The following contribution is from another author.
We live in a world where energy prices are rising and the less we use, the better our finances are. So, the easiest solution is a more eco friendly home. Here’s how to achieve that.
1) Beef Up Insulation
Proper insulation is critical to boosting your home’s energy efficiency. Poor insulation is one of the leading causes of an uncomfortable home (during summer or winter) and unbelievably high energy bills. Luckily, beefing up insulation helps maintain the optimum indoor temperature regardless of the weather. According to research, upgrading your home insulation can save you up to 40% in energy savings.
You also need to know precisely where to beef up insulation for optimal results while saving on costs. Some of the area’s experts recommend improving include the loft, space between walls, and the kitchen. Although the initial cost of improving insulation might seem high, the overall savings from the same will be significantly higher. The best part about this is that you should recoup the initial investment within a few years.
Renovating Older Homes
A number of factors must be considered when planning renovations on older homes. In addition to installing a central heating system, experts recommend adding insulation to the roof for improved efficiency. For non-hollow walls, a thermal lining on the inside wall also helps serve the purpose quite well. A layer of insulation might also be needed on the outside walls for improved performance.
Heritage homes are a little tricky to renovate and upgrade. One of the reasons for this is that the walls need to breathe to reduce the risk of dampness. It is thus best to hire a certified and experienced expert to help renovate heritage houses.
2) Upgrade To Double Or Triple Glazed Windows
Windows and doors contribute to at least 10% in heat loss/gain, a reason it might be time to consider upgrading to the most energy-efficient windows you can afford. Triple-glazed windows are the best insulation solution for your windows. They also come in several striking designs too. The double or triple panes help combat heat transfer, while inert gasses used between the panes reduce energy transfer even further. That said, it would be best to upgrade from single-paned to double or triple-glazed windows for better energy efficiency and insulation. The type of glass pane used will also determine how best it can deflect heat. Low-E glass is designed with a unique coating that reflects heat and sun rays, hence improving your windows’ thermal performance significantly.
Borrow ideas from model homes fitted with all manner of eco-friendly features. Some of these homes can be an inspiration for your home improvement projects and ideas. Some of these will offer ideas on how to beat known issues in the house, such as excessive dampness, sweating, and home insulation among others. Consider touring some of these homes for a one-on-one experience on how it should be done and installed.
3) Use Natural Ways To Heat The House
Depending on where you live, there are a number of natural solutions for keeping your home warm. Some of the options you should consider include solar and biomass energy systems, as well as heat pumps. Some of these are discussed below:
Geothermal Heat Pumps
These pumps work by transferring heat to and from deep in the ground. Although you might not know this, the temperature of the earth remains constant throughout the year. A geothermal heat pump taps into and concentrates this heat, making it usable. The system is basically made of pipes buried deep in the ground to pull the heat and redirect it to the home’s hot water and heating systems.
Air-source heat pumps, on the other hand, tap heat from the surrounding environment transferring the heat into your home. A collector is installed on the roof or outside wall to trap the heat. A biomass system generates heat from burning logs or wood. The heat generated is then redistributed around the house. It takes up less space too. A single stove is enough to generate heat enough for one room. A boiler may also be used to provide access to hot water throughout the household. Ensure your boiler is efficient and cared for with boiler cover.
4) Use Recycled Building Materials
Reclaimed building materials from demolition sites and local remodeling projects are not only affordable but are good for the environment too. They help reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, thus helping reduce your carbon footprint. Reclaiming building materials from demolition sites, however, takes time, as the building has to be taken apart carefully. Most of these materials (old bricks and stones, vintage building parts, timber, wood pallets and high-end materials) are readily available in salvage sales yards. They are thus the best places to source your building materials, especially when restoring a heritage home to its original look and feel. The reclaimed materials are better placed to restore the house to its former glory without patches of new building blocks and materials. In addition to building materials, you can also find plenty of vintage materials for your Gregorian-type house from these stores as well. Some of these are more affordable and offer the originality you wouldn’t find in modern stores.
5) Use Eco-Friendly Paints
It is everyone’s wish to live in a beautiful and comfortable environment. Investing in environmentally-friendly paints, especially water-soluble and plant-based ones, is thus good for your home. These eco-friendly paints are mainly made from plant dyes and minerals. They are thus non-toxic and safe for the environment.
There are also plenty of green wood finishing and varnishes to choose from. Many people today use these products to clean and prep their walls. In addition to paints, you might also want to use eco-friendly finishings for the house as well. Wall finish and coverings made from wool, cotton, and other green materials would be a nice touch too.
6) Consider Floor Heating Systems
Unlike conventional heating systems, floor heating is more efficient in many ways. According to basic geography, hot air rises, hence the reason floor heating systems are a preferred option today. This is one of the main factors to consider if you have been planning a home renovation or a complete floor makeover. The process involves installing a network of pipes just beneath the floor to facilitate heat distribution throughout the house. Although you might not know this, floor heating systems heat up rooms much faster and more efficiently compared to your conventional heating system.
The best thing about floor heating systems is that they can be hooked up to various energy sources, including solar water heaters and heat pumps. A solar heater would be handy if living in an area that receives plenty of sunshine. Heat pumps and solar heaters provide easy heating options without the risk of relatively huge energy bills.
These are some of the best ways to make your home more energy efficient. With a solid plan and budget, it will be just a matter of days before your home is more comfortable, regardless of the time of the year. This is especially crucial for harsh winters and summers when temperatures are extreme.