Save energy at home with a rooftop garden.

One of the most incredible ways of saving energy at home is having a rooftop garden. For a number of reasons a rooftop garden will actually reduce the overall amount of energy does consumed in your home. it’s amazing to think that something so beautiful could actually carry far more practical value than just a food source or something great to look at. We’re going to go through how to construct a roof top garden and get the most out of it for energy efficiency.

What is the rooftop garden?

A rooftop garden is quite simply a garden on top of a roof. It could typically work better on a flat roof than one with a pitch but that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t get by with a pitch as well.

A rooftop garden doesn’t just have to be greenery, I can also be plants uneven vegetables to. You might as well take advantage of the fact of making such a large surface area of garden and gain some edible food too.

Some of the major benefits of rooftop gardens.

Obviously there’s a monetary benefit to having a rooftop garden but apart from that there are some really useful little advantages that you probably would never have considered. One of the most interesting things that happen when you have a rooftop gardens you actually reduce the overall noise in your bedroom. Assuming a bedroom is directly underneath the garden that is. This is because basically you create a far thicker layer of insulation and it acts to really help in terms of keeping the noise out. This is particularly useful for example if you’re over a flight path. The reduction in noise can be quite significant indeed.

waking up happy

Pretty obviously another benefit is the fact that you can enjoy the garden as well. If your inner city areas you don’t really have much in the way of a normal garden then a rooftop garden might be the solution. Obviously need a very sensible and safe way to get out there and I highly suggest that you don’t create a rooftop garden in a situation whereby it would be dangerous to be high or there is a risk of falling.

Another major benefit of a rooftop environment and the whole reason why it saves energy is because of the insulation. Having the extra layer means that you don’t lose heat through the roof quite so easily. It’s almost like having a secondary loft insulation. You would be shocked to realise just how high quality an insulator and grass would be.

What are the main construction materials for a rooftop garden?

Pretty obviously you need some kind of waterproof membrane that’s extremely thick and durable to ensure that none of the moisture from the mud begins to leak into the roof. You could cause all kinds of unbelievable damage in terms of cost if you weren’t really careful about how you secured the plastic membrane lining prior to laying the rooftop bar

You’re definitely need some kind of root protection barrier as well, this is because rude to obviously far stronger and possibly could break through the plastic membrane, this will obviously cause leaks and again potentially massive damage to your property. Always ensure that if you’re considering a rooftop garden to save energy that you’ve taking the proper precautions.

An essential part of a rooftop garden is the equipment. You’ll need to hand saws, saws, hammers, chisels, and obviously a lot of garden equipment such as forks and spades. Personality I’d head over to Garden Toolbox who carry almost every single tool you need to build a green roof. Help practically have everything including materials to get the job done.

You going to go for a rooftop garden to save energy then I highly suggest that you plan it well. You need to make sure that the membrane goes down and is fully secured, don’t cut any corners and ensure that your property is damaged in any way at all. This would be highly detrimental to the overall effort of saving energy in the home through a garden rooftop. You could actually do more harm than good to please do make sure that you get everything spot on first time. The worst thing would be trying to lift some mud off the roof to make a repair. before undertaking any kind of rooftop garden please ensure that your roof is fully capable of supporting the additional weight. I would highly recommend speaking to a structural engineer prior to carrying out this kind of serious energy saving project.

How to Beat the Recession by Saving Energy and Going Green

One of the draining bills in every household are the energy bills. With amounts that can easily reach into the hundreds of pounds every month, saving pennies, pounds, or dozens of pounds on your energy bills every month can promote energy usage to your children and your neighbours, and help to infuse a “going green” attitude that is newly essential for the country and for the world.

Beating the Recession: Lower Your Thermostat

A luxury enjoyed and perhaps taken for granted by many, the heating and cooling inside a house are so singularly specific that we are allowed to live at exactly what temperature we wish every day. But lowering your thermostat by as little as two degrees on a consistent basis can save you as much as 10% on your energy bills.

This extra 10%, perhaps £5-£10, can mean a change in monthly spending with a negligible change in temperature in your house. Keeping your thermostat at a comfortable temperature that is lower in the winter and higher in the summer can save you dozens or hundreds of pounds a year. Opening your windows and enjoying some natural air during the summer, spring, and fall months can also help you to keep untold pounds in your bank account every season.

