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Reducing your Carbon Footprint

With household bills on the rise, it’s important to keep your home as energy efficient as possible. Not only should this save you money in the long run, but it will also reduce your carbon footprint helping you to do your bit for the environment.

Of course, if you’ve already switched to LED lighting and installed a water-efficient shower head, you are on the right track to leading a more eco-friendly and cost-effective lifestyle. But with so much advice floating around, what do you really need to know about energy efficient homes?

About energy efficiency

If you have recently built, sold or rented a property, you’ll probably know that the energy performance of a home is rated from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) with the score being recorded on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An EPC contains information about a property’s typical energy consumption and costs, as well as suggested recommendations of how to reduce energy use and save money.

While the end goal is ideally to improve the efficiency rating of your home, there are certain myths and falsities to be aware of, such as:

  • Turning up the thermostat will heat your home quicker – while your home will eventually reach a high temperature, the speed at which heat is distributed remains the same. And, as turning the thermostat up by just one degree can cause a hike in your bills, it’s wise to stick to a stable temperature and not play around with temperature controls too much.
  • Painting your radiators black will make them more efficient – it’s widely understood that black objects absorb and emit heat more effectively than other colours. As radiators transmit heat through the process of convection and not radiation, the colour is meaningless.
  • Leaving the lights on when you leave the room for a short period is more efficient than turning them on and off. Unfortunately, this is not true as turning a light off then on again will not cause a costly energy surge.

Energy efficient home designs to invest in

Now the myths have been debunked, it’s time to look at energy-efficient home renovations that are worth investing in. Firstly, here are five simple things you can do that will instantly reduce your carbon footprint.

  • Take showers instead of baths and don’t leave the water running when you brush your teeth.
  • Only leave appliances on when absolutely necessary, otherwise unplug them. Don’t leave anything on standby mode as energy is still being consumed.
  • Don’t turn the washing machine or dishwasher on unless it is full.
  • Only fill the kettle up as needed.
  • Invest in energy saving lightbulbs.

If you own your property, here are several energy saving improvements you can make:

  • Check your loft insulation. Heat rises, so if the lagging is too thin or has holes in it, you may be losing heat unnecessarily.
  • Install new flooring solutions such as carpets and rugs as these trap heat and help to keep your home cosy during the warmer months without having to ramp up the heat.
  • Replace kitchen and bathroom fittings and fixtures for energy efficient alternatives ensuring that all fluorescent bulbs are replaced with LED or CFL lights.
  • Extend or redesign your property to maximise the warmth of natural light. You can do this by adding a glass conservatory or repositioning windows so that they get access to sunlight.

Home Renovation Architects

If you are looking for an architect to carry out home renovation projects, Bluelime Home Design can help, offering everything from kitchen, bedroom, loft and bathroom ideas. Bluelime covers areas including Bexley, Bromley, Blackheath, Greenwich, Lewisham, Dulwich and Dartford and are experienced in developing greener homes.

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