Oct 182010
 

home energy saving tipsWe’re constantly being told to cut back on our energy usage these days. Climate change is an ever present spectre, energy prices are heading through the roof, and the typical Irish household has less money to play with, making efficient energy usage more of a priority than ever.

I know these tips are hardly ground-breaking, but I do think they’re worth revisiting as we enter  the colder months.

Easy steps to improve home energy efficiency

Insulate your home

Insulating your home properly is perhaps the single most important step you can take to reduce your energy consumption this winter.

  • Insulating your attic effectively can save up to 20% of your annual home heating costs according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. If your insulation is less than 200mm thick, consider adding layers.
  • Fit a lagging jacket to your hot water cylinder if you don’t have one — it will keep your water hotter for longer, and will typically pay for itself within 2-3 months.
  • Fit a factory insulated cylinder if you’re replacing your existing one — the insulation is more effective and durable than a lagging jacket, and can’t be knocked out of place.
  • Insulate behind radiators, especially on external walls. Use reflective foil to direct heat out into the room.
  • External wall insulation can often be improved — the most popular options are insulated dry lining on interior walls, blown mineral, cellulose fibre or polystyrene beads into the wall cavity, or rigid external insulation. Continue reading »
Nov 102009
 
Carbon dioxide

Image via Wikipedia

Global warming… or climate change as I prefer to call it (given that there’s been scant evidence of any actual "warming" going on in Ireland over the last few summers), is a serious issue for sure. But am I the only one worried by a recent spate of publicity that’s painting carbon dioxide (CO2) as a noxious chemical we need to eradicate?

One TV ad that targets children and parents is particularly disturbing, not because it deals with the sobering subject of climate change… but because it’s built around misinformation and blatant scaremongering. The ad I’m talking about shows a father reading a bedtime story to a little girl… a dreadful story about how the nasty CO2 monster, growing ever larger, is wreaking havoc with the climate and killing the planet. If you haven’t seen it you’ll find it below.

 

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