In these times of soaring energy costs and awareness of global warming, the idea of an eco-friendly, or even carbon neutral, home has never been so attractive.
The modern eco friendly home can almost be compared to the international space station with the cutting edge technology and self-sustaining systems that can now be affordably installed.
However, though the installation of the systems may be a complicated matter, the maintenance is often very simple. But other procedures, if not carried out correctly, are best left to the experts as mistakes here can prove very costly to the fabric of your building or to your health.
Solar panels are, in my opinion, the most exciting technology to incorporate in your home. Expensive to install but the maintenance is remarkably simple. Solar panel cleaning kits can be purchased cheaply and usually consist of a soapy cleaning liquid and brushes. Thats it in a nutshell. All you have to do is keep your solar panels clean and you can enjoy years of free electricity. By selling your surplus power back to the grid your solar system will pay for itself within a decade.
Now the obvious danger to health here is working at height. Always follow the correct procedures for working on ladders or better still, hire a scaffold from your local hire centre. They are lightweight and very easy to erect. Do it in style!
Windows and Doors
Of course, one of the main aims of an eco friendly home is to hold on to the energy produced when consuming precious fuel be it electricity, gas, or by burning logs. Windows and doors are among the biggest problem areas in your home. The invention of double or even triple glazing has allowed us to hold on to our precious heat far more efficiently than generations before us. Airtight seals, gas filled glazing panels and insulated frames these days lead to draughts and internal condensation almost being eliminated.
One should never forget the importance of adequate ventilation within the green home as we strive for airtight perfection.
The correct balance must be struck. If using solid fuel heating there is the obvious danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Sealing the home as tight as a spacecraft leads to a buildup of moisture. We, as humans, breathe out a lot of it without considering other sources in the home. When you acquired your home you would have checked that it had adequate damp proofing but incorrect ventilation is a major cause of damp in the home. Cruel and insidious it can impact both health and home.
Insulation is equally important as eliminating draughts and your home can benefit relatively cheaply. Try to remove all of the rubbish from your loft and pile it high with insulation. Eighteen inches thick can save you hundreds of pounds in the long run. The thicker it is the more money you can save.
Cavity wall insulation is also a must.
As a maintenance free product insulation surely comes close to the top of the list.
The health benefits of insulation cannot be overstated. We have heard recently of the dramatic increase in cold related deaths within the united kingdom and adequate insulation is on the front line of the battle.
Now the analogy of your home to the international space station has one obvious flaw. Yes, they are both generating their own power, heavily insulated and designed to be draught free. But the space station is travelling at over seventeen thousand miles per hour and your home could not possibly do that. But wait a minute, we are all moving at sixty-six thousand miles per hour traveling round the sun.
Its all relative! Good luck in your endeavours.