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Planning For The Future

Contributor:
Mark Tregoweth
Mark Tregoweth

Owning a home comes with regular responsibilities from, rates to insurances, maintenance, electricity and telephone.

While many of these costs are hard to avoid, some can be drastically reduced with a little planning.

During the planning stages of a new house or renovation take a look at what you can do to prepare your house for the future.

Consider installing double glazing to reduce heating costs. A single panel of glass offers poor insulation as glass is a conductor of heat and heat is able to escape out of a window.

In contrast with double glazing a layer of air is trapped between two panes of glass forming a near perfect blanket of insulation that keeps heat indoors.

Warm in winter and cool in summer, homes with double glazing enjoy reduced power consumption, condensation and noise.

The quest to cut costs continues with solar heating. Solar power is considered a clean green method of energy, which makes use of a natural resource and is free of harmful contaminants.

Virtually inexhaustible, solar energy can be used to power a wide range of items, from household essentials to outdoor lighting.

Solar energy is captured in two distinctive ways; solar water-heating systems where water is heated by the sun as it passes through metal envelopes and through photovoltaic conversion of radiant energy to electricity which creates energy to replace standard forms of power like electricity or gas that are commonly used to power a home.

During summer a solar water-heater can produce sufficient energy for an average three to four person family. In cooler weather a solar panel will continue to provide hot water but may need to be backed-up a small amount of conventional heating.

Conventional electric water-heating systems contribute to around 40% of the power bill. Replacing electric water-heating with solar power means households use considerably less non-renewable fossil fuels.

While investing in double glazing and a solar panel can be wise options never under estimate the need for insulation.

Quality insulation reduces the rate of heat loss though ceilings, walls and floors making it easier and more cost effective to keep a home warm in winter and cool in summer.

Insulation comes in a variety of forms which include polyester, fibreglass, wool and other composite materials.

From loose fill which is pumped into ceilings, biscuits which are pre-cut pieces and blankets which are available in long rolls, the types of insulation available are often as diverse as the materials they are made from.

Insulation works by slowing the rate of heat which flows through ceilings, walls, floors, and windows.

Insulation effectiveness is measured by R values. The higher an insulation products R value is the stronger its ability is to slow down the transfer of heat.

To ensure a home is properly insulated, identify which areas need insulation. In most homes the cavity between the ceiling and roof, under floors and walls create the most effective areas for insulation to be used.

While many of the costs involved with running a home are hard to avoid with a little forethought and initial investment some can be drastically reduced when you prepare your house for the future.

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