Fuelled by the increased demand for eco-friendly homes, technological advancement has created a whole arsenal of eco-friendly materials that can be used- solar panels, wind turbines, high efficiency lighting, water conservation, recycling and many more.
If you are not part of this revolution, here are a few tips to help you get started:
1 A home energy audit
This is a thorough inspection of your home to account for your use of energy. Leaks, insulating material and electrical material – they should all be inspected. If you can afford it, hire someone to do a professional energy audit because, they have access to the latest high-tech equipment and can assess airflow and use thermal imaging to help identify where your energy leaks are and how they are costing you in terms of heating and cooling.
2 Controlling air-flow
Studies from the U.S. department of Energy shows that 20% of energy that’s used for heating and cooling purposes creeps out of the house through windows and door spaces. Poor seals or ill-fitting doors offer an avenue for this energy to escape, and you won’t realize it until you begin to sense that your old home is costing you huge energy bills. That said, if you are on a minimal budget, a good place to start would be to control airflow in your house. Seal up those spaces.
3 Invest in reflective insulation
Did you know that the sun’s radiation affects your energy consumption indirectly? If the inside of your home heats up too much during hotter days, you may need to install reflective insulation. The sun’s radiation produces energy which finds its way through the roofs and walls into your house to cause wayward airflow behavior. Unlike thermal insulation, reflective insulation is made of thinner materials that keep the heat from escaping your house.
4 Think about a solar panel
You could get nearly 70% of your energy from the sun. Today, solar panels come in different varieties and different capacities. High-wattage solar panels are also available to harvest more energy for heating, lighting and other domestic use.
5 Your backyard
Though they’re not often considered when estimating energy costs, a home backyard also uses energy. You might be have a well-kept lawn- remember that the lawn-mower uses fossil fuel to cut the grass? It creates carbon emission. The fertilisers you use leach into the groundwater affecting water for drinking. And if you don’t maintain your rain runoff, it will lead to flooding as well as sewer overflows.
A couple of ideas are to (1) use native plants for ground cover in place of bagged grass seeds and (2) change your landscaping to create a small lawn of native wildflowers rather than having a big lawn the size of a soccer pitch.
With the 5 eco friendly home construction tips above, you are ready to get started with a minimal budget.