Heat Pump

An Overview Of The Different Types Of Heat Pumps

On a very basic level, a heat pumps are simply a device that is able to provide heat as a result of using some external type of power source. It provides this energy in a unique way, specifically by sending it to what is called a heat sink, a process that is used in devices that take advantage of thermal energy. As with any device that is used, there is always going to be there energy lost in the process of transferring this energy, but there are very efficient ones that are created every year. Some of the most obvious examples of a heat pump include air conditioners, as well as freezers that most people have in their home, and is part of any HVAC heating or cooling system. Let’s take a look at the different ways that heat pumps are used, and then the most common ones that are utilized today.

Basic Overview Of Heat Pumps

When you think of a basic refrigeration cycle that occurs with a refrigerator or an air conditioner, the transfer process is similar but in an opposing direction. Instead of broadcasting cold air in order to keep things cool, heat pumps are able to take the surrounding heat from the surrounding environment to be utilized by the unit. The way that they are made today, they are actually much more efficient than the electrical power units that are used to power the systems. Here are the operating principles upon which they work, and then we will show you some applications for these devices which are found in most households.

How Heat Pumps Actually Function

From a completely mechanical perspective, many of the more common devices will actually use the volatile nature of condensing and evaporating fluids. This is usually a refrigerant, and the heat pump is utilized to make the refrigerant solution harder on the inside, and the pressure sends the heat to the area where it is going to be absorbed. Pressurized gas is typically used in conjunction with a compressor, and this extremely hot vapor is sent to what is called a condenser. This causes the liquid under high pressure to be sent through some type of capillary tube or expansion valve to these different areas. Therefore, this cycle of pressurizing liquid, which then releases the heat to be used or absorbed, and then back to normal temperature once again, is the cycle that the refrigerant goes through each time the device is turned on. As long as the heat is transported through either a liquid or flowing gas through some type of pump, it can continue to function as long as exterior sources of energy such as electricity are provided.

Top Applications For Heat Pumps

Electric heat pumps tend to be the most commonly installed. Most modern homes have some type of HVAC system within their house that allows them to keep their home cool during the summer, and warm during the winter. These units are also used in different aspects of plumbing such as domestic water heaters, or even expensive heated swimming pools. Since the upgrade from refrigerants like chlorofluorocarbon R-12 to R-134a, which successfully helped improve the ozone layer, the efficiency of these heat pumps has also increased, even when using other fluids or gases including ammonia, butane or propane. The only environmental problem left to addresses the abundance of carbon dioxide that can be produced by some of these systems. This is leading to global warming, and until they can discover some other way of transferring the heat, it will cause the climate to continue to rise in temperature.

Common Complaints Related To Heat Pumps

Some of the most common complaints that are associated with heat pumps of any kind are the noises that they will make. If anyone has ever used a air-conditioner, specifically those that are on the outside of their home, you know how incredibly noisy they can be. Additionally, aside from the complaints, the noises that are heard or created by these units can actually be used to determine if they are functioning properly, or if there is a problem. That’s why using a professional HVAC company for definite problems that you are having with your air-conditioning, or your heating unit, is always recommended. One other complaint that is quite large is the level of efficiency. This came into play with the advent of ground source heat pumps. These units work by transitioning the heat that is naturally in the ground into households, but the efficiency of these units only works within certain parameters. For example, if it is extremely hot outside, or if it is very cold, the amount of latent heat stored in the ground is simply not going to be enough to handle extreme situations. For those that do have GSHP units for both heating and cooling purposes, it is important to have a secondary source of heat and a way to cool your home down as the efficiency level of these products, albeit very good for the environment, are simply not as useful in these extreme conditions.

Heat pumps come in a wide variety of pump types including prototype transcritical CO2, ASHP, and what is referred to as the theoretical Carnot cycle units. There are also magnetic solid state heat pumps, as well as thermoelectric, with cryogenic laboratories currently working on thermoacoustic heat pumps which could be a revolutionary breakthrough once the technology has been perfected. This brief overview of how heat pumps work, and the different types that are available, should give you a better idea of how your house maintains a constant temperature. These innovations have made it possible for people to become accustomed to constant temperatures, and with new innovative technology in the works, we could soon have units that are not only more effective, but will also be better for the environment.

