Creating an energy efficient home is surprisingly easy. The following 5 ways of creating an environmentally friendly home will save enormous amounts of money on water use, heating and cooling bills, and overall electricity consumption.
1. Insulate Floors, Walls, and Lofts.
Studies have shown that 25% of all the heat within a house escapes through uninsulated floors and walls. Home insulation is the best way to increase home efficiency in terms of energy usage. Many houses have what is known as a “cavity wall” design, which consists of two sheets of material separated by an empty gap. These empty gaps leech heat from the interior of the house. Uninsulated flooring also has the same problem.
In many cases, flooring is supported by wooden joists that have no material in between them. These gap-type of designs make it very difficult to retain heat in the house, subsequently elevating winter heating bills. Luckily, installing insulation is relatively easy and cost-effective. Spray foam insulation will adhere to virtually any surface material, and takes only a few days to install. Those who prefer a slightly more solid type of insulation for their floors may request blanket or granular insulation. As an added bonus, recycled newspaper can be used for granular insulation. Those homeowners who insulate their walls and floors also can transform previously damp, drafty spaces such as their lofts into habitable spaces, adding to the size of their home while cutting down on their overall energy use.
2. Install Low Flush Toilets and Restricted Flow Shower Heads.
The average person uses approximately 26 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower. Toilets that are not low-flow can use up to 3.5 gallons per flush. Needless to say, this a great deal of water that goes to waste each day. By installing new showerheads that regulate the water flow and low-flow toilets, homeowners can stop using more water than they need for basic daily functions. This will not only lower the water bill, but it will also result in a much more environmentally friendly use of home energy and resources.
3. Change All Light Bulbs.
The older style light bulbs with a rounded outer shell and delicate filament may look beautiful, but they are not nearly as energy efficient as the spiral-shaped fluorescent energy saving bulbs. While the energy saving bulbs cost slightly more when they are initially purchased, they have a much longer lifespan, and can produce far more light than their rounded older cousins. These bulbs are especially suited for porch lights, bathroom lights, kitchen lights and other areas of the home that benefit from constant illumination. Better yet, they screw into existing light bulb sockets — no major retrofitting is required.
4. Double-Glaze Windows and Doors.
Windows and doors account for over 35% percent of energy loss in uninsulated homes. Double-glazing is a relatively inexpensive but highly energy efficient method of retaining home energy and improving home efficiency. Double-glazing works by installing two panels of glass that are separated by a sealed gap of air. This air acts as a cushion against temperature changes outside, retaining heat indoors. Homeowners will know if the seal has ever been breached if condensation appears within the window.
5. Add Cladding to the Roof and Exterior Walls.
Cladding not only improves home insulation but also can act as a much-needed environmentally friendly aesthetic change. Cladding can consist of virtually any material from ceramic tile to titanium panels, depending on your budget and style preference. Cladding on the roof is a wonderful way to save on re-roofing costs as well as providing insulation. The cladding should be installed to eliminate gaps and provide a full layer of insulation. This can also protect the house against wind blown rain, dust, and other invasive particles.
For further research into environmentally friendly initiatives, interested parties should visit the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change. For energy suppliers, it’s worth considering the non-profit organization Ebico.
About UsWe are a UK organisation promoting the security and safety benefits of home automation and smart home technology. Read more about our stated aims here.
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