AT Home with Sarah Beeny - May 2011 - (Page 156)
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Eco homes made easy
Going green doesn’t have to get you in a fluster or hurt your pocket. It’s just a matter of making adjustments
In an ideal green-friendly world we’d all be living in eco hubs, feeling good about preserving ourselves and our planet. As most of us aren’t wealthy enough to flatten our current homes and build a green framework from scratch, we need to transform what we have already into an eco-abode Mother Nature would be proud of. From your loft, windows and electrics to the very paint you put on your walls, green alternatives can be found. Read on to find out the simple measures you can take to turn your house into a mean, green eco-machine. task, a professional fitter will only cost about £250. Spray foam insulation is another option. It’s quick, easy and mess-free. The advantage over traditional foam insulation is that it effectively ‘seals’ your roof, stopping snow, rain or dust from entering the loft. Spray foam not only reduces heat loss, but will make your loft a more useable space, too.
FACT: If every UK home installed three compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), they would save enough energy to pay for all the street lighting in the UK.
Defeat the draft
FACT: Every household in the UK generates around six tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, enough to fill six hot air balloons 10 metres in diameter. Think about how many windows you have – they are a key culprit of carbon release into the atmosphere.
Insulation is the first step on the green highway. Your home leaks tonnes of carbon into the air every minute – a whopping 40% of your house’s total heat. By getting your loft insulated properly, you retain the heat inside your home, reducing your carbon imprint on the environment, and your heating bills at the same time. Loft insulation is inexpensive, and can be installed yourself. Though the
Energy-efficient light bulbs use a fraction of the energy of a normal light bulb and can save you more than £100 per bulb over their lifetime. More and more companies are working to make their ranges green-friendly, so the decor-conscious out there needn’t worry about sacrificing their lighting design. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are available in all shapes and sizes
Although double glazing might seem like a pricey investment, the initial pay-off will eventually save you around £100 a year on your heating bills. Having two panes of glass, instead of one, means that the air inside is trapped, creating an insulating barrier. Not only does double glazing mean less heat is lost, noise levels and condensation are decreased, security is enhanced and you’ll have fewer maintenance issues to contend with. The average cost of double glazing is around £4,000, however, the price will entirely depend on the style of window you choose. Make sure you look out for the window sellers’ sale season, as deals can save you a hefty sum on your glass. Finally, before signing up, make sure your windows are fitted by a FENSA (Fenestration Self Assessment) registered company. >
FACT: The amount of heat lost in homes annually through roofs and walls is enough to heat three million homes for a year.
tight working conditions often make the job challenging, it’s worth gritting your teeth and bearing it. The Energy Saving Trust (www.energysavingtrust. org.uk) suggests that by adding 270mm loft insulation, costing roughly £170, you could save £80-£100 annually on your energy bills. This means that you’ll recover the cost of your handy work in only two years. And if you’re not up to the and illuminate as quickly as normal light bulbs, providing the same level of lighting. They use a staggering 80% less energy than a normal bulb, which wastes 90% of energy on heat, rather than light. They also last 10-12 times longer, so think of the initial payment as a long-term investment. The only drawback is that you have to dispose of them correctly.
ECo TIp: When browsing the options, check out low-emissivity (Low-E) glass, which has an invisible ultra-thin coating on one side. When it’s used to form the inner pane of the double glazing unit, it reflects heat back into the room but still allows sun rays to enter. Low-E glass is as energy efficient as triple glazing, but without the extra weight and the extra thickness.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AT Home with Sarah Beeny - May 2011
A word from Sarah
Brilliant buys for your home
Areas on the up
a penny for your thouGhts
Flying the nest
Making the ideal become real
Boost your build
When cracks appear
Greenovate your home
Solve those dilemmas
Splash of colour
Bed down in style
Kitchens and bathrooms
The carpet market
Tools of the trade
Fresh air furnishings
Go your own way
On the list
AT Home with Sarah Beeny - May 2011