How to make your home more eco-friendly
Thinking about how to reduce our carbon footprint and tackle climate change can be daunting. But there’s lots we can do to make a difference.
In this article we’re going to look at ways we can make our homes more eco-friendly. If you are interested in reducing your home's carbon output, the Government's Green Homes Grant can help lower the cost.
Better home insulation is the first step to a more eco-friendly home. Here we are going to look at two types: loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. Both are available as part of the Green Homes Grant.
You can apply for two thirds of the cost of any improvements (to a maximum of £5,000) and if you receive certain benefits you can apply to get everything covered (to a maximum of £10,000).
The scheme finishes in March 2021, so now’s the time to get involved.
Invest for the long-term with wall cavity insulation
Wall cavity insulation is a complicated job, so you will need an expert to do it for you. A qualified tradesperson will drill holes into outside walls and inject insulating material before the holes are sealed up with cement.
Wall cavity insulation should cost between £330 and £725, depending on the size of your home. But the great news is you can claim back some of the cost of materials and labour with the Green Homes Grant.
Prevent heat leaving your loft
On average, 25% of a home's heat escapes through the loft. Loft insulation is a simple way to reduce the amount of heat lost. Typically made from merino wool or recycled materials, it’s readily available online or in larger hardware stores.
It’s fairly easy to install yourself, too: just make sure the floor of your loft is clear (and no wiring’s running along the ground) and lay down two layers of insulation with a total depth of 270mm.
Loft insulation should cost between £185 and £400 and is eligble for the Green Homes Grant to help reduce the cost.
Waste less energy with window insulation
Window insulation - double or triple glazing - is considered a ‘secondary measure’ by the Green Homes Grant which means that the government will help pay for it – but only if you install a ‘primary measure’ first.
For a full breakdown of primary and secondary measures, read our article on the Green Homes Grant.
As well improving your home’s insulation, double or triple glazing also drastically reduces noise and helps prevent condensation on your windows.
Control your home from your phone with smart light bulbs
Smart bulbs, like those available from our friends at Hive, can be used on schedules or sensors to reduce their usage and lower electricity bills caused by accidentally leaving lights on.
Smart bulbs come with standard fittings and in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Choose energy efficient appliances
Another way of making your home more energy efficient and eco-friendly is to buy appliances that have been certified for energy efficiency.
Labels will grade efficiency from G to A or G to A++ and will also give you more info about annual energy consumption and water usage.
Make sure you buy the right size of appliance – a giant washing machine running half loads won’t be the most efficient. And try and use eco-friendly settings whenever you can.
Help is always at hand, with Local Heroes
You can make a lot of these eco-friendly improvements yourself but for larger jobs, we’re here to help.
Every tradesperson on the Local Heroes network has been personally vetted by us. And any work they do, whether it’s installing loft insulation or replacing your washing machine, comes with a 12-month guarantee backed by British Gas.