4 affordable home upgrades for greener living

21 September 2022

With the effects of global warming becoming increasingly apparent year-on-year and fossil fuels rapidly rising in cost, living a more eco-friendly life is something we all aspire to do these days. However, while it is simple to take some steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle such as rejecting fast fashion and shopping local, significant changes such as investing in green technology designed for the home remain priced beyond the reach of many. Green heating systems, for example, are a game-changing investment that will save money in the long-run, but even with the current government grant scheme for eco-minded homeowners they are an expensive purchase – particularly given the dramatic increase in cost of living in recent months.

While major eco-technologies might have to be considered in the future rather than today, there are several things that you can do right now to make your home more environmentally friendly without breaking the bank. Discover four simple and affordable property upgrades that will nonetheless go a long way towards greener living.

Smart devices

Most modern devices can turn themselves off when not in use but are then left in stand-by mode. Invest in smart strips which disrupt circuitry to prevent electricity from running through stand-by devices. This could save you potentially hundreds of hours of electricity if you regularly leave your devices in standby mode or are guilty of forgetting to turn lights off when you leave a room.

Smart home technology

While technology that can turn itself off is handy, it can also be a bit of an inconvenience. Take things a step further and invest in more smart home technology that will allow you to connect your home to your smart devices. You can then use the compatible apps via your mobile phone to switch off lights, adjust heating, and much more – even when you are not in the house.

Smart thermostats (smart meters) are comfortably the most valuable investment you can make here as they allow you to regulate temperature from wherever you are in the world. This means that you can turn on your heating system a few minutes before your arrival rather than having set automatic timings which can prove wasteful if your routine changes at the last minute. If you have smart LED bulbs in your lights, you could even set the lights to dim at certain times of day to further reduce waste energy.

Water savers

It is not just energy that we need to be saving, of course. Water is another valuable commodity that we need to start conserving, demonstrated by the droughts faced in the UK as recently as this summer. Toilets are perhaps the worst culprits here and account for around 30% of all the water used in a household. This is even worse in households with traditional single-flush toilets which use around 13 litres of water per flush.

Consider installing a new toilet that’s low-flush and dual flush and to save thousands of litres of water each year. If you are not in a position to purchase a new toilet, try a cistern displacement device to reduce the wastewater in each flush. Low-flow taps for your sinks and showerheads are also a great option.

Solar power

Rechargeable wireless devices such as your laptops, phones and more can be powered quite comfortably by solar power, so you can harness the power of the sun without investing in a full-blown solar heating system. This means that you can keep your phone charged 24/7 without tapping into your mains electricity.

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