Posted by / March 5, 2016 / Posted in Energy
Biomass

An Overview Of How Biomass Boilers Work

If you have ever heard of the term biomass, you may not know exactly what this means, especially in terms of producing energy. It is simply mass that is created by living organisms, and this material can be used for different purposes including heating. As the world continues to search for ways to lower global warming, whether or not this is a natural cycle or if it is caused by man, these attempts are moving us forward toward finding more sustainable forms of energy, and using these sources to a higher level of efficiency. One of the best ways that biomass can be utilized in a way that can help both people and the environment is through the use of biomass boilers installers. This article will present a brief overview of how these units work, what they are designed to do, and how this can affect the way that we will use different types of fuel to provide heat and other types of energy.

What Is Biomass?

To understand how a biomass boiler works, you must first of a better understanding of the material that is used within these systems. Biomass is simply biological material, that which originates from living creatures or plants, or even recently living organisms. This plant-based material, in particular, is the biomass that is used in most situations. It is due to the structure of the organic molecules that it is made of, specifically carbon and other materials including nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. If it has been recent, chlorophyll will also be part of the mix which can contain trace minerals including magnesium. When looking at plant material, there will always be a byproduct of CO2 which is used by the plants in order to grow. This is one of the challenges related to using this type of fuel source as global warming is related to an increase in carbon dioxide levels. Whether this is naturally decomposing, or if it is burned, CO2 will be produced and released into the atmosphere.

The Difference Between Fossil Fuels And Biomass

Following the mainstream theory that fossil fuels, as the name seems to indicate, is the result of the decomposition of ancient animals that have now provided us with the oil that we have today, this is a type of fuel that is limited, and therefore different from biomass. On a positive note, the creation of biomass is sustainable, and while this material is alive and growing, it actually does take CO2 out of the air. The negative aspect of using this sustainable renewable energy source is that it can take away from the food supply such as when wheat or corn is used to make certain types of fuel, and it is also less dense which means you will need considerably more fuel derived from biomass to produce the same amount of output as the highly dense fossil fuels such as gas, oil and coal.

Categorizing Biomass Materials

One final thing to consider before looking at the functionality of biomass boilers is to look at the different categories that certain biomass materials fall under which can play a large role in the economics of using this material in boilers, as well as how abundant the source is for the biomass that must be used to produce energy. There are only five categories for this type of material which include Virgin wood obtained from locations where tree harvesting has occurred. You can also get it from what are called energy crops, which would include wheat, barley, corn, and many other crops that are grown today. Agricultural residues are the third category which has to do with the harvesting and processing of agriculture. Food waste can actually be a source for this material and finally industrial waste, material derived from industrial processes and the manufacturing of the products that are sold in stores. So how does a biomass boiler work and how will it utilize these biomass materials? Let’s take a look at what a biomass boiler is able to do.

Overview Of The Biomass Boiler

These are products that are developed by a green thinking companies, ones that are very intense in using biofuels as a way of transitioning from fossil fuels and our dependency upon foreign nations for oil. It is actually possible to use these biomass machines that can process a significant amount of agricultural biomass in the form of chicken manure, bark, would from trees, sugarcane, nuts, shells, sawdust, and even sludge that is produced at certain facilities. The benefits of using this type of machine to produce energy is that you are eliminating biomass from the forest, or even your backyard, that you would otherwise have to pay to have removed once a job is complete. There is also the small dent that is made in the dependency that we have in getting foreign oil. Best of all, these units have become so efficient that many companies are producing them at very high rates, marketing them all across the country. The efficiency levels, and the type of biomass materials that they can use in these boilers, makes it a very easy product to sell all over the country. The more that people use these machines, the less electricity and gas they will have to use which could be much more expensive. At the same time, you are also doing your part to help the environment by producing this very popular type of green energy.

