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Sustainable Living

About Asphyxia

Food and Nutrition

  • Traditional Foods
    My health has dramatically improved after changing my diet for a more traditional way of eating, as advised by Sally Fallon.
  • Food Flower Poster
    Forget the food pyramid! It was developed by the agricultural industry, not by nutritionists. Instead, print this Food Flower poster, which shows a visual guide to choosing nutritious and satisfying traditional foods.
  • Sourdough bread Recipes
    I make delicious sourdough bread in my bread machine - recipes and tips here.
  • Raw Food
    Should we be eating a diet of 100% raw food? Here's what I found by way of "scientific proof".
  • Raw garlic to cure colds & flu
    If you feel a cold or flu coming on, eat a whole clove of raw garlic, three times a day - it works miracles.

« DIY Red Shoes | Main | Solar Heater Update »

09 March 2014


We are thinking of installing a Solamate system and when doing a little research on the net I found all you had to say very interesting. How have you survived the winter. Hope you have been toasty warm.
You really are doing such a lot of good for the environment - well done. Great vegie garden
Hope to hear from you soon
Many thanks

Fixie: Hi Joy - we have been rapt with our system. We have a kero heater for supplementry heating and have used it waaaay less than we have every other year. The solar heater, on a sunny day, makes our house toasty and beautifully warm, guilt free since it uses so little electricity. However, I'd say on average 2-3 days a week it's cloudy and barely turns on, so you do need a back up for then and for particularly cold nights and mornings. It's worth having good thermal mass to capture the heat gained through the day (which we do), but even then it can get cold when we go for a while without sun. We didn't need to start using the kero heater at all until winter (usually we start in May) and I'm optimistic that once Sept comes we can put it away, whereas usually we still use it til Mid October. Let me know what you decide and how you go too.

I've just heard about this from a rep who was very positive about the possibilities. In NZ, they are selling it as part of HRV mechanical ventilation system which also brings the heat down from the roof cavity..

I'm interested that you say it doesn't really start to warm up until the sun shines - the rep told me that it works via UV so doesn't need sunshine. We have concrete floors, double glazed argon filled windows - with the aim of taking advantage of passive heat stored in concrete if it is sunny!

We are in Dunedin so further south than you and cooler in the winter..


Hi Merrolee,

It's true, it does heat up a bit with UV only and no sunshine, but not very much. Our house is tiny and maybe on a day with UV but no sun it would lift the temp by 1 degree celsius. When the sun shines though, the temp shoots up and it gets nice and toasty. I'm very happy with it and we do usually get a couple of hours of sun most days in winter, so I feel it's worth it. It takes the edge off the cold, worst case, and best case it make the house gorgeously warm.

Take care!

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