Do you know how to live in a “greener” house?
There are many things you can do to make your house more
environment friendly and sustainable. In addition to contributing to the
environment the following tips will save you a considerable amount of money.
A regular household in Ireland consumes
- 47450 litres of water
- 7000 kWh of electricity
- 17.64 bbl of oil per person annually.
By making some changes in your house, you can reduce your water, electricity and fuel bills.
How to save water?
You can harvest rainwater so that you will be paying less for treated water. You do not need to use water treated to the highest quality for majority of your daily water consumption, e.g. watering plants, flushes in toilets, car washing etc.
A rainwater harvesting system will typically consist of a water catch surface, channels and pipes to transport water and pressurizing systems to pressurize and maintain the pressure of the water in the system. Systems collect rainwater, filter it and pressurise it to be suitable for use for all purposes except drinking.
With a rainwater harvesting system you can save approximately €1 for each square meter of your roof area annually in Ireland.
How to save electricity?
For saving on electricity bills you can use different methods. You can generate your own electricity using natural sources such as sun and wind. One of the alternatives for this can be having a residential wind turbine and the other available method is photovoltaic (PV) cells.
- Residential wind turbines –
Wind turbines are rotating machines that convert the kinetic energy in the wind to electricity.
A residential wind turbine has a capacity between 50 watts and 50 kilowatts.
They are generally used for meeting a part of your energy demand or supplying energy for a particular appliance.
Depending on their sizes, you can even install some of them – smaller ones – by yourself.
Photovoltaic systems convert daylight into electricity. These systems do not need direct sunlight.
You can have them installed on an outer wall or roof. As they don’t need direct sunlight, they
can provide nearly 50% of your electrical needs during a year.
A wind and/or solar system complemented with other electricity generation methods such as
diesel generator would provide you uninterrupted electricity of your own for the whole year.
How to save fuel?
The need for fuel in a home is mainly for heating. You have to heat both water and your home.
Fuel used for heating makes up to a considerable amount of utility bills. There are various methods to reduce these.
The idea is simple: use more renewable sources for heating and don’t waste heat produced.
For reducing water heating costs;
- Solar water heaters
Water heating expenses account for approximately 13% of heating expenses for a typical household. By using the sun – a free and unlimited source – you can heat up to 100% of your water depending on the season. Solar panels of various kinds are used to capture the heat provided by the sun and then this heat is transferred to water. Heated water is then collected in an insulated tank. Using solar water heaters would allow you to save approximately 30% of your total heating costs annually.
For reducing home heating costs
- Under floor heating
In traditional radiator heating, heat coming from radiators is distributed throughout the house through convection. However, an under floor heating system means heat coming from the floor and even heat distribution in the house. In these systems, hot water is circulated in pipes or tubes embedded under the floor. An under floor heating system can save up to 40% of your heating costs.
- Condensing boilers
Condensing boilers work on the principle of condensing the water vapour in the exhaust gas back to water phase, thus gaining back the heat lost to the atmosphere through effluent gases. For this purpose, they use a second heat exchanger.
Water vapour given to the atmosphere in waste gas stream uses 8% of the heat provided by your fuel. By using condensing boilers you can re-gain this amount. If the condensing boiler is a high efficiency model, i.e. if you can get more than 95% of the heat input, you can see the considerable difference in your fuel bills.
- Building and Attic Insulation
As said before, saving energy can be achieved by not wasting the heat produced. Using insulation in your building and attic will prevent the heat loss from the surfaces of the building facing the outer air. There are many kinds of insulator types you can choose from. They may be synthetic or natural. By choosing the appropriate type of insulator you can make more efficient use of the heat produced within your building.
There are many other methods you can use for making your house greener and for reducing your bills. Applying these will not only save you money but also will add value to your building. As it is compulsory to get a BER certificate for all houses being sold or let in Ireland, while selling or letting your building you will be able to present how energy efficient it is. Buildings with good energy ratings have higher market values than others. If you already have a BER certificate you can use the advisory report provided with it to learn more about the methods you can apply in order to have a more efficient building.
While applying some of the methods above, you will also be able to get grants from SEI to cover some of your initial investments for installation of the systems.
In short, making some changes in your building will help you save lots of money and also save the environment.
Thanks the Techstore Team