Biomass boilers are simply another step in the right direction toward helping to improve our world. It is also a great financial move on the part of countries that have all of this biomass surrounding them, which is simply going to waste by not being converted into usable energy. The more that we begin to focus upon ways to utilize what we have, instead of depending upon foreign oil, it is likely that we will soon have networks of biomass boilers working round-the-clock to produce the energy that we need in a completely environmentally safe manner.

Posted by / March 5, 2016 / Posted in Energy
Fascias and Soffits

Basic Fascias And Soffits Information

If you have done construction before, you understand that there are two components to the outside of your home, the place where your outer walls meet your roof, referred to as fascias and soffits. These are referred to with other names, yet they serve the same purpose, regardless of what they are referred to or how they are built. This is typically where the gutter of the house can be found attached, preventing the water from simply dripping down onto the ground beneath. There are some basic ideas to consider if you are building a home regarding fascias and soffits, and also ways to repair or maintain them once your home is complete.

What Are Fascias?

Standing outside of your home, looking up at where the top portion of the outer wall meets the roof, there is a point where they come together. This is sometimes referred to as a roof line, which makes sense, in that it forms a line where the roof and the outer wall come together. There is always going to be overhang from the shingles, typically dropping into a gutter, and the gutter is attached to the outer fascia. It is simply a very long street board, one that runs across the edge of the lower roof, fixed directly to what are called roof trusses that provide the supporting structure of the roof itself. This is how they are able to remain secure for so long, and can also support not only the weight of the gutter, but also the water that comes into the gutter during the rainy season. It is important to have this board a fixed at all locations into each of the roof trusses, to ensure that it can handle the rain.

What Are Soffits?

This is simply a board that is beneath the fascia board. It’s what people can typically see when they are standing below. It is often ventilated, allowing air to flow up into where the roof is, preventing mold and mildew from actually forming. There can be alternate forms of insulation such as ventilating the fascia board, but this can lead to significant problems. If there is no gutter installed, the water will simply seep inside, leading to dry rot and mold forming very quickly. This can also cause a significant amount of decay on the part of the internal structure of the wall, as the water will simply flow from the fascia and soffits into the plywood, and presumably further into the insulation and sheet rock inside. Therefore, it is always good to have underside ventilation only on the soffits, especially if you have not had time to put your gutter system up into place.

Many Different Types Of Fascias

There are actually a couple different types of fascia boards that are available, in various sizes, styles and colors. It just depends on the color of your home, and what type of effect you are looking for, and how much money you have to spend. They can be as thick as 25 millimeters, and if so, you may not need to add the soffit or backing board. You will then simply affects your gutter directly to the fascia, connecting the fascia and soffit joints together. It is recommended that you use stainless steel fixings when you are doing this project just to make sure that rust cannot occur. This is standard for most projects that are made today, but people will often use cheaper materials which can lead to future problems. The different types of fascias include contemporary, heritage, and many others that must follow building regulations and code. As long as you fall within those parameters, it’s actually very easy to create a unique our appearance where your upper wall comes to meet your roof.

There are many other components to a roof that should be considered when you are finishing your home including the type of gutter that you are installing, the type of flashing that you are using which can be either made of metal or rubber. This is what goes around chimneys and pipes, preventing water leaks, and of course the type of shingles that you will use for roofing material. However, it is the fascias and soffits that play a very important role, not just a place where the roof and outer wall bisect. It is important to always use the best materials, and also have the best ventilation possible, when installing these components on the exterior of your home.

