Modern homes: how new-builds can save energy
This week our team spoke with Anthony Levy from Russell Black, heating and plumbing specialists based in Belmont Circle. With close to forty years’ experience Anthony has a deep and rich understanding of his industry. As we look to a more sustainable future we asked his advice on creating sustainable homes that are environmentally friendly. Not only are these houses beneficial for the environment, but they also help you save costs by lowering your energy needs.
1: Double Glazing
Double (or even) triple glazing may be a slightly more expensive option, however it can help save significantly on your energy costs. Double glazing offers a second, additional layer of protection for your home by trapping air between the two panes of glass. This creates an insulating barrier that helps keep heat in.
We would advise paying particular attention to the materials used for the glass in your windows: the most energy efficient glass is low emissivity, which often has an invisible coating of metal oxide. This lets light and heat in, but prevents excess heat from escaping. Another handy tip is to ensure there gaps are filled with a gas like argon, xenon or krypton and to purchase window panes that contain little or no metal to help keep even more heat in.
2: Loft and cavity wall insulation
Investing in loft as well as cavity wall insulation can significantly decrease your energy costs. In fact according to one survey if every home in the UK fitted loft insulation it would save enough energy to heat 750,000 homes each year. For a more environmentally conscious approach to insulation you could try a natural material such as treated sheep’s wool, flax, wood fibre or cellulose (a product made from recycled newspaper.)
3: Energy efficient light bulbs
Lighting accounts for around 5% of the average household energy bill, which may sound small, but can easily add up. By replacing your old light bulbs with the latest models (which are far superior to the original energy saving bulbs that took a long time to emit little light) you will be helping to reduce the energy costs in your home. You may also consider investing in dimmers which can help save electricity by allowing you to lower light levels, and timers can be a useful addition making sure you don’t accidently leave your lights on.
4: Solar panels
Solar panels are a surprisingly affordable way of making new homes eco-friendly. Having fallen in price by 80% since 2010 there is little question the government will be increasing the pressure on builders to integrate solar panels into their plans. Investing in these now will help you stay ahead of the curve and help your home move towards becoming zero carbon.
When researching appliances it is tempting to go with the cheapest option. However, taking a look at their energy efficiency could help save you more money over time. Since 2012 all new fridges, freezers and fridge freezers must have an energy efficiency rating of A+, which means it is slightly harder to differentiate between the models. However, websites like Which.com help you compare and choose the most energy efficient brand for your home.
Do you have any other tips for keeping your home energy efficient? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any further questions, or would like a little more advice feel free to contact us on email@example.com