Mounting evidence suggests that it’s time to take global warming seriously, and the rising costs of gas and oil are making everyone nervous. Clearly it’s time to explore how to make our lives more self-reliant and secure.
In this issue, “Slash Your Heating Bills” outlines how you can reduce your heating costs this winter. Last issue, we brought you a series of articles about how to choose a more fuel-efficient car, and we are planning to increase our coverage of energy issues in 2006.
For more inspiration and advice right now, check out our digital Archive. MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers have been reporting on clever, conscientious and sometimes corny energy-efficiency ideas for more than 35 years, and all of Mother’s articles can be accessed through the Archive. It’s amazing how many excellent ideas and exceptional projects we’ve published over the years. All of that wisdom is particularly valuable now, as we confront the twin challenges of global warming and declining supplies of fossil fuels.
Here’s a sample of the articles in the Archive about low-cost, easy-to-install solar hot-air collectors:
Ultra-simple Solar Hot-air Wall Heater. This unit is made by covering a 1-by-6-foot wood frame with clear plastic, mounting the panel on a south-facing wall and installing top and bottom vents into the home.
Recycled Aluminum Can Solar Heater. Cans cut in half are used to construct the absorber plate for this double-glazed solar hot-air collector. Temperatures in the collector reach more than 200 degrees, and the original unit reduced the heating costs of a New England church by more than 60 percent.
Storm Window Solar Heating Panels. This article details how to use recycled storm windows to make a solar hot-air collector that delivers heat into the home through a vent installed into a south-facing window.
There are several ways you can tap into MOTHER’s digital Archive. You can buy all three volumes of our Archive CDs and have nearly 7,000 articles at your fingertips, no Internet connection required. Or, you can search the Archive online. If you just want to read more about home heating options, you can visit a special collection of articles at www.MotherEarthNews.com/Energy-Efficient-Home-Heating-Cooling.
Also online, we offer a great selection of books and plans here. Of particular interest for this winter are two excellent books: Natural Home Heating by Greg Pahl and The Home Energy Diet by Paul Scheckel.