Thursday, February 08, 2018

How To Create an Eco-Friendly Home ♥

We all need to do better to save our planet, and one of the ways we can ensure that our homes stand the eco test of time is to ensure that we do our best to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint. New build homes are already undertaking many steps, but older houses need to improve too. Whether you’re fully renovating your home or you’re just looking to make a few tweaks to become more environmentally friendly, here’s how you can create an eco-friendly home:
Heating:
Under floor Heating
Wall radiators aren’t very energy efficient. For a better way to heat your home, try under floor heating. This works particularly well in rooms like the bathroom. It may seem like a big task, but it is actually rather straightforward to install under floor heating in an older home.
Turn down the thermostat
By turning down your thermostat just by one degree Celsius, you could save yourself a lot of money per year, and the chances are that you won’t even notice it.
Insulation:
Insulate Loft
Loft insulation isn’t a new trick, but a lot of homeowners still haven’t invested in it. Heat rises, so it makes sense to insulate your loft with recycled or natural materials. You will recoup the costs of the initial investment in your energy bills within 2-3 years.
Insulate cavity walls
In homes that were built before energy saving was an important priority, energy can be wasted in cavity walls as well as lofts. Therefore, the logical solution is to insulate the cavity walls just as you would the loft.
Double glazing
Double glazing advertising has given the industry a bad reputation, but it’s really important not to overlook the potential that it has. Single glazed windows let out so much heat, and double glazing doesn’t have to be ugly – there are plenty of great options available on the market.
Thick Curtains
Blinds might look great, but they don’t do a lot to keep heat in. If you’re concerned about your heating bill, use thick curtains to keep the draught out.
Block Draughts
If there’s a draught coming down your chimney, block it. If there’s a large gap underneath the door, block it! Draught excluders may not be overly stylish but they definitely work.
Energy
Solar panels can be expensive to install, but you will make savings in the long term. You may even be eligible to get paid by the National Grid for generating energy, so you could make back what you invest!
Checks to Make:
Boiler servicing
Boilers can be expensive to repair, so it’s important to make regular checks and keep it serviced.  If the boiler is quite old, try and upgrade to a newer, more energy efficient one when you can – ideally every 10 years or so.
Check Energy Performance Certificate
If you’re planning to move into a new home, whether that’s by buying or renting, you should check the Energy Performance Certificate which will inform you of the CO2 emissions and the house’s energy use. A is the most energy efficient and G is the least. Knowing to look for this certificate will help you to choose an energy efficient home.
Monitor Electricity Consumption
Most modern electricity meters allow you to keep an eye on your electricity consumption. It will show you how appliances can have an effect on your electricity usage.
Replace:
Wood-framed Windows
Wood-framed windows are a great choice if you’re looking to install new windows. They are easier to repair, more insulating and can last a lot longer than alternatives. The main material for windows is UPVC, which can emit a toxic gas when it is burnt, so it isn’t the most eco-friendly option.

LED bulbs

LED bulbs have advanced so much in recent years that they are now available in pretty much every colour and style. The LED bulbs are more energy efficient than halogen or fluorescent alternatives. The general rule is for every bulb that breaks in your home, you should replace it with an LED alternative, to spread the cost.
Water-saving showerhead
Power showers are great, but they waste more water than baths sometimes. You can get around the wastage by installing a water saving showerhead – preferably a low-flow showerhead - and your shower shouldn’t last anymore than 10 minutes.
Water Based Paints
Planning to decorate? You may wish to switch to a paint which is water based. The majority of paint that we use in our home is oil based, but water based paint is much more energy efficient and can even look better.
Sustainability:
Locally Sourced Materials and Tradesman
If you’re renovating your home, try to use locally sourced materials where possible. This will reduce the carbon footprint of bringing the materials to you, and will also help your local economy. Local tradesmen will need to travel less, so there will be fewer fuel emissions as they make their way to you. You can also ask that the builders recycle their materials rather than sending them to landfill. Small changes like this can really make a big difference.
Recycled Furniture
If you’re looking for new furniture, head to the likes of eBay and Gumtree and see what you can seek out. Often you can completely change the look of a piece of furniture just by painting it, adding some fabric or changing the handles. You can see an old armchair I upcycled and some chairs I upcycled too if you're looking for some inspiration.
Used Kitchen Exchange
If you’re renovating your home and you’d like a new kitchen, consider buying a used or ex-display kitchen. You can make a sustainable purchase by buying from a reputable re-seller such as Used Kitchen Exchange. You can arrange to view the kitchen before you buy, and you can even sell your current kitchen – Used Kitchen Exchange can manage every aspect of the process on your behalf.
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