Is your Home as Environmentally Friendly as you Think?

Whether it’s plastic in the oceans, carbon footprints or simply switching our lights off to save on energy, we’re all much more aware of our impact on the environment than we were even a decade ago. As part of this movement to becoming more conscious of the effect we have on the environment and what we can do to minimise this, increasing numbers of people are looking to make their homes more environmentally friendly. But is your home as environmentally friendly as you think it is? And what can you do to make it better? We take a closer look… 

It’s size that counts 
We all hanker after that little bit of extra space. Our whole lives, we seem to be working towards bigger and better houses, whether we need them or not. On a very simplistic level, larger spaces use more energy to heat. If you’re one person living in a 3 bedroom house, for example, heating all those rooms just for you is not going to be very environmentally friendly. Smaller houses generally need less of the world’s resources to keep them warm, so in this respect, downsizing can be good for the environment. 

Large glass windows can 'suck out’ your heat 
It’s nice to have a house that feels light and airy. However, having large swathes of glass in your home, can result in more heat loss and higher energy usage. If you live in a hot country, the reverse can be true, as when the sun beats through your windows, you’re going to have to pump up the air-conditioning to cool your home. If you do want to install sliding glass doors out onto your patio, make sure they are as energy efficient as possible and consider going for triple glazing. 

Are you using more water than you need? 
Conserving water is a vital part of having an environmentally friendly home. Taking a shower, for example, rather than a bath, could save you around 18 litres of water per person, per day! Don’t be fooled by a power shower, though. These thirsty things can use more water than a bath in less than 5 minutes. Has your home been insulated properly? Old houses may have little or no insulation. This could mean that they are much less energy efficient than a more modern, insulated home. However, there are things that you can do to make an older house more energy efficient, such as properly insulating any attic space. For some, it may be possible to get a grant from the government to carry out the necessary work. 

Small changes can make a big difference
You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home more energy efficient. Simple things like conserving water or changing your lights to LEDs, can make a real difference. Also, closing your curtains in the winter as soon as it gets dark, can help to stop heat needlessly leaving through your windows. It may not feel like one household can make a difference, but when it comes to looking after our world, as a famous supermarket once said, every little really does help.

No comments