Tag Archives: eco

Kevin McClouds top 5 green tips

As more and more homeowners begin to make the subtle shift towards eco living, many “off the shelf” products now make it even easier to make your home eco-friendly. With the upcoming Grand Designs Live exhibition being held in Birmingham at the NEC, Kevin McCloud reveals his 5 top tips towards making your home greener!

Getting Started

  • How do I get started? If your wondering what to do and what not to do in your quest to becoming the leading eco-warrior on your street, start by grabbing yourself a copy of Little Book of One Planet Living by Alastair Sawday. This book cleverley demonstrates how eco living can provide more choice and not less, whilst giving a key insight into sustainability and reusing everyday materials.

Reduce your energy usage

  • In order to green your home, the primary objective is to reduce the amount of energy it consumes. A simple, cheap and effective way to get started is to to go around every door and window sealing off any draughts. You can purchase¬† many different vareities from your local DIY store, and the results can be simply astonishing.

Use planet friendly products

  • Insulate, insulate and insulate! Double insulatation in the attic area is crucial in reducing heat loss from your home. Heat rises when inside a building, so be sure to keep it inside your building to reduce your overall energy bills. Ecowool is made from recycled plastic bottles, whilst Blackwool is made from Welsh sheepswool. Great planet friendly alternatives to the usual stuff!

Utilise an electricity monitor

  • Cut your overall energy consumption by fitting an electricity monitor – You’ll be surprised which devices in your home drink the most juice! Standby switches are useful to electronics such as TV’s, and if you looking to change supplier head towards Ecotricity or Good Energy. Aerator taps in your kitchen and bathroom will save you water, along with varible flush toilet cisterns.

Keep the heat in

  • Thick curtains or shutters for your windows will keep heat in and cold out. Even poorly fitted, cheap shutters can have a dramatic effect towards keeping heat inside your home, whilst offering increased security also.

Head over to Grand Designs Live this October 2010 – Will you be going?

Source: Grand Designs Live

The River Thames can heat your home!

A couple based in Oxford have found a novel use for the River Thames, running just opposite their newly built home. Water from the free flowing river provides the raw material required for a water based heat pump which is being utilised to heat the water in their home. The principle is the same as a ground source heat pump, which extracts heat from the local environment, which in this case is the River Thames.

Combined with high insulation, and correctly glazed windows the demand for heating is less here than in the average home. The combination of the Thames heat pump and solar panels provides enough energy to warm both their home and hot water supply. Taking advantage of these new ecosaving energy sources could mean that we are getting ever closer to that cost-free shower first thing each morning!

So what’s the science behind it? Both air and water source heat pumps are enviromentally efficient ways of transforming natural heat sources to benefit our homes. Air heat pumps can be utilised for heating the home, whereas water based heat pumps can take advantage of the heat in a lake or from the ground. This technology can easily be explained when looking at your fridge at home.¬† A small heat pump located on the back of the fridge works to move any heat from inside the fridge to the outside, thus cooling down the inside.¬† For more information on heat pumps please visit the following link: http://www.ecoheatpumps.co.uk/heat_pumps.htm

Source: Grand Design Magazine – July 2009