Posted by / March 5, 2016 / Posted in Energy
Boiler

What You Should Know About Obtaining The Best Boiler Service

If you own a boiler, or if you are in charge of one at your facility, it is important for you to maintain this unit as often as possible. There are many different types that have been created over the years including stationery boilers which are typically installed either in homes or buildings, and portable boilers which were once used for heat and power at remote locations. Although they are called boilers, they do not necessarily boil the water. And the term boiler can also be interchanged with the word furnace. The vaporized fluid does exit the boiler through some type of central heating process, and they can be used for many different purposes including heating a home, building, or use for cooking, depending upon their size and construction. If you do have one, you will want to maintenance it on a regular basis to ensure that it works properly and that safety levels are maintained. Here’s an overview of how boilers work, the different types that are made, and where you can get the best boiler replacement and boiler service.

What Exactly Is A Boiler?

These are divided up into a couple different classifications. There are those that use gas or some type of oil-based central heating system. Similar to the way that the engine of a car works, the heat is transferred through a variety of different mediums, in order to convey heat into a complex. The size of the boiler will also depend on it output. Depending upon the type of heat that you want to produce, they are typically purchased at a larger size to make sure the maximum amount of heat necessary can always be generated. Although many that are constructed today are focused more on energy conservation than sheer output, modern technology has made it possible to properly monitor these systems, including the pump and circulation of the fluids that will distribute the heat, helping to lower energy costs associated with using most boilers today.

What Is A Boiler Used For?

In most cases, these are used for heating and entire facility, and are typically powered by some form of petroleum product such as oil or propane, but new and more innovative ones are powered through solar energy and biomass. This seems to be the trend that is occurring as more people are focused upon green energy, which is why so many individuals are changing out their old boilers for the new innovative ones, but they are still going to require maintenance on a regular basis.

Obtaining The Best Boiler Service In Your Area

To get the best boiler service that is available, you will have to compare the different companies that offer this option. It is typically going to come from a business that is also an installer, which means they will have the experience to identify problems that will be seen in the many different types of boilers that are operating. Whether these are old-style boilers, or new biomass boilers, they will have the experience to deal with any problems that they encounter. By simply having one maintenance on a regular basis, preferably at least once a year, you can maintain its ability to produce heat and continue to function for many years to come.

Boilers are absolutely necessary when it comes to heating large complexes. If you want to keep your investment running for the longest period of time, proper service calls must be made. As long as you are maintaining your boiler over a period of several years, or even decades, it will continue to produce the proper amount of heat for your establishment, and also save you money by not having to replace one too soon due to lack of maintenance.

Posted by / March 5, 2016 / Posted in Energy
Fire

Fire Risk Assessment Information You Should Read

A very dangerous problem that most homeowners, as well as business owners, face is the probability that a fire could break out. There are many things that could go wrong including electrical problems, a heating system that leads to a fire, or simply accidental occurrences that can bring an entire home or complex to the ground. If you have a family at your home and you want to make sure that they are completely safe, or if you have a large facility where there is a significant amount of machinery or flammable material that could cause a major fire, there are certain things to look for every day leading to what is called the fire risk assessment. There are actually five steps to this process, and let’s begin with the first.

Identifying Fire Hazards

The first step of the process is to actually identify all of the potential fire hazards that exist in a particular area. For example, when extreme amounts of heat, the source of the ignition of the fire comes into contact with a type of fuel that could easily burn, and if there is plenty of oxygen, you are looking at the potential for fire. The key to making sure that fires do not occur is keeping the fuel apart from anything that could ignite it. Obviously, there is no way to remove the third component to creating a fire, oxygen, unless you are trying to put it out using a fire extinguisher, a fire hose, or various types of powder that can extinguish the flames. There are so many ways that a fire can get started which includes naked flames such as lighting a candle and leaving it burning inside of your home. Other problems include electrical lighting, electrical heaters, or any type of electrical equipment that could be left on. In fact, some of this equipment could simply be plugged into the wall, and a fire could begin through an accidental short in the system. Finally, if you are working in an environment where there is quite a bit of metal grinding, welding, or any place where there are matches used, these are most certainly fire hazards. Finally, you will want to identify what really could burn, especially quickly, which could be anything from furniture to rubbish like paper and packaging. As long as you are able to keep this material away from anything that can ignite it, you are ensuring that your workers and family will be safe.

