Whether you’re worried about the cost of rising energy bills, the impact you have on a warming world, or both, there’s a lot to be said for investing in more efficient household energy use. New technologies are making it easier to do and are contributing to a changing perspective on how we live and what it is possible to achieve. Could you incorporate them in your home?
Construction: a changing approach
If you’ve recently purchased a new home, chances are that some of these technologies have been present from the start. The construction sector has changed significantly in recent years, partly due to government regulations as a result of environmental lobbying, and partly due to increasing public willingness to spend a bit more in order to get something that will cost less to maintain. This means that newer houses are better insulated, are likely to have double or even triple glazing in northern climates, and may incorporate features like solar panels and gray water reclamation systems from inception.
One of the simplest things you can do to make your house more energy efficient is to install solar panels. Even if you can’t afford to generate all the electricity you need this way, or if you live in a place that doesn’t get much sun, a single panel will usually be sufficient to heat your hot water. This means you can use as much as you like without having to worry about the cost – ideal for those who love long baths. It can also support your central heating system. If you want to start on a smaller scale, you can buy simple solar-powered gadgets like toasters that fuel themselves if kept on a window ledge.
Some energy-efficient technologies have very old roots. Although they were not historically noted in this way, people have known for centuries that shutters are eco-friendly. They’re long lasting, with lifespans of up to two decades before repairs are needed, reducing manufacturing and maintenance costs. They’re much more efficient insulators than drapes or blinds, meaning they can also keep your home cool in summer. Manufactured today with high quality materials, some shutters even incorporate mini solar panels so they can open and close automatically under their own power.
If shutters sound smart, wait until you see what’s in the kitchen. Modern appliances have the potential to be more than twice as efficient as their older counterparts, so look for their energy star ratings when you next make a purchase. It doesn’t cost much more to get good ones, and it can save you a lot of money over the long term. Using high quality materials, the latest insulation technologies and smart thermostats that adjust themselves, the latest fridges, washing machines, ovens, and more can do a lot more with a lot less energy.
As well as helping you make savings and protect the environment, investing in technologies like these can potentially increase the value of your home, so it’s well worth the effort.