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September 24, 2006

Comments

daniel

i think u r making the right choice.

Mike R

For God's sake don't buy Renault. They make a big deal of the fact that their parts are re-usable/recyclable, but in everything else, they're crap - expensive, unreliable, a monetary black hole.

On the subject of boilers - high efficiency boilers will only be highly efficient in collaboration with a well insulated building. If you have to fire it on full blast just to stay warm, it won't do what it's supposed to do - it'll just work like a normal boiler. It has an optimum range where it efficiently recycles flue gases/allows the condensate to work/etc., ie. at a lower temperature than "normal" boilers.

It's part of the new Part L building regs, but a greater degree of Part L is concerned with making sure that the building itself isn't leaking heat through its very fabric as well. Zone heating, and thermostatic radiator valves will help.

Zone valves will help "zone off" areas of the house - Example: you don't need to heat all the bedrooms during the day, if you're at home, as you spend most of the time downstairs anyway. With zone valves, you can "zone off" areas of the house that aren't used, and heat them up for an hour before you go to bed just to get them warm enough.

Also double/triple glazing is probably one of most efficient things you can do to prevent heat loss.

Kester

Thanks Mike. We've done the insulation thing. For those who don't know, you can get pretty good grants for this sort of thing. We had the whole cavity walls and the loft done, and I think it cost us about £200 all in.

As we go through the house doing bits of work, we are also trying to insulate between the floors. Filling the joist spaces with WarmCell: insulation made from recycled paper.

The windows are getting done tomorrow, which is going to help a lot. So the boiler thing is the last big bit to come, thermostatic valves and all. But it's looking like around £4k, so is not going to be cheap. We'll get there.

damnflandrz

I live in a council house and have no car. But I'd buy me a Hummer and then run it on vegitable oil - or the blood of vegitarians... i forget which one ;)

Mike

No better ideas... but a funny story.

A friend and I were discussing this very issue recently. He proudly announced they were going to trade in their SUV for something that gets better mileage. I pointed out that someone else would end up driving their SUV, thereby increasing the overall gas guzzled and fumes spewed. I suggested the only way to reduce the impact on the environment was to get the more efficient car and drive their SUV off a cliff.

Come to think of it, my input wasn't appreciated.

Jez Nash

A really good calculation is to work out what a gas guzzler will cost you on fuel over 3 years. Compare that to what a nice clean new(ish) eco-diesel will cost you. You may find the saving in fuel will fund the capital for the new car...
A car which does about 20mpg will cost around £4.5k in fuel alone to run for 3 years. This does not include cost of maintenance (think cam belts, CAT converters, exhaust systems, all pricey on aging cars), or indeed cost to the environment.
We had a Volvo 940 (worth about £350) and ditched it for a 52 reg VW passat diesel estate (£5k ish) and it is actually cheaper per month to buy and run the VW!!

James

Have you heard of Streetcar? They are a carshare club which I have been a member of for over a year now. The idea is beautifully simple. You pay a one-off returnable deposit to join and then as little as £4.50 an hour to use. The cars are brand new Golf's and are located all over London. I live in SE19 and I have a couple of cars parked just a 10 minute bike ride away. If you are only a casual car user like myself then I cannot recommend them highly enough. See http://www.mystreetcar.co.uk for details. Then, with the cash saved from owning a car, buy yourself a decent bicycle for shorter distances around town. Hope this is helpful.

James

Have you heard of Streetcar? They are a carshare club which I have been a member of for over a year now. The idea is beautifully simple. You pay a one-off returnable deposit to join and then as little as £4.50 an hour to use. The cars are brand new Golf's and are located all over London. I live in SE19 and I have a couple of cars parked just a 10 minute bike ride away. If you are only a casual car user like myself then I cannot recommend them highly enough. See http://www.mystreetcar.co.uk for details. Then, with the cash saved from owning a car, buy yourself a decent bicycle for shorter distances around town. Hope this is helpful.

James

Have you heard of Streetcar? They are a carshare club which I have been a member of for over a year now. The idea is beautifully simple. You pay a one-off returnable deposit to join and then as little as £4.50 an hour to use. The cars are brand new Golf's and are located all over London. I live in SE19 and I have a couple of cars parked just a 10 minute bike ride away. If you are only a casual car user like myself then I cannot recommend them highly enough. See http://www.mystreetcar.co.uk for details. Then, with the cash saved from owning a car, buy yourself a decent bicycle for shorter distances around town. Hope this is helpful.

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