Making your home more energy efficient has many benefits, including reducing the cost of high energy bills, improving personal comfort, and helping to protect the environment. As the cost of energy rises and people’s awareness of the harmful effects of energy production increases, the demand for environmentally renewable energy sources becomes greater than ever before. However, there are lots of small changes that you can make to everyday living that will can lead to a big difference on your carbon footprint. We’ve put together a shortlist of seven changes you can make around the house to lower your carbon emissions.
1. Improving the energy efficiency of your home requires a new mindset. Start small by intentionally replacing wasteful habits with small changes that can save big in the long run. The savings will be both financial as well as environmental.
2. Remember your mum or dad following you from room to room, constantly switching off the lights? That small habit can save a lot of energy. If you are not in the room, switch off the lights. Additionally, replace traditional fluorescent light bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs. Plug all major electronics into a power strip that can easily be turned off when not in use.
3. Heat-generating appliances are the biggest culprits of energy waste. Strive to eliminate any unnecessary usage of these appliances. Try multi-tasking when using the oven by baking several items together. Preheating is generally not necessary if you adjust the cooking time. Only boil as much water as you need at one time rather than filling up the entire kettle. Wrap an insulation blanket around your hot water heater to keep the temperature more stable.
4. Most energy is leaked through walls, windows, and doors. Make use of curtains and blinds to keep the cool or warm air in, depending on the season. Make sure that all window and door cracks are properly sealed. Try turning your thermostat down one or two degrees in the winter and up one or two degrees in the summer. Dress accordingly rather than constantly changing the temperature.
5. Consider investing in energy-efficient appliances, such as a new boiler. Though the cost is larger up front, the end result is bigger savings for you and your family.
6. Replace old windows with news ones that have double-glazing. Again, this will be an investment that will save a lot of energy and money over time.
7. Determine whether or not greener sources of energy, such as wind and solar power, would be feasible for you. If you plan to live in your home for many years, these “free” energy sources tend to pay for themselves.
Rising energy costs have truly made people dig deeper into their wallets. This fact, coupled with the detrimental effects to the environment is plenty of motivation to improve home energy efficiency. The changes do not need to be dramatic to have a big effect. Start with simple, everyday changes.
Today in the UK it is a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) if you are selling or letting your property so these there benefits of being green really are bigger than ever. An EPC measures the energy efficiency of your property and the better rating you get the easier it will be to sell your home. So follow these tips and not only reduce your carbon footprint but you may even make your home more attractive to buyers and tenants in the process!