Sunday, July 30, 2006

Summer Time - And the Livin's Easy!

It' now a year since we built the extension onto the house and made several improvements to the downstairs.

Our living room is not only brighter, with the addition of two extra windows, but the extra insulation used in the new extension has made it cooler in summer, and less draughty in winter.

The new high-efficiency condensing gas boiler has saved over 3500 units of gas in the last year, which at today's prices is worth over £100.

The solar water heating panel is providing us with sufficient hot water for our summertime needs, which means that the boiler is not used for hot water for June, July and August.

The new shower has been very popular and it has not only reduced our water consumption, compared to the bath, but one can feel particularly smug when the water was heated only by the solar panel.

The "electricity diet" has been running since last September,and we have managed to keep our average consumption down to just 8 kWh per day.

We have found that even with sensible use of the dishwaster and washing machine, that our daily power consumption seldom exceeds 10kWh.

July has been particularly hot, so my best investment was a cheap electric fan, which makes the workroom comfortable even on the hottest of afternoons. It uses only 40W making it very economical to run, and a direct localised cooling breeze is far more effective, than having to install costly air-conditioning equipment. At under £15 - it was a bargain!

However it is easy to get complacent during the hot summer months, and forget that within only 8 weeks or so, it will be time to put the heating on again.

This autumn should see the start of my renewable fuelled heat and power system, which has not been needed in the summer months.

In addition, our new woodstove and boiler will be installed in September, ready for the chilly Winter nights.

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