5 Energy Saving Products on Kickstarter That Should Have Been Funded

At first glance it may not seem like a desk lamp, light controller, window blinds, ventilation system and shower head would have much in common. Yet lovers of all things green may immediately know better.

Each of these is a product on Kickstarter that tried – and failed – to raise enough funds to get the ideas off the ground. Each offers creative ways to make life easier. But beyond that, each adds convenience while simultaneously taking the guess work out of ways to save energy in the home.

What exactly are we missing out on from the Kickstarter realm, where creativity meets productivity?

5 energy saving products on Kickstarter that should have been funded:

1 – HeronLED Personal Task Light

Based in California, LittleFootprint Lighting is a manufacturer of LED task lighting products that are made in the USA from recycled materials. With a goal to reduce the carbon footprint of lighting “one little desk lamp at a time,” the company sought to raise funds to help with product design of the HuronLED lamp.

The lamp uses up to 10 times less energy compared to conventional desk lamps, and features replaceable LED bulbs that last at least 15 years.

The Kickstarter campaign met just under half of its $15,000 goal, which was earmarked to help with production costs.

2 – Shade Light Switch – An Automated Lighting Controller


Starting at $78 per switch, the shade Switch helps cut energy costs by knowing when more light is needed or when to lower lightbulb output.
The wi-fi controllable light switch adapts to how you interact with the lighting in your home by automatically adjust to your preferences throughout the day. It interacts with Phillips Hue, Lux and other smart bulbs that can cost as much as $300 a piece.

According to the Kickstarter page, “Shade learns and adapts to how you interact with your smart bulbs, providing automated color scheduling and allows you to get the maximum enjoyment from your smart bulbs with minimum effort.”
The campaign sought to raise $125,000, but earned $10,513 from 55 backers.

3 – Embue Vent

The science behind it is complicated, but the solution this product offers is simple. Embue seeks to deliver per-room sensing and controls for the “ultimate in comfort and energy savings,” according to the Kickstarter page.

The system addresses a common desire of homeowners who would like to control temperatures in individual rooms. The company’s newest addition to their Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning product line does just that.

Embue Vent replaces existing registers with ones that are affordable, reliable and automated. The system works together with central air vents to match personal comfort preferences, patterns of activity or energy-saving goals.

The automation allows for occupancy-based optimizations that are capable of reducing energy bills by up to 25 percent, according to the Kickstarter page.

$70,367 of the $125,000 goal was raised through its Kickstarter campaign.

4 – iBlinds – Home Automation for your Window Blinds

If you’re trying to cut energy costs, it is not smart to turn a blind eye toward your windows. Controlling the blinds in your home can be a headache, so iBlinds uses Z-Wave technology to enable homeowners to control blinds anytime from anywhere.

“The iBlinds kit is made for homeowners and landlords who would like to save time and money on energy bills and to have an automated solution which makes their lives more comfortable and secure,” the Kickstarter page reads.

The campaign brought in $20,714 of its $30,000 goal, which was pledged to help with product development.

5 – Sprav Element Meter

Even the most energy conscious folks tend to agree. Sometimes there is just nothing like a long, warm shower. Yet there are tools out there to help keep shower time in check.

At a minimal investment of $20, the Sprav Element Meter is a wireless meter that helps you control water and energy consumption. The device monitors shower times to help encourage its users to take shorter showers, seeking to save customers up to 20 percent, or as much as $50, in shower costs per year.

Sprav earned support from 548 backers who pledged $30,156 of the $80,000 goal to help with product development.

Attics And More:

Attics And More provides resources and insight on ways to save energy and live more comfortably. Our energy saving products include solar panels, solar attic ventilation systems, and multi layer reflective attic insulation.
As a leading energy savings company, we are always looking for ways to save money on your energy bill. We pride ourselves on being your solar and green energy savings advocate, making sure New Jersey homeowners understand the ins and outs of how to live with energy efficiency in mind.
We are local. We believe in giving back to the community in everything we do. And we are here to help you make an informed, educated financial decision not just for your home, but for your future.

Want to learn more about how to save on your energy bill? Contact us for more information about our green energy saving products and services today.

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A Sappy Attic Is Not A Happy Attic

The Impact Of Poor Attic Ventilation

As we complete more and more attic inspections, it’s becoming a concerning reality that many homeowners have no idea what kind of shape their attic is in.

Not knowing what’s going on with your attic is careless. There’s really no excuse. We understand it can be a “pain” or a “hassle”, but your attic requires the same attention and maintenance as any other area of your home.

