Creating a green home
10 tips on how to create a greener home
Mon, 19 Dec 2011 - 6:28pm
Creating a green home is achievable for all of us. The ultimate ‘Grand Design’ style eco-house is not viable for everybody, but it’s certainly possible to make your home greener than it may be at the moment. Below is our list of the top 10 items for creating a green home that don’t need thousands of pounds in outlay.
1. Loft insulation
Ensuring you have the recommended depth of loft insulation (270mm of the blanket/roll insulation) is the most cost-effective step to making your home greener.
Save energy by cutting down on draughts. Use draught excluders around external doors, fit letterbox draught excluders, and even fitting keyhole escutcheons will reduce draughts.
3. Double-glazing film
The budget option to fitting standard double-glazing is to fit double-glazing film over the winter months. Cheap, but still very effective.
4. Rainwater harvesting
On a grand and more expensive scale, you can look into systems of collecting all your rainwater in underground tanks, which may then be used to flush toilets for example. On a smaller scale, simply fitting water butts on drainpipes will provide most of your garden watering requirements.
This is very green and makes sense in so many ways. It provides a way of getting rid of everything from grass clippings to cardboard and is an important part of any green living initiative.
If you don’t have a recycling area in the kitchen or outside the back door, then you should have. Whether you put ‘stuff’ out for the council, or take it to a recycling centre, there’s a big feel good factor here.
7. Energy monitors
These come in different guises, but basically having one of these gadgets allows you to see how much electricity you are using, and where, and at what times of the day. They give you a good idea of where you can cut down on energy use.
8. Fitting thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)
This gives you much greater control over heating in your home, which saves energy.
9. Check out reclamation yards
If you are carrying out home improvements, you may find, for example, the perfect floor you are looking for, second hand at a reclamation yard rather than new from a shop.
Make sure that your boiler is serviced regularly (normally once a year) to ensure it’s working efficiently.
For more on creating a green home and green living in general, check out the Energy Saving Trust. For installation tips and advice, go to Julian Cassell's DIY Blog.