Homeowners are becoming increasing aware of being eco-friendly when it comes to their homes. Of course, such renovations cost at the the start. What is important is that the steps they take may bring them an ROI (return of investment). A good payback of course! In England, many homeowners have come up with their own restructuring of their homes so as to save on electric bills but at the same time make their homes brighter, comfortable and better places to stay.
To start contributing to a sustainable environment, here are some steps:
1. Install Solar Hot Water Heater- solar panels or solar collectors are installed on the roof and a storage tank is fixed horizontally below it. The hot water is filled in the tank naturally without pumping the water mechanically. However, during winter when heat is not sufficiently collected by the solar panels, gas boosters may be used instead.
In England, the government just launched its own policy of contributing to the green movement. It’s called the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for domestic and non domestic sector (industrial, commercial and other organizations). The RHI helps in offsetting costs for properties that have installed renewable heating system. Almost similar to a money back program.
2. Insulate hot water pipes and water heater. This is to avoid heat loss from the inside and the outside. This is a DIY project that in the long run saves electric costs. The tip is to clean all the pipes first before insulating and that all pipes must be completely covered to avoid any leaks. While you’re at it, add insulation to different spaces in your homes particularly the attic and the basement.
3. Change to LED and/or CFL light bulbs. These bulbs saves you money (electric bills) and the environment in the long run. Many of these bulbs if not all uses up to 75% less energy than the traditional bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. It also does emit as much heat as the incandescent bulkbs.
4. Consider changing your plumbing fixtures. Let’s admit it. Toilet flushes around 30% of the water that we normally use in the household. While many still uses the traditional toilets that flushes 13 litres per use, think about the savings if you change your toilets now.
Many toilets have the dual flush option, the flush have two buttons you can choose to press depending on how much water you would like to use to flush the toilet.
Water-efficient shower heads, faucets, dishwashers and washing machines also contribute to lesser water consumption or using water wisely in our homes. Look for appliances recommended by ECA for faster decision making or those recommended by stable organizations (like waterwise).
5. When those old appliances need to be replaced, consider energy saving appliances. Installing ceiling fans does not only reduce the use of air conditioning but also helps in circulating air inside the house. Energy Star labelled appliances help you identify environment friendly equipments. Choose wisely.
It takes a conscious effort of only one household to effect change. Let’s start in our homes now.