Having written extensively on Laudato Si’, I decided it was time to see how I could implement it in my life. I decided to start with the house I live in, an old three-story building with 15 bedrooms dating from the end of the 19th century. If I could make it more energy efficient, I would be reducing our carbon footprint as well as saving money for my community.
Luckily, a major improvement at our house was completed in the fall with the purchase of an efficient gas-powered hot-water heating system to replace the ancient oil-fired furnace. Natural gas is cheaper and has a smaller carbon footprint than an oil furnace. In addition, a constant gas supply is more convenient than depending on trucks for delivering oil.
The windows were also undergoing a major upgrade. Thus two of the most expensive improvements were already taken care of. It was my job to look for the simpler, cheaper ways of making our house more energy efficient.
I started in the basement where I noticed that some of the pipes around the new furnace were not insulated. A hot-water heating system works by heating water in a furnace and then circulating it with an electric pump through radiators in the building, with the water then returning to the furnace to be reheated before circulating again…