Are you paying attention yet? Recent harrowing pictures of the Earth’s lungs should have had you sitting up, taking note and hopefully, switching off. Not your attention, mind. Keep focused; this is a matter of life and death. And although the statistics point to 100 companies being responsible for the majority of the world’s pollution, there is still so much the little person can, and should, do. It all starts at home, with these; our 6 IDEAL home improvement hacks to make your home more energy efficient.
Wastage; you just hate to see it. So, you’ll likely bristle at this stat; 25% of the energy you buy to heat your home is being lost through single glazing, or older inefficient double-glazed windows. Now is the time to look at upgrading your windows to modern ‘A’ Rated windows. This will help to reduce the loss of heat through your windows by up to70%, reducing the cost of your heating bills as well as your carbon footprint. A double win.
With summer coming to a close and the finger beginning to hover over the thermostat, investing in some new glass could be a prudent move. There are companies that specialise in manufacturing and installing new windows, such as the good guys over at Bill Butters Windows. Take a look, at the least.
SOLAR PANELS OR WINDMILLS
Depending on your location, of course, you may find that solar panels or a windmill can provide alternative energy. Such energy is a huge investment – it’s no secret – but they’re also a wise one for a number of reasons. Firstly, aside from the actual value of the panels giving financial worth, you’ll find extra value when it comes to EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). Upgrading your certificate from a D to a band B certificate by installing panels, for example, could add around £16,000 to your home. You’ve also got the appeal of lower bills too which, naturally, everyone wants. Finally, and most importantly, of course, is that they don’t generate greenhouse gases.
A few low effort hacks in the kitchen can make a big difference cumulatively to your energy bill. Not all of the output in the heart of the home is strictly necessary. Try turning your oven off 10 minutes before you’re finished cooking to save on energy, as it stays hot long after the dial has been turned to zero. Or, simply use your oven less; harnessing the power of your microwave instead could apparently save you £60 per year. Who knew? Slow cookers are also an extremely energy efficient cooking appliance, needing a similar amount of juice as a light bulb to run. The list is seemingly endless; check out uSwitch’s guide here for more.
AN AUTOMATED THERMOSTAT
Automated thermostats are ideal for keeping your temperature consistent and your energy usage at its least impactful level. They can adjust themselves to their environment in a clean, green way by learning the temperatures you like to keep in the house at certain times and automatically adjusting accordingly, so you don’t have to worry about faffing around constantly to find your optimum warmth. The added upside of this convenience is that you waste very little energy heating or cooling your home when you’re not there. Automated thermostats have been estimated to save hundreds in energy costs alone, so they are an investment well worth it, even before you consider the environmentally positive implications.
You may scoff at this one, but it’s true: light bulbs matter in energy efficiency. Just think about how much you have the lights on in your home; that’s a huge amount of energy you’re burning through if you’re lit up with energy-inefficient bulbs. And with energy efficient lightbulbs nowadays fully developed, government approved and affordable, there can be no real excuse as to why you’re not operating on a different wattage when lighting your home. Soon enough you’ll come to appreciate the golden glow of a more energy efficient bulb and enjoy not cowering in the stark, harsh light of the more powerful ones.
WATER & BATHROOMS
While it’s not entirely related to energy efficiency, there is of course an element of efficiency in conserving the amount of hot water that you use in your home – the more you use, the more you have to heat up. Perhaps the best tip here is to find a shower head that doesn’t compromise on your ability to wash comfortably, but is water efficient in the process. Practical, mindful behaviour will help too; don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth, only turn the shower on when you’re under the head…that kinda thing.