3 Energy Systems to Check before Buying an Old House


If you have considered buying an older home, then be prepared to spend a lot of money and time for repairs, even if this is not the case at all times. If you are lucky to have bought well-maintained homes, then you only need to have minor repairs or maintenance done to it. Later additions might be built to lower standards than the original, though, and might require lots of repairs.


However, despite these, if you are willing to buy an old house, then make sure to check the following things. Remember that older homes usually have at least one system that needs to be updated.

Electrical Systems


Tube and knob wiring was used in the 20s – 30s, when electricity was first added to residences. This type of wiring was primarily used for lighting, as many electrical appliances we use today were not yet available then. When more conveniences became accessible, this wiring was changed and expanded. Keep in mind that although knob and tube wires still work, they can be hazardous. You can usually find wires of these types in attics and basements and if you do find them, then get them updated with newer ones.

Heating Systems

When coal first became accessible to many, homes were retrofitted with central heating systems that had chimneys. As the years passed, many of them were converted to gas- and oil-run systems, which still vented into the same unlined chimneys used in the earlier models. If flue liners are present in a home’s heating system, they are often made of terracotta and can quickly deteriorate with heating equipment that have higher combustion efficiency. It is a fact that restoring a heating system can cost much, and thus, make sure to check its type, efficiency, age, and condition first to avoid wasting money and time. Also, you may find cast iron boilers in old homes. Despite being built to last, you have to spend to update them to reduce maintenance and heating costs.


Today, Liquefied Petroleum Gas is being used in homes all over the world. That’s because it is the closest off-mains means that we have next to natural gas. Installing LPG gas cylinder in your house should be handled the assistance of a professional. Your local supplier could help to decide what kind of LPG gas installation you want for your kitchen!


Plumbing Systems


In old houses, plumbing systems are usually a mix of new and old materials and fixtures. Make sure to have cast-iron pipes and older fixtures replaced first, as they might have leaked, corroded, had a lot of minerals accumulated in them, or have become broken. Also, be sure of closely inspecting all exposed pipes to see for yourself if they are working properly.

If pipe and plumbing fixture replacement and repairs are needed, then make sure to contact and hire licensed and skilled plumbers immediately. You could design a new system to save more water. Keep in mind that plumbing problems slowly destroy walls and foundations, cause wastes to stay inside the home longer, and, as a result, do harm to the health of the people living in it.


You can evaluate the home yourself. However, if you want to ensure an accurate evaluation, hire a professional home evaluator to accompany you.

Continue Reading

Waterwise Irrigation System Design | Creating a Better World

Department of the Environment and Energy, Australian Government, World Bank and other international organizations have decried the scarcity and inaccessibility of clean water for millions of the world’s inhabitants. The length and severity of droughts are not easy to predict, nor are other natural disasters that can reduce the supply of usable H2O. It stands to reason that we should be planning to create the renewable city,  homeowners should incorporate water saving tips on a daily basis, including in our plots for plants, flowers and vegetables. In fact, the best way to show how to conserve water at home is in watering systems for gardens. Green irrigation is an effective way to limit wasteful consumption of water.


Waste Not, Want Not

Sometimes the simplest measures—those that seem almost effortless—have profound effects on usage. Of the most well-known water saving tips is scheduling: early morning irrigation is optimal. Overnight watering is poorly absorbed while mid-day applications evaporate too quickly. Another excellent way to conserve is installing a rain sensor. Who has not seen the uneconomical spraying of sprinklers while a downpour ensues? In addition, allowing grass to grow to a decent height before the next cutting will also lessen water usage, as will keeping the mower blade sharp. Moreover, the lawn benefits from combing the debris out, i.e. dethatching, from time to time, leaving less obstruction between water and roots. In the same way, puncturing small holes in the lawn makes way for air and moisture to infiltrate easier.


Best Sprinkler for Lawn Irrigation

After seeing that lawn and garden are prepared favorably toward efficient irrigation, the next step is to take inventory of the infrastructure. Are your irrigation supplies regulating flow and sufficiently targeting needy root systems? A Waterwise irrigation system departs from the old sprinkler formula of evenly distributing moisture over large swaths of lawn and garden. Instead, it gauges the moisture needs of specific plants and then applies water accordingly. The type of plant or grass, the soil profile, mulch and the rate of drainage are all factored in when creating a custom irrigation plan for your property. Regular maintenance and proper use of the controller will optimize the conservation potential of a Waterwise irrigation system. Adjusting for seasonal distribution and setting multiple start/stop times go a long way toward using only the water you need.


