Making your home energy efficient is simply responsible housekeeping – not only for the planet, but also for the family budget.
Many people are still under the mistaken illusion that energy efficient solutions are costly or ugly to look at; in fact, neither of these is true. Most energy-saving investments pay for themselves within the first 12 months in saved utility bills, and with green living becoming more and more fashionable, many eco modifications look eye-catching and sophisticated and will even add to the value of your property.
From simple adjustments such as utilizing double glazed windows, loft insulation or energy-saving halogen and LED bulbs to more radical ideas such as upgrading household wastewater systems or installing solar roof panels to power your home, making your house super energy efficient will mean you are ready for a future where saving energy will be essential to our daily lives.
A huge amount of heat is lost in old buildings with improper insulation. Insulate lofts and wall cavities with batts of sheet rock to keep your home warm in the winter and cool during the summer, allowing you to better control heating and minimize drafts. If you really want to make your home super energy-efficient, you need to also tackle ‘thermal bridges’ – small pockets of air that escape around studs in walls or window frames, which can also allow condensation to build up.
Households typically waste huge amounts of ‘greywater’ – household wastewater from kitchen and bathroom sinks, dishwashers, showers, and other appliances that can potentially be recycled. New, innovative units allow homeowners to capture and recycle this greywater from bathtubs and showers to reuse in toilet cisterns.
Even if you are not fortunate enough to live in a part of the country that experiences sun all 12 months of the year, installing solar panels to your home is an investment that will pay off quickly. Imagine being able to generate enough electricity for your household all on your own – and perhaps even being able to sell any excess off to the local power grid. Solar panels are able to capture the power of the sun’s rays even on moderately cloudy and overcast days (although not in the same capacity as on clear days), and with such obvious dividends, they are becoming increasingly popular.
One simple way to make your home more energy efficient is with window treatments. Even the simple addition of shades or drapes can help control heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. For south and west-facing windows, blinds or awnings provide effective protection from the sun and reduce the need to run costly AC systems. Wooden shutters meanwhile not only help homeowners save on heating and AC bills, but they also add a touch of rustic sophistication to any home and are easy to install.
Whether you’re planning on large and long-term eco investments or simple yet effective solutions with instant gains, there really is little excuse for not making your home more energy efficient – especially when substantial savings on household bills are there for the taking.