Saving Energy In Your Home And Garden

Improving the energy efficiency in our home and garden is not only a matter of saving money. Our main consideration should be the responsibility we have on the impact to the environment. Our planet provides us with its generous natural resources like air, water and food and also minerals and raw materials. Realizing that we are part of the nature, not just consumers of it, is the start of the change that is needed. That’s why rethinking our relationship with our planet and changing the way we live by using less energy and natural resources is our main responsibility.     Each one of us has the power to make a difference in saving energy and planets natural resources starting with our homes and gardens and even our work places. Best of all is that the most energy-saving methods are easy to implement, go for a long term solution and save money. Making even a few small changes in your home and garden can lead to big reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.   The first step is to make a whole-house energy efficiency plan. Approach the house as an energy system with interdependent parts, which needs to be checked to see what changes and improvement are needed in order to save energy. In this way you will find out which parts of your house use the most energy.    Second step is to conduct a simple home energy audit by yourself or call an independent auditor who can help you with a professional advice about a strategy for making smart purchases and home improvements that are needed to be done to maximize energy efficiency and save money.   Here are few simple measures which can help you to improve your home energy efficiency; Eliminate drafts; if air leaks into or out of your home, fit draft excluders around all exterior doors and interior. Fill in with a filler or sealant any cracks and holes around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets. Here is our link to; Draft Proofing Companies Reduce the temperature of your heating/ cooling system; 43% of your utility bill goes for heating and cooling, by reducing/raising the room temperature with only 1 degree, you can reduce your energy consumption by 5 percent and reduce environmental emissions, from 20% to 50%. Also don't heat/cool a room if you don't use it. Reduce the hot water temperature; 12% of your utility bill goes for heating the water; by turning down the thermostat to the optimum hot water temperature of about 60 degree and insulate your water heater you can reduce your bill significantly.  Maintain properly and upgrade your heating/cooling equipment; regular checking of equipment can save energy also. Reduce lighting energy use, by turning off any appliances you are not using, especially by switching off lights when you leave the room.  Replace standard (incandescent) light bulbs and fixtures with energy-efficient compact and long lasting fluorescent bulbs. Look for ways to use lighting controls like occupancy sensors, dimmers, or timers.   Buy only energy efficient appliances and products for your home; refrigerators, clothes washers, clothes dryers and dishwasher are responsible for 17% of your household's energy consumption. Energy efficient clothes washers and dishwashers are not only saving energy, they save water too.  Here is our link to; Energy Efficient Lighting Low energy lighting   The most cost efficient energy saving measure is Home Insulation.  A good insulated home will make the best of your heating/cooling system, protecting your home from outside hot or cold temperature, against air leaks and control moisture.   Insulating your loft and attic; is a simple and effective way to save up to a third of heat waste of your home and you can even do it yourself? It act like a barrier from the sun radiant heat in summer, keeping your home cooler and making your cooling system run less and last longer. It also works well in winter keeping the heat in the home. Here is our link to; Loft and Attic Insulation Suppliers and Contractors  Cavity wall and solid wall insulation; insulating  your cavity walls can save about a third of the heat loss of your home, making your investment pay for itself in a very short time and also reduce your fuel bill. Solid walls can be insulated from the inside or the outside and can increase saving, cavity walls are more efficient because they lose less heat than solid walls. Greater efficient is achieved by adding insulation to the cavity. Here is our link to; Wall Insulation Companies Floor insulation and under floor heating; insulating under the floor will save up to 30 percent of your home's heating. There are three types of radiant floor heat; electric radiant floors, hot water radiant floors and air radiant floors (the heat is carried by air). Take the advice of a qualified installer about which one is most suited to your needs.  Here are our links to; Floor insulation Companies  Underfloor Heating Suppliers and Installers Another important measure to improve the energy efficiency of your home is to check your windows. They are responsible of a heat loss for about 25%. Installing energy efficient windows can save up to 25% on your heating bills compared to traditional windows and frames. Double glassing even triple glassing is a wise choice for homes with a low insulation and guaranties good saving of energy and money for many years to come. There is a new generation of energy saving window glass with a higher performance. Its advanced thermal insulation and coating technology can conserve and reflect heat back into the room and in the same time allow light and heat from the sun to pass through the glass.  Windows that are gas filled with low emissivity coatings on the glass are designed to reduce heat loss are the ideal choice for colder climates.  For warmer climates, you can choose windows with spectrally selective coatings to reduce heat gain. Here is our link to; Energy Efficient Windows and Glass Rainwater Harvesting; rainwater from your roof can be accumulated and stored in an underground tank and use for many purposes. Rainwater harvesting systems are designed for domestic use and for a much more complex industrial use. Harvesting water from rain doesn’t involved a big cost for installation, filtration and operation of a Rainwater Harvesting System, but can save 50% from the amount of main water used in the home. The rainwater can be used for washing clothes, flushing the toilets, washing cars, watering the garden but also it can be used for irrigations, livestock and with an effective water treatment can be use for drinking. Here is our link to; Rainwater Harvesting Companies Saving Energy in your Garden, you can do many things to reduce waste and conserve resources from caring for your lawn and garden equipment, to greenscaping. *  Buy energy efficient products such as light emitting diodes, or LEDs pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use, this can make a difference in energy consumption and are durable. *  Use renewable energy option like solar-powered outdoor lights or using the energy of the sun to heat water for your pool. Modern solar heaters can reduce pool heating cost in half.  *  Use the waste from garden and kitchen to create a compost pile this can be used later as a natural fertilizer for your plants. *  Collect rain water for watering plants, garden and landscape. Reduce your landscape watering accordingly to the weather. Most gardens are over-watered.  *  Plant flowers, shrubs and trees that are native to your area, they are perfect adapted to the environment and do not require a lot of extra care and water.  *  Plant trees to shade your house in the summer and allow the sun to warm your house in the winter and combat the rising CO2 production.   Here are our links to; Garden Energy Saving Appliances Suppliers  Environmental Landscaping Companies Environmental Building Design; a new building is the ideal place for a sustainable design. Sustainable building design incorporates energy efficient and environmental friendly construction with economic and social benefit.   Here are our links to; Environmental Building Design Environmental Building Products  Local, national and EU grants, funds and financial support are available for domestic, community and commercial Renewable Energy projects. See Information Service Category on the left hand side of the page.