The consequences of wasting oil

The recent Gulf Oil Spill has highlighted the importance of trying to save energy, of trying to cut down on our fossil fuel consumption. Humanity as a whole seems addicted to petroleum products – gas for our cars, plastic for our packaging, detergents to do our washing. It all needs oil. The sooner we learn to use what little oil we have left in a more effective manner the better off we and the planet will be. If not then we'll have to continue to take risks like trying to extract oil from miles under the sea with the long term inevitable consequence of further environmental devastation.

One key thing every householder can do is to make their house more energy efficient. And if you live in a climate zone that gets cold in the winter then one of the most important things you can do is to improve your home's insulation. Insulate your roof space, cover gaps under doors and investigate your windows.

Windows are one of the biggest areas in a house of thermal loss. If you have old timber frame windows they are probably leaking out lots of heat. If you have aluminum frame windows then you are definitely losing lots of heat.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set up the Energy Star rating system to promote products that will reduce carbon emissions in the USA. One of the key strategies proposed by Energy Star is to install uPVC or rigid vinyl windows. If you install uPVC windows and seal up the gaps in your house then the EPA estimates you can save up to 20% on your heating bills over the year. That is a big a saving not only in terms of money but also in terms of burning fossil fuels to heat your house in the winter.

Although rigid vinyl or uPVC windows are made from plastic that in turn comes from oil, the fact that uPVC window frames will last up to 25 years with minimum maintenance required means that it is a worthy investment to make.

Not only will you save money and oil by installing uPVC windows but you will also add to the value of your house. In these economically trying times it is very difficult to sell your property. If a buyer has narrowed his or her choice down to 2 properties they are more likely to purchase the house with uPVC windows installed because heating bills will be less and uPVC windows offer better home security than timber frame windows.

So the next time you see pictures of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico consider how you can cut down on your use of oil and natural gas so you are less responsible for the next oil disaster that is sure to happen. One way to do that is to get uPVC windows installed.