There are many
ways to save energy. As mentioned, much of the power we generate is
wasted. A piece of coal may have 1000KJ of energy. This may be turned
in 400KJ of electrical energy may be generated. 10-20% is lost
getting to your house. The electrical is then turned into heating.
So 1000KJ of original heat energy is turned into 340J of heat energy
at the other end. So using energy wisely has a large impact on
pollution associated with power generation.
There are two
primary ways that heat escapes buildings. Heat Transfer through
building materials and the other is heat loss from air infiltration
(gaps in doors etc). The typical New Zealand home looses half of its
heat from cold air infiltration. Older houses are worse.
Many cities are particularly bad for Smog. The main cause is coal, but also damp
fire wood which causes a lot of steam which mixes with the smoke
causing a dense heavy smog- which does not rise into the atmosphere
like smoke. People often shut their fires down (dampen) which means
the wood does not burn properly, resulting in
incomplete combustion. New fires do not have the same ability to
shut the fire down for this reason.
Do not use coal, but
dry wood. Wood burners will cause less CO to be
released, resulting in complete combustion releasing CO2 –less
harmful and more heat from your wood.
combustion (incomplete) C6H12O6
(s) + 1/2 02
(g) -> C(s)
+ 5CO + 6 H2O
is glucose, the primary fuel in
What can you
do to decrease your energy requirements?
Your power consumption can be broken down into to following table.
Leaks in doors and windows are the biggest heat waster. To reduce
heat loss you can increase insulation by
Sealing doors and windows – put rugs
up against doors to stop draft
2.Insulation (bats) in roof
and under floor
Closing doors and only heating rooms
Shut the doors of rooms you do not use.
Double Glaze windows
If you have a fire, but aren’t using
it to heat, make sure you have the damper completely closed. If it
is an open fire, shut the chimney off, preferably at the bottom. A
chimney is a direct opening to the outside and hot air rises.
Other minor often
overlooked issues are;
Ducts for cloths dryers are like
leaving windows open.
Power points can cause drafts
Clothing is a renewable
resource, use it!
Heat pumps can reduce
energy requirements - up to 4 times more heat output than standard
A lot of heat is in the
attic. Use fans and circulation systems to pump this air to where it
Other tips to
Install eco-bulbs if the light is suitable
Turn appliances off at
the wall, not the remote. Standby power is substantial.
When you leave a room,
turn the light off and shut the door if you don’t want it heated
or the heat to get out.
Buy energy efficient
appliances. They may cost more, but this will be pay back quickly.
Buy a cent-a-meter. This will give you the amount you are paying at that
If you have an open
fire, consider replacing it for a more efficient log burner.
Make sure North Facing
windows are clear from trees and obstructions. Let the suns free
energy do the heating for you.
The above was all
for keeping warm, what about in summer? Well similar responses are
Insulation will keep the
Lighting will create
heat. Use eco-bulbs, or leave
Use ceiling fans, but in
the opposite direction as in winter.
Shut curtains during day
- especially north facing