Our own homes are responsible for more than 25% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere but whether you are choosing energy efficient appliances, or making larger changes to your home, such as building a conservatory, or converting your loft or garage into extra living space, there are a number of measures that you can take to reduce these harmful emissions and lower your energy bills.
If you are building a conservatory for example, it may be wise to accept that it will be comfortable to inhabit in spring, summer and autumn, but not perhaps in the depths of winter. This will save you the cost of a dedicated heating system in your conservatory, which can be hugely wasteful in any case. Similarly, if you are planning a loft or garage conversion, consider the use of the latest, energy efficient double glazing for windows and skylights and solar energy systems – such as solar water heating, or solar panels – for generating your own electricity.
Energy efficient appliances – cookers, refrigerators, etc. – can be identified by their energy labels and even something as simple as replacing traditional tungsten light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, or LED (“Light Emitting Diode”) lighting can have a major effect on your CO2 emissions. You can, of course, also make the most of the natural light entering your home by placing desks, work surfaces, etc. where they receive as much natural light as possible.
You may also like to think about insulation and draught-proofing in your home. Loft insulation – ideally to a depth of between 250mm and 300mm – and cavity, or solid, wall insulation are the types that spring immediately to mind but, especially if you live in an older property, you may also like to think about your hot water cylinder and hot water pipes, your existing doors, windows and floors. Even your letterbox can be a source of energy loss in winter so get that fitted with a draught excluder too.