30. Dec 2023

10 Tips to make your home more sustainable

10 Tips to make your home more sustainable
10 Tips to make your home more sustainable

The concept of sustainability has seeped into all kinds of conversations as the need to have a positive impact on the environment has become more vital. From our everyday habits to our choices of brands to trust, the aspect of a greener and eco-friendly lifestyle has become an important consideration while making a decision. So it is natural that the question of sustainability also applies to our homes, which can hugely influence our lifestyle. The idea of sustainable living is to make sure that the use of resources and energy has minimal impact on the environment. This includes lower waste of energy and resources, lesser maintenance, less harmful products, and better reusability. However, it also needs to be balancing this with an equally good quality of life and reliability.

Here are 10 ways that can help make your home greener

1. Invest in energy-efficient light bulbs
Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs is one of the easiest ways to start making more sustainable changes in your home. It also is very impactful as a 15-watt fluorescent bulb generates light of the same intensity as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. It is also because fluorescent bulb produces less heat, so it is much more efficient. Thus, with longer life, greater energy efficiency and fewer toxic metals, these modern bulbs are well worth the switch.

2. Installing a smart meter
Smart meters are modern devices that measure your electricity usage and provide instant feedback on your consumption behaviour. It is one of the foundational pieces on which modern energy management systems and practices are based. By having such a tool that helps one visualise their energy consumption, it becomes easier to gain the mindset required to adopt energy-efficient behaviour. Not only do these meters help in identifying your carbon footprint but also they can help in reducing your energy costs by offering you real-time pricing on your monthly power bill.

3. Insulate your home properly with the right walls, floors, and ceilings
Insulation plays a huge role in improving a home’s energy efficiency. Almost 64% of energy consumption in EU households are for heating homes. So having effective insulation set up in homes will help a great deal in bringing down energy consumption. Improvements such as foam injection, blown-in attic insulation and other options for insulating walls, floors and ceilings contribute to improving your home’s energy efficiency. Some options for insulations are cellulose insulation, denim insulation, Icynene insulation, and therma cork.

4. Double glazing your windows
These are windows that have two panes close together, thus the name double glazing. Between the two glass panes (on the outside and on the inside), a small space in the centre exists that is an air gap or a tight pocket of air. This trapped air in-between the glasses cannot circulate, so it is, therefore, a poor conductor of heat. This helps in reducing the rate of heat loss from inside the house because of which the room stays warmer for longer.

5. Installing solar panels on your home
Switching to renewable energy sources is one of the best ways to ensure that your carbon footprint on the planet is minimised drastically. It not only ensures cleaner energy that you can rely on but also reduce the monthly energy bills by a huge margin.

With the right installations and photovoltaic batteries, you can become self-sustainable with little to no need for an external energy supply. Wind energy is also an option for homes that are suitably located in areas that can harness the winds.

6. Creating a comfortable eco-house with a passive design
Passive solar designs are becoming more prominent as they gain popularity due to their contribution to energy efficiency and visual appeal. Any house that employs a passive solar design naturally makes the room cool and heat up. This is due to its excellent use of orientation and proper ventilation to maximize the environment’s contribution to the temperature within houses. The passive solar designed house will facilitate the entry of sun rays during cold seasons and will also be able to cool down during the hot season with proper ventilation. It also allows the house to receive more natural light than artificial light, reducing the overall electricity costs.

7. Install a water filter that removes microplastics and microfibers
Washing clothes are a source of contamination to the environment as they have proven to send microfibers that pollute the water bodies. Adding a filter to your washing machine will ensure that you aren’t adding microplastics/microfibers to the environment. Additionally, filtering the tap water that is connected to your home is a great way to keep microplastics out of your drinking water.

8. Water-based paints for the walls
Traditional paints, such as oil-based paints, contain volatile organic compounds also known as VOCs. These paints are more harmful as they emit toxins as the paint dries up, thus contributing to indoor air pollution. Comparing them to water-based paints, they are much more toxic to manufacture. Moreover, if used right, the water-based paints last longer and require less work and materials while repainting.

9. Install low-flush toilets and a low-flow showerhead
Apart from energy, saving water is also a very important step to take in your progress towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Toilet flushes and showers are two of the most commonly seen sources of water wastage. By installing low-flush toilets, you can significantly reduce water wastage compared to traditional ones that use 6 litres of water per flush. Whereas, low-flush toilets use about 4.5 litres or less per flush.

Additionally, utilising low-flow showerheads are another great way to reduce your water consumption. These showerheads have been shown to save up to 60% of water every month. This reduced usage of water also helps in saving on energy bills as the energy used for heating water is now less.

10. Create a compost bin of kitchen scraps.
Composting is a very easy way to keep waste out of landfills and help you create a hassle-free and nutrient-rich additive for your house’s garden. Turning any food waste or kitchen scraps into compost is a greener approach to organising your waste and automatically encourages you to adopt more recycling habits. A compost bin can be bought very cheaply from many home/DIY outlets. Some services also provide free compost bins for kitchens. Any leftovers or old food can be dumped into these bins and just left alone by itself. Over time it will turn into useful compost that can be used in the garden.

Technology enables even better energy conservation and sustainability practices

There are many new technologies that complement the above-mentioned tips to further improve one’s greener habits. Energy management systems are gaining importance as they optimise the energy consumption to a high degree, For example, if the double-glazed windows are open, then their impact is nullified and energy usage will not be optimised. Smart systems can identify such situations and notify the homeowners and the rest of the devices in the house to act accordingly.

Similarly, the right usage of solar energy is generated to complement the external energy supply so as to make sure the reliance on external energy sources is only when the prices are low and the energy bills are minimised. KNX Association and its members have been developing new technologies and standards that promote such energy management practices that can aid in building a sustainable future. Check out our projects and solutions at knx.org.

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