Energy efficiency in the home
We all want to make our homes as comfortable and pleasant as possible, but unfortunately, that often means using lots and lots of energy. Between heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances, the average home in the UK uses a significant amount of energy every year. But did you know that there are plenty of ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency without sacrificing comfort? In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best ways to make your home more energy-efficient and help you save money on your utility bills.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency
Before we dive into the specifics of how to improve your home’s energy efficiency, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the benefits of doing so. First and foremost, improving your home’s energy efficiency can help you save money on your utility bills. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average household in the UK used to spend around £1,200 per year on energy bills, but in the very recent past that has gone up significantly for most people. However, by making some simple energy-efficient improvements, you could down the costs considerably.
Energy efficiency isn’t just good for your wallet – it’s good for the planet, too. By reducing the amount of energy you use, you can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. Plus, making your home more energy-efficient can help to improve your overall comfort, as you’ll be able to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the year without relying too heavily on your heating and cooling systems.
Common Energy-Wasting Culprits
So, where does all of that energy go in the first place? There are a few common culprits that are responsible for a significant portion of the energy use in most homes. Let’s take a look at them
Heating and cooling systems
In the UK, heating accounts for around 40% of the average home’s energy consumption. If your heating and cooling systems are outdated or inefficient, you could be wasting a lot of energy and money.
- Lighting: Lighting accounts for around 15% of the average home’s energy use. By switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, you can reduce your lighting energy consumption by up to 80%.
- Appliances: Household appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers can account for a significant portion of your energy use. If you have older appliances, consider upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient models.
- Poor insulation: If your home isn’t properly insulated, you could be losing a lot of heat (and money) through your walls, roof, and windows.
DIY Energy Efficiency Improvements
There are plenty of small, DIY improvements you can make to your home to improve its energy efficiency. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Install a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat can help you save energy and money by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature when you’re away or asleep.
- Seal air leaks: Add weather-stripping to your doors and windows to prevent cold air from seeping in and warm air from escaping.
- Upgrade your lighting: Switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs, which use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
- Insulate your home: Adding insulation to your walls, attic, and floors can help to reduce heat loss and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Professional Energy Audits
With the DIY improvements done, if you’re serious about improving your home’s energy efficiency, you might consider hiring a professional energy auditor to assess your home and provide recommendations for improvements. An energy auditor can conduct a thorough evaluation of your home’s energy use, identify areas of inefficiency, and recommend specific upgrades and improvements.
Government Incentives and Rebates
The UK government offers a range of incentives and rebates for homeowners who make energy-efficient improvements to their homes. The Green Homes Grant, for example, provides vouchers worth up to £ 5,000 to help cover the cost of energy efficient upgrades like insulation, heat pumps, and double glazing. Additionally, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme provides financial assistance to low-income households to help cover the cost of energy efficient improvements.
Composite Decking and Energy Efficiency
Now we would want you to leave this blog without mentioning how installing composite decking in the UK can make your home more eco-friendly.
When it comes to energy efficiency, your home’s exterior can play an important role as well. One area that you might not have considered is your decking. Traditional decking materials like wood can require a lot of maintenance and can be less energy-efficient than other options. Composite decking is a great choice for homeowners who want to improve their home’s energy efficiency. It also helps in creating a beautiful and functional outdoor space.
Composite decking is made from a blend of recycled materials like wood fibres and plastic. Because it’s made from recycled materials, composite decking is a more sustainable choice than traditional decking materials. Additionally, composite decking is highly durable and requires very little maintenance, which means you won’t need to use as much energy to maintain it over time.
Finally, composite decking can help to improve your home’s energy efficiency by reducing heat absorption. Traditional decking materials like wood can absorb a lot of heat from the sun. This can make your outdoor space uncomfortable and increase your cooling costs. On the other hand, composite decking reflects heat to keep the outdoor space cooler and reduce energy consumption.
No matter what energy efficiency steps you decide to take in your home, remember every little action helps. If done in mass by enough individuals, the compounding effect can make a major difference to the planet and the wallet alike.