HEATING AND COOLING YOUR HOME

Home heating and cooling can account for up to three quarters of your energy use in an average home (in a temperate climate; less in warmer climates). As such, most people can make a great impact on energy conservation by concentrating on this aspect alone.

Ways to reduce your heating costs include:

- Wear warm clothing instead of turning the heater up in winter.

- Keep door closed if you're not using those rooms (don't heat rooms not in use).

- Minimise opening door on a hot day (don't let the house warm up so easily).

- Install insulation.

- Turn the heating down at night and use more blankets.

- Metallic paint on a radiator acts as an insulator, preventing maximum heat exchange into a room.

- Keep heating and cooling units clean and well serviced.

- Don't use ceiling exhaust fans any longer than necessary, as they suck hot or cold air from a room.

- Landscape for fuel efficiency (e.g. shade trees minimise temperature fluctuations, they insulate in summer against heat and against cold in winter). Windbreaks can deflect prevailing winds.

- Colours in the house affect temperature absorption both in real terms and psychologically. Cool colours make you feel cooler (e.g. blue). Hot colours (e.g. red), make you feel hotter. Dark colours absorb heat, light colours reflect more heat.

- Carpet helps insulate.

- Arrange furniture so it doesn't restrict flow of warmth or coolness from heaters or air conditioners.


BUILDING DISEASES

- Chemical - Homes built in the 60's contain asbestos cement which is known to be carcinogenic and old piping systems are frequently painted with lead paints. In addition the household disinfectants, fly sprays, paints, varnishes, and other fumes released from a large range of furnishings and commodities are of no benefit to the occupant's health.

- Electrical - The human body is sensitive to electrical frequencies. Wiring should be minimalised, not placed closer than 1 metre to the sleeping bed, use of T.V. and other appliances should be reduced. Even static electricity from synthetic floor coverings can cause problems.

- Cage - This occurs when concrete and steel buildings screen out natural radiations which help regulate life systems.

- Location - This covers geobiology which is concerned with natural radiation that originate within the earth. It is a new science based on traditional principles.


WHAT IS BUILDING BIOLOGY?

Building Biology also deals with the environment in general and the climate of living. The climate of living can be determined by things such as:

- Installations and furnishings

- Noise and acoustics

- Lighting and colours

- Radiation, avoiding disturbed areas

- Radioactivity

- Space, form and proportion

- Physiology and psychology of living and working

- City planning with biological, ecological and sociological aspects.


ACS Distance Education offer courses in Healthy Buildings and Alternative Energy. Links to these courses are listed below:

Healthy Buildings I

Healthy Buildings II

Alternative Energy

Mud Brick Construction