As climate change continues to reach a detrimental level, as a nation, we should all strive to play a role in building a greener future for the generations to come. While making small lifestyle changes such as trading single-use plastics for reusable alternatives is vital, it is also important to consider energy usage in the home. There is an abundance of ways to make your home more energy efficient, helping to lower your carbon footprint.
5 Ways To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Although we are beginning to experience the impact of global warming more and more every year, it does mean we are becoming more aware of our impact on the environment. Luckily, companies are now offering many green alternatives to make transitioning to a more eco-friendly lifestyle just that little more straightforward. As experts in building an efficient home, we have put together five ways that you can improve your property, including the following:
- Invest In A Power Diverter
- Install A Smart Meter & Programmable Thermostat
- Switch To LED Lights
- Enhance Natural Light
- Opt For Energy Efficient Appliances
1. Invest In A Power Diverter
Undoubtedly the most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and build a more efficient home is to limit your reliance on the grid. As opposed to utilising power sourced from fossil fuels, we should all actively aim to adopt the renewable energy approach. Renewable energy comes in many different forms, from those generated by the sun to wind and hydro alternatives. Ultimately, any energy source which is extracted from natural resources that will never run out, for example, sunlight, will fall into the ‘renewable’ category. In using only natural sources of power, fewer fossil fuels will need to be burnt; therefore, dramatically reducing carbon emissions and improving climate change. More information on the use of renewable energy can be found on the Boiler Guide blog.
Once you have made the transition to renewable energy, the hard work to become efficient most definitely doesn’t end there. The most effective way to completely cut ties with the grid is to also invest in a power diverter. Power diverters are designed to enable homeowners to convert any surplus power that they have generated into a designated load. This means that, instead of exporting any extra energy back to the grid, it can be saved for when you need it later on in the day. Many opt for utilising their excess energy during peak hours where tariffs to retrieve energy from the grid is most expensive, not only making their home greener but also saving a considerable amount of cash.
As reputable industry experts, IMMERSUN has designed an innovative solar diverter which can be used to transform daylight into free hot water. Customers are now able to use 100% of the micro generated energy, resulting in a considerable saving of up to £250 on their annual energy bills. Eventually, homeowners should no longer need to have any reliance on the grid and instead, use only their own, free energy. Along with the IMMERSUN, there are also additional products available to help customers to make the most out of their power. Not only is there the iLink, used to control your device from your smartphone, but also a wireless sensor which will help you to calculate your available free power.
2. Install A Smart Meter & Programmable Thermostat
As a smart energy monitor, installing a smart meter is ideal for giving homeowners a better understanding of their usage and potential savings. Both gas and electricity usage can be viewed on a real-time basis, showing you exactly how much it costs to carry out simple tasks, such as turning up your central heating by a few degrees or boiling the kettle. Due to the detailed information retrieved in just a few seconds through a smart meter, there will no longer be any need to submit traditional meter readings. Instead, you can gain an accurate figure on not only how you are spending, but also how much energy you are wasting, helping you to make better lifestyle choices and boost efficiency. MoneySavingExpert has put together a handy guide on everything that you need to know before installing a smart meter, along with how to check whether you are eligible for a free device.
Another fantastic way to further your savings is to accompany your smart meter with a programmable thermostat, particularly if you notice that your central heating consumes the majority of your energy. A programmable thermostat enables you to take full control over your homes central heating, setting a schedule which will determine when it will heat up, cool down and at what temperature. Most homeowners opt for setting their heating to switch on around half an hour before they arrive home from work in the evening, so the house is at the perfect temperature for their arrival. One of the most popular modern thermostats is the Nest Learning Thermostat, which works towards learning your routine to eventually schedule itself. Similarly to the IMMERSUN, the Nest Learning Thermostat can be controlled from anywhere, at any time, through a smartphone app.
