Eliminate Your Energy Bills with these Eco-Renovations
With climate change accelerating and energy bills rising, “Green Architecture” has become an increasingly important field. Designing home that are optimized to use as little energy as possible is fascinating, but nobody can afford to knock down their house and start again. Luckily, there are many renovations that can be done to existing homes to make them significantly more energy efficient, saving both the planet and your wallet as your energy usage (and therefore bills) drop. Here are some eco-renevations you can do right now to make your home more energy efficient.
Painting your walls is almost synonymous with renovating. Paint freshens your home, opens up and livens up spaces and increases the value of your home. There are ecological downsides to painting however, as many paints are made with a mixture of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These VOCs evaporate from the paint as you paint the walls and can be harmful to the environment and also your health. Luckily, there are now a wide range of water-based, low or no VOC paints like Haymes Elite Interior. These paints do not release VOCs when used and are therefore much safer for both you and the planet. Furthermore, choosing certain paint colours may benefit your heating and cooling bills. If you live in a colder area, consider painting your house a darker colour to absorb more heat and vice versa for those living in warmer climates. If possible, extend this pricipal to the colour of your roof as it faces direct sunlight all day long.
Windows & Doors
It is estimated that the average home loses up to 30% of its heating and cooling energy through windows and doors. Installing double glazed, Low-E glass windows will reflect between 40%-70% of the sun’s energy, keeping your home naturally cooler in summer months and your cooling bills down. Draught-proofing your house will also contribute significantly to your energy savings, make sure air leaks are sealed with caulk or by other means. Tinting windows can also hugely benefit your energy efficiency, while also giving you added privacy in your home. All in all, making sure you have high quality windows and doors in your home, that will reflect high amounts of heat can save you anywhere between 25%-52% on your energy bills.
If you’re thinking about installing hardwood floors, consider using reclaimed timber. Using reclaimed floorboards means that no new trees are cut down to floor your home and landfill is reduced thanks to the reuse of old boards. Not only do they protect the environment, reclaimed floorboards are already aged and therefore are not as prone to warping and movement as new boards, meaning you’re likely to spend less on repairs in the long run.
Installing a skylight is a double barrelled solution to eco-friendly renovation. Firstly, positioning your skylight in the right space will work like windows do, allowing natural heat to warm your home in winter, but reflecting the bulk of the sun’s heat in summer. Furthermore, skylights provide improved natural light in the home, reducing the need for artificial lighting and therefore cutting down your energy bills.
While minimizing artificial lighting is important (it accounts for around 15% of the average energy bill), there are times when artifical lighting is necessary. Where possible, install energy efficient LED lighting that are vastly more economical than incandescent bulbs and last significantly longer too.
It’s a bit out there, but its also one of the coolest new trends in home renovation. Green roofs are roofs that are covered or partially covered with grass, plants or other vegetation. Not only does the increase in plant matter contribute to decarbonizing the atmosphere, a green roof can directly benefit your wallet. Soil acts as extremely efficient insulation, helping you heat and cool your home with lower energy expenditure while also improving water absorption. It may sound crazy, but installing a green roof could significantly benefit you and your energy bills!