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Re: Geothermal energy

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:41 am
by KingoftheWatt
I agree with Millsy's comment about not needing heating or cooling. I currently live in a single-glazed corner apartment (floor to ceiling glazing) in Melbourne, and it gets freezing in here.

However, the apartment that I used to live in that also had floor-to-ceiling glazing was double-glazed (and I mean properly) and I needed the heater on once or twice all winter.

Having seen the standard of building over here compared to the standard in the UK, my first thing would be to sort my house out (if I owned and lived in a house) - 12 inches of insulation in the roof, cavity wall insulation, replacement of all windows and door with double-glazed units. The replacement windows and doors will also remove the drafts. Once you've got a nicely snugged up and airtight house, the heating and cooling requirements for it will go through the floor.

Re: Geothermal energy

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:39 am
by JuliusH
Compared to other countries, the situation in Australia is very bad. In for example the Netherlands you are not allowed to build houses that don't follow strict energy regulations. A new house with out insulation or double glazing is just no option. Of course it is colder in the Netherlands, but at the same time it saves a lot of cooling as well if you build an energy efficient house.
Unfortunately not many people are willing to invest a larger initial sum to save on future energy bills. This is something that the government has to regulate and have proper laws in place.

Re: Geothermal energy

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:18 am
by greg c
I agree with Millsy. Look carefully at the design of the house. At the very least it should follow passive solar design principles, then put what you will spend on heat pumps into double glazing etc. It is fairly easy to arrive at a design that will require no heating or cooling. We built a passive solar house in Sydney 20 years ago and would highly recommend it. It is a wonderful feeling sitting there in silence and comfort as the neighbours air conditioning is grinding away. It should be compulsory with the issues we face today

Re: Geothermal energy

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:41 am
by Deni
Hi everyone,

thanks for the responses and advice. Its all welcomed. My house design does maximise passive solar as much as possible and all windows are double gazed. Gisborne does get much colder than melbourne though and i believe heating will required in the depths of winter. Its just a case of finding the best option.

Re: Geothermal energy

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:26 am
by Millsy
I live in the yarra valley, Victoria and it gets usually 5 degrees hotter (hotter weather) or 5 degrees colder (colder weather) than melb gets, in winter even with the max efficient house i think you would still need heating, but it would be a min heating needed.

I was in the UK about 3 months ago, i noticed the windows and doors also, im not sure if they are double or triple glaze windows, but they are quite different to here, they have about a 1 inch gap (i assume gas filled) between the panes, im not sure how well they blocked out heat or cold, as i was only there for about a month, but they certainly blocked out noise :D the heating and cooling side was hard to tell, because this particular house was one of those two storey joined brick houses, i suspect other designs would be far better.

Re: Geothermal energy

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:33 am
by KingoftheWatt
For reference, most double-glazing in the UK is 18mm air-gap glazing. Triple-glazing is rare, and gas-filled sealed units are not very common - usually just air.

18mm is the optimum airgap, for reference. In the early 90's, it became compulsory for all new houses to be fitted with double-glazing. A lot was fitted that was 2, 3, 5mm air gap in wooden frames, which all need to be replaced within a relatively short time because the moisture from the wood penetrates the sealed unit and you get condensation on the inside.

My recommendation to anyone putting in double-glazing is not to skimp - you'll only have to re do it in 5 years... At this point people will be asking "but won't it be under guarantee?" The answer should be yes, but what happens in the UK is "Local Windows and Doors Ltd" shuts down after three years and reopens the following week as "Local Windows, Doors and Conservatories Ltd"... a different company, same product, same building, same logo, no guarantee....

Even some very major players in the industry do this.

Expect similar things in the market as double-glazing becomes more popular in this hemisphere.

Double-glazing in wood or PVC frames is much better than metal frames, because metal frames conduct heat to the outside quite dramatically.

Hope this helps.

Re: Geothermal energy

PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:09 am
by Millsy
Thanks for the Info, i didnt realise there was so much choice when it came to double glazing. I had most of my window glass replaced, i asked for the best gas filled double glazing i could get, its not cheap, i bought 10 pieces of glass,that = 1 double bedroom window, one single bedroom, double glass sliding door and two other windows. This cost me about $2500, but it looks nice, not sure how much difference it has made to my house as the house really needs two more very large windows done, but these needed replacing the whole frame window setup, also the house has good insulation in the roof but none in the walls or under the floor :( got a bit of work to do yet but these changes are far more expensive than the work ive done so far. btw the two remaining large windows happen to be the most important windows as far as double glazing goes lol, they are the north facing ones, that get the hottest sunshine :roll: