Six gases have generally been considered the major greenhouse gas concern, and methane is the second most abundant after carbon dioxide and accounts for around 8% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the USA. But, in when compared to the effect of carbon dioxide methane is calculated to be 20 times more potent over [...]
Now I know that one of the benefits of double glazing is that it removes that problem that folks used to have with single-glazed windows – the horror of condensation during cold weather when it was like a fog looking out of your windows and your mother put towels on the window sill to dry up the water running down. But there can be a problem with double glazing as I found out from my hairdresser who told me that both herself and her mother who had had new double glazing units fitted in their homes and had terrible problems in their conservatories with pouring condensation. [Read More...]
I had no idea that having a wood-burning stove was such a green energy option until our friends had a stove fitted recently and said this was an environmental decision, though I didn’t really believe them until I checked.. We are considering fitting a wood-burning stove – as our friends now have one and we have seen that it is so much more attractive than their fake coal gas fire and it also is so cosy and warm for the winter. If we source our fuel locally then this is a really green low-carbon energy option. We could fit a wood-burning stove to run the hot water system and heat a back boiler fitted behind it, or just have it to heat our living room. We have decided that we would have to go for a room-heating option which means that we do not have to light it all the time to power our central heating, but for those who have the room and money having a wood or wood chip or pellet burning stove to heat their water etc may be a much cheaper option than traditional fossil fuels given the sharp rise in energy prices. This I think would only be true if fuel can be bought in year or so lorry-load amounts and stored to season somewhere dry. We haven’t got such large storage space but could manage a fairish woodpile. Luckily we do have a chimney already in the room though I know that we would probably need to fit a liner and have the chimney checked – those without a chimney will still need to have a flue pipe fitted somewhere I believe.
This is what I used to think. After all, without being on a water meter we already pay such humongous amounts of Water Rate for our bit of water that saving it didn’t seem to make any sense. As well as this, the amount of rain we have had this year means that this area could probably start exporting water anytime soon. Actually, of course, there is a real point to saving water – to begin with the energy used to get our water from the reservoir to our taps is already high, and when the water is heated it uses lots more energy. There is a real point to saving hot water and heating energy. We already know about replacing baths with a 5 minute shower, but there are many other ways of cutting down on energy use when we use water. We know about filling up dishwashers and washing machines and using energy-saving programmes (though this can mean having more crockery and underwear to last until the next wash). I often forget about boiling only the minimum amount of water in the kettle – this also means you will have tea made with freshly boiled and not three-times boiled water. I also have real problems persuading other family members not to leave the tap running whilst brushing teeth, washing or shaving, or leaving taps running whilst rinsing plates or kitchen utensils or washing vegetables. The latter tasks should not be using hot water anyway, but a bowl with some cold water will work fine.
You can’t get away from the fact that all buildings lose heat through the windows, and the bigger the windows potentially more heat is lost – reducing that heat loss is what double glazing and other window systems are about. Many households have already fitted energy efficient glazing such as double glazing – though those fitted during the eighties and early nineties may well be much less energy efficient than they used to be. Fitting good quality energy efficient windows will not only save on your energy bills (now even more as prices soar) but will also make your life much more comfortable reducing draughts and noise, say, from outside traffic. We usually think of energy efficient windows just as double glazing – two panes of glass with a gap around 16mm between in sealed units, but can also be triple glazing or secondary windows. Secondary windows are often fitted where the home has attractive and valuable traditional windows, say with stained glass panels or other special features, and the householder wants to retain the beauty and style of these windows whilst having the benefits of double glazing. Often secondary windows – a second pane of glass fitted inside the existing window-often have a larger gap than sealed units which can compensate to some extent for lower efficiency of the external glass. Some companies now will give energy efficiency ratings to their double glazing and A rated units usually have special energy efficient glass and there are also sealed units filled with an inert gas such as xenon or argon. People who live in a conservation area or who live in a listed building will need to get planning permission before fitting energy efficient windows, but there is usually some way to do this.