Making your home more sustainable can be achieved in a variety of ways. Reducing your energy consumption is not only better for the planet, but it is also better for your bank balance too. Here are eight simple sustainable home improvements that can be made to any property to lower its energy consumption and reduce expenses.
Dual Pane UPVC Windows
Saving heat is saving energy. Dual pane UPVC windows help to retain heat in your home during the colder months and cool your home in spring and summer by keeping warm air outside. This simple home improvement can be completed in a day or two and makes a huge difference to the sustainability of your home, and your energy bills.
Take a look at this guide to UPVC windows from the Federation of Master Builders. Their guide breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of dual pane windows, UPVC windows’ cost, and the typical energy savings they can make. This quick and simple addition to your home could give you a great return on investment through reduced heating costs. The technology is also suitable for external doors to a home which can help to retain even more heat.
By far the quickest, simplest, and cheapest way to make your home more sustainable and reduce your energy costs is switching your home lighting to energy-efficient lightbulbs and LED systems. This may seem like a small change, but it can have a big impact on your bills and your home’s carbon footprint. If you replace all the lightbulbs in your home, you can reduce your lighting bill by up to 90%.
LED lighting also presents you with several aesthetic options that traditional lightbulbs cannot compete with. LED strip lighting can be installed on the underside of shelving for a fantastic look that adds a lot of style to a living room or home library. Installing strips on the backside of a flatscreen television can bring light into a space without causing screen glare. Some systems can even work with your television to accentuate the viewing experience by mimicking the lighting on the screen.
Upscale With Reclaimed And Eco-Materials
When you are making any kind of home improvement, you should consider using reclaimed or recycled materials. Alternatively, your renovations could be completed using ecologically friendly products. Though this may require a little extra financial investment, the products often wear better and last for longer which makes them a more sensible option long-term. If you reuse found or free materials, you can save a huge amount of money on home renovations.
Salvage and junk yards can be goldmines for cheap and easy-to-reuse materials that can be incredibly cheap to buy. Before you head to a big brand store to buy wood for countertops or flooring, look for reclaimed wood you can repurpose. Not only does this save you money, but it also saves the planet too. You can often find classic, old-school fixtures and fittings there too, including sinks and bathtubs.
Paint Planet Friendly
When you are giving your home decor a makeover, choose your paint carefully. Old-style paints contain many hazardous compounds, and very old paints can contain heavy metals like lead. When you are looking for new colors to put on your wall, look for paints with low-VOC certifications. This means they have very few volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The strong smell you may associate with house paints is usually from VOCs. They can be damaging to your health over the long term, and they are also damaging to the environment to produce. They are slightly cheaper to buy, which is one of the reasons they are a popular choice. Spend a little extra on paints that are not only better for the global environment, but also better for your home space too.
Switch To Solar
This home improvement is a big investment, but it can make a tremendous difference. Generating your own electricity on-site makes huge savings on your electricity bill, and you can even sell any excess energy you produce to energy suppliers. In the right conditions, this home improvement can make you money not just save you money. The impact it has on your carbon footprint is huge too.
Home solar systems do not have to be installed on roofs, though it is preferable. Solar arrays can be built on flat land that gets a lot of sunshine, so if you have a large area around your home this can be a cheaper option. Pairing solar systems with home battery storage can be a game-changer. These battery packs store electricity generated by the sun during the day so you can use it at night.
Upgrade Your Home Appliances
The key to sustainability is reducing your energy consumption, which reduces your home’s carbon footprint. The biggest users of electricity in the home are our appliances, especially home appliances that are never turned off. If you have an older model refrigerator you should consider upgrading it to a newer, more energy-efficient one if you are giving your kitchen a makeover.
Many other energy-guzzling appliances around the home could be upgraded to save energy and money. Kitchen appliances like ovens, refrigerators, and freezers are obvious candidates, but televisions, computers, and even dehumidifiers are all responsible for excessive energy consumption in the average home. When choosing new appliances always look for their energy-efficiency rating. Though lower-rated products may be a little cheaper, they will cost you more in the long run.
Go Green In The Garden
Food is responsible for a lot of carbon emissions. Growing and watering ingredients on an industrial scale require a huge amount of energy. Then comes processing and transportation. Before many common foods, even vegetables, reach the shelves of a supermarket they have to consume a lot of energy. Growing your own food is not only fun and money-saving, but it is also good for the planet too.
You do not need a lot of space either. You can grow a lot of useful vegetables in a windowbox if that is all the space that you have to use. Raised planters with deep soil beds are perfect for growing potatoes all year round and give you a food store right on your back doorstep. Salad leaves, green beans, carrots, and herbs can all be grown at home no matter what your local climate is like. This money-saving, planet-saving tip is great for homes with small kids. They love getting involved in growing food.
Smart Home Solutions
Wireless control devices, or smart home solutions, can help you save energy and make your day-to-day home life more sustainable. They also add new functions to your home and give you voice and app control over several critical systems, including home heating. Smart thermostats can help you to make a huge reduction to your home heating bills and carbon footprint.
These devices allow you to turn your heating on and off and adjust the temperature from your smartphone. If you leave your home and you have left your heating system running, you can turn it off without turning around. You can also turn your heating on when you are on your way back, so your home is warm when you arrive.
Making these simple upgrades can have a huge impact on your home’s carbon footprint, energy bills, and overall sustainability. Combining all of these home improvements can help any home save money and the planet.