Going Green: Buy Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Another popular way of conserving energy, part of the ever-expanding green movement proposed by environmentalists and future-minded citizens across the world, is the adaptation of using energy saving light bulbs.

These light bulbs, which cost slightly more than regular light bulbs, will save you money on your lighting electricity bills every month, and can last up to 15 times longer than regular light bulbs. These energy saving bulbs will pay for themselves within months of buying them.

Lowering Utility Bills: Insulate Your House

Again in the attitude of saving heating and cooling energy, insulating your house – especially your roof – can allow you to save hundreds of pounds on heat every year. Insulating your house, which may cost around a couple hundred pounds, will pay for itself within two or three years, and can again be welcomed in its ability to save you future money, even though it may cost a few precious pounds right away.

Insulation will allow heat and cool air to stay within your house, and will allow you to keep your thermostat low as the comfortable air is less easily escaping from your house at any give time.

Extra Recession Tips: Lower the Energy on Your Appliances

On your dishwasher and your washing machine especially, you are able to lower the settings to lower temperatures and lower degrees of energy. Use these settings to save yourself running power and energy, and keep your electricity bills used to run these appliances as low as possible.

You can save one third by lowering the temperature on these appliances around 25%, with no noticeable change in their function. Lowering the temperature may not allow your dishes and clothes to come out as warm as they once were, but will still clean as well as they ever have on anything but the dirtiest of dirty dishes and the filthiest of filthy clothes.

Also, make sure you are buying appliances like these that are “Energy Rated.” Buying these types of appliances means you are buying varieties that are especially made to save energy. As a side note, make sure you are not running these cleaning appliances until they are full or until absolutely necessary. Running them when they are not full will force you to use them more often than is necessary – naturally forcing you to pay for them more often than is necessary as well.

Going Green: Ways To Conserve Energy And Reduce Waste At Home

There are many things that can be done to conserve energy and reduce waste in the home. Simple daily tasks can be modified to accomplish these tasks.

Ways to Reduce Food Wastage at Home

  • Buy exactly what is needed when shopping
  • Create meal plans and shop according to the plan
  • Reuse leftover fruit and vegetables when possible
  • Make a compost for fuit and vegetable waste that can not be reused
  • When buying in bulk, buy food items that will be consumed in a hurry
  • Freeze items for use at a later date

Ways to Reduce General Wastage in the Home

  • Use cloth napkins and towels as alternatives to paper towels
  • Invest in plastic food storage containers instead of using plastic bags
  • Use cloth reusable grocery bags when going shopping
  • Sort garbage into categories and take to respective recycling centres
  • Wherever possible, buy household products in bulk
  • When cooking, match the pan size to the burner size

Ways to Conserve Energy By Using Less Electricity

  • Turn off lights when exiting a room and when a room is not occupied
  • Turn off and unplug appliances and electronic devices when not in use
  • Use energy saving fluorescent light bulbs instead of standard incandescent light bulbs
  • Purchase energy efficient appliances and electronic devices
  • Use solar lamps to light outside of the house instead of electric lamps
  • Check the seals on refrigerator doors regularly

How to Conserve Energy When Washing Laundry

  • Wash and dry full loads. If a small load is necessary, adjust the water level to suit
  • Use the right amount of detergent. Too many soap suds will require additional rinsing which equals more water
  • Take advantage of the sun and hang clothes outdoors instead of using the dryer
  • Dry towels and heavy cotton in a separate load from lighter clothes.
  • Pre-soak heavily soiled clothing to avoid second washes

How To Reduce Water Wastage in the Home

  • Consider taking showers instead of baths
  • Close taps and faucets tightly to prevent water leakage
  • Use rain water for both indoor and outdoor uses – eg. watering the garden, washing the car
  • Install water efficient toilets – eg. low flush tanks
  • Install water efficient taps and faucets
  • Turn off the tap when brushing teeth or washing dishes
  • Check taps, faucets and pipes regularly for leaks

Make Use of the Natural Elements at Home

  • The sun. Solar panels can be used to trap the sun’s rays. The trapped energy can be used to heat water for bathing and provide power to a home.
  • The wind. The installation of windmills and wind turbines vanes can generate enough electricity to run a home
  • Rain water. This is a vital water supply that can be used to water plants, wash the car, flushing toilets, laundering and cleaning

Solar Power

What is solar power?

