When you hear the words home remodeling your first thoughts might turn towards a new kitchen or extension, however, have you thought about how you can do this in an energy efficient way? Whether it’s by choosing eco-friendly building techniques, or actively making changes to your home to make it more energy efficient there are lots of ways you can improve your green credentials and save money on energy bills as a result.
Finding out the energy rating of your home
A good place to start with an energy efficient home remodel is to find out the current energy rating of your home. This can usually be done by the utility company that you use as they will be able to arrange a visit and then issue you with a certificate with your home energy rating. You will then be able to identify areas of your home which are not performing sufficiently and plan your renovation around this. While initial investment will be necessary, you are likely to save money in the long run as your energy bills will be reduced.
What changes can you make to improve energy efficiency?
There are many different options for improving the energy efficiency of your home and these range from large-scale investments to smaller-scale changes. In terms of small- scale changes within a home remodel, draught-proofing your windows is a great way of retaining heat within your home in the colder months. While you’re focusing on changes in your home, it will also be worthwhile to take a closer look at your utility providers and their environmental credentials. Consider switching to a provider that offers renewable energy. Other small actions you can take are to make sure you’re switching off lights when leaving the room, bleeding your radiators yearly, investing in a water-saving showerhead, and even treating yourself to an eco kettle.
There are also larger-scale changes that you can do as part of your home renovation that will be cost-effective in the long run. A significant amount of heat within your home is lost through the roof so investing in insulation for your roof is definitely a good idea and the same goes for wall insulation. It might also be the right time to upgrade your boiler to one that is more energy efficient as an inefficient boiler is guilty of contributing a major expense to your bills whilst also having a greater environmental impact. Finally, if you are wanting to really go all out, consider installing solar panels – while a major initial expense they can go on to give an annual return ranging from 10-30%.
Choosing eco-friendly building techniques
As well as making changes to your home to improve energy efficiency, it is also important to think about the building techniques and materials you use in your home renovation to ensure your environmental impact is minimized.
If remodeling your kitchen, consider using recycled materials like quartz on your worktops. This material is robust and long-lasting even if the initial investment might seem a little steep. Likewise, when upgrading your floors you might be tempted by solid wood, however, opting for a material like bamboo is more sustainable as it grows much quicker and is incredibly durable.
Make a long-term plan
It can seem daunting when getting started on an energy efficient home renovation. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and even starting with small-scale changes is a great place to start. Spacing the work out and creating a long-term plan for what you will tackle when can be invaluable and help you to budget effectively. Starting with what you can afford and putting a savings plan in place for larger investments such as changes to windows, roof and wall insulation, and installing solar panels is a good idea.
Through taking some time to think about how much environmental impact your home is having, and putting plans in to reduce that impact, will not only be kinder to the planet it will also reduce your energy bills in the long run. If you’re considering a home renovation, now is a great time to start making those changes and you can also make environmentally friendly decisions for all aspects of your home remodel from the materials you choose to the techniques you use.