We’ve seen health concerns such as fiberglass emitting a synthetic material called styrene, a possible carcinogenic per the American Lung Association. We’ve seen depleted insulation: aged, compressed, and saturated. We’ve seen infestation from sealing issues.

How Hot Attics Impact Your Home’s Health

Even with the aforementioned issues, the one attic issue we see and feel the most is from insufficient ventilation. HOT ATTICS POSE PROBLEMS. Elevated attic temperatures can result in overheated ducts and an overworked air conditioner. Let’s not forget to mention that attic-heat build up radiates into your living space making you hot, resulting in you blasting your air condition. How does that wallet feel?

The photos above show what can happen when you don’t have proper ventilation. Turns out you may not be the only one sweating. Your attic can sweat too. These photos document a hot attic and the residue of tree sap dripping from the rafters. Essentially, the attic was so hot that it was deteriorating.

How Homeowners Can Improve Attic Ventilation

Fortunately for this homeowner, we were able to address the issue in a timely manner. The installation of our solar fan will continuously exchange attic air to avoid future heat build up. In turn, a more efficient air conditioner, cooler ducting, cooler living spaces, and lower cooling costs. They say “don’t sweat the small stuff”. That may be sometimes true, but in your attic’s case, the small stuff can lead to big time problems.

Want to receive a no-cost solar attic fan?

Contact Michele DuCoin at 856-809-2744 to schedule your free attic inspection and learn how to receive a no-cost solar attic fan!

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Home Buyers Seeking Energy Efficient Homes

As the Baby Boomers have reached retirement age, they are scaling down their living spaces and expenses.   They will likely make-up the majority of the one in three U.S. households planning to move within the next five years.

According to Nielsen’s Demand Institute, US citizens of all ages will:

  • Invest over $7.4 trillion purchasing homes
  • $2.2 trillion renting
  • $700 billion renovating their current homes to prepare them for sale

Making a decision regarding housing encompasses many factors: where to go; buy or rent, Most often two different things.  The Demand Institute refers to this variance as the housing satisfaction gap. Recently the institute conducted a survey to identify the top ten features Americans want but don’t have in a residence.  The first choice among those polled…Energy Efficient Homes.  Surprised?  You shouldn’t be.

It’s important to remember that utility bills represent a significant portion of household budgets on an ongoing basis. The Demand Institute’s survey revealed that “Average household spending on home electricity has grown 56% since 2000 – compared to 38% for other housing-related expenses.” But cost wasn’t the only consideration.  Responses from a demographic that included several generations, both genders, and every socio-economic condition demonstrated a sound understanding of the impact of carbon emissions. They are tired of rewarding fossil fuel providers with higher fees for dirty energy.  They want energy that is clean as well as affordable.  Most importantly, citizens are clearly committed to leaving a safer planet for future generations.

Although Energy Efficiency was the first choice of home buyers, it wasn’t the only option they were seeking.  Others included:

  • Renovation ready – Approximately 78% of homeowners plan to invest on renovations to prepare their own homes for sale.  When they buy, they will be seeking homes that are new or require little if any renovations
  • Updated kitchens – Over 35% of homeowner respondents are unhappy with their present kitchens.  Trends indicate home owners will be seeking to upgrade their kitchens and buyer will be looking for modern kitchens with energy efficient appliances
  • Safe Neighborhoods – No matter the age bracket, homeowners want safer neighborhoods.  Crime rate will play for those seeking to buy a new home
  • Affordable homes – Homeowners want to be able to enjoy life as well as own a home.  They don’t want to fall into that category known as house poor. According to the Demand Institute’s s poll,   close to “40 million households in the U.S. are considered to have a housing cost burden because they spend 30% or more of their income on housing expenses”. Investigating the upkeep such as interior and exterior maintenance, lawn-care, and energy efficiency is just as important a considering the cost of the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and condo association fees (when applicable), etc.
  • Space – Many respondents, particularly those with children are seeking homes with more storage space.  Youngsters accumulate all kinds of things like books, toys, games, sporting equipment, etc.  Adults require their fair share of space, as well.  Storage always turns-out to be a plus
  • Real Estate as an investment – According to the Demand Poll, 77% of Americans believe homeownership remains a solid investment

In the market for a new home and want to know what to look for? Planning on downsizing and want to make your home more buyer-friendly? Contact us today for more information on what an energy efficient home really looks like! 856-809-2744.

