A place for Viv and her team to impart their latest thoughts and findings on a range of electrical and sustainability issues and offer advice on energy saving, installation and products.

Posted by Athena Electrical on

With government launched energy efficiency initiatives such as the Green Deal, offering households incentives to install double-glazing and insulation, a growing number of homes in the UK are significantly more energy efficient than in the past.

This is great news obviously, and as we move towards the winter months many people who have taken such measures and made their homes more airtight will be looking forward to a warm, cozy environment and reduced energy bills.

However, unless your property is suitably ventilated, you could also experience condensation, mould, and associated health risks.

What is condensation?

Air naturally contains a certain amount of water vapour, with warm air holding more water vapour than cold air. Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes in to contact with cooler air or non porous surfaces, which is why, when you take a hot shower, mirrors and windows in the vicinity steam up.

If your home is sufficiently ventilated, condensation doesn’t become a problem, but when moisture is allowed to build up, it can cause damage to walls, floors, ceilings as well as fabrics like curtains. 

Ways to improve a condensation problem?

If your house suffers from condensation, then by following some of the simple steps below, can reduce the problem.

•    Keep your property well ventilated by opening windows and allowing the moist air to escape.

•    Try not to dry damp clothes inside.

•    When running a bath or taking a hot shower, keep the bathroom door closed. If possible open a window. (Bathrooms should be installed with an automatic extractor fan).

•    When cooking, try to cover pans of boiling water with lids.

•    Keep furniture away from walls (particularly external walls).

•    If possible, endeavour to keep heating levels at a constant temperature.

Condensation solutions

It could be that some of the above measures have little effect on your condensation problem. One of the more recent condensation solutions is a continuous decentralised mechanical extract ventilation (dMEV) system, which will improve both ventilation and air quality.

These continuous fans are recommended by BEAMA to accompany any Green Deal energy efficiency improvements that are made to a property and one fan, consumes less than £5 of energy per year. The added bonus is these fans are discreet and because they are slow speed, almost silent so you will hardly notice its existence.

Posted by Athena Electrical on

It’s been a rather splendid summer (for once) so we hope you’ve all made the most of it. However, it seems that Autumn has descended and before long the nights will start drawing in. This means one sure thing … we’ll all be turning on more lights, and leaving them on for longer. We’ve decided to offer a special September deal on energy efficient lighting for this very reason, but first, here’s why …

Lighting accounts for about 8% of a typical household energy bill, and cutting down on your lighting usage is actually the easiest way to save both energy and money.

As electricians, we feel it is our duty to advise people on the best solutions and products that can ensure they cut down, not only their energy consumption, but unnecessary bills. After all, we’d all like to find ways to save money where possible. On this note, when it comes to lighting, we strongly advise that people replace their existing tungsten halogen bulbs with LEDs.

Why LED Lighting?

The funny thing about LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) is that most people associate them with basic contraptions they made in school technology classes, or the light that blinks at them from across the room when their TV s on standby mode. For this reason, it comes as a surprise to many that as traditional light bulbs (which are incredibly inefficient) are being phased out, the best and most economic alternative is LED lighting.

The main problem we face when suggesting that people should adopt LED lighting as standard is the initial expense. They are far dearer than any other household lighting, so understandably, people are unable to see the benefits. The simple fact of the matter, is that once you’ve invested in LED lights, they will last up to 25 times longer than any other standard light bulbs, and have a far lower energy cost attached whilst they are in use. Very simply, they are far superior, and are now integral to intelligent control systems that reduce energy consumption even more.

So, once you’ve got over the initial outlay (which you will recoup), over the course of an LEDs lifetime, it will save you a considerable amount of money.

Give Us An Example

Let’s say you have ten 50W lamps in your house and they are turned on for an average of 36 hours per week. Over the course of a year, 10 Halogen lamps will cost you £146.95 with a lamp life of 2000 hours. The LED equivalent will only cost you £11.76 to run over the year and a staggering 30,000 hours lamp life. After deducting the cost of the lamps, in the first year, you will save £75.20, over two years, £230.39 and over a period of five years, you will save £695.98 by switching to LED lighting in your home.

Our advice is that the sooner you convert to LED lighting in your home, the sooner you will start reaping the rewards. It’s not just our opinion; the Energy Saving Trust (EST) recently carried out a field trial of LED light fittings in social housing, and reported that LED technology delivered huge energy savings, reduced costs and made residents feel safer.

Top Lighting Tips

* Don’t mistake low voltage lights for low energy lights. It’s a common mistake and won’t save you any money.

* If you have recessed lights in your house, make sure they’re ‘non fire-rated’.

* Over heated lights can cause transformers to cut out or fail.

Athena Electrical’s September Offer

We will replace four of your existing recessed light fittings with four Aurora 981 DLM fire-rated down light, complete with 4W LED (equivalent to light emitted by 50W halogen lamp) with 5 year Warranty.

AND ….

If your existing electrical connections aren’t in a suitable enclosure, we will fit Scolmore ‘Click’ Plugs free of charge.

September Offer - £180.00 exc VAT


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