Sunday, August 07, 2005

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Stay Warm, Be Cheap

For those of you living in the north, up to 20% of your income can go into keeping yourself warm. As a boy growing up, I used to bundle up in thick boots, snow pants, coat, scarf, toque (what Canadians call a wool hat, eh) and mits.

While at home, I used to park myself over the heating vent to warm to the appropriate level. Other times I just copied my cat. Abbey would go to the south facing front window, find a sunny spot and lie down. Little did I know that that cat was really onto something.

Anyone building a new house in Canada has the option of installing electric heat (now at scandalous prices - Hooray for privatisation!) or gas heating. There are other choices among the mainstream heating systems, but those are the two main.

Why not be cheap? Why not learn from the cat? Any new house can utilise the free power of the sun, if the they want. I'm talking about passive solar heating. It works like this: place your house so that the long side of it faces the sun instead of the standard of making the long sides facing east/west. Next, along the sun side, make a concrete floor that will act as a heat sink. Then install a row of good double or triple pane windows that will cast sunlight onto your heat sink. VoilĂ ! You now have a passive solar house.

For those consecutive cloudy days that sometimes come, you can install a masonry stove like a modern version of a Korean ondol or Chinese k'ang.

The result? You'll live a toasty, inexpensive, eco-friendly winter immune from any energy crush.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! Blog surfing(as usual) and I found you guys. Nice feeling here. I'll come back . Keep up more stuff about Alternate Energy Sources, please.
All the best, Alternate Energy Sources

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 10:23:00 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for the spam, guys. A pox upon thee.

Friday, March 24, 2006 3:57:00 am  

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