Improving your home’s energy efficiency should always be on your list of things to do as a homeowner. Improving the energy efficiency of your home will not only be helping the planet by reducing your carbon footprint, but it will be helping you lower your energy bills in the long run. Following through this guide will give you 5 home improvements you can make if you are looking to save energy.
1. Change to low energy lighting
Low energy lighting is one of the best changes that you can make to your home, LED bulbs are the best choice when it comes to energy-efficient lighting. While LED bulbs do cost more, they run at a lower wattage than both CFL and incandescent bulbs.
As well as running on a lower wattage, they will run for 3x longer than a CFL bulb and run for 20x longer than an incandescent bulb which means that the extra cost is worth it. With the lower wattage and longer running life, you will be saving both energy and some money on your bills.
2. Change your heating system
When it comes to changing your heating system, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind which is efficiency, boiler type, boiler brands and installation.
Changing your heating system to a more energy-efficient modern counterpart is another highly recommended change. Boilers that are older than ten years tend to be at around an efficiency rating of 70% however when you compare this to more modern boilers, they are around 96% efficient. This means that modern boilers are losing far less of the heat they generate, meaning that you will be using less energy to generate the heat you need with a new more efficient boiler.
b. Boiler Type
When it comes to boiler type you need to make sure that you are replacing your old boiler with the same type of boiler. There are three main boiler types which are conventional, combi and system boilers. Making sure that you know what type of boiler your home is using will help. The best way to check what type of boiler you have is your boilers manual.
c. Boiler Brands
Choosing which brand of boiler you want is something that will require you to research the pros and cons of each brand. This way you can see a range of different brands and what they offer plus, see how much they cost relative to your budget.
Boiler installation is the final piece of the puzzle. Some companies will offer boiler installation along with the purchase of a boiler but if you have bought the boiler from a third party you may need to hire a gas engineer to install your boiler. If this is the case, make sure that the engineer is gas safe registered.
3. Replace old appliances
Older appliances, especially kitchen appliances, tend to be very inefficient and use a lot of energy. Appliances often come with an energy efficiency rating, just like boilers do. The higher the energy rating then the more efficient that the appliance will be.
The appliances that you are wanting to replace, after the boiler, is the washing machine as this appliance will be running the most at an average of once or twice a week. Then replacing other kitchen items such as the refrigerator and washing machine should be your next priority. Air conditioners are also big energy guzzlers and you should maintain it regularly and replace it altogether.
4. Insulate your loft
Loft insulation is key to making sure that your home is not losing the heat that is being generated by your boiler. A surprising amount of the heat of your home can be lost through an uninsulated loft, 25% to be exact. The way to stop this heat escaping is by insulating your loft.
Loft insulation can cost a lot of money, from around £300 – £400 depending on the size of your property. There can also be a cost for installation as well. You can install insulation yourself, however, it is recommended to get an installer.
5. Use smart power strips
Smart power strips are a very good piece of technology to have for saving power around the home. Smart power strips are like traditional power bars and will power your devices however they also regulate how much power they are giving to each device.
Some of the sockets will have an automatic shut off point when power is not needed by the device meaning that you will not be wasting electricity on devices on standby. There is also a socket that is always on which is perfect for devices that always require power like a router. Using a smart power strip will mean that you are not wasting power on devices that are on standby and are not being used.
Following these five tips for green home upgrades is a great beginning to saving energy around your home. Saving this energy means that you will see some savings on your bills, which everyone loves!
Salman Zafar is an ecopreneur, consultant, advisor, speaker and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection, conservation and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Salman is the Founder of EcoMENA, a popular voluntary organization based in Qatar. He is also the Founder and CEO of BioEnergy Consult, a reputed consulting firm active in biomass, waste-to-energy and waste management segments.
Salman is a professional environmental writer with more than 350 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass environmental awareness in different parts of the world.
Salman Zafar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com