Top Tips For Winter Proofing Your Home As the temperatures drop and the days grow…
Is Renewable Heating Right for You?
When it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, heating accounts for a large percentage of it when compared to other areas of our lives. However, if we are going to live in a carbon-free society, we are going to need to change our approach and reduce our reliance on fossil fuel when it comes to heating our homes.
Fortunately, we can do this by opting for renewable heating technology, which can include heat pumps, solar water heating or a biomass boiler. The technology that works for you will depend on your home but there are options out there.
It Begins With Insulation
If you find that you are not yet in a position to invest in a renewable heating system then you should seriously consider insulation. This can help to reduce carbon emissions and help you to save money too. Taking this approach first is a great way to make your home more sustainable.
Generating energy should be the last consideration you make after ensuring your home is adequately insulated. This is to ensure that you can benefit from all of the comforts that your heating system offers.
Effectively heating your home by using the latest insulation will help you to use more of the heat you generate, instead of it being lost and the less you lose, the less you need to generate.
Which Technology Could be Right for You?
If you find that you are in a position where you can install a new system, it is worth learning more about the systems available.
Air source heat pumps will take heat from the air and use it to heat your home, even when the outside temperature is as low as -15 degrees. These heat pumps will require space outside of your home where the unit can be installed but a sunny area with lots of space will work well as this will enable it to achieve a good flow of air.
Ground source heat pumps will use pipes that are buried in the ground in order to extract the heat. You will need lots of space for this but they are perfect if you have a lot of outside space and room to dig a trench for the pipework. These are both extremely feasible solutions and the ones that work best for you will depend on your circumstances.
Solar Water Heating
Also known as Solar Thermal, Solar Water Heating systems utilise the heat from the sun to warm up water for your home. They use solar panels that are called collectors and these are fitted to the roof of your home. They then collect the heat from the sun and use it to heat up water that is stored in a cylinder.
For this form of technology to work for you, you will need around five square metres and the panels will need to be positioned in a sunny location. They can be placed on a roof, fixed to a frame that is positioned on a flat roof or even hung from a wall. It is also important to remember that you will need to make space for the larger hot water cylinder.
These kinds of systems will burn chips, logs or wood pellets and although carbon dioxide is still emitted, it is done so at a lower level than that of fossil fuel. It is considered sustainable as long as trees and plants are grown to replace the ones that are used as fuel. If you are considering this option then you will need to make space for the wood boiler which is often larger than a gas equivalent while you will need to store the fuel too. You would also need to install a flue that can be used in accordance with all regulations. You then have further options to choose from that all generate heat in different ways and they can also play different roles such as delivering hot water, providing space heating or both.
The wood-fuelled systems that are available through the Renewable Heat Incentive are biomass boilers and pellet stoves and these can provide heat to fit your needs. Solar thermal panels will deliver hot water while pumps are great for heating your home and for delivering a low-temperature heat for things such as underfloor heating although they are not as efficient for heating water as well.
So, it is worth understanding what these options offer as that will ensure you make the right choice.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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