The UK government is committed to making all new homes zero carbon from 2016. What this means is that new homes will have to produce no overall carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere from normal activities such as providing heating and lighting. This relies on two key principles, reducing the amount of energy needed to run our homes and finding alternate, greener energy sources.
In the UK, around half of the energy we use goes on heating and hot water, so running a zero carbon home relies heavily on reducing the energy needed for this. Here are some of the most common technological innovations that can help you do just that.
Underfloor heating can be more efficient that traditional central heating. Because heat is being provided over a much larger surface area, your system can be set at a lower temperature. This uses less energy to achieve the same temperature for your home.
Unlike conventional systems, underfloor heating provides heat direct to the whole room, rather than relying on warm air to move around the space as with a radiator system. This results in much less waste as well as a more stable temperature across the room.
Solar water heating
Sunlight is free, so it makes sense to harness its energy as much as possible. Solar water heating uses panels on your roof to collect the sun’s energy and use it to heat your water. This can be used as part of your hot water supply and can also be tied into underfloor heating systems, making them even more efficient.
Even on the coldest days, there is still plenty of heat energy in the air outside your home. If there wasn’t the atmosphere would freeze! Air source heat pumps collect this energy and effectively condense it, achieving high enough temperatures to run your central heating. This technology can be used with either traditional radiator systems, underfloor heating or warm air systems and is highly efficient.
One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to increase the energy efficiency of your central heating is by replacing your old boiler with a modern condensing model. These reclaim heat that would normally be lost in the boiler’s exhaust fumes, making them much more efficient than the old fashioned versions. Modern condensing boilers are usually over 90% efficient, compared to older models which are often only a little as 60% efficient.
Whether you’re planning a zero carbon home, or simply want to reduce your bills and carbon footprint in your current home, DHS are here to help.