When it comes to enhancing the energy efficiency of a structure, architects are best placed to offer practical, lasting advice. However, there are ways to make your home more sustainable without a complete redesign.
True sustainability, at least in the sense that we approach it, is about looking at the big picture. It’s about reducing a home’s environmental impact alongside the homeowner’s bills in the long run. We’ve already looked at some of the changes an architect can implement to improve energy efficiency – now, we’ll cover a few tips that homeowners themselves can put into action without breaking the bank.
5 tips for affordably improving your home’s energy efficiency
1. Use energy-efficient light bulbs
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumption is to change your light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones. LED bulbs are often seen as the clear winner: they use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer.
A common misconception is that energy-saving bulbs emit less light than traditional bulbs. This isn’t true – they simply use less energy to produce the same levels of light. So, if you’re not already using them in your home, they’re a great place to start.
2. Reduce your washing machine temperature
Running your machine cycles with warm water instead of hot can likewise save you a lot of money on your energy bills. By simply running your cycles at 30 degrees Celsius instead of 40, you can reduce your home’s energy consumption by up to 50%.
3. Install a programmable thermostat
While it may require an upfront cost, a programmable thermostat is a great investment in the long run. Most modern homes in the UK will already have one, but if you don’t, it can substantially reduce your heating bills. Simply set the temperature according to your schedule so you're not wasting energy heating an unoccupied home.
4. Seal gaps in your home’s insulation
Air leaks around windows and doors can result in unwanted through draughts. Aside from being uncomfortable, this can cause your heating to work harder to warm your home, in turn consuming more energy. By identifying and sealing these leaks, you can improve your home's energy efficiency and reduce your energy bills. See our blog on the fabric first approach for more information.
5. Install a low-flow showerhead
Finally, a low-flow showerhead is another simple way to bring your bills down from month to month. They use less water than traditional showerheads without sacrificing the steady stream, reducing your water heating costs as well as water consumption. Alongside energy-saving bulbs, they’re an excellent tool for making a real difference without breaking the bank.
Take your home’s energy efficiency further with a professional architect
These changes only go so far when it comes to the sustainable longevity of your home. Enlisting an architect can help to turn your space itself into an energy-efficient one, reducing building costs and your bills in the long run.