We all try to do our bit these days to be kinder to the planet, whether if it’s by recycling household waste or opting for renewable energy providers. However, it tends to be the small changes that can add up to make the biggest difference, and environmental improvements that can be made around the house are no exception. So we’ve compiled a few simple improvements you can make to make your home more ecological (and and save some cash too!)
1) Switch to LED bulbs
Many believe that the CFL bulbs, which are now the ones most commonly available since incandescent bulbs were phased out, are the most energy efficient type of light available. But this is not actually the case, LED lightbulbs have dramatically improved in recent years, making them superior to CFL models. Although LED lights do tend to be slightly more expensive, they use on average 75% less energy than CFL bulbs and last up to 15 times longer. They also have the advantage of being able to offer an instantaneous, warm light. Unlike their fluorescent alternatives that need a few moments to warm up. You can even purchase LED lights in different ‘colour-temperatures’ depending on whether you prefer a warmer, yellow hue or colder ‘daylight’ colouring to a room.
Insulating your roof (along with any other nooks and crannies) and replacing your draughty old doors and windows with modern alternatives is one of the most efficient and noticeable ways to save energy. By reducing the amount of heat that escapes from your home you will reduce how much energy it takes to heat your home and maintain its temperature.
3) Replace your old boiler
Older models of boiler tend to be wildly inefficient compared to their modern condensing descendents. Not only will upgrading to a new boiler mean you have a quieter heating system which warms your home faster, you could save a considerable amount each year.
More and more people are generating their own green power using; wind turbines, solar panels and even ground-source heat pumps to supply their home’s energy. This may seem like a big step however, you don’t have to go all out, adding a small wind turbine to your garden or placing a couple of solar panels on the roof can be a fast and cost-effective home improvement to reduce the energy you use from external sources, and if on any day you produce more power than you consume you can even sell it on to the National Grid!
Most people agree that a lick of fresh paint can go a long way to brighten up a drab room. But what many don’t know is that traditional petrochemical-based house paints can contain a host of harmful chemicals, which are bad for both the environment and you! Some estimates suggest that producing one litre of standard house paint will create up to 30 litres of toxic waste as a by-product. Eco and ‘low-VOC’ paints have been designed to minimise the damage to the environment caused by their manufacture as well as to reduce the nasty chemicals they emit when applied. There are even carbon-neutral paints, the leftovers of which will degrade and can be composted — The other advantage of using these products is most won’t produce the noxious fumes of normal house paints when wet which leave some feeling nauseas and lightheaded.