The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Preparing for a Mini Ice Age
According to recent research presented at the National Astronomy Meeting there is a possibility that the northern-hemisphere could see a mini ice-age by 2025. If it does happen it means that countries, including the UK and USA, face some very cold and harsh winters. Taking a proactive approach and preparing now means that you can become more self-reliant in regards to energy, heat and food.
Making the changes to lifestyles sooner rather than later, means that you will not only be prepared if the mini ice-age does occur, it also means that you can save money, be more energy efficient and keep healthy.
By investing in solar panels, wind turbines or ground source heat pumps you can reduce your reliance on the National Grid. Ensuring that your home has loft, wall, floor, pipe and water tank insulation can help to keep your home warmer, and for many these investments can help reduce heating and fuel bills irrespective of the mini ice-age happening.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a great way to eat healthily, now and in the future. Storing them in age-old methods, such as root cellars, means that you can still eat well even if there is a power failure during the mini ice-age.
Keeping fit keeps you healthy, taking up outdoor sports such as ice-fishing or cross country skiing, are realistic ways to embrace the colder weather conditions. The addition of taking vitamin supplements and using a UV lamp are just a couple of other ways you can help to combat the cold and impending darker days.
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Preparing For The Mini Ice Age
Recent research suggests that by 2030 the UK could be entering a new ‘mini ice age’. This isn’t an ice age at all, but does mean that winters could be harsher and summers colder. This infographic guides you through the steps you need to take to make your life mini ice age proof, showing you the best ways to:
- Make your house energy and heat efficient
- Reduce reliance on the national grid
- Grow and store your own food
PREPARING YOUR HOUSE FOR THE MINI ICE AGE
- SOLAR PANELS
- Work surprisingly well in cold climates
- Relatively cheap way to help you produce energy
- Cost: £6000-£9000
- WIND TURBINES
- An effective way to produce your own energy and reduce dependence on the national grid
- Price, and savings, depend on the model of turbine
- Suitable site should have a minimum average wind speed of 6m/s
- Cost: £3,000-£30,000 depending on model
- GROUND SOURCE HEAT PUMP
- Save between £410-£2000 per year
- Efficient heating method
- Can be used with radiator or underfloor heating systems
- Cost: £11,000-£15,000
A well-insulated house is already a money saver and will only be more important should the temperature drop. Here are a few basic ways you can make your home winter proof.
- CHIMNEY BALLON
- Blocking inactive chimneys is an easy way to keep heat in
- Cost: £25
- DOUBLE GLAZED WINDOWS
- 10% of energy lost through windows
- More cost effective than triple glazed windows
- Cost: £350 per window
- LOFT INSULATION
- Can save up to £240 a year
- Approximately 25% of heat is lost through the roof
- Cost: £350
- WALL INSULATION
- More than 1/3 of heat is lost through walls
- Cost for cavity wall insulation: £350-£750
- Cost for solid wall insulation: £5500-£18000
- DRAFTPROOFING DOORS AND KEYHOLES
- Cheap and effective heating solution
- FLOOR INSULATION
- Warm floors!
- Can save between £30-£90 per year
- Cost: £300-£900 depending on home
- PIPE & TANK INSULATION
- Keeps water hot for longer
- Saves energy
- One of the easiest ways to save money
- A British Standard jacket around your cylinder will reduce heatloss by more than 75%
- Annual savings of £100
- Cost: Circa £50
- STORM PROOF DOOR
- One of the most effective ways both to stop heat leaving your house and to get stop cold air getting in
- Cost: depend on the door!
- CHIMNEY BALLON
- PRODUCING YOUR OWN FOOD
- Should the UK experience Scandinavian style winters growing and storing your own food could be a great way to ensure you get fresh food and aren’t so reliant on your supermarket. There are many greenhouses that are designed to thrive in harsh environments.
- Cost £1000-£3000
- STORING YOUR OWN FOOD
- Root cellars have been used since the iron age for using cool earth to store food. Although people have built large walk in root cellars, simply using a well-insulated container can also be effective.
- PRODUCING YOUR OWN FOOD
KEEPING YOURSELF HEALTHY IN THE MINI ICE AGE
One of the problems you might face in a mini ice age is a deficiency of vitamin D, normally gained from the sun’s rays. You can combat this with a UV Lamp, or, perhaps more sensibly, Vitamin D supplements.
- UV Lamp Cost £12
- Vitamin supplements Cost £8
TAKE UP A WINTER HOBBY!
- Ice fishing
- Cross country skiing