Who Is At Risk?

The next thing to consider is who will be at risk at the location that you are doing your fire risk assessment. If you are doing this at your home, then obviously this with your children, significant other, or even family members that are coming over to visit. If this is at your place of employment, if you are in charge of a large factory, you will want to make sure that you do a fire risk assessment at every department level. This is especially true in industrial is this is where welding, burning, and electrical equipment is used regularly which could lead to a significant fire. Finally, if you happen to be in a facility where there are elderly people, this is of utmost importance when looking for potential fire risks. These individuals will not be able to move quickly, or they may not have the cognizance to recognize that there is a fire, and may become victims if an accident occurs.

Creating A Plan Of Action

Once you have identified all of the potential candidates for causing a fire, and you have also determined who will be at risk, you need to think about the steps that you will take to get these individuals out of the home or building, reducing the risk for everyone that may be involved. You also need to consider safer ways of managing material that you have in your home, or at your company, making sure that heat or sparks cannot fall into extremely flammable material. Once you have created this plan of action, this will ensure that both you, and everyone around you, will have the best possible chance of escape from within your home or at your place of employment.

Set Up Training

Developing a plan of action is absolutely useless unless people understand how to use it. This is why schools will have a fire drill when children are taught to go to certain locations in case a fire does happen. They do this repetitiously so that they will remember where to go, even if they are under the stress of dealing with a real situation. By creating your plan, and implementing formal training of some sort, you can better prepare people for what could happen in the future should a fire break out.

Always Repeat Risk Assessment Procedures

Risk assessment is not a one-time deal. It is actually something that should be done on a regular basis. If you are not able to reevaluate your home, the place where your workers are constantly doing their job, or any other location where fires can break out, you are doing a disservice to the people around you. If you are the breadwinner for your family, or the manager of a particular complex, you will need to do this as often as possible. There is nothing worse than realizing, after the fact, that you were not aware of certain hazards that actually lead up to a fire. By doing fire risk assessment regularly, you can improve the chances of the survival of the people that you love, and the workers that make it possible for your business to function, by assessing the possibility of fire risk as often as possible. It is also necessary to do routine drills where people understand where to go in case of a fire. It is the best way for you to keep yourself and everyone safe through proper fire assessment and practice drills that could save their lives.

Posted by / March 5, 2016 / Posted in Safety
Health and Safety

The Importance Of Health And Safety

Health and safety in the workplace is extremely important, as it is one of the human rights to be safe at work. Employers can’t put people in danger, so they need to make sure they have detailed safety guides and regulations. Moreover, they need to instruct their employees in order to minimize the risks. They also have to make all necessary arrangements for offering their employees effective protection. Managing health and safety isn’t easy, hence the need for health and safety consultants or specific work procedures and internal rules and regulations that need to be acknowledged and followed by all members of the team.

This type of information is workplace-specific. There are certain things to know when you work in a factory, and totally different ones when you spend your work time in an office building, stuck at your desk, with your eyes staring at the computer screen. There are rules to be followed in each of these situations, as everything can be potentially harmful if done the wrong way. For instance, if your job implies working on the computer for eight hours a day, you should know that you have to stand up every 20-30 minutes, take a few steps, stretch your legs and look out through the window. These actions would take you about 2-3 minutes, but they are going to buy you good years of health. They are effective for protecting your eyes, your muscles and your bones. However, you may not be aware of this, so your employer has to instruct you in this regard immediately after you get hired. Warehouses, stores and other similar premises are subject to a different set of health and safety rules. Construction sites need to follow another set of rules and regulations. All these are standardized by law, so that workers across all industries and areas of activity are safe.

If you are an employer, you have to be aware that your employees might sue you in case of a work accident, so you have to make sure you’ve instructed them properly. Besides, you are also responsible for providing them the safety and protection equipment enforced by the law. Moreover, you need to check that your employees use the safety equipment as instructed. This means you have to watch your teams closely, and warn them in case you notice anything that’s not right.

