As a new year dawns, an almost instinctive mode of review and assessment of our life’s state of affairs is activated within most of us.
The 1st of January inevitably inspires at least a moment of reflection and consideration of intentions moving forward, if not enthusiastic declarations of new year resolutions.
Within our industry, we choose to focus our ambitions for the year ahead on how our existing homes might be modified to develop their eco-friendly credentials throughout 2022, both in terms of integral energy consumption and aesthetic decoration.
Here’s our guide to getting started…
An energetic start
How we power and heat our homes is usually one of the biggest contributors to the household’s carbon footprint so it’s an obvious place to start.
If there is space on your roof, solar panels can heat water efficiently which is especially valuable to larger households (for example, three or four people washing daily).
A solar PV panel consists of many cells made from layers of semi-conducting material, most commonly silicon. When light shines on this material, a flow of electricity is created. The cells don’t need direct sunlight to work and can even work on cloudy days.
Solar PV panels are considered ‘permitted developments’ and often don’t require planning permission. The average domestic solar PV system is 3.5kWp and costs around £4,800 (the amount you will pay is influenced by the size of array and will be affected by any difficulty with access to your roof).
Heat pumps, which take heat from the ground or air outside, are a low-carbon way to heat a home.
A heat pump captures heat from outside and moves it into your home. It uses electricity to do this, however the quantity of heat delivered into your home is much greater than the quantity of electricity used to power the system, making it a more efficient heating system than others.
As a heat pump captures heat that is already present in the environment, the system itself does not burn any fuel and therefore emits no carbon dioxide.
Most heat pump installations are considered ‘permitted developments’, meaning no permission is required.
The UK government is currently proposing a target of 600,000 heat pumps to be installed annually by 2028.
Keep it efficient
Now we have the good energy, we don’t want to waste it. Ensuring proper insulation at all points is critical to stop our leaky buildings letting all the energy back out again.
Installing optimal insulation will reduce energy demands, and there are a few key areas to consider:
Walls | About a third of all the heat lost in an insulated home escapes through the walls. By adding insulation to cavity walls, you could save energy and cut costs off your heating bill.
Roof | If you have a poorly insulated roof or loft space, you could be losing heat through the top of your house. Insulating your loft, attic or roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and lower your heating bills.
Floors | Insulating your ground floor is a great way to keep your home warm. Many homes – especially newer ones – will have a ground floor made of solid concrete. This can be insulated when it needs to be replaced or can have rigid insulation laid on top.
Pipes | Insulating your water tank, pipes and radiators is a quick and easy way to save money on your bills. Adding insulation to water tanks and pipes and insulating behind radiators reduces the amount of heat lost, so you spend less money heating water up, and hot water stays hotter for longer.
Draught-proofing | While it isn’t technically a type of insulation, draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy – and money – in any building. To draught-proof your home, you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Saving warm air means you’ll use less energy to heat your home, so you’ll save money as well as making your home snug and warm.
Having mastered (or at least improved) our homes integral eco-friendly creds, the furniture, lighting and finishing touches inside can go further to supporting an ethical and eco-friendly approach to home life.
Here at Arlberry, we are designing for the future. We hand make intelligent designs using traditional methods and sustainable practices. We have chosen to do this because we believe it’s vital for the future success of our company, our society and our planet.
We utilise the most sustainable manufacturing practices possible, as far as we can, all our bespoke furniture and made to measure joinery is made in the UK and materials are sourced locally as far as possible, keeping our carbon footprint comparatively low.
Sustainable LED lighting
Tala is an award-winning lighting brand, founded on the premise that good design can help mitigate climate change with products that are designed to last.
From their London-based studio, they explore the tension between sustainability, technology and design through their wide-ranging collections.
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Categories:Interiors & Lifestyle