3. Switch To LED Lights
If you are yet to trade your traditional lightbulbs for LED alternatives, then this should most definitely be next on your ‘to-do’ list to make your home more energy-efficient. According to research by Statista, lights alone consume up to 26% of the overall energy usage in a residential property, along with a vast 70% in commercial, which means that every saving counts. Opting for swapping all incandescent bulbs to LED’s comes alongside a wealth of benefits, including the following:
- Less Energy Used – Did you know that LED lightbulbs use 90% less energy than incandescent or halogens? Instead of power passing through the filament and producing a considerable amount of heat before giving off any light, all electricity that enters the LED is converted straight to light, meaning that there is next to no wasted heat.
- Longer Lifespan – LED’s are more than capable of outliving their alternatives by as much as 20 years! This means that, for many homeowners, there will be no need to change their lightbulbs for their entire time spent in the property.
- Different Colours – Whether you prefer a warm yellow light or a bright white, you most definitely won’t be short for options when purchasing LED lightbulbs. They are also available in an array of shapes and sizes, such as those stocked on LED Hut.
For more benefits of LED lightbulbs compared to traditional lighting solutions, take a look at Stouch Lighting.
4. Enhance Natural Light
Similar to the idea switching to renewable energy, enhancing the natural lighting in your home is another excellent way to use free resources to your advantage to boost efficiency. In making the most out of sunlight, not only can you limit your reliance on artificial lighting but also central heating, as you can use the sunlight to warm up your property.
While natural lightings ability to cut your carbon footprint is a significant advantage, it can also contribute towards an improvement in your overall health. Natural lighting has been thought to increase productivity, promote a better night sleep, improve moods and much more. Due to sunlights ability to supplement your body with a sufficient amount of vitamin D, this can also help towards healthy bone development, immune system regulation and better brain efficiency. For more benefits of natural light, take a look at the NC State University blog.
If you lack natural light in your home, then there are an abundance of ways that you can create a bright, airier environment, such as:
- Use Light Colours – While dark colours absorb light, light colours do the opposite and allow light to reflect around the room. Due to the array of ‘white’ shades now available, there is no need to opt for a clinical feel with a brilliant white as there are plenty of warmer, more inviting alternatives.
- Adopt The Open Plan Approach – Transforming your home to incorporate an open plan approach is a fantastic way of creating a more spacious feel. Instead of segregating walls which limit the amount of natural light, you can create one large space accompanied by a wall-length patio door. For more inspiration on how to achieve an open plan home and enhance natural light, take a look at Oliver James Design & Build, who specialise in home extensions in Milton Keynes.
- Incorporate Mirrors – Using mirrors to create the illusion of the brighter space is one of the interior designers best-kept secrets. Even if you have only small windows, then positioning mirrors nearby will help the natural light you do have to reflect around the room.
- Install Skylights – Should you have the budget to schedule home improvements, then installing skylights is a great way to enhance natural lighting. Instead of only allowing natural light to stream in when the sun is pointing in the right direction of your home, you can enjoy sunlight all day. Skylights are also unlikely to be constructed by anything that would block sunlight from reaching the property.
5. Opt For Energy Efficient Appliances
The next time that your fridge, washing machine or any other household appliance breaks down, why not consider opting for replacing it with an energy-efficient alternative? Almost all devices are now available in ‘greener’ options, which can be determined by its energy efficiency rating. The energy efficiency rating, also known as Energy Star rating, is categorised from A to G. Those that fall into the A range are the most environmentally friendly, as opposed to G, which relates to the least efficient. In some cases, you may even be able to find appliances with a rating of A+++, which will not only dramatically reduce your carbon footprint but save a considerable amount of cash. Energy Saving Trust has put together a useful guide on how to choose household appliances that will reduce your energy consumption.
Build A Greener Home For The Future!
Beginning the quest to building a more energy-efficient home needn’t be a daunting task as there are a plethora of ways that you can alter your lifestyle to take a greener approach. It is essential to keep in mind that all of the ideas mentioned do come alongside an initial fee. However, with time, you will most definitely enjoy a significant return on investment not only in terms of cash but also have the peace of mind that you are helping towards improving the environment.