Sep 28, 2015

Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

 

Next time a carpet of snow blankets the nation take a look at all the homes in and around you and see which ones have a soft and gentle white covering on their roofs-and which ones don’t.

If yours has a nice even covering of snow on the roof whilst any or all of those homes around you just look bare and recently wet then give yourself a good pat on the back.

Because the snow sat up there in all its wintry glory is as good a sign as any that your home is well insulated.

But if your roof is steaming, gleaming and bare, well....

Warm air rises-if you paid attention in Science classes at school you’ll remember this. So, clearly, if a lot of warm air is shooting up, up and away through your roof, melting the snow in the process, then that’s not a good thing, especially in the winter when you’d rather have it nicely circulating about your home and keeping you warm rather than the cosy birds stationed on your TV aerial.

It also means that your heating bill is also, albeit not so literally, going to go through the roof.

And as if all of that isn’t bad enough, then how about this? Its reckoned that homes that are energy efficient might have as much as 16% added to their saleable value just because of that.

So never mind the converted loft, extension or new bathroom. You can add value to your home just by making sure it is energy efficient rather than wasteful.

Does that flick your switch? If it does, great-but turn it off now, we’re trying to save energy here. Thanks.

So, now we’ve got your attention, what can you do in order to make your home as energy efficient as possible-and in time for another long, dark, cold winter?

Well, first of all, join the queue as you’re already in the middle of the pack and getting left behind. Its calculated that over 40% of households have made energy efficient improvements in the last decade. The steps they have taken to ensure this include the following;

Insulation

Having cavity wall insulation can increase the energy efficiency (EE) of your home by nearly 30%-a third of all the warmth lost in a home goes through the walls. Similarly and for the same reasons, make sure that your loft is well insulated –that’s also reckoned to make your home nearly 30/5 more EE-it’ll also mean that you end up see the snow on your roof this winter for longer than most people will theirs.

Which, if anything else, will give you cause for your very own warm glow of satisfaction.



Lighting

The first thing that people say about the “new fangled” LED light bulbs is that they are too expensive. Followed by accusations that they are not bright enough. In terms of their longevity, they are anything but expensive, lasting far longer than the old fashioned light bulb but, of course, you still have to make that initial outlay on one, or, if you are placing them all over the house, several-at least a dozen infact, even if you live in a fairly modest property. Their advantages however, should make all those concerns as redundant as their predecessors, with economic ‘payback’ now estimated to make their purchase worthwhile in less than eighteen months.

As far as making your home more EE is concerned, they are reckoned to be 90% more efficient than the old fashioned light bulb,  a tremendous benefit not only to you but the environment as well.

Heating

Even if it isn’t time to replace that gasping and wheezing old boiler in your kitchen yet, then it might still be worth your while doing so and getting a nice new condensing boiler. They are both greener and more efficient than a non-condensing type as they are able to make better use of the heat that they generate.

Up to 41% more efficient to be exact. Isn’t that worth thinking about? Think about that sort of efficiency and saving over a period of three, four or five years. It might end up saving you quite a lot of money-and just a little bit of the planet into the bargain.

Hot Water

How about investing in low flow showerheads and taps? Most people take a shower because they think it involves using up less water than they might if they take a bath, indeed, that’s a common perception that has been held to be true for many years. But that isn’t necessarily the case. The current fashion for high volume, high pressure ‘power showers’ means that devotees of same are almost certainly using up more water than they would if they had a bath instead.

A new low flow  showerhead could mean you still enjoy all the delights of a shower-without wasting water or energy. So everyone’s a winner-especially as that might also include your bank balance with smaller water bills coming as a result, the EE of such items now reckoned to be as much as 60% compared to the old fashioned type of showerhead.

Simple, conscientious and effective. Plus none of them will cost you the proverbial earth. I’ll save you the line about how it might help save it instead as you’ve already worked that out for yourselves, but surely they are all worth thinking about simply because, the good earth aside, these are all schemes and practices designed to save you money.

And that can’t be a bad thing can it?