Becoming more energy efficient

Wednesday, November 2nd 2005, 11:20 am
By: News On 6

The prospect of rising costs for energy has more of us thinking seriously about how to reduce the energy we use.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells found a man whose business is making homes more energy efficient, and he's in the middle of a project to show how it can be done.

John Miggins is adding a solar panel to the southside of a cottage at 2718 East Admiral Boulevard, which will eventually serve as a showcase for energy efficient products and technology. “What we decided to do instead of telling people you need to change, let's show them what to do little simple things."

So he bought the house and is converting it. For example he added large windows on the south side to both let in light and heat, The spaces between the windows, are little warming channels with copper sheets on the outside, the sun heats the copper, as the air passes through it warms and then circulates back into the house. "This whole thing will be a giant heat envelope."

Natural gas and electricity are getting more expensive, but the sun's energy is free. Large solar panels when mounted outside will heat all the water this house will need. "This panel will make 40 gallons each of hot water a day." That hot water will circulate through copper tubing under the bathroom floor to heat the floor as it passes through.

Solar systems like these can be pricey not everyone can spend the money but he says we all can cut costs, insulate better, use more efficient lighting systems.

Check out a ceiling fan with a built in heater. It can boost the temperature of the air as it circulates it, in the summer it's just a normal ceiling fan. "It will keep the room within one degree of temperature." Cool or warm as the case may be.