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Energy-Efficient Upgrades for Your Home: An Interview with Doc Wixson of AVIA Designs

By Doc Wixson

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

The principal designer and owner of AVIA Designs, Doc Wixson, is a native of Wilmington, OH. He studied audio systems design and installation in the late '70s under the tutelage of the famed Gene Whipp who is now known for his extravagant "off shore" racing vessels, the "Whipp Shipps" and most current venture, "The Gene Whipp Sports Center" in Venice, Florida."

A musician, Doc moved to Atlanta, GA. to be nearer the noteworthy Athens / Atlanta / Macon music scene where such bands as The B-52's, REM, Indigo Girls, Drivin' & Cryin', Georgia Satellites and Collective Soul as well as The Allman Brothers Band, Atlanta Rhythm Section and Dixie Dregs were all spawned. Doc became an integral player of Atlanta's powerhouse, Hi-Fi Buys where he worked in Sales, Management, Custom Installation and Training. After 13 years and an additional 11 stores (total 14), Doc set his sights for the west coast when AudioQuest Inc. (a high end audio and video cable manufacturer) requested his services as their Ambassador / Natl. Sales Trainer.

Sometime later, he felt the need to return with his family to the Atlanta area and subsequently landed the position of Natl. Sales Manager for the Winder GA. based cable manufacturer, Esoteric Audio and TIFF Electronics (Tiffany - Connectors) where he wore several hats. Along with his duties as Sales Manager, he was also the chief copy writer for all technical (white) papers, guest product designer (THX cables and several products in the TIFFCar line) and responsible for press relations and "Manufacturers Comments" when requested by trade magazines for audio/video reviews.

The need for more personal customer contact prompted Doc to return to his retail and custom design back-ground. Two companies enlisted his assistance. Stereo Designs, an exclusive high-end salon, was first and allowed Doc to work with much of the world's finest audio and video gear and many of metropolitan Atlanta's elite sports figures and businessmen.

The name Doc Wixson became a household word in Atlanta's audio/video community. After Stereo Designs closed its doors, Doc found himself at Stereo Festival (now "Evolution Home Theater") assisting in the development of their custom home division as designer and production manager, working in such prestigious neighborhoods as The Country Club of the South, St. Ives, The Atlanta Athletic Club, etc. Home Energy Conservation and AV distribution were by then his second language and the time was right for his unique partnership with the World Wide Web and the creation of www.AVIA-Designs.net, a Home Electronics firm focused on Value/Merit based products, which is listed on the Better Business Bureau as A+.

AVIA-Designs.net offers whole home music and video distribution, wireless music systems, Custom Home Theaters and room design assistance which includes Aesthetic as well as Acoustical considerations.

What are the best renewable energy options to help homeowners save money in the long-run?

As you have probably realized, the old "incandescent bulb" that we've been twisting into our sockets for the last several decades have gone by the wayside and CFL or LED bulbs have taken their place on the shelf. All incandescent light bulbs have been discontinued by the manufacturers and must be replaced by more efficient CFL or LED bulbs. This is great for increasing the change left over in our pocketbooks but unfortunately, not all dimmers (the sliders or knobs currently on your wall) are compatible with these technologies. What happens if you want just a bit less light for reading or dinner? Some of these improved lamps tend to flicker or not work at all. But we can fix that!

Do you have any advice for people who are interested in energy-efficient upgrades but have a limited budget?

I have personally researched "Cost Effective" lighting control products (wall dimmers and switches, table lamp dimmers etc.) that will work with all types of lighting devices so we can help every home or business, reduce costs as well as lower your carbon footprint and essentially save our planet from greenhouse emissions. All in one fell swoop!

What are some of the most popular energy-efficient upgrades that homeowners in Georgia are having installed?

The most popular products asked for in our area are inexpensive in-wall Smart-dimmers and switches, Intelligent-HVAC Thermostats and Window Shade remote controls.

What is one of the easiest ways that Georgia homeowners can start saving on energy?

As mentioned above, you can start on the road to GREEN-ville by just changing light bulbs. But heating and cooling your home is definitely an ENERGY black hole. So besides setting your thermostat to a reasonable temperature and not using it while you are away from home, try lowering your window shades on the east (south east) side of your home until early afternoon when the sun isn't beaming in and warming up all of your furniture and carpeting. The west (south west) side will get evening sun so you may want to check that area as well.

If you have drafty windows and doors, be sure to caulk them or install sealing devices which are very inexpensive from your local home improvement store.

And finally, If you have rooms that you rarely use, shut the HVAC vent in it and keep those doors closed.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

You can find more information about my company in our website www.avia-designs.net.

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Doc Wixson was trained in audio systems design and installation in the late '70s by...

Phone: 770-314-1596

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