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A Survey for Our Delaware Valley Neighbors – Part 2

In our previous blog post, we shared the first half of the results from our poll regarding area homeowners and their attic fans. Today we’re sharing the second half of our poll results along with ideas that will get you thinking about attic ventilation for your home. If you missed out on the first half of our poll results, click to read them here.

9%  I have a solar attic fan – works 365 days a year for free

We are conflicted here. We’re proud but sad that only 9% of respondents have a solar attic fan. We wish it was 99%!! The Department of Energy acknowledges the benefits of attic fans – especially the fact that they help reduce energy costs. Add in lowered energy costs with a federal tax credit for installing a solar attic fan, and you’re really getting the most bang for your buck. We are thrilled for the 9% of Delaware Valley homeowners that are saving serious money and energy.

If you aren’t included in this subset of Delaware Valley homeowners, we suggest that you take a look at our page about solar attic fans. Here you can learn about what you’re missing out on (hint: more money savings and fewer headaches).

9%  Oh that thing – it broke a long time ago…

Out of the hundreds of thousands of households in the Delaware Valley, it’s a shame that 9% of homeowners know their attic fan is broken but haven’t gotten it fixed. Energy Star states that the attic is one of the places where you often find the biggest air leaks, which increase your energy bills and make you uncomfortably hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

A broken attic fan not only puts the well-being of your home and family at risk (this is a huge fire hazard), but it also takes its toll on your wallet and your sanity during the extremes of the Delaware Valley seasons. We’ll come out and inspect your home for free and give you expert advice to optimize your attic – all you need to do is let us know that you need our assistance!

9%  You got me curious, I will contact you for an attic inspection.

This is great! The attic is one of the most forgotten rooms in your home, but it is also one of the most important rooms when it comes to regulating the temperature of your home. Send us a message, call us at 856-809-2744, or attend one of our free dinner presentations. We would love to tell you about the benefits of solar attic fans and help make your home more energy efficient.

0%  No idea if I have a fan or not. Do I need one?

Thankfully, nobody chose this response! If you aren’t sure about the state of your attic, view some of our findings at one of our neighbor’s homes in Cherry Hill. Your attic should be healthy and energy efficient, and free of mold, depleted insulation, exposed electrical wires, and rotting wood. If you find yourself in this category as you’re reading this article, drop us a line! We’ll come out and inspect your attic for free with no pressure – just discussion.

 

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A Survey for Our Delaware Valley Neighbors

Not too long ago, Attics And More set out to survey our neighbors. We asked them about their attic fans. There are hundreds of thousands of homes in the Delaware Valley and we are thrilled to see that more than half of area homeowners understand the importance of attic ventilation! Here is a breakdown of the top results:

27%  I have an electric attic fan — works perfect — year round

We love seeing that over a quarter of those who responded know about the importance of attic ventilation in all seasons. It’s surprising how many times a month we’ll be in homes where the homeowner assumes the attic fan is working but it is either broken or has frayed wires (often eaten by rodents).

While we’re happy that a good portion of the region is aware of their attic’s ventilation, it’s important to note that an electric attic fan poses the risk of being a fire hazard. Moreover, electric attic fans are significantly more expensive to operate than a solar attic fan which runs for free. We suggest that you look into converting to a solar attic fan – a safer, more energy efficient alternative to the electric attic fan. Get a free quote from DHVET for a solar attic fan here.

27%  I have an electric attic fan — love it in the summer, no need in the winter

This second group also gets props for awareness of attic ventilation. However 6 to 8 months out of the year these homeowners are not receiving the necessity of year-round ventilation. If the attic fan is only used in the summer, it is forcing the air conditioner to run more, resulting in high energy bills. You are able to, and it is encouraged, that you run your attic fan year-round.

If you would like to only run your attic fan in the summer, we suggest the Attic Gator. The Attic Gator is an attic access insulation cover that keeps the air in your attic separate from the air in the rest of your house, and we can install it in just fifteen minutes.

18%  I think I have a fan – not been in the attic for a long time. Maybe I should check.

Yes, you should absolutely check your attic! We had a couple in Burlington County that hasn’t been in their attic in 25 years. There are so many reasons to go into your attic other than going in and checking for ventilation. Check for damaged or decomposed insulation, electrical wires, pests, and any fire hazards.

Unsure what to do once you get into your attic? Send us a message or give us a call! Attics And More’s technicians know exactly what to look for and know the steps to take to ensure your attic is happy and healthy.

 

Check back at our blog page tomorrow to read about our second half of polling answers along with some helpful hints for ensuring that you’re getting the most out of your attic ventilation.