Energy efficiency matters now more than ever. Despite a global recession and public spending cuts across the board, global warming remains one of the biggest threats to the planet and those who dwell on it.
Put simply, energy efficiency is the attempt to reduce the amount of energy used to provide everyday products and services by making improvements to technology and buildings. An energy efficient house, for example, may be insulated to ensure that less energy is spent on heating and cooling the building, providing both an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to regular insulation techniques. This logic can be extended to individual devices such as light bulbs to allow them to use less energy for the same amount of illumination. Though solar panels and the like are being used on newly built houses, it remains largely the responsibility of individual home owners to make the necessary changes to their home and workplaces.
However, there are some issues with energy efficient homes which are not often addressed. Having a home insulated for energy efficiency often allows for very little ventilation due to heat loss. This is problematic as air within a home can often result in illness: washing clothes, cooking, bathing and cleaning often result in damp conditions and the usage of chemicals which can lead to respiratory issues, as well as headaches and nausea resulting from the usage of various products and chemicals. Therefore ventilation is a particularly important aspect of any building, and is central to the health of those who are within it. 90% of a person's life is spent in the home, so it is of utmost importance to consider the health issues that may arise from the time spent there.
Measuring energy efficiency can be done in a number of ways: energy monitors are hand held devices that offer an almost real time measurement of how much is being spent in both money and in energy. Working alongside your regular electricity meter, these next-generation monitors can be read remotely by electricity companies and, most importantly, provide a valuable insight into which aspect of your usage is the least efficient, allowing you to make the necessary changes to your appliances or usage on the whole. Likewise, a range of smart heating controls are available for you to measure your usage online or via your mobile device, giving you the additional opportunity to adjust it from there. In both cases, energy usage becomes a more accessible issue, allowing you to keep closer, clearer tabs upon your outgoings both financially and in terms of actual energy.
There are many ways to improve energy efficiency within the home, ranging from simple solutions to more labour-intensive ones, but they are generally cost effective even if a down payment may initially be required for some solutions. Starting with turning devices such as boilers, washing machines and dryers down to a lower setting, which has a demonstrable positive effect upon both your finances and the eco-friendliness of the house, making various changes can help the environment enormously. The insulation of your attic space is also a very workable solution; the Department for Energy and Climate Change recently reported that UK homes wasted £500 million in heat escaping from poorly insulated lofts, and this can be combated by simply laying down insulating material at a minimal cost. Likewise, thick curtains and door insulation material also makes for an easy solution to heat and energy loss within the home, as can double glazing.
Boilers are also responsible for enormous inefficiency, responsible for 60% of carbon dioxide emissions in the home. Rated from A-G, with A being the most efficient, an upgrade to yours can save you considerable money whilst becoming all the more friendly to the environment.
Solar panels, though admittedly a investment, can provide your house with enough energy to heat and light your house, and in some cases heat your water, and you can even sell energy back to the national grid, should you be generating enough during periods in which you don't require it. Those with photovoltaic cells generate enough electricity to save roughly 40% on each household's energy bill, though can cost up to £12,000 to install. If this money is available to you initially, it is highly likely that you will make your money back over time, and save yourself a great deal afterwards. Simpler options include everything from boiling kettles less regularly, ensuring lights are switched off, and making sure heating is kept to a low level, used only when necessary.
However, it is in the blocking of chimneys and various other insulation processes where the unclean, unventilated air that results from them remains a serious issue. By ventilating your house, you are able to ensure that you are only breathing clean air and that you remain safe and healthy in the process. At Envirovent, we specialise in energy efficient ventilation systems that offer peace of mind whilst retaining cost and energy effectiveness. Ventilation systems are capable of such innovative features as saving up to 10% of annual heating costs via solar gain from the attic space, redistributing heat from the attic imperceptibly around the home and eliminating the need to open windows - a huge source of energy loss for the home. Our ventilation systems include long-life filters which are returned to the factory after use for recycling, and the pre-heaters can temper air during periods of low external temperatures and ensure they are kept to pre-set minimums.
We also have a range of solutions based solely around those who suffer from asthma and allergies, which are equally friendly to the environment, and our commitment to energy-efficiency is central to our ethos as a company.
With that in mind, don't forget to consider the impact that some energy saving ideas can have on your health. Energy efficiency is a hugely important aspect of modern life, and it can be used in conjunction with safe ventilation.