The Heart of Irrigation Infrastructure

Just as the human heart serves as a pump, so too does the pump act as the heart of your irrigation system. Onga pumps have proven to be effective regulators of pressure and flow. The internal components of these pumps are forged to provide greater precision, and encased to shield them from rust and deterioration. Also, the thermal overload protector prevents the major cause of system failure. The vacuum at the suction end of Onga pumps can lift a water column 25 feet or more, making them among the most powerful for residential use. In addition, Onga offers two-year warranties on its products. Since properties vary in size and topographical character, Onga produces a line of pumps to fit both need and budget. Your installer can present all the information needed regarding Onga pump prices.


Comprehensive Irrigation Service

A Waterwise system works on synergy: from the care and feeding of both lawn and garden to the hardware that best generates and distributes water, every variable works together to grow healthy flora and preserve water resources. You can have an attractive landscape while practicing good stewardship of the water supply. Waterwise makes it all possible.


Continue Reading

How Does Double Glazing Work l Energy Saving Window and Door

When it comes to saving on energy costs, one of the best ways to go about this is to get energy saving windows. Energy efficient windows work by minimizing heat gain in the summer and also minimizing heat loss in winter. Single glazed windows simply don’t do enough to give you this summer and winter protection. For that, you need to go with something like double-glazed windows.

You also need to take into account the three S factors to keep in mind. These are style, security, and sustainability (also known as energy efficiency). The entire character and performance level of your home will be decided by the choices you make at the initial design phase.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at what double-glazed windows are and hopefully in the process show you why you should invest in them.


Most efficient double glazing

Double glazed windows prices are determined by the overall quality of the windows, the specific glaze that was used, and plenty more pertinent information.

Traditional window glazing consists of a single sheet of glass placed in your window sash. Double glazing has to do with two sheets of glass being loaded in with a spacer bar around the outside of the glass. What this spacer bar does is it creates what’s called a nominated mm air gap between each glass pane.

It’s this specific air gap that creates the insulation break between the outside and inside of the window. Most energy efficient windows that use double glazing also control noise without impeding your view of the outside world.

You might be asking which of your windows and doors should be double glazed. The answer is that all of them should. Thermally efficient windows are a must have, and that means that you should have them all throughout your home. Getting the right double glazing installers would be a good idea. They’ll be able to guide you through the process and explain things in a simple way.

UPVC windows cost will be entirely dependent on the size of the windows, the number of them, and the accessibility.


How does it all work?


This process works by allowing the low winter sun to stream its light through your home and keep the place warm. Once the radiant heat of the sun has passed through the double glaze, the room will retain the ambient heat and prevent against any heat loss back through the window.

For optimum performance, the space between the glass panes should be 9mm. Increasing the gap to 15mm hasn’t been shown to produce any extra benefits.


What about sun on double glazing?


Double glazing definitely does not impede any heat gain, which means that it will still allow for sun penetration in the winter. However, unprotected double glazed windows will still need to be protected from the sun in the winter due to their thermal retentive properties.

The best way to do this is to shade your north and west facing windows in the summertime, and then let the sun stream through them in the winter. Tinted glass can always help you reduce the heat transfer you experience in the summer, but it also doesn’t let in any of that valuable heat in the winter.


Are double glazed windows expensive?

They will be somewhat more expensive than single glazed windows right off the bat, but not prohibitively so. Double glazed windows prices vary depends on many factors. Along with that, there’s a great deal of savings when it comes to energy efficiency and the like.

When it comes to saving on energy costs, one of the best ways to go about this is to get energy saving windows. Energy efficient windows work by minimizing heat gain in the summer and also minimizing heat loss in winter. Single glazed windows simply don’t do enough to give you this summer and winter protection. For that, you need to go with something like double-glazed windows.


Continue Reading

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Green Cleaning at Home


Even if the concept of global warming doesn’t resonate with the personal views, it is unmistakably clear that everyone needs to do their part by keeping Planet Earth clean and stable for generations to come. Mother Theresa once stated, “If each of us would only sweep our own doorstep, the whole world would be clean.” Yes, she was actually referring to making sure everyone took care of their own personal business. However when it comes to the Earth, it is everyone’s personal business to clean their doorstep. Specifically, it is good to get into the habit of cleaning with green products. Green cleaning is really good because it reduces a person’s carbon footprint and provides a safe, toxin-free environment. There are many different green products in the stores for purchase. However, it is possible to forgo some of those options and make DIY green products at home. Not only are these options more customizable, they’re usually cheaper than their store-bought alternatives. Consider these different DIY options suggested by Ayasan Service, for green cleaning throughout the different rooms at home.

For those who really enjoy brewing a big pot of coffee in the morning, the coffee maker may be a little bit of a pain to clean up. However, with a mixture of white vinegar and water, cleaning up the coffee maker is a cinch. White vinegar is a staple in many green cleaning recipes. This mixture also works well with electric tea kettles as well. After filling the reservoir with the white vinegar and water mix, turn on the coffee maker to brew. Once the brewing is complete, let the mix sit in the reservoir for 30 minutes. Rinse it out and it’s good as new.

