Energy Efficient Homes

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Solar Thermal Water Heating

Assuming they are properly designed and installed, Solar Water Heaters are a cost-effective, efficient, and eco-friendly way to generate up to 70% of the hot water needed for you home. Whether you are looking for domestic hot water for showers, laundry and dishes or for a low-cost heat source a Solar Water Heater may be the solution for you. There are many different types of systems and it is important to choose the correct option. With many years experience in this area Ashgrove can assist you with your decision, we take into account the amount of hot water required, space restrictions, roof mounting methods, building orientation amongst other things and then recommend the system that’s best suited for your application. We specialise in all types of solar installations, from small domestic to large commercial and industrial.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

In nature heat always flows from hot to cold. A heat pump forces the opposite to happen. Fridges and freezers are well known and well proven types of heat pumps which have been operating since 1834 using this principle, called refrigeration. So we know the technology works. The reason we are interested in using this for heating and cooling systems is that it is a highly efficient process. Up to 70% cheaper than oil or gas. The energy we are harnessing is renewable and therefore, we can lower our emissions and Carbon footprint and also improve our building energy rating (BER) There are various ways of harnessing natures energy, some are more suited to particular jobs than others and it is important to understand the limitations of each technology. Different types of systems require different refrigerant gases, each of which has its own “operating envelope” ie the parameters which it operates comfortably within. If the system is forced to operate outside of these parameters it leads to increased running costs and ultimately reduces the lifetime of the system. All quality heat pumps are tested to a European standard EN255. This ensures that the efficiencies stated are under realistic operating conditions. Efficiency when talking about heat pumps is referred to as C.O.P (Co-efficient of Operating Performance) ie ratio of input to output. However getting the best quality equipment is just the beginning. It needs to be installed by experienced professionals if the required results are to be achieved.

Air To Water Heat Pumps

Air to water heat pumps extract energy from outside air (even when the air is cold) they require no drilling or digging and are therefore an ideal solution for most existing houses. NIBE’s air to water heat pumps are designed for the Swedish winter, when temperatures regularly drop to -20 Degree C. Average winter temperatures in Ireland is 7.5 Degree C. So for the majority of our heating season we achieve extremely high efficiencies.

Exhaust Air Heat Pumps

Exhaust air heat pumps are often poorly understood and they are only suited to a very specific type of project. The system gets its energy from 2 places. Outside air and the heat being created within the building – lighting, cooking, showers, computers, people, solar gain etc. The two of these sources combined, deliver enough energy to provide for space heating and hot water requirements. These units are suited to highly insulated low energy passive type buildings The major advantage being that you have the added benefit of controlled ventilation, which has become increasingly important as insulation levels and air-tightness have improved. The Genvex Exhaust Air range is a neat, complete solution, catering for – Hot water, – Heating, – Ventilation, – Heat recovery, – Air filtration,

Heat Recovery Ventilation

Recent research indicates that the apparent rise in asthma is linked to the changes in the domestic or home environment. Major changes have taken place in our building regulations, which have increased the retained water vapour and overall house temperature, while also reducing the rate of air change. Dampness has long been associated with respiratory ailments and warm, moist conditions (Which we are now creating in our homes due to these regulations) are known to be ideal for the dust mite. Research suggests that over 75% of asthmatics react to mite allergens. A heat recovery ventilation system from Ashgrove can significantly reduce humidity to levels which hinders dust mite reproduction. This will also help to alleviate airborne pollutants. Heat recovery ventilation can continually remove moist, stale air and replace it with fresh pre heated air. These air changes reduce the material present in the air which is either inhaled or falls onto the carpets and soft furnishings.

Underfloor Heating

Under-floor heated rooms are heated by (lukewarm) water circulating in continuous pipe loops embedded in the concrete floors. To ensure total reliability, there are no joints in the pipes in the floors. The floors reach a pleasant temperature of around 24 Degree C, and produce a wonderful even heat at all points in the room. Virtually any floor covering can be used from the obvious such as stone, tiles etc, but many people are surprised to see that the seemingly unlikely combination of wooden floors and under floor heating are growing in popularity. Most solid woods can be used once the proper care is taken to acclimatize them before installation. In parts of the house needing greater levels of heat such as near large windows or in the conservatories, pipes can be laid at closer spacings giving greater heat where required.

