Welcome to the blog of the course and textbook Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Energy saving ideas for homes

In relation to the home, energy efficiency can be defined as: Using less energy to provide the same level of energy service by getting the most out of our fuels and renewable energy sources.
A lot of the new energy efficient technologies that have been developed and designed to be incorporated into homes at the beginning of the building process. But there are also many ways in which you can make an older home more energy efficient. If a home has single glazed windows they can be replaced with doubled glazed windows very easily, cavity walls can also be insulated or reinsulated very easily now with the invention of liquid foam insulation that can be pumped into the walls. Using energy efficient light bulbs has become very common and is also very effective. A vast amount of energy in older homes is lost through the attic ceiling either because it’s poorly insulated or because it has a poor air seal, these two things can be fixed very easily. Copper pipes were very popular in heating systems but they are very poor insulators and vast amounts of heat are lost though them. There are new pipes that have plastic on the inside and outside and a thin piece of metal running all the way through it and these pipes retain heat much better. It is now also very easy to install solar heating systems, older houses tend to have energy inefficient boilers because of their age, but these can be replaced along with the installation of a solar heating system. The installation of wood pellet burning stove is also a very possible idea. It is much easier to make a house more sustainable if you are building a new house but as we can see there are many things that can be done to make an existing home more sustainable by just making improvements to the existing systems.
Wesley Shaw

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