Reducing your energy consumption at home not only saves you money, but it also makes the most efficient use of our available resources. In today’s Guest Post by Liam Ohm, learn about 10 ways you can “green” your home.
Making your house greener is going to become an increasing priority over the next few years, with gas prices rising, and tax bills tying into reduced CO2 emissions and the energy conservation of properties. In this context, it’s important to think about some simple ways in which you can boost your home’s value, while making some fixes that will save you money in the short term. These changes will help you lay a foundation for long term reductions in emissions and a more efficient property. Read on for some ways to make your house greener.
1 – Invest in Solar Panels
A fast rising trend, solar panels can now be seen on the roofs of homes around the country. Installing them now has many benefits, which range from generating back up power for your home to being able to sell energy back to the Government as part of feed-in tariffs for homes in the UK, Canada or Australia. While expensive at present, solar panels can be viewed as long term investments in alternative, clean energy.
2 – Water Meters
With many houses around the world relying on an average charge based on location, a switch by you to a water meter can provide a much more specific reading of how much water you consume. Doing so can give you an accurate bill, and the ability to cut down on your average water use per year. Most homes in the US already have a water meter installed, but ensuring it is working properly will keep unnecessary charges at bay.
3 – Switch to Eco-Friendly Appliances
Many white goods can now be bought with high eco ratings, with the benefit of using less water and being more power efficient. Eco friendly washing machines and dryers also tend to produce less noise than conventional appliances. In the US, look for the “Energy Star” label for the most energy-efficient options.
4 – Insulate Windows
Windows are a key source of heat loss, which can lead to higher energy bills and more CO2 emissions. You can begin to solve these problems by installing double glazing, and by investing in UV-resistant window blinds that reduce the amount of heat coming into or going out of a room. Products like Web Blinds roman blinds offer the opportunity to reduce heat loss whilst improving the ambiance of the room.
5 – Recycle Water
Lost water in the home accounts for a large share of the carbon footprint of a property. You can improve this by recycling and storing water, either through water butts [rain barrels] in the garden, or through grey water recycling systems that can treat water for re-use in watering plants and cleaning.
6 – Green Roofs
Like solar panels, green roofs represent a significant investment, but one that can transform the eco potential of your home. Green roofs involve layering vegetation on a roof, which releases oxygen, and provides a mini ecosystem for plant and insect life. These roofs also help to insulate your property.
7 – Make a Compost Heap
An excellent way of recycling, a compost heap in the garden can be used to avoid throwing away food scraps and grass clippings. The natural mulch produced is ideal as a fertiliser for the garden, and can also be used to grow new vegetables and fruits.
8 – Start a Kitchen Garden
No matter how much space you have, you can start a kitchen garden that grows vegetables and spices for use in cooking. This can be set up on a windowsill or table, and can cut down on packaging, provide space for recycling waste for use as containers, and save you money on your food bills.
9 – Adjust Your Washing Habits
Simple changes to your washing habits around the house can reduce your water use, and can help to increase the green value of your home without making significant alterations to routines. You can wash clothes on a cold setting with the same results. Install timers in the shower to cut out water after a certain duration.
10 – Invest in Energy Saving Lights
One of the easiest ways to make your home more energy efficient is to invest in energy saving lights. LED strips and energy saving bulbs can be used to cut down on power consumption, and can be set up for automatic dimming and shut-off.
With either small changes or major renovations, you can make your home greener everyday.
Liam Ohm is a regular home improvement writer based in the UK with a passion for all things green. In his spare time he enjoys jogging, films and volunteering.Pin It