21 Oct How to make your home more eco-friendly
There is an energy crisis, there is no getting away from it and with the Government signing up the UK to reduce its carbon emissions by more than any other similarly placed country by 2050, it’s never been more important for everyone to do their bit.
Perhaps you will make some changes to your lifestyle; drive an electric car, increase your awareness of how your life impacts the environment? There are a number of ways you can help the cause. Whichever way you slice it, we’d all like to spend a little less on our energy bills and if that means reducing our personal impact on the planet then it’s a win-win situation.
The rules surrounding the minimum EPC rating of rental properties are likely to be changing and as such, it is important that you check if your current home will meet these standards before renting or buying. Whether you plan to build a new home, own a home already or have a rental property, it’s important to have a plan to improve your property’s energy efficiency over the next 5 to 15 years.
We have put together a list of ways you can make your home a little eco-friendlier.
The right insulation can make your home more energy-efficient and help you save on utilities. Properties in the UK are built in different ways and with different materials depending on their age; this means that they’ll probably have different capacities for insulation. It is a good idea to speak to a qualified surveyor or energy auditor in order to find out what type of material would best you’re your home and where it can be installed. They will also be able to assess your property’s thermal performance and whether it is feasible to perform the upgrade.
Windows and Draught-proofing
The UK has a large number of old buildings, many of which are still used as homes. With this, there is the potential that some properties are still fitted with single glazed windows through which you can lose a lot of heat. If you have a property with single glazing or old-fashioned double glazing, make sure that you upgrade to more modern double glazing. This will reduce energy loss and is a good investment as it will increase the value of your property.
Possibly the simplest of all ways to conserve energy is to draught-proof your property. Most draughts get through gaps in doors and windows; fitting draught excluders or upgrading your windows could solve the draught issue and improve the security of your property.
A new energy-efficient heating system
This could be a rather large investment depending on the age of your home and its existing heating system. Gas boilers typically last around 10-15 years; with the new legislation on gas in homes you may find it difficult to find a replacement in the future and so, if you think it you are likely to have to replace your boiler within the next 10 years, you might want to start researching options for an efficient replacement heating system.
Solar water heating
We recognise that the UK isn’t blessed with vast amounts of sunshine – even though we do manage to get a week or two of glorious summer each year. However, solar water heaters don’t need constant heatwaves in order to generate free hot water via a solar water heating system.
The heat is provided by solar panels fitted to your roof and the system can be linked to existing boilers and immersion heaters as a failsafe. Any installation will need to be conducted by experts so please speak to someone before embarking on such a project.
The days of receiving an estimated bill are gone. Now, with smart meters you only pay for the energy that you use, this means that not only are there no more surprise bills, but also you can keep an eye on just how you use energy.
In the past, energy conservation at home has been more guesswork than anything else; now with smart meters, you are able to see what appliances might be using the most energy and regulate your usage accordingly.
While much of this article refers to the cost of energy and how to lower your bills, the fact is if you use and waste less energy, your utility bills will decrease. So, make sure you do your bit to help the environment.
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