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What do the Britons know about saving home heat that Americans are just finding out?


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So what do the Britons know?... A lot!

British homeowners have been ahead of their US counterparts in the move to home energy conservation practices. The UK has had a long term issue with high fuel and energy costs that have been putting the pinch on its residents for decades. Historically, US consumers have enjoyed relatively low energy and fuel costs, compared to the rest of the world. However, since the late 90’s energy and fuel costs have risen significantly each year. There is a universal realization from consumers in both countries that: Conserving Energy = Saving Money. Now US homeowners are seeking the energy saving products and techniques used by our allies across the ocean.

The home cost and energy issue

On average, single family homes in the UK are much more expensive and older than homes in the US. UK survey data reflects that the average single family home costs the equivalent of $400,000 and is 75 years old. Compare that to the average US value of a single family home of $124,000 and the average construction age being 30 years in 2001 according to the American Housing Survey for the United States: 2001. The challenges of increasingly expensive and older British homes have inspired many cost-effective home inventions and retrofits that can help any home save energy.

The entry point of cold draft

David Woodman, a British plastics engineer near Aldershot, UK, was living in a 200 year old villa in 1990. “This home had tons of character and history, however it was terribly inefficient and drafty.†said David. “I was consumed with the question: How can I save heat and stop the cold drafts?†David focused his creative efforts on the worst cold-belching culprits in his home, the five fireplaces. His fireplaces had no functional dampers at all and the precious home heat was wisping up the chimney, and leaving the living areas cold and drafty. The trouble with the centuries old technology of metal dampers and register plates is their regular exposure to intense heat and acid laden smoke deposits. The metal warps, rusts, and coats with soot and creosote. Over a short period of time this makes a metal damper or register plate ineffective at creating a tight seal to keep cold air out, and heat in. Faced with this dilemma, David invented a removable fireplace chimney plug made of a non-conductive material that could effectively seal the chimney closed more efficiently than a damper.

How to stop heat loss?

David started testing prototype poly balloons as a reusable solution to seal a fireplace flue. His rugged Chimney Balloons hit the UK market in 1990. They were sold as a way to easily seal a fireplace chimney air-tight in order to stop the constant heat seepage and cold draft through the fireplace. The balloon is an air-tight poly bag with a handle valve that is inflated in-place in the fireplace flue. It can be installed and uninstalled and reused numerous times if a homeowner decides they want to use the fireplace. Due to its ease of use and inexpensive pricing, David’s invention was a quick hit, and the Chimney Balloon became a household name in the UK. In 2005 the Chimney Balloon was introduced to the US, Canadian and Australian markets, and have been helping hundreds of thousands of homeowners save heat worldwide.

Old problems and new solutions

Chimney Balloons, front load washers, efficient hot water heat, CFL bulbs, and tankless water heaters are examples of time-tested products that have been used widely in the UK for years, and are slowly finding their way into US homes. American homeowners have to be ready for new answers to reoccurring home energy issues.

Read more about Chimney Balloons and fireplace dampers at the blog www.chimneyballoonusa.com

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So what do the Britons know?... A lot!

British homeowners have been ahead of their US counterparts in the move to home energy conservation practices. The UK has had a long term issue with high fuel and energy costs that have been putting the pinch on its residents for decades. Historically, US consumers have enjoyed relatively low energy and fuel costs, compared to the rest of the world. However, since the late 90’s energy and fuel costs have risen significantly each year. There is a universal realization from consumers in both countries that: Conserving Energy = Saving Money. Now US homeowners are seeking the energy saving products and techniques used by our allies across the ocean.

The home cost and energy issue

On average, single family homes in the UK are much more expensive and older than homes in the US. UK survey data reflects that the average single family home costs the equivalent of $400,000 and is 75 years old. Compare that to the average US value of a single family home of $124,000 and the average construction age being 30 years in 2001 according to the American Housing Survey for the United States: 2001. The challenges of increasingly expensive and older British homes have inspired many cost-effective home inventions and retrofits that can help any home save energy.

The entry point of cold draft

David Woodman, a British plastics engineer near Aldershot, UK, was living in a 200 year old villa in 1990. “This home had tons of character and history, however it was terribly inefficient and drafty.†said David. “I was consumed with the question: How can I save heat and stop the cold drafts?†David focused his creative efforts on the worst cold-belching culprits in his home, the five fireplaces. His fireplaces had no functional dampers at all and the precious home heat was wisping up the chimney, and leaving the living areas cold and drafty. The trouble with the centuries old technology of metal dampers and register plates is their regular exposure to intense heat and acid laden smoke deposits. The metal warps, rusts, and coats with soot and creosote. Over a short period of time this makes a metal damper or register plate ineffective at creating a tight seal to keep cold air out, and heat in. Faced with this dilemma, David invented a removable fireplace chimney plug made of a non-conductive material that could effectively seal the chimney closed more efficiently than a damper.

How to stop heat loss?

David started testing prototype poly balloons as a reusable solution to seal a fireplace flue. His rugged Chimney Balloons hit the UK market in 1990. They were sold as a way to easily seal a fireplace chimney air-tight in order to stop the constant heat seepage and cold draft through the fireplace. The balloon is an air-tight poly bag with a handle valve that is inflated in-place in the fireplace flue. It can be installed and uninstalled and reused numerous times if a homeowner decides they want to use the fireplace. Due to its ease of use and inexpensive pricing, David’s invention was a quick hit, and the Chimney Balloon became a household name in the UK. In 2005 the Chimney Balloon was introduced to the US, Canadian and Australian markets, and have been helping hundreds of thousands of homeowners save heat worldwide.

Old problems and new solutions

Chimney Balloons, front load washers, efficient hot water heat, CFL bulbs, and tankless water heaters are examples of time-tested products that have been used widely in the UK for years, and are slowly finding their way into US homes. American homeowners have to be ready for new answers to reoccurring home energy issues.

Read more about Chimney Balloons and fireplace dampers at the blog www.chimneyballoonusa.com

Americans have had Chimney's that sealed for years (standard practice) and the other items you mentioned are not "slowly" finding their way into US homes but quickly. CFL bulbs are widely sold in home improvement stores and in many places are "pushed" by local governments and the home improvement stores. Sorry to pop your bubble but the US is not as bad off as you are trying to imply.

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