05 Dec 2008
First start with insulation especially in the loft. Ideally use natural insulation or products made from plastic bottles which is now available at the DIY stores. Its safe and no mask required. If you are planning a refurbishment or extension make sure your builder or architect knows something about energy performance of various insulation materials. If the insulation isn't installed correctly it will not work. Lights are easy to change and have a look at the latest LED lights but they do not emitt as much light as halogen bulbs but they last longer and use v.little electricity. (3w as opposed to 50w) The 2nd gerneation of LEd's are still expensive but payback period is about 1-2 years. Also look at draughts in your house around doors and windows. Note that if you seal up a building reducing draughts you may have to investigate/install heat recovery ventilation to maintain air quality. Extensive refurbishments usually entail mass insulation, air-tight construction, high performance windows, low energy lighting and appliances and then, and only then wind/solar systems. Another relatively easy way of reducing CO2 is to ensure heating system has thermostatic control valves on radiators. Do this next time you flush out system in summer. All this is expensive but not such a "big hit" if you are about to undertake a refurb anyway. Look out for the latest Phase Changing Material (PCM) thermal stores when installing solar thermal (hot Water) systems. Don't purchase cheap Chinese systems as they won't work or last. Remember most people shower in the morning and late at night and if the system is not setup correctly, you won't make use of free solar energy as the boiler/immersion heater will simply cut-in as soon as hot water is used (when sun not shining). Also look out for the latest Solar PV-T panels which generate both electricity and heat. They are also expensive but prices will come down as more people use them. Remember food is a big CO2 emitter much more than people realise. Going own food or buying local will have big impact but do take into account "Fair Miles" as not all imported food is "Bad". Hope this helps?
27 Jan 2009
All sounds good.
Being a heating engineer, and being told for the past 7 years that we HAVE to install high efficient condensing gas boilers to homes, which when installed up to 2 years ago would save us around 30% on our gas bills, was a bit of a waste because now gas prices are hiked right up we're about 40% per quarter worse off!!
Good news tho. Been searching for a long time to find a more efficient "green" boiler, that beats gas, and guess what, I found it. These boilers will save you 70% per quarter compared to what you spend on gas, and they are also up to 98% efficient. Wow!!
So, goodbye to the national capitalist energy suppliers, and a government thats backing them.
And hello, green and clean, and very cheap to run central heating and hot water boilers.
They are fired up on wood pellets,( for every acre of wood used to make these pellets, 10 acres are planted) they are self filling, self igniting and self cleaning. I recently veiwed them in Ireland. Why arent they on the market in the UK? Well why would a government want to lose all that revenue!!
They are available here via special order. FUEL IS DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR NO PROBLEM. Go direct to their site Kedco.com
They also have living flame fires, which are real, but have NO EMMISIONS again. and would cost about 30p to run for 3.5 hours as opposed to a gas fire which would cost about £5 for 3.5 hours. I was knocked out when I seen these boilers and fires. I knew about the boilers, had done for some time, they are made in Sweden, but, I was on the understanding that there were only large commercial ones available. Wrong, the domestic ones are also highly available!
Trianco also do an air to water boiler. Which, looks like an air conditioning unit. For every 1kw used it produces 3kw. And will heat your hot water for a fraction of what we are paying now. But, you wont have to watch when its switched on and off. Run it 365 days a year and you will still pay pennies for that privilage instead of £s. You could even buy a mini wind turbine to run this unit, then it would cost you nothing at all for hot water all year!.
Both of these options will reduce the carbon footprint hugely, and will also fatten your bank account hugely too.
For me? Do the major stuff first. Become self reliant and start saving the planet too.