Reduce Your Reliance on Energy Companies with These Building Ideas
If you’re looking to reduce your energy bills, whilst saving the planet, then eco-friendly home design is for you.
News that rising energy bills will add £47 to the tariffs of 5 million vulnerable UK households is cause for concern. And so it should be, given the multiple global environmental crises that the world is facing. All of us must play our part in reducing our reliance on the planet’s natural resources – that means the government, energy companies and us as consumers. One of the ways to use very little energy, and pay next to nothing on your bills as a result, is to build a green energy efficient home. Some of these points are for those who are self-building, others can be incorporated as part of a remodel.
Insulating Your Property
If you insulate your four walls and roof effectively, then the air inside your home will be warmer, less hot air will escape, and you won’t be as likely to turn on the heating for comfort. Construction techniques such as Closed Panel Timber Frames and Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) are the industry gold standard in insulation. But for those who are using slightly less efficient methods such as Brick and Block, there’s still room for improvement if you use special binding membranes to increase levels of airtightness.
Using A Biomass Boiler
If you have access to a ready supply of wood, then using an eco-friendly boiler is an increasingly popular way to heat your house during the colder months. Around 175,000 UK households each year are installing biomass boilers, which involves feeding raw wood or chips to be automatically lit and used as fuel. Once the boiler is actively heating, your appliance can warm your hot water tank or central heating system – both of which can be controlled by settings on a thermostat.
When you’re planning the glazing for your house, you should begin by understanding the orientation of the property. It is preferable to have your property facing south as it will receive the most sunlight in this direction. The strategy here is to make the most of the sunlight during the winter, but introduce glazing that can cope well with the strength of the rays during the summer to keep your home pleasantly cool. In terms of materials, triple glazing is the most efficient product on the market, but it can be up to 15% more expensive than double glazing alternatives.
Many homeowners are familiar with using a water butt in their garden, which collects the run-off from the roof to be used to water your plants. This is the basic concept behind rainwater harvesting, but it needn’t be confined to the garden. You can have the water directed down guttering and drainpipes towards an underwater storage tank. From this point, it can be delivered on demand by pump to be used as a non-potable water source, meaning that it shouldn’t be used to drink. Instead, your harvest can flush your toilets and clean the load of clothes in your washing machine.
If you’re considering an eco-friendly home design, be sure that your plans are acceptable to Building Regulations and you may also need planning permission for any adaptions to an existing property.