Everyone wants to save the environment. But sadly, not everyone wants to deal with the inconvenience of doing so. There is a perception that, while eco-designed homes can save you money on your bills, they are expensive in the short term due to modern, hi-tech features. However, there are numerous ways that we can all live more sustainably, without ruining the quality of our lives or breaking the bank.
We know how to make properties more sustainable, recognising that saving energy needs to benefit you in the long term, without imposing heavy additional costs in the short term. Here are our practical tips for making your home more environmentally friendly.
Skylights cut down on the earth’s emissions and the need for electric lighting. Using daylight not only reduces energy costs and consumption, but also reduces the demand for unsustainable power.
Energy-smart light bulbs use 70-75% less energy than the conventional incandescent bulb and can last up to ten times longer! By using a 26-watt, compact fluorescent light bulb, you can save up to $59 dollars on energy costs over the life of the bulb, which can be anywhere from five to seven years.
Growing plants indoors is a great way to clean the air by acting as a filter for any common pollutants in the home. The environmental and health benefits of houseplants make them a household necessity rather than an object of décor, because honestly, good health and environmental sustainability should never be out of style.
Ceiling fans alone can make a room feel four to five degrees cooler. Today’s ceiling fans are more efficient, with improvements in motors, controls, blade design and reduced weight making them a stylish and environmentally sustainable feature of a room.
It’s a no-brainer, when we use less energy we save natural resources, cut down on pollution and reduce our bills! This is easily done when we opt to use Energy Star rated appliances; for example, a new refrigerator with an energy star rating can cut down on your energy consumption, saving you up to $160 across its lifetime.
Perhaps the simplest energy saving technique of all is to switch off your power points. Leaving unused appliances plugged into power sources not only wastes precious energy, but also contributes to growing electricity costs. Getting into the habit of switching unused appliances off at the power point is an easy way to save money and energy.
A well-insulated home stays cool in summer and warm in winter – which means less time blasting the air conditioning or heater, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions. In many ways, insulation is the most practical and cost effective way to make a house more energy efficient and can assist in saving up to 40 per cent on your heating and cooling bills.
Switching your single-glazed windows to double-glazed is a simple improvement that can make a big difference. When installed around your home, double-glazing can cut your heat loss by half. This means that you’ll need far less energy to heat your home, as the heat generated will be staying where it should be…inside your home!
Low-flow showerheads have been near the forefront of home water conservation efforts for some time now, and it’s no surprise as 20-25% of all household water usage comes from showering. Switching your conventional shower head to a low-flow not only helps in water conservation, but has been found to drop overall household water usage by as much as 40% — if not more!
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