A home that is kind to the environment is beneficial both to your family and Mother Nature. Greening your home will Improve the health of everyone In the household as well as teach the family about living sustainably. For many people, however, greening” their home appears to be an expensive, time-consumIng and unachievable task.
Some believe It can only be done when buIldIng a new home. The great news is this is not the case. There are many ways to ensure your current home. or your new home, Is environmentally friendly. Here we offer you some great Ideas to green” your home and reduce your carbon footprint.
Draught-proof your home
Research undertaken by the NSW government shows that draughts in the home could add up to 25 per cent to your winter energy bills. The solution Is simple: ensure your home is draught-proof. External doors and windows and Internal doors that lead to ventilated areas are the most common sources of draught.
A simple ways to check for draughts is to feel for moving air around doors, windows, fireplaces and gaps.
Here are some handy tips provided by the NSW governments SavePower initiative:
-Install easy-to-fit draught exciuders on the bottom edge of doors
-Add sealing strips around doors and windows.
-Fit automatic door closers to sliding doors
-Seal any gaps between walls and skirtings and fix large gaps around doors and windows.
Add more plants to jour home
Aside from bringing natural beauty Into living spaces, plants help to improve the indoor air quality of the home. Plants clean the air that we breathe by absorbing harmful toxins and releasing oxygen Into the air. Furthermore, studies show that in addition to calming your heart rate, plants tower blood pressure and minimize muscle tension that is related to stress. They also help us relax and focus, whIch leads to Increased productivity.
Install water-efficient showerheads and taps
A poorly performhg showerhead can use up to 25L/m. This equates to 125L down the drain, during a five-minute shower. Water-saving showerheads will decrease the flow rate to at most 9L/min, saving approximately 40 per cent of water per shower.
The same goes for taps a usual tap will discharge between 15L/m to 18L/m, and some can reach up to 30 litres. By just installing a low-flow or aerator tap, you can lessen the flow rate to 2L/min.
If you wish to know how much water your taps and shower use per minute, try this handy little trick. Place a bucket under your shower head and tap for 20 seconds and measure the water that is collected, if you multiply the amount collected by
three, you can calculate the flow rate In L/min. Be aware that water-efficient showerheads and taps are compulsory for new homes.
Maximize natural lighting in your home
With the proper use of sunlight, turning on artificial lights during the day Is unnecessary. You can maximize the sunlight that enters your home by installing a light shelf. This can also be used to distribute light in the room as you like — for example, reflecting the light deeper into the space. If you are building a new home, ensure natural light Is utilised by orientating your home and windows to maximise the northern aspect.
Install solar panels
While initially this is a pricier option, adding solar panels to the roof of your home can save money and reduce your carbon footprir* Wi the long run. Solar panels use the sun’s natural resources to create energy. They can come In the form of solar thermal collectors that help the sun’s energy heat water, whIch in turn can generate your hot water or even your electricity. Solar panels are a great way to use the sun’s natural energy to green”
Make the switch to GreenPower
Simply by switching to GreenPower you can decrease you reliance on fossil fuels. GreenPower Is a government accreditation program for renewable energy. For a few extra cents a week your energy provider will purchase more energy from renewable sites on your behalf.
Make the switch to low-energy lighting
Lighting contributes to a major percentage of energy usage in homes. it Is not uncommon to see lights left on in rooms that are not being used. There are two types of energy-efficient lighting options to choose from fluorescent lamps —either dd-style tubes or newer compact fluoros (CFLs) — and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
CR8 have a lamp life up to eight times longer than an Incandescent bulb and are Ideal for general room lighting. Currently LEDs are best suited to areas where the lighting level requirement is not too high, but technology is constantly improving and soon LEDs will be ready for general lighting use. When it comes to choosing the lighting for your home, first assess your lighting requirements.
This assessment should be task-based. For example, the lighting requirements in your study will be higher than the lighting requirements In the TV room as the study requires high concentration level, whereas most movies are watched In the dark. The same Is said for areas that are only used during the day and utilize natural lighting, such as a conservatory.
Use a Smart meter
Smart meters Indicate electricity usage and its cost. They provide Immediate and detailed Information, allowing consumers to see how much energy appliances use and pinpoint where energy consumption can be reduced. Most smart meter systems Include an Indoor display as well as personal computer connectivity so you can access your energy usage information easily and find out which appliances you can turn off to reduce your energy consumption.