Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step

September 19, 2009

Breakthrough Fiber Technology Saves Hundreds on Heating Bill

Category: Fun – Tom Harrison – 1:27 pm

micro-fiberToday researchers at the Scotland-Hapsburg Energy Engineering Partnership reported a breakthrough fiber that reportedly can save home owners hundreds of dollars on home heating bills. Being naturally skeptical of such claims, I checked it out, and I believe their assertions are valid.

This bio-tech innovation allows specially bred species to emit a fibrous substance having remarkable thermal insulating properties. Whereas most home insulation is done to create an envelope around the house, this material can instead be used to create an envelope around the items in the house needing the insulation, thus creating an order or magnitude or greater efficiency gain versus heating the air of the house.

Remarkably, this technology has been in use for thousands of years, and it is only recently that researchers understood how it could be used as an energy efficiency tool.

Of course, I am just being baaaad.

sheep400The bio technology is an animal called a sheep, which grows wool from which you can make a sweater.

It occurred to me that I should write this post when my 12-year-old son, whom I’ll call “Carter” to protect his identity, said last night that he was cold. He was still in his running clothes after a cross-country practice: shorts and a short shirt. I believe his intention was to get me to turn up the heat in the house, as it is no longer hot here in Boston, and the indoor temperature had fallen to a brisk 74°F. I reminded him of the alternative, which would be to dress properly.

sweaterBut seriously — do you keep your house a little warmer so that you can pad around in bare feet and a light shirt? During the cooler months, things like sweaters, fleece jackets, blankets, wool socks, slippers and the like are all comfortable alternatives to jacking up the heat. In fact, if you’re a real stoic, you can be perfectly comfortable in a house heated to 62°F. But most of us, including myself are not so stoic. A few degrees makes a difference in how warm we feel, but turning up the thermostat not only costs a lot, it’s really just unnecessary.

So buy a nice wool sweater and socks and stay warm and comfy this winter.


  1. Hi Tom,

    I wear ski-pants and a woolly hat indoors in winter. I often end up wearing more clothes indoors than outdoors!

    Comment by Tony Wildish — September 19, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

  2. This sounds like it will be a great thing when it becomes affordable.

    Comment by Charles — September 26, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

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