Would you like a greener home that’s energy efficient? Of course, we all would. We would all love to reduce our carbon footprint and lessen our guilt – but it’s costly and time-consuming, right? Wrong! It doesn’t have to be.
It’s important that we all do what we can to reduce our output of carbon gases, even if an individual contribution seems insignificant. Many homeowners are finding innovative ways to focus on creating a greener home and energy efficiency AND save money.
11 Tips to Make your Home Greener:
1. Seal all your ‘Black Holes’
We’re not talking about deep space here, ‘black holes’ mean something quite different here on planet earth; they are spaces of any size that allow air in and out of your home. Check your windows, doors, loft or basement as these are all potential areas where you may find a black hole lurking. Even your power outlets could be letting air through!
There are of course many different ways to seal your black holes, depending on where they are. Sometimes all it takes is some foam stripping which you can line door and window frames with. However, if the holes are quite large, then you may need to consider buying replacements.
2. Seal or Replace your Windows
Older homes often have single pane windows that transmit cold air and let heat escape. If you can you should invest in some double glazing windows – it’s expensive but most certainly a worthwhile investment.
If replacing your windows is not an option, then sealing them is your best bet. Certain products such as double-sided tape and plastic sheeting can make this task relatively simple and inexpensive.
3. Wrap your Boiler with a Heat Blanket
A great way to achieve a greener home is by helping your boiler our (meaning it’ll use less energy). Your boiler is the heart of your home’s energy and should be well looked after. The water will retain its temperature a lot better if you wrap the unit in a thermal blanket.
You’ll also want to make sure your water isn’t coming out too hot. To get a gauge on the temperature, start by setting the thermostat on your boiler to about 54C and then run the hot water tap closest to the boiler. This should be about right. If it isn’t, adjust as necessary.
4. Insulate your Water Pipes
The first 2 metres of your hot water pipes ought to be insulated to reduce heat loss further. You can do this using an insulating foam sleeve, which is very cheap to buy from hardware stores.
5. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
By changing from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs, you will save approximately 75% more energy on every bulb.
LED lights are the most popular choice for saving electricity at home. They are essentially light emitting diodes that use 80% less energy than regular bulbs and can last up to 15 years. Use LED lights for the areas where you need light most often, i.e. the living room, dining room or kitchen.
6. Wash Full Loads
Unless you live in a student house, it probably seems like a good idea to wash things up as soon as you’re done with them. However, by washing things up handfuls at a time, you are wasting water and therefore energy and money. So leaving your dirty dishes by the sink for a day and letting it all pile up isn’t such a bad thing after all.
If you have a dishwasher, wait until you can fill it to total capacity before you switch it on.
7. Use a Low Flow Showerhead
Low flow shower heads are cheap to buy and come in a variety of different styles. They make no difference whatsoever to water pressure, and they can reduce your water consumption by up to 70%.
To attach one, you just need to unscrew your current shower head and replace it simply.
8. Switch to Organic Sheets
Have you ever considered swapping your sheets for organic cotton? This may seem a little far-fetched, but it does make a difference to your home’s energy efficiency. Not only are organic sheets made without any processed dyes or harmful chemicals making them safer for your family, but they are harvested and manufactured more responsibly.
9. Add Thermal Curtains
Another easy and greener fix? Try swapping your regular curtains for thermal-backed curtains. Thermal backing will help keep the heat inside your home and the cold out – again, saving you energy and money.
10. Try Composting
Recycling at home is a given; we all (and if you don’t then you really should) try our best by separating materials into different coloured bins etc., but the truth is we can always do more. Composting, for instance, isn’t something most homeowners do. It’s a big job – a rather messy and smelly one too – but once you learn how to manage compost, there will be no mess or stench at all.
From a small compost bin on your kitchen counter to a ‘compost shredder’, which you toss all your nutrient-rich compost into before shredding and then sprinkling it in your garden, there are plenty of ways to compost.
11. Use a Faucet Aerator
A faucet aerator is a little attachment which can save you a lot of money. All you do is just screw it onto your faucet, and it will add air to the water that comes out of the tap. You probably won’t notice a difference, but actually, you’ll be conserving a lot of water.
Following these tips will radically improve your home’s energy efficiency, and set you on your way to a greener home AND save you a lot of money in the long run. Stay up-to-date on more ideas for a greener home, home improvement tips and interior design news by liking A Fancy Home on Facebook!