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Energy efficiency starts at home!

Mar 11,2019 - Last updated at Mar 11,2019

To feel warmer and more thermally comfortable during winter, surely, you can raise the temperature of your heating system, use other energy sources or even prolong heating hours. However, these procedures are expensive, as they will eventually cost you much more on fuel, electricity and maintenance, and cause more pollution to the environment. Therefore, one wonders if there are means through which we can keep warm but at low cost?

Changing our behaviour can be a solution. Let us start by changing our clothes into thicker and darker in colour in winter. Also, use warm blankets underneath you over the mattress and try to hug a warmer cover on top of you. Also, use carpets to cover the floor tiles wherever possible. Do not forget to let the sun in when it shines by clearing obstructions, such as curtains and shutters inside and thick branches outside.

The next move would be to embark on a mission of closing cracks in walls, under doors and cracks in windows between window frames and the cement plastering. Also, try to change rubber strips and various sealants or any other material that fills up the cracks between window frames themselves, especially the sliding parts that wear out frequently, to make sure that windows and doors are airtight.

Again, changing one’s behaviour in opening windows and doors for ventilation is important as there is no big need to excessively ventilate the houses as most houses exchange its internal air almost every hour at normal wind speed, even when all openings are closed. The reason for that is that construction and materials’ cracks are not airtight in Jordan’s construction industry.

Use thick curtains to cover all areas of openings facing the outside, except when the sun is shining. The reason behind that is to conserve energy in winter and reduce air infiltration. However, when the sun is shining, the rays should be allowed to infiltrate to warm up the interior space.

The shutters on the outside can also be used in the same technique to harvest the sun in winter to an optimum level. Making sure that shutters are thermally insulated is a good approach to energy efficiency. Shutter boxes usually have cracks and allow the passage of heat to the outside in winter. The solution is easy; make sure they are airtight, using silicone or any other efficient sealant. You can further enhance its thermal resistivity by various methods, such as thermal insulation.

Once these procedures are done, one becomes ready to feel a difference at home, moving in from one level of thermal comfort to another. With the mentioned simple behavioural changes, one can raise the temperature of the ambient air inside the house by at least 1.5-2°C by passive measures that may be enough to make some homes thermally comfortable, while other homes need to go into another level of furbishing which involves thermal insulation.

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