The current perception is that eco-designed houses have to be new builds with a bunch of technology that simply isn’t available in older homes. But as George Clark, TV presenter of various home television shows, points out, this isn’t always the case. He says that there are lots of things that regular homeowners can do to make their homes more eco-friendly, even if they live in an old Victorian-build with none of the mod-cons of modern houses.
This is what he suggests.
Install Underfloor Heating
Clarke really doesn’t like traditional wall radiators. Not only do they look ugly and ruin the style of an interior, but they also waste a lot of energy. This is because they aren’t very good at transferring their heat into things that will retain it, like floors for instance.
Under floor heating, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. It works by first heating the floor which then heats the air in the room, making your energy budget go further. Clarke says that underfloor heating can usually be installed easily in older bathrooms, saving you money in the long run.
Insulate The Loft
Clarke says that he never ceased to be amazed by the number of people who are yet to insulate their lift. It’s really cheap these days, he points out, and it can be done using almost entirely recycled materials. He suggests that families compare energy consumption before a house has been fitted with insulation and after. Often the difference in their bills is dramatic, sometimes up to 30 percent. Clarke says that homeowners and usually recoup the costs of home insulation within two to three years, making it one of the best ROIs of any eco-improvement you can do.
Buy Recycled Furniture
Right now there’s a huge trend in interior design toward “upcycling” old pieces of furniture. Not only is doing this good for the environment, but it’s also an excellent way to save money and bring character into a home.
Clarke also says that more and more manufacturers are looking to make furniture out of recycled materials, designed to help prevent increasing deforestation around the world. Instead of hunting around IKEA for a cheap chair on Saturday morning, he suggests that people go hunting for low environmental impact furniture elsewhere.
Choose Wood Framed Windows Over UPVC
Clark says that UPVC frames are polluting and don’t actually keep the warm in as well as wooden frames. The reason for this is because wood is a magnificent insulator compared to plastic.
The other benefit, he points out, is that wooden frames can easily be replaced and that they are less polluting. UPVC windows emit toxic chemicals which can be bad for the environment.
Add Thick Curtains Over Windows And Doors
Thick curtains might look cumbersome, but you’ll be glad you put them in in the winter, says Clarke. The energy savings can be substantial. He cautions though that people need to be careful when installing new curtains. You don’t want your house to wind up looking like something out of Wuthering Heights.