When we are choosing a home to live in, there are so many factors to consider. There is the location, the cost, the look and feel of the place, as well as how eco-friendly and energy efficient it is to run. Unfortunately, it’s easy for some facets to be overshadowed by others. For example, you may have an eco-friendly home, but it ends up looking more like a Heath Robinson designed contraption than a chic and elegant living space. But it is possible to get both, just read on to find out how.
Efficiency behind the scenes
First of all, when considering how to get a home that is beautiful, and eco-friendly, it’s important to remember that there are a lot of new technologies that allow greater fuel efficiency that can be added in behind the scenes. Making them a more ecologically sound choice.
One of these things is underfloor heating. This is an eco-friendly home addition because it allows you greater control over the temperature of your home. Keeping things warm in winter, while using less energy to create the desired effect that you want.
It’s usually installed under wooden or stone floors, making it the perfect behind the scenes addition in making your home more eco- friendly, as one will know it is there.
There are actually two types of underfloor heating you can choose from. The first is warm water and the second is electric UFH. As the latter is generally less expensive to install, it makes it a great budget option for improving the efficiency of energy use in the home.
Oil to gas
The next inspirational secret that you can use in your own beautiful yet eco-friendly home is changing your heating system over from oil to gas. Again it’s all about efficiency as a tool of ecology here, as gas is way more efficient than an oil system. Meaning you get great results like instant hot water, with much less energy used up when creating in.
Of course, there will be an initial cost in getting your system converted, or installing gas system in the first place. Although, as long as you use a good plumbing firm with expertise, click here for a good example, it’s shouldn’t break the bank.
It’s also something that doesn’t affect the visual appeal of your home. So once again you can have a gorgeous property of your design, while still ensuring it is run in an ecologically sustainable way.
Then there is insulation, another hidden element in the home that can make a huge difference to how ecologically sound it is. Insulation is basically a way of keeping the temperature at a constant level within a building. So, by having well-insulated walls and roofs, you end up using less energy to heat or cool your living space. Less energy, as we know by now means less of a strain on mother Earth’s resources. So making a well insulated home a more ecologically friendly choice.
One of the great things about insulation is that it is hidden away behind walls and in attics spaces, so it doesn’t affect the aesthetics of a building. Also with new development on the market such as insulative materials made from recycled plastics, used drinks bottles, in fact, it’s an even more ecologically sound product. As it preventing these items going into landfill and polluting the environment.
Efficiency as style
Of course, there are some ecologically friendly changes you can make that are a bit more obvious around the home. Luckily, they have an aesthetic all of their own that can be included in your home design as a feature.
These include current mainstream solutions such as triple glazed, gas filled uPVC windows. Windows that are both secure and insulating, making it cheaper and more efficient to heat your home.
Although, there are now, increasingly more new window options such as passive solar angled windows and solar control window film that enhance and decrease the glare and heat of the sun respectively. Allowing you to achieve the effect desired in your particular location. In fact, passive solar angled windows can work so well, that they can decrease your heating bill by 90%. Something that will be especially good for your wallet as well as Mother Earth.
Another eco-friendly trick that will have an effect on the aesthetics of your home, but not necessarily in a negative way, are solar panels. These are used for two reasons. The first is to heat water, and the second is to provide electricity. Panels that are designed for the latter are being developed in the shape of singular roof tiles. Meaning that when they are all connected up over a large area, they create clean, renewable energy.
Also, homes that are producing energy in this way can be linked up to the grid, allowing any excess electricity to be sold to energy providers, making a profit. This means you not only get enough energy to heat and power your home but can make money from this efficient solution too.
Of courses, regarding aesthetics, these solar tiles are also much more pleasant to look at than traditional large panels, Meaning you can have clean energy and a beautiful home as well.
Lastly, some ways of having a more eco-friendly home are all about the actual design itself. This is the case in cob homes.
These are structures made from a mix of sand and straw cured by the air that is both solid and long lasting. The benefits of these types of homes are that they are well insulated. Making them cheap to heat, as well as an eco-friendly way to build. As the materials are natural and need little production or transportation to get onto site. Yes, while the aesthetic of cob homes, some time akin to Hobbit Holes in Lord of The Rings, may not be for everyone, there is also no denying that they definitely have a certain aesthetic appeal.