Sunday, 21 November 2010

Anthony's Trail: Make your own Green-house!

In a previous blog post we promised that we'd share some hints and tips on how to lower your domestic energy consumption! In Europe, about 75% of the energy used in the home is used for space heating. Luckily, we have a very mild climate here in Malta, but in some other countries the temperature can be in the negative degress celsius for a large part of the year and can go as far down as -40'C. Many countries in Europe have issues such as frozen water pipes during the winter months. In Malta we have more of a space cooling issue in summer than a space heating issue in winter. That said, I've heard many people complain that they feel cold inside their homes in winter, despite having the AC, electric radiators or gas heaters on and I suspect that that has much to do with construction inadequacies. 

Anyway here are some tips on how to lower your energy consumption in the home: 

Change your light bulbs! Energy saving light bulbs can reduce your consumption while not affecting your quality of lighting. Older energy saving bulbs take long to heat up until they reach their full strength, but nowadays there are good bulbs that don't take anytime to heat up, they're just like regular bulbs (but better!). I use 11W energy saving bulbs that shine as much as 60W bulbs and don't take any time to "heat up". Also, it's a good idea to choose the wattage of your bulbs depending on the "activity" you use them for. Identify bulbs you use for reading and ones you need for dim lighting and select appropriate wattages. 

Reduce Vampire Power- this means switching off all equipment from standby. Many people think that this is just a myth, but really, a lot of your energy goes down the drain by leaving music systems, TVs, DVD players, mobile chargers etc etc on standby.
Buy appliances that are rated as energy efficient. Try to aim for A or A+ appliances, these are very common now and most new technology is A or A+. All domestic appliances sold in the EU should be marked with the certificate shown below. Check it - it will save you money. 
Use less energy for heating/cooling: Set the thermostats of your ACs/central heating systems to the lowest temperature which is comfortable, in winter, and the highest temperature which is comfortable, in summer. So in summer your ACs should be set at around 25'C and not 16'C. Setting the AC temperature at too low a temperature puts a lot of strain on the AC unit and is overkill. Also, wear appropriate clothing, indoors, according to the weather: wear several layers in winter and as little clothing as possible (while remaining decent!) in summer. 

    That's just the beginning. Check out the presentations, prepared by our friends at 5elemento (a Portugese NGO) attached for a long list of hints and tips for reducing your energy cosumption. Most of these are very simple and don't take any time or money and can save you money on your energy bill.
    Tips 1

    Tips 2


    1. In many Nordic countries there is a construction problem, is spared the expense of material.Construction can not rely on one, always follow the builders' work, because then it costs to invest in correcting high.

    2. Hey Ivo! You should stay tuned, tomorrow we have a very special blog post about someones house in Kuldiga :)