It is rather ironic how technology is the biggest reason behind so much of the damage done to our planet, and yet it is technology we turn to, to provide us with solutions towards damage control, prevention and a more environmentally responsible future.
We have been destructive, in our arrogance, with the rather ignorant belief that the resources on this planet might be infinite. However, the mood has changed in recent years, and the human population at large has started taking steps to try to minimize, even repair, the damage caused.
With such growing awareness, we look first towards our own homes. And if we can make them more energy efficient, one by one, isn't that making the whole planet more efficient in terms of energy efficiency and minimizing our carbon footprint? Heating systems in our homes are one of the biggest energy eaters, and if we could reduce that energy consumption – we can make significant contributions to a cleaner planet, and save a lot of money at the same time.
Before diving in and chopping and changing the heating systems though, one shouldcheck how well their houses are insulated. Insulation is a great, clean, cost-effective way of making houses energy efficient. Placing draught excluders around windows and doors can cut heat loss by as much as twenty percent during winter, making it easy for your heating system to maintain the required temperature and save energy in the process.
Through history, most of our fuel consumption has been based on fossil fuels that cannot be replenished once they have been used up. These release carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, contributing towards climate change and harm to the planet. There are more efficient, sustainable energy options available to use in our homes - options that are renewable, and will never be exhausted – such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric energy.
There are several ways to reduce the heat load on a heating system to ensure it operates more efficiently.
It is not nearly enough to design and build energy proficient buildings and heating systems. That is only the first step. Once that is done, it is important to make sure they are maintained and controlled through their life cycle to optimize efficiency for as long as possible.
There is a desperate need to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. To do that, we need to adopt sustainable solutions through the use of renewable energy. There are technologies available that are offer efficient energy systems, such as solar energy, biomass systems, and heat pump systems.
Solar energy can make a significant contribution to our domestic heating requirements, both actively and passively. Harvesting the heat from the sun, active solar energy systems distribute it around the house using air and water networks to supply up to 60% of a family’s hot water requirement. Passive solar energy systems can reduce the use of heating energy from between 25% to 75% if windows and other glazed surfaces are well planned.
Biomass systems can be fully automated once installed and can store months of fuel in special storage tanks called 'hoppers'. They burn pellets or chips of wood from managed forests to provide hot water for heating and domestic use, and the resulting ash could be spread over the garden as it contains nutrients.
Heat pumps are highly efficient energy systems that release heat stored in air, ground or water, and make it available to use for domestic requirements. It is very important to make sure that the house is well insulated and draught-proofed before these systems can be installed.
It is but a small step on the way to a more environmentally responsible existence on this planet, yet it is an important one. Making sure that our homes are energy-efficient, and incorporating a greener lifestyle into our daily routines is half the battle won against global warming and the dangers to an environment we all share as one mankind.
If your home is in need of a bit more insulation to help make your home more energy efficient, check out TVI Supply's selection of insulation and house wrap.