It’s 2020, and now more than ever, the general population is growing more conscious and concerned for the environment and how our carbon footprint is impacting the globe. Although we may feel what we can do to help as individuals is small, changes to be more green can really make a difference and collectively this can lead to something bigger. It’s good practice to be conscious of waste, recycling and the choices we make each day, but what about the impact your house can have on energy usage? Many people are now actively seeking ways to make their houses more eco-friendly and energy efficient, which not only saves the planet, but can also save our own pockets in the long run too. So, how do you achieve a more energy efficient home? Read on for our tips and eco-friendly home inspiration.
Work from the outside in; external work for a greener home
What can you do to your home externally? Solar panels are a very efficient way to save energy and eventually save money too. Although there are arguments that a lot of energy goes into making them, they create completely green energy and can be recycled when they have reached the end of their long lifespan. The solar energy will power your home, cutting out the use of energy taken from fossil fuels and leads to a greener lifestyle. When considering the installation of solar panels, it is always wise to get advice from an accredited company.
Take a look at your windows, external doors and garage – is there a draft? Upgrading to double-glazed windows can help you save on energy and keep your house warmer, without wasting heat and the energy put into it. Your doors could also be doing a better job at keeping heat in, as well as any other external entrances and exits, such as your garage. If you can’t upgrade your windows, or you have sash windows that you would like to keep as a feature in your home, think about investing in draft excluders. Don’t forget to check the insulation in your roof. Is it properly insulated and working the best it can for your home?
Insulate your home and find different ways to heat it
To help keep your home warmer without pumping out more energy, take a look at insulation. Does your home need better insulation? Internal dry lining is a form of insulation attached to the inside of a wall. You can apply insulation to the existing plaster work, apply plaster work on top and redecorate to your taste. This will keep you warmer and make your home more energy efficient. It is also more cost effective than external insulation and can be done quickly and easily. Many homes in Ireland have cavity walls. If your home has this, these cavities can be pumped with insulation, which can be professionally administered by an accredited professional.
Once your home is draft-proofed and well insulated, you may want to think about zoned heating. This is a way of zoning your central heating through smart controls, meaning you can easily heat different parts of the house separately, without heating other parts unnecessarily. You may also want to think about installing underfloor heating, which is an efficient and eco-friendly way to heat your home. This means the fabric of your home is heated first, which will help to heat your home faster and more efficiently. It will give your house a very homely touch, and it’s a great feeling on your feet as you step in from the cold.
Think about the little things; what assets can make a difference?
Change your light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. This is a simple but effective way to live more eco-friendly. LED bulbs are a popular choice and you won’t have to change them regularly. Install low energy appliances to help keep your energy usage down. When shopping for white goods, ensure you take a look at the energy rating. Most appliances will have this information, so you can compare and ensure you are getting the best appliance for your eco-friendly home. Other small things you can do include setting timers for heating, ensuring electronics are unplugged when not in use, turning off lights (you can install smart bulbs for this), and cutting down on water use. You may already practice most of these, but it is worth considering how you use your electricity and if you can be better at saving it.
Find innovative ways to generate your own energy
If you have some outdoor space and you are lucky enough to have some natural running water near your home, you may be able to take advantage of some eco-friendly, energy generating systems to help power your home. With permission, you may be able to divert the flow of water through a small turbine. If this is powerful enough, it could generate free energy for your home. These can be more reliable than solar or wind power, if there is a continuous and strong enough stream of water flowing through. Some green homes use wind power from small turbines installed in the garden to help generate energy, which can be perfect to keep energy costs down and eco-friendliness up.
Green building is expected to increase dramatically in 20 countries across the globe between now and 2021, with Ireland already being a big part of this. It is thought that around 40% of building projects in Ireland are being built in a green way and that number is set to rise to 54% by 2021, according to a global report. This is thanks to client demand, however, many still feel obstructed to build in a green way due to cost and finding accredited and professional builders that understand green building. Our buildings are designed with excellent thermal and acoustic performance, quality natural light and low carbon footprints that automatically reduce energy consumption and promote efficient energy use. Take a look at some of our recent projects that have helped our clients achieve a more eco-friendly home or commercial space. The benefits of living a green and eco-friendly life can help save the planet and your pocket too.