness across various technological systems highly depends on the physical and chemical properties which are connected tightly to geological deposits. As a substance, zeolites come with a very unique three-dimensional porous structure that offers them various possibilities in the application.

reusable zeolite water softenerDue to the excess of negative charge on zeolite surface, which comes as a result of the isomorphic silicon replacement of aluminum in the initial structural units, these natural zeolites are part of the cationic exchangers group. Different studies have been conducted, confirming the amazing performance of removing metal cations coming from waste waters.

Chemical Modification of Zeolites

zeoliteOne interesting aspect of zeolites is that they can be modified chemically by organic and inorganic surfactants. They are absorbed in the surface level, leading to the generation of oxi-hydroxides that are positively charged, enabling the zeolites to bind anions, such as chromates and arsenates, in either stable, as well as less-stable complexes.

There are also advantages to natural zeolites over other materials including common organic resins since they are generally more affordable. This means that they can be preferred well when it comes to reproducing water for clothes washing. Aside from being cheap, they also exhibit amazing selectivity for various cations, especially at lower temperatures, which are often accompanied by the release of the so-called non-toxic exchangeable cations.

The efficiency introduced by zeolites in water treatment highly depends on the quantity and type of zeolites used, including the size distribution of the particles, contaminant concentration, the ionic strength of the solution, pH value, and the presence of other components. With this technology, standard processes are performed.

Reverse Osmosis in Water Treatment

reverse osmosisReverse Osmosis, on the other hand, is one of the preferred processes which makes desalination, or the removal of salt from seawater, highly possible. Aside from that, this process is also used for water recycling, which is also used in the industry of clothes washing.

These days, with the pressing threat induced by water issues and climate change, the need to look for ways to utilize natural resources accordingly have been given attention. Overpopulation is also a threat that everybody needs to give attention, rather than ignore.

purifyAs such, the use of reverse osmosis in water treatment for clothes washing should be prioritized accordingly. The process involving reverse osmosis refers to the diffusion or passage of water, as well as other solvents via a semipermeable membrane which blocks a passage of some dissolved solutes.

The technology used in reverse osmosis highly depends on the specific company that implements the process. However, the basic technology remains. A lower concentrate solution is used to filter the solvent to a solution with higher concentration. The process is reversed, so to say, as the solvent is used to filter out the high concentrate to the lower concentrated solution. You can browse the top reverse osmosis systems on ro-system.org.

With this process, water used for the industry of clothes washing becomes reusable. Water is softened using materials such as zeolites, and technologies such as reverse osmosis. The goal here, really, is to look for ways in which water can be used in a better way, thus saving the future generation. Read more water softening tools on softwaterlab.com

Posted in ENVIRONMENT, RESEARCH

Changing Garbage Disposal Patterns of Consumers: Motivation, Ability and Performance

get rid of garbageThe disposal patterns among consumers are usually dependent on other people. It seems that everybody believes that there is a fairy that appears magically to get rid of our garbage everyday. When asked of the right methods that needs to be practiced, it seems that nobody really knows.

Garbage disposal, in reality, is actually not somebody else’s problem. As a matter of fact, it is the responsibility of everybody. All of us contribute to the pile up of trash. As such, we all have to observe equal responsibility when it comes to proper disposal of garbage. Whenever possible, garbage need to be recycled. There are also other ways in which you can make sure that garbage coming from your home, as well as commercial place, is disposed accordingly in the most eco-friendly and ergonomic way possible.

garbage disposal

Dealing With the Problem

For individuals who have never faced issues relating to the most responsible way in trash disposal as well as recycling, focusing on motivation, ability and performance is a good foundation to consider. One way to do so is by working with a waste management organization and gain some practical advice.

give wasteFor homeowners who want to become a more responsible citizen in saving the planet, there are different ways in which garbage can be separated, and recycle waste in a hygienic and timely manner. Indeed, making a concerted effort in going green does not really mean having to spend your entire day washing out those grimy food waste, or getting your hands dirtied by some revolting substances, or traveling to the bottle plant every week. In fact, recycling may become a good habit quickly. Eventually, when you finally understand what you are doing, it becomes a very easy routine.

trashPlastic bottles and cans have to be crushed or collapsed. As such, you can contribute to proper garbage disposal in your kitchen by stomping on them, making them flat so that you can make sure that they will not be popped back into shape. Cans need to be crushed for easier stacking in a metal recycling bin. When these cans are crushed, they do not consume too much space. This means that your bin may reach a couple of weeks before they need to be emptied out.

