Thursday, 28 February 2013

Heat Loss is Invisible - See Where it's Gone!

Heat Loss is Invisible - See Where it's Gone!

Richard Jessel's Calculation  GRAPH (pdf)   He calculated the figures below and used these to produce the  graph.
See common problems below this chart, with samples of different permutations which must contribute to the complexity of producing a universal document for heat and money loss for a letter box?? R's "had a go" for a simple guide.

So far there has been no success on our part to find specific documents concerning heat loss and money loss dissipated from a STAND ALONE letter box.  There may be some out there, and if anyone who reads this and can help we would really appreciate your contact.

Letter boxes as part of a door perhaps is a different story re documentation,  but it's a fact that the problems from this silent culptrit can still be applied.  

There are so many permutations when evaluating the loss of heat and the incoming of cold air through a letter box.
When the box is shut firmly and tightly,  this pretty well removes the problem.  
However,  how do you gauge and document the energy lost through a flapping letter plate, a rattling letter box, a broken letter plate, one missing all together and the various angles of opening sucombing to jamming by various thickness's of mail and small packages?

Broken spring - heat loss here

 This maybe a favourite!  but needs some protetion behind.

There's so many styles of letter boxes fitted into a door
The modern way  - lifting upwards. 
The traditional way - of pushing through the aperture,  horizontal or vertical and all coming with - or not -  brushes,  flaps, curtains.



Opening difficulties of the letter box can be taken into consideration too. Heavy springs seem to be the norm to keep it shut.  The post can hardly get through and when it does - if it does - is crunched due to more obstacles and often gets stuck.  Also another valid point - consider the extra time this takes tackling the delivery,  with the letter box open to the elements allowing your heat to escape and cold air to trickle in.
Even fingers.  This is certainly not nice mentioning this, but why not?  the fact remains it happens. There are many case histories on the web. To name just two blog spots....

Heat loss here

The above can be applied to your beautifully insulated door too - it really defeats the object unless you have an outside letter box - have to open the front door to retrieve your mail and papers.  More heat loss. Porches will help,  but actual posting difficulties are not completely alleviated and could apply to   through the wall letter boxes,

Added to all this 
We then come to the material of the letter flaps.  Are they metal? are they plastic? each having different thermal conduction characteristics - coming into the home or going out of the home.


Even the colour can either absorb or radiate heat.  All this together with the variable air temperatures outside your home and inside your home...and wind pressure and... not forgetting humidity. 

How can a stand alone letter box be universally gauged for heat,  energy and money loss? As mentioned,  if there are such documents please let us know.  

Meanwhile, the guide to heat loss costs above have been devised by Richard using some of these variable situations.  He has done the best he can at the moment.  
It gives an indication of the Thermal Units you need to replace the heat loss under these variable conditions (only you know what you pay per btu - and the way your letter box behaves.) 

Bear in mind...

Once you have warmed your home you will then only pay to replace the heat that you are losing by having inefficient thermal or draught protection.


You need 100 standard open keyholes to equal one letter box

There are many forums on the internet that have specific letter box threads with many suggestions of overcoming general difficulties with their letter box.  Just a few of them are mentioned above and... with some of the permutations.

How often is this ignored? - heat loss here

Sunday, 17 February 2013


You may as well say this now,  if you haven't prepared for energy saving yet by now.
all the money you've slaved for, the hours of work  (and hoping you enjoy your job)  you've just let it slip out back into the atmosphere.
Where IS the sense?

Your money dissipating as you try to keep warm - feeling irritated and fed up.
Just imagine a little thought a few months back and you wouldn't be feeling like this now.

Granted,  there are people who can afford to tolerate the discomfort. They just arrange a few days away, close the door behind them, leave the howling, whistling, blowing,  rattling letting it all look after itself  and off they go to find the sun

The likes of most of us just cannot afford to do this.  The home is supposed to be our haven.
Warm, Cosy and Secure.  
If our money blew out of the window, chimney, letter box, floorboards and loft can we honestly say we achieve these three important ingredients?....and... unlike the above mentioned  wouldn't have a nest egg to escape.
Just listen to your house.  It needs to keep warm even if you don't.
So prepare long before the inevitable cold months come along.

Make a list of all those draughty corners, cracks, slits, holes and even if the birds are singing, the sun has a smile on its face and the flowers nod in the contentment of warmth - and there is no cold air trickling into your home -  don't STUFF the draughts - refer to your list and and get the draughts stuffed.

Our climate cannot be guaranteed anyway and certainly a fine line between the seasons cannot be drawn these days.

Think of the dark dismal and very cold days we had during the summer months 
and think of the spring like days we've had in the winter months.
Be warm all the time guided by logic instead of the marketing seasons.

