Being green is good; it shows responsibility, maturity, concern for the world and it makes you feel great! Unfortunately it is not that simple. It would be wonderful if we could all install wind generators on our patios to power the washing machine, use the latent heat from the earth to give us a bath, sew all our clothing out of recycled newspaper or work within a 2 mile walk-able radius of our home, but life is always more complicated than that. Putting a couple of solar panels on your roof is expensive, and may not be a possibility for all homes, giving up the commute and living off the land is not always a good plan, in addition, do many of us have a big enough back garden, or indeed the kind of neighbours that can accept a 50 metre wind turbine?
Minimising your carbon footprint
We all have a carbon footprint, be it small and dainty or flipper sized, and although many changes are beyond the reach of the normal consumer, if we look smaller scale, slightly changing the way our house is heated is an option that will not break the bank or cause massive disruption to everyday life. Electric under floor heating is an economical and efficient way to give you a comfortable and greener lifestyle. Once you have it, you can virtually forget about it, and there are no on-going servicing requirements as with nearly all other heating systems. Any home is suitable for under floor heating- flat, bungalow, large, small, new, old, dog kennel, rabbit hutch! Nearly all floor coverings can be put over this type of heating, from ceramics to carpet and lino to laminate.
Insulation boards beneath underfloor heating
If you also insulate the sub-floor using Heat Mat's UK manufactured thermal tilebacker boards, not only do you reduce the heat loss markedly, but you also get a damp barrier and great sound proofing thrown in for free! The boards are easy to install on concrete and wood alike, and because they are lightweight and easy to cut they can be handled and fitted by just about anybody. The real difference between under floor heating and conventional central heating is that you can control each room separately and the warmup time is radically reduced. Your sitting room with its luxurious shag pile and comfy sofa may not need to be kept as warm as the bare tiled, damp bathroom, so why sweat it out in front of the Evening News so someone else can wallow in tropical bliss, or indeed chill out watching the soaps while some poor soul is feeling the Arctic blast very personally elsewhere!
Underfloor heating thermostats in every room
If you have a thermostat in each room, you not only can you have different temperatures in each room, but each space can have it's own time schedule as well. If you only use the study at weekends, only heat it at weekends. If the hall needs heating in the mornings and evenings, why have it toasty at lunchtime when everyone is at work? In addition, when you heat your rooms in this way, you will find it far more comfortable and in fact you will probably want to reduce the room temperature and therefore save energy and help the world! Heat Mat's NGT thermostats are also clever enough to tell you how much energy you are using, so you can see how green you are at any time! This 'intelligent' thermostat allows for fine tuning of heating that is not an option with most other systems, and with fine tuning comes a more efficient system and lower bills. After the winter of 2009/10 and the promise of more winters like that in the future, maybe we all need to consider our options before we switch on all the lights, boil the kettle half empty, drive round the block and press the 'heating boost' button. As that popular frog puppet once said it's not easy!