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Investigation planned in Australia over faulty heating systems

Fears have arisen in Australia over faults with gas heating, insulation and ventilation in homes built during the 1990s.

Following the deaths of two young boys in May 2010, a coroner has said that she wants to examine heating systems as well as ventilation in Aussie homes in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning related deaths in the future.

She said that she intends to examine a number of factors including the heaters, house ventilation and exhaust fans.

The two young boys that were killed by a carbon monoxide leak from a bedroom heater, may have been victims of faulty heating and a lack of ventilation.

The heater was said to be covered in soot, which raises carbon monoxide levels and the well-sealed doors and windows meant that the house was not properly ventilated. An exhaust fan also posed as a hazard for the boys, as a lack of ventilation means that the fan encouraged the carbon monoxide to spread.

The coroner fears that similar features are common across other houses built throughout the 1990s and it is suspected that a number of houses may have been built with similar difficulties in areas nearby.

The investigation of the homes is set to take place in March next year.

November 9, 2012 at 10:00 am | Gas heater |
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How to keep your home efficiently warm this winter!

During winter you’ll want to make sure that your home is energy efficient, as well as find a way to cut your energy costs as best as you can.

Leaking windows, poorly insulated water heaters and clogged air filters are all a potential killer for your energy costs, and with Christmas coming up you don’t want to have all your money tied up in keeping the house warm!

When you have the heating on at home make sure that you don’t let heat leak outside, you don’t want your money to be wasted nor do you want to increase your carbon footprint for no reason.

Check for window frames, door frames, outside vents to your dryer, baseboards, and spaces around window air conditioning units – this way you can be sure that you are properly insulated.

Insulation is essential for keeping out cold air, so that your home has natural warmth inside.

It’s also handy to check your air filters, to make sure they are fully clear and heating your home easily. Insulating your water heater could be another savvy way to cut your energy costs.

Water heating is usually around 14% to 25% of your heating costs, and by wrapping your water heater you could lower costs, as it will keep more heat within the appliance. This means that you’ll only pay for exactly what you should be paying for when your water bill comes through.

October 30, 2012 at 10:32 am | Water heater |
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Government funded heating system is more expensive than first thought

Heating systems in the UK that are said to be more efficient than usual have left families struggling to pay the bills.

The heating system used in the new government-funded affordable housing is said to be costing up to four times more than expected.

The heat is generated by an ‘exhaust air source heat pump’ that takes heat from waste air that leaves the house and then pumps it back in. This then provides heating and hot water.

Families are now said to have paid three to four times more than what the estimates said the new heating system would cost.

Energy Performance Certificates that accompanied the new properties estimated electricity and heating costs would be around £400 – £500 a year, but one resident’s electricity bill alone came through at £252 for just under 2 months. This led her to believe that the energy systems are not as cost efficient as the estimates suggested.

October 28, 2012 at 9:00 am | Heater costs |
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Are flueless fires safe?

Flueless fires provide heat and fire in a room that has no chimney, pipe or a duct to provide somewhere for the gases produced to be distributed.

They can be fitted in most rooms as long as they have a 100 square centimetre air vent that is one metre from the fire and as long as the room has a window that opens.

Flueless fires are gas heaters, which means they produce water vapour and carbon dioxide, as well as carbon monoxide if oxygen is in short supply.

This can be unsafe as there is no flue to direct these gases outside, which means they can leak out in the house. Water vapour causes condensation and humidity inside, carbon dioxide causes sleepiness and carbon monoxide is a serious risk to the health of anyone who is inhaling it.

This supports the argument that flueless fires may not be the safest option for standard home living. They are similar to gas cookers that have no ventilation above them, which are regularly used in many homes. However, flueless fires a likely to be used for longer periods of time than a gas cooker, which means a larger amount of unsafe gases will be distributed into the home.

If a fire with a flue can be fitted into the home, it is often a safer choice to go with as you can enjoy your cosy fire without having to worry about being poisoned at any period of time!

October 26, 2012 at 11:00 am | Gas heater |
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