How to Conserve the Heat within Your Homes


Our space-heating appliances are not the only sources of heat within our homes. Other sources of heat are:

  • Lights
  • Cookers
  • Hot water
  • Refrigerators
  • Colour televisions
  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Clothes dryers

The heat from all these sources should be borne in mind when considering our overall heating requirements. If our homes are well insulated, all this heat can be conserved and these additional sources then begin to provide a larger contribution to heating the home. Kitchens for instance often hardly require any additional heating. However, the list above does not include two very important sources of heat:

  • Light and heat from the sun
  • Heat from our bodies

Conserve Heat

What is the relationship between the heat we produce in our bodies and the thermal environment within our homes? The main purpose of heating our homes is to keep our bodies warm. A secondary purpose is to keep our homes dry to preserve materials, but this could be done more efficiently by other means. What is not generally appre­ciated is that heating our environment does not heat our bodies; it only slows the rate of heat loss. The heat generated by the human body has to be dissi­pated to keep its temperature from rising unacceptably. In other words, to remain comfortable we require surroundings that are cooler than our bodies. To a large extent we are the source of our own warmth: we have ways of * increasing the heat we generate within ourselves through exertion, as well as ways of insulating ourselves to remain at a comfortable temperature by wearing clothes.

From the above we can see how we keep ourselves warm and the way we use clothes to moderate the effects of both surrounding temperature and exertion. We do the same at night when we put more insulation on our beds when we are cold. If we are looking for ways of housing ourselves ecologi­cally, it is these more natural ways of keeping warm that we must return to. The temperatures we set for ourselves in winter are gradually creeping up as we get used to higher temperatures, shedding more clothes and living a more sedentary way of life. Many of these trends are not healthy for us or the planet.

The importance of these factors becomes apparent when we realise that for every degree rise (°C) in temperature that we turn the thermostat up, we increase the fuel burned by approximately 10 %, resulting in increased CO: emissions. We should not forget, however, that as the body gets older and its metabolism less efficient, it requires a higher ambient temperature.

So the message is one we knew already: we can save considerable amounts of heat by wearing more clothes and sitting around less. When we are in bed we certainly don’t require any heating, as it is much more effective to buy a good duvet. If we do require to sit and work for longer periods, we need to use the room that stays warmest or is the easiest to heat.

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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