For plastic cartons, especially those with cardboard sleeves, you can simply remove the sleeves, tearing them into smaller pieces. Afterward, you can dispose the carton. On the other hand, it may be different dealing with food waste. There are some guidelines that need to be followed when it comes to using a bin for food waste. These rules need to be especially followed by agricultural companies that produce animal feed. Cuttings from the garden can be added in compost, serving as a fertilizer.

The Right Attitude

recycleRegardless of the information made available by various sources these days, the change has to start from within. It is very important to focus on motivation, which means that everybody needs to understand the reason behind the action of recycling and proper garbage disposal patterns.

Focusing on the ability to do the right thing is also one step to consider. The good news is that, this can be done accordingly, thanks to the help of various garbage disposal companies. Of course, performance, or action, is the most important thing. After all, the first two factors, motivation, and ability becomes a part of theory only if there is no action involved.

Taking the right perspective when it comes to proper garbage disposal patterns is the first step towards implementing efficient policies. Aside from the fact that waste recycling is a responsible move, it is also hygienic and safer compared to simply dumping those containers with waste in some garbage locations.

Making sure that the planet is given priority can turn out to be a daunting task. However, by making sure that you are well-informed regarding the different ways in which garbage can be disposed properly, this task is not impossible at all. With the right motivation, ability and performance, making sure that our planet is well-protected, it is now possible for our generation to protect the next one. Garbage disposal may seem a simple issue, but it can do a lot in the protection of our environment.

Posted in ENVIRONMENT, RESEARCH

Bottled Water versus Tap Water: Understanding Consumers’ Preferences

bottledvstapBottled water consumption has become increasingly popular over the past decade, even in places where there is an excellent quality of tap water. Due to this increasing demand for bottled water, it has become one of the fastest growing industries for non-alcoholic beverages, which represents a market worth of $22B.

There are many factors that dictate why people decide on a more expensive option of drinking bottled water than simply consuming what’s available in their households, and that is what we are going to discuss in this article. Why do more and more people decide to pay for bottled water that is almost 10,000 times more expensive than tap water? Read on.

What Studies Have to Say?

bottle tapAccording to consumer surveys, there are two main factors which affect consumers’ preference for drinking water. First is the people’s dissatisfaction of tap water’s organoleptics, particularly the taste. Water characteristics such as the taste, odor and appearance appear to be the most relevant consideration why people choose bottled water over tap water.

In many cases, many consumers think that because bottled water tastes better than simple tap water, it is a sign of better quality and safer option for drinking water. However, due to this belief, mass consumption of bottled water contributes to a multitude of environmental problems which include water wastage, climate change and pollution.

risk to healthSecond is the health concerns related to the risks of drinking tap water. In a survey conducted in the US, approximately half of bottled water drinkers believe that there are a lot of health risks associated with drinking tap water and this is the major reason why they choose drinking bottled water over tap water.

However, besides these two main factors which dictate consumers’ choice for drinking water, several factors can also be considered such as different demographic variables and people’s perception of the quality of their tap water source.

This result is not surprising especially in areas or communities that have problems with the safety of their tap water sources. However, many highly developed areas have increased the quality and safety of their tap water throughout the years and most have become potable water sources.

Public water systems especially in the United Stated, are generally safe for consumption as these ones are run and maintained by different municipalities. Before it is released from treatment plants to our drinking faucets, tap water meets specific safety standards to avoid causing health problems to its consumers. Top kitchen faucet models can be found Faucet Mag.

It’s true that there are many instances that drinking tap water has caused many water borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever and worm infections. But it appears like many people have likely remembered these instances than those unfortunate events where some bottled water companies recalled their products because of chemical contaminations like benzene and increased bromate levels.

what do you knowThe presence of these harmful chemicals can lead to serious and detrimental health problems like cancer or even death if not detected early. Water is an important part of our daily lives, and without it, we will not survive. Having this said, it is very important to consume water that’s considered safe for the entire public, but drinking bottled water can’t be the only solution to this.

In addition, media plays a very significant role in this, with them linking drinking bottled water to healthy regimens like proper diet and exercise. But this may not always be the case. There are no clinical evidences to show that bottled water is better than tap water. In fact, some studies link drinking bottled water as the cause for children to miss or reduce their daily intake of fluoride, especially in areas where tap water systems have undergone fluoridation.

tap bottledOverall, both bottled water and tap water provide benefits and disadvantages, and there are varied reasons why people opt for bottled water or tap water as their source for drinking water. Although water’s organoleptic and health-related concerns are the most common reasons for bottled water consumption, there are other influences that affect people’s choice for drinking water such as their financial capacity, location and general beliefs.

And the main conclusion here is that people will always value what they think is ‘good quality water’ and that they are always prepared to pay out some extra cash in order to consume what they believe is ‘better’, ‘purer’ and ‘healthier’ product.