Many of us are focusing on how to be more energy efficient in our daily lives right now. How can we change things at home to make it greener?
Why is energy efficiency important?
Energy efficiency is vital for severalreasons. Perhaps the most crucial reason is its environmental impact.
Climate change, where we’re seeing the planet becoming warmer, is the driving factor.The UK government has a goal in place to reach carbon net zero by 2050. As such, in recent years there’s been the announcement of the ban on petrol and diesel motors from 2030 and the introduction of electric vehicle incentives to encourage motorists to think green when they drive.
As well as looking at our driving habits, reducing energy consumption at home can also lower greenhouse gas emissions and minimise your carbon footprint. This is especially significant in this fight against climate change, as every bit of energy saved contributes to a more sustainable future for our planet.
It also directly impacts your monthly bills. A home with low energy efficiency can be a financial drain, as it requires more energy to heat, cool, and power. In essence, this means higher utility bills, which can significantly impact your household budget.
Plus, the energy efficiency of your home can influence its resale value. Prospective buyers often seek energyefficient properties as they promise lower long-term operating costs. Investing in energy efficiency upgrades can make your home more attractive to potential buyers and perhaps boosting its market value.
Insulation acts as a barrier that prevents heat from escaping in winter and entering in summer. Understanding insulation and its different types is key to optimising your home’s energy efficiency.
Common insulation materials include fiberglass, cellulose, and foam board. Each has its advantages, and the choice depends on your specific needs and budget. Properly insulating your attic, walls, and floors can significantly reduce heat loss, making your home more comfortable and cost-effective to heat or cool.
Draughts and air leaks are major culprits when it comes to energy inefficiency. Unwanted gaps around windows and doors can allow precious heat to escape, driving up your energy bills.
Draughtproofing your home involves sealing these gaps using sealant, weatherstripping, or draught excluders. Pay particular attention to areas around windows, doors, and attic hatches. By eliminating these leaks, you’ll create a more airtight and energyefficient environment.
Older heating systems tend to be less efficient, consuming more energy to reach and maintain desired temperatures. Consider upgrading to a modern, energyefficient boiler. These systems not only reduce energy consumption but also provide better heating performance.A gas boiler ban iscoming into effect, however – again, as part of the government’s bid to reach carbon net zero by 2050 – so it’s worth checking what your boiler looks like ahead of this.
Routine maintenance, such as bleeding radiators and cleaning or replacing filters, can also improve your heating system’s efficiency. Small steps like these can result in significant energy savings over time.
Renewable energy sources
For a comprehensive approach to energy efficiency and reducing your environmental impact, consider integrating renewable energy sources into your home. Solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal systems can generate clean energy, reducing your reliance on fossil fuels. Excess energy generated can even be sold back to the grid, offering potential financial benefits.