Love the planet: How to improve the energy efficiency of your home
If you’re concerned about the health of the planet, there’s plenty you can do at home to help reduce your emissions and slow down global warming.
So, if you want to do your bit to reduce climate change — and save money while you’re at it — here are four improvements you should think about making to your home.
Properly insulate your home
I know, you’ve heard it all before. But the point bears repeating — properly insulating your home is the most effective way of reducing your household’s carbon footprint. While this doesn’t show off your green credentials as much as buying an electric car, it’s a lot more effective. So, before you do anything else to reduce your emissions, make sure your home is insulated properly.
A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home according to the Energy Saving Trust, so having your loft insulated should be your priority. Next, get your cavity walls insulated. Only move onto other energy-saving home improvements once these have been done, as these will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Upgrade your boiler
As boilers age, they become less efficient. This means they cost more to run and pump out more pollutants into the atmosphere.
If your boiler is over 12 years old, you should think about making it the next thing you upgrade on your mission for energy-efficiency, especially if it’s an old heat-only boiler rather than a modern condensing model. According to This Is Money, replacing a non-condensing boiler with a modern equivalent can save the average semi-detached house as much as £300 a year and significantly reduce your emissions.
Install a smart meter
A smart meter is an electronic device that sits in your home and displays how much energy you’re using in real time. The government has big plans for this tech, and they envision smart meters being installed in 50 million homes across the UK by 2030. This could lead to a 5% fall in energy usage across Britain, according to a study performed by Oxford Economics and British Gas.
So, if you want your home to be as efficient as possible, you should contact your energy supplier and request a smart meter. This might come with a small charge, but it’s often free, making it real no-brainer if you want to reduce your carbon footprint.
Consider solar panels
You might be sceptical about how much solar power you can generate in your home, but you’d be surprised: PV panels still generate energy on cloudy days, so don’t let the UK weather put you off.
With this in mind, our last energy-saving suggestion is to install solar panels on your roof. This will help offset a good percentage of your fuel bills with renewable energy, saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint.
While the benefits of installing PV panels onto your roof are obvious, even the most committed eco-warrior might be put off by the idea it might reduce their home’s kerb appeal. However, as Romag points out, new roof-integrated solar panels — which fit seamlessly into your roof’s existing tiles — can add value to your house, as they give you all the benefits of solar panels without affecting your home’s kerb appeal.
So, there you have it: the four most effective ways of reducing your household’s carbon footprint. Make these improvements to your home and you’ll drastically cut your emissions, not to mention your energy bills.