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Green Living For The Home

by Dave Stephenson on March 5, 2013

Many homes in the UK were built in an era when the phrase ‘green living’ had not even been invented. Energy costs were low and climate change was not a factor to be taken into consideration when designing one’s home. Times have changed drastically. Energy has become expensive and due to global warming the future of our planet literally hangs in the balance. As a result, green living has now become a phrase with which most homeowners are familiar. Green living doesn’t have to involve the latest high-tech gadgets though: with some common sense it is possible to easily and cheaply save a lot of energy in the average home.

New build
An ideal start is to build a house with large south-facing windows. This will capture the maximum heat from the winter sun and keep the house significantly warmer than it would otherwise be. North-facing windows should be smaller, and the use of solid shutters can save a lot of energy.

Heating and insulation
When it comes to heating the family home, turning down that thermostat to just one degree lower than usual could eventually save a lot of energy (and money). In this regard it’s also useful to know that under floor heating is generally more efficient than other forms of heating – because the heat is more evenly distributed throughout the room. Insulation is of course also very important in this regard. Even an old, energy-inefficient home can be partly transformed into a ‘green’ home by installing a 4-inch thick layer of insulation material in the loft space.  Installation of double or triple glazed windows should also be considered, as should cavity wall insulation, both of which will dramatically reduce heat loss from a home.

Domestic appliances
As far as appliances are concerned, it is important to purchase only AA-rated machines. Do not simply opt for the cheapest model on the market. The extra energy consumed by low-quality appliances, combined with reliability problems, could in the end cost much more than the initial extra cost of a top quality, energy efficient appliance.

Lighting
The homeowner’s choice of lighting can also make an important difference in the long-term energy consumption of the family home. In this regard opt for the new generation LED lighting. This combines high quality lighting with significantly reduced energy usage.

Solar power
Using solar panels to capture the sun’s heat and convert that to electricity is another great way to conserve energy. Although the initial cost might seem high, the price of solar panels has been coming down steadily as demand has increased. In fact experts predict that the price of solar panels will continue to decrease steadily between now and 2025. Apart from being a good long-term investment, solar panels are also a perfect way to help the environment. While most electricity is generated using ‘dirty’ methods, such as burning coal, gas or oil, solar panels provide an eco-friendly way to generate electricity without harming the environment. Over a 15-year period solar panels installed in the average 3-bedroom house will offset more than 80,000 pounds of harmful carbon dioxide.

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Off Grid Lighting

by Ken Harbour October 2, 2012

Let’s consider a moderately sized remote stable block with 4 separate areas which we want to illuminate. Maybe there is as a dedicated working area which can of course be fitted with an independent light circuit complete with switch with say two of the new breed OnSolar 3w led bulbs.

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