Ensuring Your Home is Energy Efficient
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Doing your part for the environment is often seen as a hindrance: separating the rubbish bins, making trips to the recycling plant, using dull light... The post Ensuring Your Home is Energy Efficient appeared first on My Green Home Blog .
Doing your part for the environment is often seen as a hindrance: separating the rubbish bins, making trips to the recycling plant, using dull light bulbs. Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to sacrifice style and comfort to live a green lifestyle. Whether you’re concerned about global warming or want to combat increasing energy costs, advances in technology have made it easier and less troublesome than ever before to get involved. These minor home improvements are easy to implement, but will make a huge difference.
Get an Energy Audit
An energy auditor will assess everything from the structure of your home to your cleaning habits. While they may seem like a costly, unnecessary expense, over time their fees will be recouped tenfold. While we all know that using eco friendly lightbulbs, running less water and switching off electronics at the mains will help, a professional auditor will help you find savings in the places that you least expect: problematic air ducts, leaky faucets, energy guzzling appliances, etc.
Seal Leaky Windows and Doors
Energy.gov estimates that the average homeowner can reduce their heating and cooling bills by up to 30% simply by sealing leaky air ducts. To find window and door leaks, do a smoke test. Light an incense stick and hold it near the edges of your windows and doors. If the smoke rises undisturbed, you probably don’t have a leak. If the smoke is sucked out or blown back into the room, re-seal the area. Alternatively, dampen your hands and slowly run them along the edges of your windows and doors to see if you can feel a draft.
Install Air Curtains
Ever walked into a shop and felt a sudden blast of air from the ceiling when the door opened? This is an air curtain. According to Envirotec, their primary purpose is to prevent contaminants from moving between two separate locations; however, they can also be a viable weapon in your energy saving arsenal. Air curtains can be programmed to turn on when your doors and windows open. The “barrier” of air can significantly reduce heat transfer, which subsequently reduces the load on your home’s heating and air conditioning system.
Reuse your Water
Grey water systems will divert water from your laundry devices, shower and basins into a surge tank. The “waste” can then be reused to water your plants and garden. Most grey water is perfectly safe for the environment and will not upset the pH levels in the soil; however, using low Phosphorous detergents with them is recommended as a precautionary measure.
Insulate your Attic
Poorly insulated attics account for 25% of heat loss in the average home. If the thickness of your attic insulation is less than 11 inches of fiberglass or 8 inches of cellulose, add more. Do not neglect the hatch itself. Add a few layers of foam-board, ensuring they snugly fit the dimensions of the panel.
Use Eco Friendly Lighting
Using environmentally friendly lightbulbs is a start; however, you may be able to limit electricity consumption even more – depending on the structure of your home. Installing a skylight will not only let in more sunlight, but will also provide ventilation and reduce strain on your heating and cooling system.
Energy efficient building is an investment. Estate agent Michael Anthony, states that houses with solar panels and other energy saving components fetch a higher price. Buyers recognise the long-term benefits and are often willing to pay extra in exchange for lower monthly bills. Whether you plan on staying where you are or selling, eco friendly home improvements will eventually pay for themselves.