Everybody has the desire to try to live a better and healthier lifestyle, and in the same way, they also want to use as few natural resources as possible. Just as there are options in the way you can live, there are also ways you can turn your house into something that’s far more energy efficient and a lot greener. Here are some ideas that you can implement in your home that will make a significant difference to your life and the environment.
Install programmable thermostats
If you’re the type of person that always leaves the heating or the air conditioning on when there’s no-one in the house, then a programmable thermostat is for you. It will allow you to control when you have the heating and the air conditioning on, so you can have it colder at night and slightly warmer in the mornings. These types of the thermostat will save you a lot of money and energy in the long term. To take things a step further, if you install a smart thermostat, you are getting all the benefits of a programmable version, plus the ability to turn it off and on when you’re not there. That means you can always instruct it to turn on just before you get home if you’re going to be late.
Change your light bulbs
Traditional bulbs have long been known to be inefficient and have a relatively short lifespan. With the introduction of compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and light-emitting diodes (LED), the cost of energy used by house lighting is drastically reduced. If you’re still using the older types of bulb, then changing them to CFL or LED ones will show an immediate difference in your energy consumption. In some cases, the only lights that couldn’t have this new type of bulb were those that were designed to be dimmed. However, there are now more modern versions of LED that are dimmable.
Eliminate air leaks and heat loss
One of the main reasons that homes lose heat is through escaping air and uninsulated walls and roofs. If you’ve ever seen the roofs of houses after it snows you’ll see that the uninsulated ones have melted the snow, whereas those with insulation haven’t. If you’re not sure whether your home is insulated or not, you can get it checked and have insulation fitted that uses natural products. It’s not just the insulation that you need to think about; you should also look for anywhere the air is leaking out. It could be from the toilet outlet, or perhaps the outlet pipes for the sink. Fill the gaps with expanding foam or plaster to seal the holes and keep the heat inside. One other way that heat can escape is through your windows. It may be because they’re older windows with only a single pane of glass, then they could be losing much more heat. If that’s the case, then you should be thinking about window replacement Virginia Beach so that you can get new ones fitted.
Upgrade to energy efficient appliances
If your household appliances are more than a few years old, then they might not be terribly efficient. For that reason, you may want to consider changing devices such as your washing machine, fridge-freezer or dishwasher to one that has a higher energy star rating. Sometimes there are schemes involving your energy supplier that can help you cut the cost of replacing inefficient appliances.
Reduce water consumption
There are many ways that you can reduce your water consumption and lower not only your water bills but also help to conserve water. You can start by adding aerators on your taps and fitting low-flow shower heads. These use less water but still give a good spray, so you’re not missing the additional supply. You should also think about switching from taking baths to showers as this dramatically reduces your water usage. Another way to save water is to use plants in your garden that don’t need much water, or those that are native to your country. It will mean that you spend less time watering them and you’ll use less water to keep them healthy. You can also choose to fit a water butt to catch rainwater; you can recycle this natural water and use it in your garden.
Switch to solar power
There’s been an enormous boom in people choosing to get some or all their energy supply from solar power. There’s no doubt that for those who can have it, there’s a significant reduction in their energy bills. In some countries, you can even sell the power you don’t use back to the grid. There are solar solutions available for both hot water and electricity. With water, it’s pumped through tubes that absorb the sun’s energy and heat the water. With electricity, solar panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity. Both systems are fitted to the roof of your home and are placed at the best angle to get the most sun. There are also other water heating systems such as one that uses a series of underground pipes in your garden to absorb heat from the soil.
To reduce the amount of food waste that you send to landfill, you can buy or build a composter for your garden. The food waste goes on the top, and bacteria and worms turn it into compost that comes out of the bottom. Some food shouldn’t be composted – items such as meat, fish and bones. However, newspapers, junk mail, egg boxes and cardboard can be disposed of on to a compost heap. The other advantage of creating your own compost is that you’re not buying peat-based compost that is taking away natural, non-renewable resources.
If you’re looking to change the way your house uses energy, then there are many ways you can achieve it. As well as these ideas, you can also try growing some of your own food and fitting a more energy efficient boiler. With just a few simple changes, you can start to make a real difference to the planet.