Cooling your home without using electricity? Air conditioning is one of those things that gets fought over in the office during the summer as there are always those that are too cold or too hot. It is now winter and hopefully the fights have cooled down along with the temperature (pardon the pun), however this doesn’t mean that you can forget about your system. With this in mind and the importance climate change coming to the forefront of conversations a team of researchers have revealed that they have found a way to cool a room without increasing demands in time for next summer. The team that have come up with this new system have said that in the USA alone, 15 per cent of the energy used in buildings is spent running air conditioning systems. As it is likely that air conditioning systems are only run during the summer months this seems like a reasonable percentage however, there is a huge amount of electricity generated from coal based power plants which in turn creates a lot of carbon emissions. Continue reading → Winter or Summer – Who knows? After our week of sunshine, the weather looks set to change dramatically for us over the next few days. With snow already see in the more Northern parts of England and in Scotland it looks like our early summer hasn’t lasted. Snow, sleet and rain hounded down on Britain last night and left 10,000 people without any power across the North East of England. There is yellow weather warning for Scotland, Wales, northern England and the Midlands. This is after gale force winds reached 80 mph last night. According to forecasters, 15 – 20cm of snow fell last night in the Peak District, Pennies and Cumbria and with this kind of weather there are many travel disruptions around. After writing about the high temperatures in Aboyne last week, this area has also seen 2cm of snow as the weather seems to be playing bizarre tricks on us. This, however, is a good time to make sure all air conditioning units are functioning as well as they should be. From looking at the dramatic weather changes in the last week, who knows when we will see our next glimpse of summer, could be next week with these changes! By cleaning the units out and getting professionals to check them over as we have previously written about is essential. This is especially true with the weather as unpredictable as it is now. Scorching temperatures in the office without working air conditioning is unbearable. This cold weather is set to move south leaving behind wintery conditions although there isn’t any forecast snow and we still have a little sunshine and highs of 13 throughout the week. This, at least for the south, is normal March temperatures. Climate Change Vs Nuclear Power Since Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami, nuclear power plants appear to be a topic of discussion. According to the Guardian online newspaper, the nuclear industry can ‘offer no guarantee against a repeat of Japan’s disaster’. Nuclear power currently provides 6% of the world’s energy, there have been ongoing debates about whether this source of energy is sustainable; some people believe nuclear power poses a threat to people and the environment. At present, Japanese authorities are concerned with the state of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and are battling to reduce the risks of radiation. An evacuation zone has been imposed and all residents have been told to stay indoors. These steps could help reduce the risk of radiation on human health. The Fukushima Daiichi plant was overwhelmed by the tsunami, causing an explosion, leading to radiation disaster. Some say perhaps the early generations of nuclear plant design are to be looked at to prevent damage happening again or should the blame be placed on the strong earthquake? Either way, it would appear trust in nuclear power has certainly decreased with the threat climate change poses.