Category Archives: Technical

Motion/Occupancy Sensor switches – install

I purchased a Lutron Maestro MS-OPS2H-WHB sensor switch from Low’s to test and evaluate.

I tried it first for the stairwell, no luck. There is no proper grounding there since it is legacy wiring, circa 1947. Then I tried it in breezeway which has grounding, but realized it not a replacement for a two pole switch. This switch is model is single pole only.

Then I tried it in the guest room and it still did not work. That room I re-wired myself, so I know the wiring and grounding is good, and the switch is single pole. The issue is that I was switching through the neutral instead of hot. The switch requires some power for the sensor to operate, so hot must be going to it. When I switched the switching from neutral to hot, and wired it, it starting working properly.

 

Improving weather forecasts and efficiency

I’ve been thinking lately about how much weather forecasts have improved in the last decade or so. It is not unusual for forecast daily highs and lows to be nearly spot on (+- 1 Deg F) up to two or three days forward.

We just had a major front pass here, and the temps went from the 40s and 50s F suddenly to the upper 80s F today. Now, if I did not have good forecasting available, the instinct would have been to open up the house when it hit the 70s. But since I knew it would get real hot, and stay hot for several days, we kept the windows closed, so the temperature in the house has stayed 5 to 10 Deg F lower than outside, keeping it comfortable for today, with no need for A/C.

It makes me think that smarter integrated HVAC systems, that have access to the forecast, could automatically make such decisions and save a great deal of energy, with no compromise to comfort. Well, sure, one issue is that windows would have to be mechanically controlled, which would be a large outlay of capital. But in general, there are great opportunities to increase conservation without loss of comfort, due to the steadily improving art of weather forecast.