Health and safety awareness is so important that the government invests in promoting this type of information through national campaigns across all main media channels. In addition, they try to increase the awareness of all employers and business owners by providing free consultancy and advice over the phone. If employers know what they have to do, they can pass on this information to their employees, thus contributing to a safer society and better working conditions for all of us.

Workers and employers need to be on the same side of the barricade when it comes to safety issues. If you suspect your employer is exposing you to risks that could be avoided, you should raise this concern and even seek for a response in court, should your employer remain insensitive to your observations. There are third party institutes that can come and investigate all complaints regarding health, safety and working conditions. Such inspections result in fair resolutions and advice for controlling the risk and correcting all faulty procedures in the workplace.

It’s our right to be safe at work, so we shouldn’t allow the pressure of deadlines or the need of lowering the costs to transform us into victims. The welfare and the working conditions should always come first, even if they lead to a higher price of the end products.

Posted by / March 5, 2016 / Posted in Safety
Insulation

An Overview Of How To Purchase The Right Loft Insulation

Did you know that it is possible to save a significant amount of money by properly insulating your loft? This is an area of your home that directly beneath your upper roof, an area that is often converted into a living space and rented out to people that are coming into the area. Whether it is used for a rental, or is simply additional living space, it is often under insulated causing a significant amount of heat loss which can be expensive. In order to prevent this from happening, you will want to choose the best loft insulation that is available so that you can keep your house warm and also lower your energy bills.

How To Purchase Loft Insulation

The best way to purchase this type of insulation is to go to a local store that sells it every day. You can find more information on the Internet, detailing the different types of insulation that are available, but you will more than likely need to pick it up yourself unless it can be delivered. What most people do not realize is that your energy bills can go down as much as £250 a year. The cost of the insulation will be paid for through the savings on your utility bills in less than a year. There are some websites that will show you thermal imaging of a home where you can see where proper insulation has been used, and where perhaps none is actually in the walls. The dark areas typically depict areas that have no heat dissipation, whereas areas and red are definitely reflective of an absence of proper insulating material. Depending upon your situation, you will have to choose from the many different types of insulation that are sold. For example, if this is a new home, then you can easily put insulation into the walls prior to a fixing the sheet rock on the outside. However, in older buildings you will need to use some type of insulating foam that can be injected into the walls, the most cost-effective way to do this which will prevent the necessity of tearing down your walls to add the insulation in.

Different Types Of Loft Insulation Available

There are quite a few different types of insulation that you can get. One of the most common types is batt or blanket loft insulation. This comes in easy to use rolls that are easy to install, very straightforward even for individuals that have never done this before. It uses either sheep’s wool, or recycled glass, a very popular type of insulation. This is perfect for areas such as accessible spaces, and also exposed wall cavities. Unfortunately, not all of them are made of this material and can irritate your skin, plus you will want to wear some type of protective mask so as not to breathe in the particulate material as it is unrolled and installed. The other problem with this type of material, especially with sheep’s wool due to its limited supply is that it can be very expensive, and you may actually have problems with the width of this material which may prevent you from just rolling it out and using it. The other two forms of insulation include loose fill loft insulation made from cork granules or some type of cellulose fiber. This is actually very easy to use in places where there are irregularly spaced joists, however it can become airborne in a drafty loft. The final type is sheet loft insulation which is designed for people that are looking for a green or environmentally safe alternative. It’s perfect for the sloping sides of any roof, and because the sheets are very firm, and also fire and moisture resistant, they are excellent for insulating loft conversions.

Once you have looked at the different types of insulation that are available, and compared the cost of each type at different stores, you should be able to find an affordable solution that can lead you down the road of find the insulating your loft area. After it is done, you will certainly noticed that your utility bill is going to be far less. The cost of insulation, whether you use blown fiber, sheet loft or blanket loft insulation, it is going to help you save money every year.

Posted by / March 5, 2016 / Posted in Energy