Go for ENERGY SAVING the whole year round.  Take all the guidance you can with eco, green, literature  media, promotions - take up the offers whatever time of year.

We apparently are in an ice age right now? - ice being at top and bottom of the planet
Don't let your home feel like an iceberg and have to pay for this.
Where's the sense and feeling of wellbeing in this?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

An Inventor's Input

 "address the draughts-
the thermostat should be left alone"

Cold v.Warm

Very basic analysis.

Now remember!
For you to feel a cold draught coming in,  an equal amount of warm air has to be lost.
The outside feels the warm air you lose - you only feel the cold air that replaces your losses.
Very often the cold air you feel on one side of the house is because of the warm air you are losing on the other side of the house... or upstairs... or through the roof.

A case of air flow - invisible but invincible - the front door is more likely to slam if a rear door is opened or vice versa.

Warm air rises,  cold air falls.
A misted up mirror/window clears from the top down.
A mirror on an internal wall will clear quicker than one on an external wall
A high mirror more quickly than a lower mirror.

It's clearing
Insulating a wall above a thermostat,  especially on an external wall IS a benefit. The reason being if not insulated...
Warm air rises, and collects at ceiling height.
When contacting the wall it cools and drops down when it reaches the thermostat.
It's colder than the room air temperature.
It turns on the boiler unnecessarily because "it" thinks the room air temperature is low.
It's only the air adjacent to the wall that is cooler (the air falling on the thermostat)
Insulating the wall above reduces this unnecessary waste,  plus wear and tear of the boiler cycles.
Even a shelf above the thermostat will help.

This logic can be applied to cold air coming through from all parts of the front door.
If the thermostat is situated near to your door, the cold air falls onto it and kicks the boiler unnecessarily into action once again.

Insulate around the door
Use a draught stopper
Ensure no obstruction of  mail delivery so that jamming open of the letter box is prevented.
If your letter box is noisy, then you are losing heat and energy.

One solution that could be considered - here 

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Hi Folks
The time of year has come - the gales - the ice - the snow - the rain and sub zero temperatures - and yet households are still prepared to squander their heat out into the atmosphere, and pay higher and higher energy bills.
Can't understand this with all the national promotions for conserving heat and paying less on energy costs through OUT the year - the green eco of today.,  and more recently THE GREEN DEAL launch.

People really do resist change don't they?  A small proportion  take on board the wonderful offers and products available and can't see the bigger picture.

The holidays, the partying of COURSE are very necessary in life - helping combat the doom and gloom that surrounds us every day,  but... isn't it sense to clad your house to become a warmer home - initially and in some cases plucking small amounts of money from the "Leisure Pot" to ensure all these steps to saving energy and saving money are taken.

Now in my mind that means MORE money for the "Leisure pot!"

Why do people wait until its' too late?  During the summer months much home decorating and improvement takes place - new kitchens, new bathrooms, new annexes, new gardens, new carpets and so on and so forth -  these are the jobs for the warm weather.  Now what beats me is that why can't preparation for the colder weather be undertaken at the same time?  It really does make sense.

Okay the marketing emphasis and their seasons tell people they wait until the colder weather before rubbing energy saving products under the consumers nose, and thus a large proportion of your resources - your money and energy -  has already been dissipated before undertaking steps to prevent this,  and beware! the dreaded high energy bills coming through the letter box.
Bit late don't you think? especially when the over spending at Christmas coincides with the bitterly cold months and days following this period have to be endured.   The horse has long gone before bolting the stable door.

The Horse's Bolted by now

What a shame all the energy saving precautions weren't taken during the warmer weather. But this is marketing.  Be guided by logic rather than marketing seasons.
It's daft that people can't see it this way.

So back to today, one day in January - we've ruled out there is no money in the pot this month, but at least or rather towards the coming months of warmer, longer days,   get to grips with all the areas of the house that howled, rattled, blustered and swirled with draught,  from chimneys, windows, floorboards, lofts, around doors and ....through the letter box and start preparing NOW.

Do it NOW!

Due to marketing seasons again you may argue  "Oh no, the oncoming warmer days are the time to book my holiday, arrange my garden parties,have my new conservatory, buy my new car - those swirling days of draft can look after themselves until the next winter comes along" - and so the same cycle starts all over again.  Doesn't make sense.

Get out of this rut. Stuff, line, edge, replace with effective energy saving products in readiness for the cold months ahead.  They are inevitable.  Have your "Leisure Box" and toss in the £'s, but  have alongside an  "I'm Going To Be Cosy Next Winter Box"  and toss in the pence starting now.  Get prepared not only for the beach but for your home warmth.  This is the time to do it.  NOW. (and you'll have more money for your Leisure Box - did you work this out?)
Start here and you'll find out where to go and who can help