Rain Water Harvesting

Despite the fact that Ireland appears to have plenty of rain, our growing population and the changes in climate mean that our water resources are under pressure. Due to the large increase in the number new houses built over the last few years an increase in the demand for accessible water has caused an increased awareness between people and the environment. Reducing demand for mains water can help to reconcile these competing needs. One way of reducing demand is to use a rainwater harvesting system to provide water for domestic uses. Rainwater harvesting systems can be installed in both new and existing buildings, with the resulting water usable for all purposes except drinking. While there are no agreed water quality standards for rainwater use, rainwater is not usually disinfected, if properly collected and only used only for non-potable needs. Washing machines, and toilets etc. can be fed by untreated rainwater, but correct design and installation is vital to ensure effective results. When rainwater is used to supply a garden tap or rain water butt, care needs to be taken to ensure that the water can not be accidentally drank. The potential savings that can be made depend on both the demand for non-potable water and the amount of rainwater that can be supplied, which depends on the roof area available for collection and the amount of local rainfall. Savings achieved by rainwater harvesting systems will be greater in larger buildings, such as industrial buildings and education establishments, due to their larger roof areas and potentially greater demand. In addition to the pressures on water resources, there are concerns over rainwater drainage from urban areas. Adverse impacts on flood risk and water quality mean that our existing approach to rainwater drainage systems will have to change.

Aluminium Radiators

Suitable for Low Temperature Heating systems, particularly heat pumps. They are a non rusting, stylish design and carry a 20 year guarantee Sectional aluminium central heating radiators are attractive not only due to their appearance but also thanks to their excellent characteristics. The individual sections are made by aluminium pressure die casting (Standard UNI 5076, with zinc contents below 0.9%). The material guarantees a high anti-corrosion resistance, excellent thermal properties and a low weight. Central heating radiators of various dimensions and outputs can be assembled from the sections as desired. The two-layer epoxy lacquer finish has almost unlimited lifetime. The maximum working temperature is 110°C. A rapid effective system. An installation made with aluminum radiators, in case of abrupt climate changes or particularly cold winters, can fulfill the extra demand without difficulty and also adapt equally quickly to temperature changes caused by heat from other sources, (sunlight, lamps, appliances, printers, etc.). This flexibility is not found in cast iron or steel heating elements and in panel systems, that do not have the elasticity in management of the working temperatures typical of aluminum radiators. Under equal conditions, the time necessary to take a room to the ideal temperature will differ depending on the type of system: aluminum radiators respond more rapidly than steel and cast iron, while radiating panels take much longer. Installation of a system with aluminum radiators facilitates a reduction of consumption and prevents needless waste of energy and money.The savings derive from the particular features of aluminum heating elements such as their ability to respond rapidly to changes in room temperature, adapting quickly to the needs of the user and permitting easy and immediate regulation of the temperature in every room. Care should be taken in setting the temperature: the ideal temperature is 20 degrees; a study published in “Altro consumo” shows that every additional degree means raising the heating bill by 8%.

Solid Fuel Stoves

We provide a variety of solid fuel stoves to compliment your heating system and to give that feeling of comfort and nostalgia that only the flickering of a real flame fire can give. As part of the upcoming 2010 part L building regulations fireplaces will be replaced by stoves. Open hearth fireplaces and chimneys are huge sources of heat loss in a home, particularly in cold weather. The greater the temperature difference, the greater the rate of convectional heat loss, (stack effect). Wood stoves can be equipped with many practical accessories such as outdoor air connections to further improve the energy efficiency. This pipes the oxygen in from outside, for combustion in the stove, instead of consuming air from the room. This helps to maintain a better air tightness and improved B.E.R.

Air to Air Heat Pumps

Designed to heat or cool small to medium sized applications, the new M Series Air-Air Heat Pump range provides a versatile, yet affordable air conditioning solution. Quick to install and also one of the quietest units on the market (as low as 19dBA), this newly designed, attractive range offers the perfect way to ensure a comfortable environment with the minimum of disruption. Surprisingly affordable, the efficiency of the M Series range presents substantial savings in heating mode, when compared with more conventional heating systems. Additional features such as “Econo-Cool” allow airflow to be precisely directed towards users, allowing set temperatures to be raised by 2 Degree C with no loss in comfort and a 20% gain in energy efficiency. Flexible enough to suit a range of applications, the M Series includes models that will run up to eight indoor units per outdoor unit. The entire M Series range is now available using Inverter technology. By matching the compressor speed to the cooling or heating load of the room, up to a 30% reduction in power consumption can be achieved.

Buffer Tanks

For domestic and commercial application, the Buffer/ Accumulator tank, or thermal store, enables the highest level of efficiency and flexibility in water based heating systems. The Buffer tanks we supply are highly insulated thermal storage vessels ranging in capacity filled with the primary water of the heating system. Their function is to collect and store heat energy from any source and to allow flexible use of the heat energy, either directly for space heating or via an internal heat exchanger for hot water. An accumulator tank can be used in conjunction with all sources of renewable energy and if the energy is not needed at the time of generation the tank will store it for later use.

Niall Linehan Construction Cork Energy Efficient Homes

Content compliments of Ashgrove Renewables

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