Green home improvement schemes have never been more popular than they currently are in the UK – with everyone from politicians to environmental charities to television programmes advising us on the ways we can live a lifestyle that is less damaging to the planet.
And there are plenty of reasons for setting yourself a project that will see you making your home greener – not only will this see you lowering your household’s carbon footprint, but also your annual utility bills.
Indeed, can there be any better feeling than knowing that you are reducing your carbon emissions and helping to preserve the planet for future generations, while also saving some of your hard-earned cash?
No matter what level of DIY expertise you have, you will find a job that is suitable for your skills level.
For example, simply filling in gaps and cracks around doors and windows could save you a few pounds, while it takes no skill at all to turn down the thermostat by one degree – but this could see you lowering your annual heating bills by ten per cent.
However, if you really want to invest in making your property greener, an entire central heating overhaul is one of the best ways to do it.
A household’s boiler makes up 60 per cent of a family’s annual energy bills – meaning that if you are still putting up with an old and unreliable model it is really time to consider a change.
Condensing boilers are among the most popular green options available on the domestic market and more people than ever before are investing in them.
The device is able to convert more of its fuel into usable heat for the home, rather than losing it, meaning that it produces less harmful emissions and also sees you paying less money to power it. In addition, its age means that it poses a reduced risk to your family than an item that is decades-old.
As with all gas appliances, if you have decided to splash out on a new boiler, it is vital that you contact only the correct tradesmen to do the work – all boiler engineers working in England and Wales must by law be members of the Gas Safe Register and boast the necessary qualifications to carry out the job they have been hired to do.
While they are revamping your central heating system with a new boiler, you could also ask these professionals about the benefits of having heating controls installed.
These products allow you to exercise more control over your radiators, choosing when they should come on and in what rooms – another great way to save money.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to giving your property a green overhaul!
Insulation is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon emissions, as it means less heat escapes from your home, so you can have your central heating set to a lower temperature, safe in the knowledge you are not wasting power.
Double glazing and cavity wall insulation are among the most effective ways of achieving a greener home – but every little job can make a difference.
For example, installing insulation under the floor can see you saving as much as £50 every year – and you could add another £20 to that figure by filling in any gaps or cracks you spot.
But, for a floor that is both aesthetically pleasing and good for the planet, there are many options available to you.
If you have decided to go one step further than simply insulating your floor by getting an altogether new one, you will find there is plenty to choose from.
Cork is a popular choice as the tiny air pockets it is full of makes it a great insulator – while it is also springy under foot, making it comfortable to walk on.
Bamboo is another choice – it looks good and is also less damaging to the planet than real wood as it comes from a fast growing grass that can be harvested at a rapid rate.
However if you have your heart set on hardwood floors, this option is still available to you. You could search for some recycled material to fashion into beautiful new floorboards, or choose wood that has come certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council.
Once the work is complete, you are sure to get even more enjoyment from your new floors knowing that not only do they look good but that they are helping the planet too – just one of the brilliant aspects of your new green home.