Heat­ing op­tions for your new home

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

If you are in the process of build­ing a new house, its lo­ca­tion on the sec­tion and win­dow siz­ing should be such that it is able to soak up as much pas­sive en­ergy from the sun as pos­si­ble, no mat­ter what the sea­son. This cou­pled with good in­su­la­tion will en­sure that pre­cious heat is not wasted. In fact re­search shows that if ev­ery home in the coun­try had ad­e­quate in­su­la­tion in just their ceil­ing, the coun­try would save seven per cent on res­i­den­tial elec­tric­ity use. In ad­di­tion to de­cent in­su­la­tion in your home, choos­ing the most ap­pro­pri­ate heat­ing is an­other im­por­tant as­pect. A fair amount of re­search should be done prior to in­stal­la­tion. At­trac­tive open fire­places are cer­tainly a thing of the past and should be re­placed with a new, high-ef­fi­ciency, clean burn­ing wood fire. Pel­let fires too are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar and are one of the most en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly ways of heat­ing. Wood pel­lets emit up to 0.7 grams of fine par­ti­cle soot for ev­ery kilo­gram of fuel burnt com­pared to al­most 1 gram from the clean­est wood burner. Pop­u­lar too are heat pumps, tripling in sales over the last six years and con­sis­tently im­prov­ing in ef­fi­ciency. These re­verse cy­cle heat­ing units take heat from the air out­side your home and trans­fer it in­side and are up to five times more efficient than a con­ven­tional elec­tric heater. There are huge dif­fer­ences in ef­fi­ciency and run­ning costs through­out the heat pump range so it is im­por­tant you get one matched to the size of the area you are want­ing to heat. An­other way to en­sure ef­fi­ciency within the home is to in­su­late your hot wa­ter cylin­der. This will pre­vent un­nec­es­sary heat loss. Fur­ther ad­vances in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in­clude us­ing so­lar power to heat wa­ter and re­cently some home­own­ers have in­vested in do­mes­tic wind tur­bines which are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly efficient and more affordable. Where ap­pli­ances are con­cerned, choose En­ergy Star* rated ap­pli­ances and low en­ergy eco-bulbs, switch off lights when not in use and ap­pli­ances at the wall.

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