Solar hot water, central heating or not, reducing the energy consumption can be done by changing habits and renovation, explore these tips and your options.
Homeowner’s Heating and Hot Water
Tips for Reducing Energy Consumption
Solar hot-water and modern heating—Not for everyone
Heating older homes is a problem mostly because of poor heat retention. Not any heat source fit your home and you need to know about radiant and convection heat as here illustrated.
When it comes to reducing the energy consumption hot water is the other consideration that is driving up the monthly bill. An inexpensive second layer of insulation for the hot-water cylinder is worth doing. Unfortunately a modern solar hot-water system is not for everyone the solution because of related costs or the location towards the sun especially during winter.
So, maintaining a warm and cosy home is for many people a financial issue. Ideally the room temperature around your living area during winter should be above 20°C and not drop below 18°C (bedrooms 15°C). That is the theory. But in practice Kiwi homes are colder in winter than their European counterparts.
I know lots of New Zealanders who still have got a love affair with portable heaters as my neighbor did for more than 25 years. Now since he experienced the life quality with central heating he installed one, too.
But if you can’t invest in energy efficiency right now I would strongly recommend trying following tips to improve your situation.
Reducing the energy consumption and change habits
To understand your consumptive behavior use a power saver monitor and also replace outdated appliances by those with higher energy efficiency ratings. Suggestions;
· On top of the list is developing an energy wise behavior to manage temperature and humidity, as you read here.
· When signing up with a power company choose the right price plan for your electricity consumption and if possible split the electricity usage on different price planes (night and day tariff).
· Only use heaters where you can adjust the room temperature. Adjust room temperature depending on usage. Bedrooms 15 degrees Celsius, 20-23 degrees are comfortable in bathrooms and living rooms.
· Switch off heating one hour before going to bed.
· Manage and time control heating appliances on lower temperature. Accumulated dust reduces heating efficiency adding cost onto your electricity bill.
Use a dehumidifier
· Reduced humidity makes living more comfortable, reduces the risk of growing mould and the amount of energy needed for heating a house.
Hot Water Systems
· Improve insulation for water cylinder and pipes
· Fix dripping taps and repair hot-water overflow as you pay heavily for drained hot water
· Limit the duration of showering
Be aware of Heat Pumps
· Heat-Pumps have benefits. They are running energy efficiently for heating, cooling and drying up moist air. Running a heat-pump but not doing something for heat retention such as insulation, stopping draught etc. diminishes all the cost saving features.
· Heat-pumps are overrated in NZ because of the government subsidies. Sure, a heat-pump is an efficient way of heating, but not the only one. For instance if you can obtain fire wood for free (driftwood from a nearby river, builder’s timber off cuts, etc) a heat distribution system and wood-burner do a good job for a warmer home. Bad or not at all insulated homes built before the 70s cost a fortune to run heating on electricity.
TIP When renovating, be as energy efficient as possible. On the next page I summarized matured technologies and energy efficient solutions worth considerations.
To reduce the amounts of energy needed for a warmer home look at three option to combine the benefits:
· Keep the cold and moisture out
· Retain the heat by insulation, double glazing, house design, and
· Use free energy sources like sun energy (passive heating)
Passive Energy-Efficiency includes insulation and durable materials for energy storage,
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