Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Turning Our Homes into Low Energy Houses

If you were to visit my home at around 7.30 every morning then you would be sure to think that it was one of the most low energy efficient houses that you had ever seen. The children are still trying to sneak out another 5 minutes in bed and my wife is trying to recharge herself in the shower. I’m no better as I am using the morning paper as an excuse to try and doze for a bit on the sofa. Yes our house is incredibly low on energy first thing in the morning. However, unfortunately in reality it is not got to win any low energy houses awards, because the televisions are on in three rooms, the heating is turned high so that the bathroom is cozy and the kids have left their phone chargers plugged into the wall all night. So what can we do to make our homes into future low energy houses (or as the Danes say fremtidens lavenergihuse)?

Well first of all we need to start at the beginning and educate our families into understanding how to lower the amount of energy we use. Leaving an electrical appliance on standby is hardly going to finish off the world, but when we all do it makes a massive difference. Even the longest journey starts with a single step and just getting the kids to turn things off when they are not using them and unplug chargers that are not charging is a step on the right path.

We also need to look at our homes and decide whether we can improve them to make them more energy efficient. Obviously the best low energy houses use green energy to power everything and everything from sunlight to wind is utilized in the process of running a toaster. The problem with green energy is that it generally costs a bit to get started. Solar panels don’t come cheap and, just like wind turbines, they are not easy to place unless you have a large property.

But rather than making the energy we use greener we can make our homes use less energy. To turn our homes into low energy houses we need to make the property more energy efficient and this can be done in many ways.

Roof insulation is a cheap and easy way to reduce the amount of energy that your home uses to stay warm. The more insulation that you have in your loft or roof the less energy your heating will use. So look at improving the insulating quality of your roof and make your home part of the ever growing number of low energy houses.

You can also look at windows and doors in the same way. There are now some wonderfully manufactured energy efficient models that keep the heat in and the cold out and will reduce the amount of energy that is needed to keep you and your family warm in your homes.

So although my family is hard to motivate early in the morning this is exactly what we need to do. Because the sooner we sort out our homes the sooner we make a difference and that is what low energy houses are all about.

This article is written by Mark Neyton. He is a writer curently living in Denmark. He is mostly interested in topics like home improvement, real estate and family. For more of his works you can find him on Twitter.


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