Even with the arrival of COVID-19, one of the most discussed topics in the media is climate change. Frequent warnings from scientists and government officials about the negative effects we are having on our planet continue to gather pace. Whilst the magnitude of the situation may seem overwhelming, if we all take proper consideration of the way we live our lives, and implement the changes which are within our control to make (however seemingly small), we can take significant steps to reduce the threat to all forms of life. So, putting our best (and positive) foot forward, we’ve put together a few tips which will help you reduce your carbon footprint and make your home more planet-friendly.
Keep in the Heat
One of the most affordable ways to make your home more eco-friendly is to ensure it is sufficiently insulated. Without insulation, 25% of the heat within your home will escape through the roof. You can save on costs by doing it yourself relatively easily, by laying rolls of insulation in between the floor joists of your loft space, and ensure even coverage by placing a second layer on the top at right angles to the first.
The current recommended insulation depth is 270mm. If you have less than this, add an additional layer to meet the guidelines and minimise energy loss. To really see a considerable reduction in energy bills, you may wish to consider upgrading the insulation in your walls, as these can be responsible for a third of a home’s heat loss.
Did you know that 15% of your home’s electricity bill will be from the lighting you use? Most of us already know that LED bulbs are more energy efficient and have probably made that switch already. However, to further reduce your energy usage and electricity bills, you may wish to consider installing smart bulbs. These allow you to control the lighting within your home via an app on your phone. You can even schedule your lights to go on or off at specific times throughout the day and night.
Ditch the Old Boiler
Investing in a brand new boiler may seem like an unnecessary expense but it could save you a considerable sum of money in the long run AND reduce your usage of valuable fossil fuels. Boilers that were made before 2005 are 25% less efficient than more recent models. We tend not to consider replacing boilers until they malfunction or pack in entirely. However, if your boiler has been in your house for more than 15 years, replacing it with a newer model could reduce your annual energy bill by around £300.
From Double to Triple
It doesn’t seem so long ago that we were all replacing our windows with double glazed versions to minimise heat loss in our homes. Now, particularly in colder parts of Northern Europe, it is triple glazing that is being installed by property developers. Heat passes through glass relatively easily and with a third pane of glass and an additional air pocket, triple glazed windows provide an additional barrier. If installed correctly in a well-insulated home, home owners should notice a significant difference in room temperature during the colder months.
Don’t Waste – Update!
Did you know that around 30 million tonnes of household waste is generated by UK households each year? You can play your part in reducing this figure simply by purchasing fewer new items and being more careful about what you dispose of. If a piece of furniture no longer fits with your current décor, get creative and give it a new lease of life. A coating of chalk paint or a bit of reupholstering can turn a dilapidated looking item into a unique talking piece. Donate any genuinely unwanted furniture to charity shops instead of taking them to the tip.
At Hartleys, the raw materials we use to manufacture our bespoke furniture come from sustainable sources. Not only that, but the expert workmanship that goes into creating each piece means that your fitted furniture will last for many years to come. To arrange a visit to our showroom or request a design quote just give us a call on 01756 700741.