Today we are going to take a look at 5 of the easiest ways to make your home just a little bit greener – from the quick and easy to the weekend home improvement project these small changes will help to revolutionise the way your home uses energy and hopefully do a bit for the planet along the way.
Insulating your home is the most important way you can reduce heat loss through walls, roofs and windows.
The easiest way to make your home more energy efficient is to add loft insulation. If you do this as a DIY project, it can cost as little as £200 and will save you up to £250 a year. If you pay for installation expect to pay around £500 for a semi-detached house. You can find a how-to install guide by clicking on the link below
After loft insulation, the next easiest method of insulating your home is installing cavity wall insulation. This costs up to £500 as well but can save you up to £150 a year. Essentially foam or wool is pumped into your wall cavities to reduce heat loss dramatically. Cavity wall insulation has got a bit of a bad rap recently, mainly because installers are offering this for free for homes, even if the home isn’t suitable. If in doubt always give us a call – we are here to help!
Finally, double-glazing can save you up to £135 a year according to the energy saving trust. Installation costs are much higher but there are some great green alternatives including fitted plastic double glazing you can add in the winter and remove in the summer (like our very own EcoEase magnetic secondary glazing) or alternatively you could simply add additional curtain layers to reduce heat loss significantly.
Choose a Green Energy Supplier
All UK energy suppliers buy electricity directly from the grid – which means you cannot guarantee the energy you are getting is actually green (i.e comes from a wind turbine or solar panel). However, a few companies are now using carbon off-setting in their price plans. Companies like Ovo Energy offer green tariffs which purchase renewable energy for any shortfall.
Install Solar Panels
Whilst the government feed in tariffs are coming down solar power is still a fantastic way to green up your home.
Typical installation costs are roughly £1,500 per kW of panels installed, but once they are installed your energy bills will drop dramatically. If you can’t afford the initial outlay then you should consider building a solar hot water heater of your own. You can buy or scrounge the materials relatively cheaply and install it yourself. You can find some great solar heater plans here.
Not only do trees soak up lots of carbon dioxide and produce lovely oxygen they also help green up your home. In the summer they provide welcome shade but most importantly in the winter they help reduce heat loss from wind.
Planting a few strategic trees on the windward side of your house can reduce heat loss by up to 20%. At the same time having indoor plants helps give your home a little vibrancy and helps offset your carbon emissions to a degree!
Every 1 degree you lower your thermostat by can save you 1-3% of your yearly energy bill. Lowering your thermostat by 4 degrees reduces your energy consumption by at least 10%!
This results in a huge energy saving for your home and massively reduces your carbon footprint. In the summer learn to take cold showers and keep the hot water off for the majority of the day to really improve your home’s energy efficiency. In the winter duvets and clothes are the key – though we don’t want anyone freezing of course!
Hopefully these 5 simple ideas can help you green your home and will improve your wallet as well as your green credentials!