With more and more people becoming aware of the impact of climate change and the need to take urgent action, sustainability is a hot topic of conversation. When it comes to fighting global warming, going green begins at home. So whether you’re building an eco-home from scratch or you’re retrofitting an existing property to reduce its carbon footprint, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider when planning any eco-friendly home renovations projects.
Increase the insulation
Insulation, or the lack of it, can have a huge effect on the overall efficiency of a property, creating both an economic and an environmental problem. The answer is to insulate the loft – ideally with 300mm or more of insulation – and fill the cavity walls. Where this is not possible, for example in period properties with solid walls, alternatives include internal thermal lining or the application of external insulation.
Opt for double or triple glazed windows
Double glazing works by trapping air between two panes of glass to create a vacuum. This acts as an insulator, reducing heat loss by convection. By opting for triple glazing, the conduction, convection and subsequent heat loss is reduced even further, meaning the heat stays in the room rather than radiating outside. If you’re happy to spend a bit more on your eco-friendly home renovations, look out for argon-filled glazed windows or low-emissivity glass which will help to reflect heat back into the property, therefore saving you money in the long-run.
Fight the draughts
Whilst old wooden floorboards might add much-wanted character to a room, they can often create unwanted draughts. Seal all gaps and add insulation under the floorboards to help minimise heat loss. Add draught excluder strips to the bottom of doors and fill air leakage paths around pipe entries.
Get the right light
For those still in the planning stage of a build, think carefully about the positioning of windows to maximise natural light. Fit low energy lighting throughout – compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or LEDs, for example. And be diligent about switching off all lights when not in use.
Upgrade your heating system
Upgrading your existing gas central heating system to a modern condensing gas boiler will increase the energy efficiency of your home, especially when combined with a boiler controller, smart heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) controls, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves. However, those looking to fully commit to the eco cause could consider a ground-source heat pump or a biomass boiler and combine with photovoltaic panels to generate electricity.
Incorporate reclaimed materials
Keeping materials in use and out of landfill is better for the environment so ‘make do and mend’ and head to local salvage yards to find suitable reclaimed materials for your eco-friendly home renovations.
Pick the appropriate appliances
Pick water efficient taps, low-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads to reduce water usage. Check the energy efficiency rating of all white goods and electrical appliances. These are things you will be using day in, day out, so any small savings in energy here will soon add up.
Go for an eco-friendly finish
When it comes to painting and decorating, water-soluble eco-paints made from natural pigments have lower levels of volatile organic chemicals making them much kinder to the environment.
If you’re keen to explore the prospect of an eco-friendly home renovations project, speak to the building and construction experts at Revere Contracts. Simply call us on 0345 241 7010 to arrange a free, no-obligation appointment.