How to Have an Eco-Friendly Home
The eco-friendly home is not only becoming more desirable, it’s also a necessity if we’re to meet our Net Zero targets in the UK. The good news is that creating a sustainable house is now far more affordable, and it offers a growing list of benefits. These include reducing energy bills, minimising your carbon footprint, and adding value when you come to sell your property. To get you started, we’ve come up with 4 eco home improvements you may want to get started with this year.
4 Eco Home Improvements
What are the differences an eco-friendly home will make to your life? First and foremost, it offers you a different way to look at your home, and a new set of priorities for living in it. My Build My Way has worked on a number of eco home improvements, and we’ve noticed the way in which throwing out the old assumptions about how to light and heat your home, opens up new and creative possibilities.
Table of Contents
- Home Insulation for Period Properties
- Create a Sustainable Bathroom
- Rethink Your Heating
- Increase Your Solar Gain
1. Home Insulation for Older Properties
This has to be top of the list. The UK’s older housing stock is not built to keep the heat in so, if you live in an older property, insulation will make a massive difference. There’s no ‘silver bullet’ with insulation; it requires a strategic approach to plug your property’s weak spots. Here’s our checklist:
- Roof Insulation. This is a great place to start because insulating your roof makes an instant, appreciable difference to the warmth retention. Different types of property require different solutions, so get a professional in to offer guidance.
- Draughts. These need to be tracked down carefully and a solution found on a case-by-case basis. Draughty windows are fairly easy to solve with double or triple glazing, but draughts also come through doors, and floorboards can also lack airtightness.
- Floor Insulation. Bare floorboards are a great design choice, but if they’re not properly insulated, they can lead to excessive heating bills. Breathable insulation will normally offer a good solution but seek professional guidance on this.
- Wall Insulation. If your property is very old, it will have thick, solid walls that keep the heat in. For mid-twentieth century properties, you may want to enhance your brickwork with insulated dry lining, which adds an additional layer.
2. Create a Sustainable Bathroom
Bathrooms are a popular home improvement project, and they’re a great way to add value to your property, too. There are a number of ways that you can enhance the sustainability of your bathroom, without compromising on its spa-like comforts:
- Install Underfloor Heating. This is an energy-efficient alternative to traditional central heating, and it’s wonderfully luxurious underfoot. Its radiant heat rises naturally to heat the room, and temperature retention is excellent.
- Install Water-Saving Appliances. Traditional toilets use around 33% of the household water. A power shower uses 75 litres of water over 5 minutes. Water saving shower-heads and low-flow toilet systems minimise water use.
- Choose a Steel Bath. Steel isn’t a material we necessarily associate with a soak in the bath, but there are some gorgeous steel baths to choose from. Why steel? It’s 100% recyclable and won’t rust or corrode.
- Ditch the Plastics. This is a simple step. Start with your shower curtain and replace it with a glass screen. If that’s not practical, choose a curtain that’s made of help, bamboo, or natural cotton instead.
3. Rethink Your Heating
Central heating is being phased out in the UK, so we’ll all be rethinking our heating over the next decade. At present there are a limited number of options to choose from:
- Heat Pump. A heat pump captures heat from the air outside and transfers it into your home, using minimal electricity to do so.
- Infrared Heating Panels. Infrared panels emit radiant heat, which can be absorbed and held by solid objects, and people.
- Solar Thermal Panels. We’re now familiar with solar panels; they’re fitted to your roof on order to store heat from the sun which is used for hot water.
- Biomass Boilers. A renewable energy solution which replaces a traditional boiler. Biomass boilers burn wood pellets and can be used in residential properties.
4. Increase Your Solar Gain
Solar gain is the name given to the passive heat that comes from free sunlight; it can be a very cheap contribution to heating your home. Passive solar gain design includes the use of larger windows to increase solar gain, roofing kits that use glazing to capture sunlight and provide ventilation, and the use of materials in the home that have thermal mass and will hold the heat from sunlight.
My Build My Way Can Help With Your Eco-Friendly Home
If eco home improvements are on your agenda this year, My Build My Way can help. We are a build and design business which introduces clients to architects and reliable local builders who provide high-quality work at competitive prices.
If your plans are already in place, we’ll provide quotes from verified local builders who would be appropriate to work your project. We partner with leading UK contractors to ensure that the introductions we make provide stress-free builds for clients.
Our job is to find you the right contractor at the right price without compromising on top-quality workmanship. Once you’ve chosen your builder, we will arrange a building inspector to quality check the work at each stage.
If you’re planning eco home improvements, My Build My Way can introduce you to an architect or builder to take your project to the next stage. Give us a call on 0333 772 2356, or message us.