Most of the energy that is used in Ireland comes from coal, peat, oil or gas. These fuels are known as fossil fuels. Once they are depleted, they cannot be replenished. Therefore, it is essential that homeowners make the best use of the fuel they choose to heat their dwelling. Most Irish homeowners heat their homes with oil, as its usage is much more easily tracked.
Meeting Your Annual Heat Demand
In order to heat your home, you need to make sure that your annual heat demand is met, or that the total amount of heat that is required to keep your residence cosy and comfortable is being used efficiently. When figuring the annual heat demand, you have to estimate the amount of heat that is lost through the doors, walls, roof and windows and the heat that is needed to offset the escaping heat. An estimate also needs to be made for the amount of cold fresh air that is used for purposes of ventilation.
You also have to figure in such heat sources as the number of occupants living in your home, the sunlight the home receives, and the heat from household appliances. The annual heat demand will determine the amount of power that will be required to operate your home’s heating system. Two types of heating systems are usually employed. These include:
- Central heating systems that use home heating oil, gas, coal or biomass fuels; or
- Heat pumps that are used to heat air or water and distribute it through pipes or duct systems in a house.
Whilst home heating oil is available in Dublin and in much of Ireland, homeowners also use open fires, electric heaters, stoves or closed gas fires to supply heat and, if fitted with a back boiler, hot water. When you determine your annual heat demand, you can find ways to optimise your heating system by minimising the load.
The Ideal Location
Ideally, a living area should be situated to the south so the best use can be made of the sun’s light. A home should be sealed and insulated efficiently and to as high of a specification as possible. At the minimum, air permeability should measure 10m3/m2/h. The best practice is considered to be 5m3/m2/h. Air tightness is another factor and good practices should be followed with respect to ventilation.
In order to get the most out of your heating system, you need to balance the long-term costs of running your heat system with the short-term savings. Ensure efficient control of your DHW (domestic hot water) and space heating as well. Once you have checked on the energy efficiency, your control systems can be better employed. This can be done much more easily when you choose oil delivery. You can keep track of your inventory whilst making sure that you can optimise your energy requirements.
If your home is insulated, draught-proofed and sealed, you can reduce your heating bill by as much as 30%. A great deal of heat escapes through the roof of a home. Ensure your family’s comfort and reduce your energy usage by addressing any issues that disrupt your system’s heat flow.