In the depths of winter it can be difficult to even consider making your home more energy efficient when you have the heating on full pelt, and you’re still feeling a draught from somewhere in your home. However, by eliminating this draught, you will have made your home more energy efficient as you won’t have to have the thermostat set so high.
Our humble abodes really are unique in the way they function. What works for one pad simply won’t work for another. While turning the thermostat lower will save you money, this won’t automatically mean a more comfortable and sustainable way of living if you are wearing three jumpers and wrapping yourself in a blanket within your own home. To be energy efficient, your dwelling needs to retain more heat, use less electricity, save on the gas and maybe even become a more eco-friendly space on the outside too.
Becoming energy efficient isn’t easy if you haven’t even considered your green credentials before. The impetus to become energy efficient might not come from a place of ethical awareness, but rather to save your pennies. It doesn’t matter. The fact that you are here and reading this article shows that you are ready to take your first steps towards having an energy efficient home.
While you might be enjoying piping hot water one minute and then suffering the shock of ice cold water the next, your boiler is struggling to maintain efficiency. There’s nothing worse than trying to get your shower up to temperature while you are shivering outside the shower curtain. Your boiler is the engine of your home and will dictate how hot your water runs, how efficient your radiators are, and how much control you have over your heating controls.
An inefficient boiler or one that keeps breaking down because of a faulty pump, lack of pressure or leakage needs replacing sooner rather than later. If you don’t get your boiler replaced, you could find that the carbon emissions that your humble abode produces skyrocket.
With a more efficient boiler, you will find that you have more control over the temperature of your water, your radiators will get up to temperature faster and you can control the timer more effectively. Your carbon emissions can also be reduced by up to sixty per cent making your dwelling more eco friendly.
Some boilers now have WiFi capabilities meaning that you can have a thermostat hooked up to your boiler over the Internet. This means you can observe your energy usage from any room in your home, and you can set the temperature remotely, even when at work, out shopping or on holiday!
Heat escaping the home is the major cause of a home lacking energy efficiency. This can result in you having your heating on constantly, only for your house never to feel warm and cozy because the heat is escaping through your loft space.
Hot air rises, and without an insulated loft, the heat dissipates through your roof. With a high quality loft insulation you can be sure of a home that heats up faster and that, more importantly, retains the heat. This means you can have your radiators on less, leading to you saving money on your utility bills.
Another way heat can escape the home is through your windows. If you have single glazing, you won’t just hear more traffic and noise outside your living room window, but you will also notice your room doesn’t heat up as well. It’s vital that you can swap to double glazing at the earliest opportunity.
Check the seals around your windows and ensure that there is no draft coming through. While heat is escaping, cold air could actually be entering your home. Companies like Renewal by Andersen windows use a special type of Fibrex material on their frames, meaning that they are more durable and resistant to extreme temperatures and weather conditions. This is good news for your pockets as they probably won’t need to be replaced for a good couple of decades.
If energy efficiency means saving money in your mind, then it might pay to switch up your appliances when they finally bite the dust. Newer machines are generally more efficient. However, it pays to look at their energy rating. Graded from A++ to G, appliances are rated on the energy they use and the money they cost to run.
A dishwasher with an energy rating of A will probably have a much faster cycle and cost much less money to use than one graded D. Yes the D machine might be cheaper to buy initially, but it will cost you much more money in the long run.
You could even look into your smaller appliances and swap your designer kettle for an eco-kettle. Just think how many times you boil water for a coffee or for cooking. Some eco-kettles use thirty per cent less power, meaning savings on your utility bill.
Solar Panels And Turbines
While these were once the domain of eco warriors, solar panels and small wind turbines are now more accessible to the masses. Energy providers even encourage the use of more eco-friendly ways of producing energy. While expensive initially, installing solar panels onto your roof and putting a wind turbine in the back garden could see you generating your own electricity and power, meaning you don’t have to pay the utility companies a dime. You may even have excess energy that you aren’t using which you can sell back to your energy provider. This is a win-win for all involved.
Becoming energy efficient isn’t easy. While anyone can change their incandescent light bulbs to more energy efficient varieties, you can go so much further in creating a more sustainable home that is fit for the twenty first century. Turn down your thermostat, insulate your loft and consider purchasing an eco-kettle. Not only will you be flexing your eco-friendly muscles but you will also be saving your household money in the process.