We never think about the consequences of leaving the light on when we leave a room or putting the TV on standby or spending those extra few minutes in the shower. We think even less about the carbon emissions produced by our homes. While modern houses are designed with energy efficiency in mind, older homes will require a few modifications and those who live in them will have to make more than a few simple lifestyle changes to make a difference.
Choosing eco-friendlier options when it comes to home improvements can help you reduce the amount of energy you use every day and reduce your utility bills. To get you started, here are a few ideas on how you can make your home more energy efficient.
Energy-Efficient Lights and Solar Panels
The simplest ways to reduce your energy consumption is to swap out your lights with LEDs. This includes the ones on your cooker hood and the bulbs in any lamps you have in the house. To lower your electricity bill even further, you should consider installing some solar panels. If you’re the type of person who struggles to remember to turn things off, you should look into home automation, so you can set your lights to turn on and off at certain times and control them from your phone via an app.
Doors and Windows
Heat can escape through your windows and doors, and if they’re old and draughty, then they may be due for a replacement. You lose a lot of heat through the front and back doors in your home, since they’re constantly being opened and closed. Modern doors are airtight and watertight, and if your current doors aren’t keeping out draughts and damp, then that’s a problem.
Windows are where the most heat escapes in your home, so if your windows are single glazed, then you may want to go for double or triple glazed ones. If your double or triple glazed widows are misting up on the inside, then the seal is damaged and it will need fixing or replacing. Older wooden window frames may suffer from rot, so you may want to have new frames installed. If you’re having trouble with finding door and window installers in your area, go online and look up something like “windows and doors Oakville,” and you’ll find plenty of options.
Upgrade Your Boiler and other Appliances
Many old boilers have to heat and store the water before you can use it, but newer boilers will take less time to heat the water because they do it on demand. Modern boilers are more compact and energy efficient, and will help you to save on bills.
Most of the appliances in your house are also not as efficient as they could be, such as the refrigerator, freezer, washer, and drier. When it comes to refrigerators and freezers, most people have larger ones than they actually need. Having a fridge and freezer that are the right size for your needs is important. If you go for a single fridge and freezer unit, it will also be more efficient. Before you buy it, look at the ratings. Fridges and freezers often have labels that will tell you how energy efficient they are.
Every one knows that to save energy, they should only wash a full load of laundry on the eco setting, but that may not be enough. Modern washing machines can use less water and spin faster, which will reduce the amount of time your clothes need in the drier. Instead of using your dryer all the time, especially during the summer, hang your laundry on a clothes airer to dry.
We can all do our part to save the environment and reduce our carbon footprint, and these home modifications are the right step towards living more sustainably. If you’re thinking of upgrading your home, you should have it assessed first, so you can see which parts of your home consume the most amount of energy. You should also think about loft, wall, and floor insulation too. You don’t have to make all these changes at once. Start off by making gradual improvements. Think of it as an investment. You’re investing your home and in your future.
If you can’t afford to make any drastic changes to your home, there are other inexpensive options. Simply change your daily habits. For example, turn the lights off when you leave a room, take shorter showers or swap your shower head out for an eco-friendlier one, and put on a jumper instead of turning up the thermostat. You’ll soon see a reduction in your energy bills and your carbon footprint.
Image Credits: Erik Mclean