The bathroom is one of the easiest areas to supply green cleaning products for because one product usually cleans multiple areas in this space. If someone prefers to purchase their green cleaning products, Ms. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner in Lemon Verbena is a great option as it cleans the shower, countertops, toilets, and floors. One of the places that’s most likely to grow mildew is the shower. To avoid this, mix one cup of distilled water, one cup of white vinegar and one teaspoon of tea tree oil. Shake up the blend and keep it in a spray bottle. Tea tree oil is an excellent oil for exterminating germs, bacteria, and any viruses.

Living Room
The living room is a great place for entertaining guests, enjoying family or relaxing with a good book. Even if the room is clean, it may not feel clean if it doesn’t smell that way. This is normally why many people prefer to keep plug-in or spray air fresheners around the house. Someone who is trying to incorporate more green alternatives must forgo these options. Instead, consider purchasing a variety of essential oils from companies like Young Living. Use the essential oils to make homemade oil reed diffusers. These diffusers gently release the oils into the air and keep the air smelling fresh and clean.

One of the most important places to maintain clean breathing air is the bedroom. Most people spend an average of eight hours in the bedroom. Opening the windows for 15 minutes every day helps to naturally cleanse the air and get the circulation flowing. Another great way to detoxify the air in the bedroom involves an indoor house plant. Peace lilies, garden mums and spider plants are excellent choices to purify the air. As long as a person consistently waters and cares for the plant as needed, it will do the cleaning of the air on its very own!

Laundry Room
Many people love the smell of fresh linens coming from the dryer. Many people also love to spritz a bit of lavender linen spray over their sheets as lavender is naturally calming and sleep-inducing. Instead of purchasing the artificial version filled with so many toxic additives, why not use the real thing. Start with a few paper tea bags with fragrant fresh lavender. Seal the bags by ironing them and then place the bags in a muslin bag or cloth. Use a drawstring or tie to seal the muslin bag and then place it in the dryer with the linens.

These green cleaning recipes and ideas are simply the tip of the iceberg. There are so many different ways to create and enjoy toxic-free cleaning no matter what room in the house is used. Adopting these small tricks will definitely reduce a carbon footprint over the long haul.


Continue Reading

“The Renewable City” Peter Droege World Council for Renewable Energy Author: The Renewable City

Peter DroegesDespite the mounting cost of climate change and the peaking of oil, natural gas and uranium supplies well within this generation, the vast majority of cities and urban communities is managed, administered and planned as if such crises did not exist. Indeed, the transition from fossil fuel dominated cities to an urban future marked by an evolving renewable-energy based infrastructure requires entirely new tools and frames of planning and decision-making.

Drawing from his new book – see http://www.renewablecity.org – Droege examines and outlines the architecture of an unprecedented urban transition, squarely focused on action. Where implemented swiftly, it consists of new design, planning and management decisions, profoundly challenging practitioners, academics and political leaders to take action in communities and cities. The inquiry draws hope from successful urban sustainability trends, emerging infrastructure directions, renewable energy applications and related new approaches to urban planning and the design of cities.

Continue Reading

‘Leading by Example – the Role of North American Governments in Promoting Green Building.’ The Hon Tom Roper Board Member The Climate Institute ( USA )

TomRoperA key element in the rapid expansion of green building in the USA has been the leadership role of national, state and local governments in promoting sustainability through their own capital works progammes. Public agencies are collectively the major US builders and also control much university, school and health expenditure. The Federal General Services Administration has endorsed and mandated the US Green Building Council’s LEED standard, as has the Defence Department. States including California and Washington and many cities have adopted LEED silver (equivalent to about 4 Stars) for new projects and renovations. The recent US Mayors conference adopted a detailed new policy. Chicago has a comprehensive programme starting its own buildings, promoting green roofs, providing assistance for commercial, private and community developments and issuing expedited permits for green buildings. A number of local governments now offer additional financial assistance, height and density for sustainable projects.

Continue Reading

“Politics and Climate Change in Australia” Senator Christine Milne

ChristineMilneClimate change is the greatest threat facing the planet today. We all need to make changes to our lifestyle so that we live more sustainably. But individual action alone will not make the deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in the critical ten years we have left to avoid catastrophic climate change. We need Governments to facilitate the nation-wide changes that are required and policies that will protect the ecosystems on which we all depend. To deliver greener homes, gardens and cities; more sustainable food production and transport systems, we need a new politics, politicians prepared to act and voters prepared to reconsider the priorities which underpin their vote.

Continue Reading