Keep your wood stove burning hot

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Energy Conservation

Warm fire pictureMany people restrict the air flow into their stove to slow the burn rate and save fuel. Unfortunately this runs the risk of forming creosote in the flue and thus chimney fires. Another result of burning at low temperatures is that it releases significantly more dust particles up the chimney and thus increases pollution.  Looking at these two issues in more detail: Read more “Keep your wood stove burning hot”

Firewood: Hardwood verses Softwood

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Energy Conservation

Hardwood v softwood
Hardwood v softwood

I try and burn hardwood in my stove where possible. But recently I received a load of mixed softwood instead. It was interesting to note how quickly it burned in the stove compared with hardwood. This meant much more tending of the fire.

The end result is that I will always try and obtain hardwood where possible from now on.

Comparing wood. Generally all timber contains the same amount of heat energy per kg of weight. Therefore the density of seasoned timber indicates its potential heat output. Below is a list of various common seasoned timber densities. The difference between hardwood and softwood is immediately apparent:

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Preparing for Winter

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Energy Conservation

Warm fire pictureIts that time of the year again, the days are getting shorter and its time to stock up on fuel for the cold months ahead. There plenty of energy saving tips in this website. I have listed the links to the most popular of these below, to save you searching for them:

My first batch of seasoned firewood was delivered last weekend and joins the rest in my timber store, ready for when the cold weather starts. See photographs below also:

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3 obvious improvements for electric cars

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Energy Conservation

Electric CarElectric cars are beginning to offer a real economic alternative. Mainstream and premium brand electric cars are becoming cheaper, and have increased range. Also the required surrounding infrastructure (recharging points) is finally being rolled out in our towns and cities. However there are still some obvious areas of improvement that require attention:

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Immersion heater verses boiler to heat water at home

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Energy Conservation

Did you ever wonder whether it was cheaper to heat your hot water tank with your immersion heater or your oil/gas boiler? Well we have done the sums so you don’t have to. Below is a comparison between various different ways of heating your hot water tank.

Background: Boilers heat water and pump it through the heating pipe network of the house. Part of this pipe circuit runs through the hot water tank and indirectly heats the water in the tank; there is no mixing of water between circuit and tank. By contrast an immersion heater uses electricity to heat the water in the tank only.

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Winter is coming

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Energy Conservation

Warm fire pictureAs the actors in the excellent ‘Game of Thrones’ television series are forever saying “Winter is coming”……….in the Northern hemisphere at least. With that in mind remember to check out our previous articles on saving energy and reducing heat loss in your home. I have listed some of these articles below; click the link to be directed to the related article. Read more “Winter is coming”

How do heat recovery systems work? Thermal Wheels

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Energy Conservation, Technical & Discussion

Thermal wheelHeat recovery systems are a great way to save energy, and therefore money, for building owners. They reduce energy bills by using the expelled air to heat (or cool) the incoming air, depending on the season. Most designs use a great invention known as the thermal wheel to operate.

What are thermal wheels? Thermal wheels are perforated spinning wheels or discs that allow the transfer of heat between two adjacent flows of air. They are a relatively simple, but ingenious, device that forms the backbone of heat recovery ventilators.

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