Everything we do in and to our home will affect the environment one way or another, either for good or bad. Becoming aware of this is an important first step, which can lead to considerable savings for you, as well as benefiting the environment. This also includes improving energy efficiency in your home. And there are a number of ways in which you can make your current home “greener” that will put more “green” in your pocket too. Insulation is an important first step in reducing energy usage and reducing your outgoings. It’s even more important now with the rising cost of energy these days. And there have been many improvements to insulation in recent years that make it more effective and efficient as well as even safer in the home. Those walls, lofts and attic spaces can lose huge amounts of expensive heat from your house, so insulating them can save you a great deal of money as well as making a more comfortable home – warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. After all, insulation works both ways! A lot of insulation is very easy to install or lay down, or you can go for a professional job and get an approved contractor to install cavity wall insulation. Once you have the insulation in place, it’s worth looking at the types of heating and air conditioning systems that are available. Modern ones are all so much more energy efficient. While the initial costs may seem a bit steep, you should recover your money in the long run, through lower bills. Before agreeing to buy any new system, check whether there are any grants available to you locally, or any other help. It is possible that some grants for those on a low income or those over a certain age may be available. Sometimes financial help is only available for certain systems or by using certain installation contractors. Check up on the required conditions to be met before signing up for anything. Solar panels are one way of providing additional heat and power in your house. The costs of installing these have come down considerably and the latest designs are a lot more efficient and easy to maintain. The panels are also more attractive and with so many people opting for this form of additional heat and power generation, solar panels have become very much the “in-thing” in many neighbourhoods. You may have a local contractor who can install solar panels for you or you may need to check for a national company. Whichever you chose, make sure they are certified to fit and install solar panels correctly. Solar panel installation at an information center adjacent to Ögii Lake (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Windows are another source of heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer and many homes still have the original windows, which may be outdated by today’s standards for energy conservation. They may also have shrunk from their frames, creating draughts. Where possible, think about replacing windows with double, or even triple-glazed windows. It’s not necessary to do every window at the same time, these can be done bit by bit if necessary. And in some houses, there may be certain windows that need replacing anyway or where you have already noticed cold draughts in the winter winds. Cutting out the heat loss from windows (and doors) can have a very beneficial effect on your bills! In hotter climates, you can even get tinted glass that will reflect the sun’s glare during the summer. Quite aside from insulation, if you are going to redecorate your home, you can now get healthier paints that are free from VOCs (volatile organic compounds). and this is another way to get your house greener and make it a safer and healthier place for you and your family. Let’s take a look now at water. Rainwater may be scarce in some areas, but when it does fall, you can collect it for free and make good use of it, saving your water bills. There are a number of ways to collect rainwater, from rain barrels (keep them covered to prevent accidents and to keep insects out) to underground tanks set into your garden.
You can collect rainwater through your downpipes using an adapter. The water can be used for washing your car, watering plants and is even said to be very good for washing hair, leaving it soft. There are also many ways now to save water inside the house, by using less. For instance, there are a number of new toilet models available. These use less water than older models. Some have two buttons, one for a short flush, one for a longer flush where necessary. You can also get more modern shower heads that will use less water. As water bills increase, replacing your toilet or your shower head with a more modern one incorporating water saving technology can save you money over time. It’s important to think through any changes you may want to make. Anything you do must always consider whether you can afford it and just how much of a saving it will make for you. But in general, you will find that being kind to the environment will also be kind on your pocket! Check out a few of these ideas and see if you can make your house greener and more eco friendly!
- Green Energy 101: Everything You Need To Know (sustainableenergyresearch.co.uk)
Reducing your water heater temperature to 120 degrees can save energy and money in your home. This way, you can save up to ten percent on your energy bill for a four-person family. You will still get enough hot water and it will be safer for children as well.
Government grants are available to help consumers invest in renewable energies. Contact local government and discover the programs that exist locally. You can qualify for installation of solar power at little to no cost.
Monitor how many watts you use. Use great gadgets such as the Kill-A-Watt or the Watt Minder to find out which fixtures and appliances use up the most energy. Plug the appliance into the device, and it can tell you the amount of energy it uses within an hour, month, or even a year. This is a good way to find out how much your appliances are really costing you.
Try and invest into a shower head that is water-saving for your bathroom. These head feel the same as a normal head, but use far less water. Your water bill will soon be reduced, and the planet will see the benefits too.
If you want to reduce the amount of energy you use, make ice yourself. Not only are automatic ice breakers more like to break, but they also use more energy. Another downfall to ice makers is that they can break or leak. Therefore, one way to save energy is to make your own ice.
If you spend the additional money to purchase green appliances and electronics, over a period of time it will pay off. Even though green technology may be costlier, it pays off in the long run when you see cheaper utility bills. It is also one more positive impact on the environment that compounds.
Rainwater can be effectively used in some household items, for example the toilet. This will save you money on your water bill and have a positive impact on the environment. To get rainwater all you have to do is place jars outside when it’s about to rain, and then close the lids after they’re filled.
Weatherizing your home can help make it more energy efficient. You can reduce the energy usage of your home by installing energy efficient doors and windows, sealing ducts, replacing faulty heat and air conditioners and adding insulation to your home. this will also lead to a decrease in your energy bill.
Increase your energy efficiency by making use of the right products that are designed for a greener environment. Use products such as double-glazed windows or eco-friendly doors to help reduce your energy usage without sacrificing your home’s needs. With these products, cooling and heating costs are decreased.
Programmable thermostats are great investments in green energy. These type of thermostats regulates your house’s temperature when you’re not at home and when you’re sleeping so that it is not cooling and heating your house for no reason. The newest models can have a number of stop and start times for every day of the week, in order to best conserve power.
No two homes contain both the same layout and location. Because of these differences, not every home is well-suited for all types of green technology. Not every method will be right for every home. Use the advice given here to determine which technologies are best suited for your particular situation.