Solar power is different forms of energy that can be produced that is generated from the sun. There are various different methods of creating this energy which are through several systems for individual requirements. Solar power was discovered when scientists realised that plants required the sun to live and this was through the process of photosynthesis. The plants, when perished eventually turned into fossil fuels which is mostly what we use today to produce our electricity. Scientists thought that there may be a way to use the sun to produce energy such as electricity for ourselves and this is when they discovered solar power. There are three main systems the produce energy from the sun and these are the photovoltaic effect, in architecture and heating for our water pipes.

What is the photovoltaic effect?

The photovoltaic effect is the use of photo cells which then change the light from the sun into electricity. This was used initially for simple objects such as powering up calculators. Photovoltaic cells are currently being used as roof tiles for some buildings. The photovoltaic cells cover the roof of a house and capture the sunlight that is beaming on the roof and traps it in the cells which then converts it into electricity. Each cell consists of two layers which are usually silicon and one layer is charged positive and one negative. This then cause the electrons to become free and they move between the two layers which produce a small electrical current.

How is solar power used in architecture?

Solar power is used in architecture for energy such as heating a building and maintaining that heating all year round. A building will be faced where ever it is likely to see most of the sun throughout the day (in the case of the British south facing) and they use large glass windows so that the heat from the sun is absorbed through these windows. Even in the winter this is extremely beneficial as the small amount of sunlight in short days of winter is absorbed by the windows and will maintain the heating in the building. In the summer, the architects arrange the building so that it does not get too hot in the winter by planting trees and building balconies around the area to shade the building at certain points.

How does solar power produce water heating?

Water heating is the use of the sun to warm up water without the use of electricity. This is done by painting the pipes that contain the water in black, and then insulating the pipes with an insulator that effectively works as a greenhouse around the pipes and once the water is heated by the sun, the insulation around the pipes maintains the heat of the water.

Where is solar energy used?

Currently solar power is used in more of the western industrialised countries as currently it is fairly expensive and there is a higher demand for electricity. In some areas of North America, there is already a run of competition with the utility systems because of solar power. The biggest use of solar energy though, is in space. Solar energy is used on the space crafts they send up into space to provide electricity some of the facilities on the craft.

How much solar energy is generated and what is the current output in the UK?

Each square meter of a roof that is south facing in the UK receives about 1000 kilowatt hours of solar radiation per year. With a photovoltaic cell which with lots of cells that is called an array, each array can produce 2000 peak watts and this will enable a house about 1500 kilowatt hours per year which is said to be about half of the average households needs of electricity every year.

Why has solar energy production not increased in the UK?

Firstly solar energy production has not increased in the UK because it is still fairly expensive although the government is offering grants of up to fifty percent to help with the finances of purchasing and installing solar energy. The government in the UK would like to see 6000 roofs fitted with photovoltaic roof tiles by 2005.

People in the UK also do not receive as much sun as other countries and so therefore believe that solar energy would not be as effective as it can potentially be. This is a myth though, because although there is a lot of cloud in Britain, the sun that does reach through the clouds it is then converted into more energy as is it insulted by the clouds. It does not necessarily need to be sunny throughout the whole day for
solar energy to be effective, as long as there is enough sun to break through the clouds which will then produce energy.

Energy Saving Homes

Energy saving homes means that they are generally more cost efficient financially and also more energy efficient. This is done by carrying out certain tasks that have been recommended. Some of these methods are easy and not time consuming ways to be environmentally friendly.

What are the cheaper ways to have an energy saving home?

You could have the energy saving light bulbs throughout your home. They seem expensive but in the long term they are brighter and save you a lot of money. Other simple ways that you can have an energy saving home is to switch off the lights after you have finished using them, switch off appliances when you have finished with them (not just on stand-by but at the main switch) and use less water than you need to by only filling up the kettle with what you need rather than fully and try to take showers rather than baths because this uses less water.

What are the more expensive ways that you can have an energy saving home?

The more expensive ways of having an energy saving home, are more expensive but in the long term they can save you money. You can buy energy saving appliances with the logo on and these are refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines and if necessary tumble driers. These will use less electricity in your home, therefore making your bills less and being more environmentally friendly. You could also have solar panels installed in your roof. This is expensive initially but it means that you are not paying electricity bills to energise your home. You can also invest in more insulation in your home and double glazing because this will reduce the gas bill because your home would not need so much heating and this is more environmentally friendly because there is not so much gas being burnt to heat your home.

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