The cost-of-living crisis and the dramatic energy price rises have us all worried. It is not just that our fuel bills have gone up, but the money required to fill the car and keep the family fed is also high. Therefore, we are looking to make savings where we can. The good news is that many ways we can make our homes more affordable also serve to make them more ecologically friendly. Here we explore ways you can save money and the planet with a handful of simple changes in your home.
Switch to LED bulbs
Halogen bulbs last a third of the time of LED bulbs and cost you £10 a year more in energy. This means each household bulb is sucking up more energy than required to light your home, and the dead halogen bulbs go to landfills.
Making the switch to LED bulbs might feel like an expense, as each bulb will cost you about double. However, as the bulbs last three times longer, you will see a return on this money before considering reducing the charges on your energy bill.
The Internet-of-Things is a phenomenon made possible by your WIFI. You can connect multiple technologies in your home and manage these from your smartphone or speaker. These smart technologies give you more control over your energy use and make your home far more eco-friendly.
Smart lighting and smart thermostats are two strong examples of smart tech use in your home. One of the biggest wastes of energy in a home is the light left in an empty room. You can counter this with sensors that turn on and off the lights depending on occupancy. These smart-systems also allow you to control lighting from your smartphone or tablet, which means you can light a room before entering it.
Smart thermostats give you control over the temperature in each room. If you are all in the living area, there is little need to heat the upstairs. Therefore, you can control the energy used around your room more powerfully. You can also make sure your house is warm on arrival while travelling home from work. While a timer can serve this purpose, it can lead to you heating an empty house if plans change.
Insulation and maintenance
One of a homeowner's major responsibilities is ongoing property maintenance. Ensuring that everything is efficient and effective is the route to being eco-friendly. You make small choices, such as whether to get an annual service on your boiler, that can significantly change your energy use. A boiler that works inefficiently burns more fossil fuel to get your home to your desired temperature.
Equally, going around your home mending leaking pipes, closing holes in walls, and bleeding radiators will make a difference. Anywhere you are seeping energy will reduce your eco-friendly credentials. For this reason, the government has, in the past, run schemes to encourage the insulation of roofs and walls of older homes. 40% of heat lost in a home is through the roof and 20% through the walls.
You do not always have to make massive investments to increase your eco-friendly credentials. Buying heavier curtains that you draw on winter evenings will mean you can turn your heating down a degree or two. If you put those curtains behind the radiator, you will find that your home retains the heat much better.
Recycle, restore and reuse
While the use of energy in our homes significantly contributes to our carbon footprint, our attitude to waste also makes a difference to our eco-friendliness. We are often too flippant with products and live a disposable lifestyle.
Changing the attitude to waste in your home will take time to stick. Being vigilant that items are recycled is step one. However, challenging the family about whether a new this or that is needed when the old one works are going to be harder—we all like new things. Also, most items we choose to throw away have opportunities for another life in someone else’s home or with a different use altogether.
Part of being conscious of the environment is seeing how finite the world’s resources genuinely are and using them sparingly. Educating young people from a young age to take on this responsibility will be the biggest gift you can give the planet.
Creating an eco-friendly home can help more than the environment. In a time of rising costs, it is also an essential mindset that helps our wages to stretch. You can certainly make big, grand choices to decrease your carbon footprint. However, smaller changes to mindset and attitudes can be much more important. Getting into good habits with your home, energy use, and attitude to waste can be all the changes you need to make.
This article was written by Gary Jones, a product advisor for Underfloor Heating Trade Supplies. Gary has over 20 years’ experience in water and electric underfloor heating, and has a wealth of experience that he shares on the Underfloor Heating Trade Supplies blog.