5 ideas to reduce your ecological footprint at home

Solar panels

An eco-friendly house is a healthy and well-designed house that reduces its energy consumption and limits its impact on the environment. Here are 5 ideas to get you one step closer to eco-efficiency.

  1. Optimize interior and exterior insulation

Generally, the first thing to do to save energy is to prevent heat from escaping. To achieve this, insulation is essential. It works just like “putting on a coat” on a house and can be implemented either during construction or renovation phases. An insulated home offers the double advantage of drastically reducing heat loss and energy bills.

Insulation panels, composed of expanded polystyrene, polyurethane or mineral wool are placed directly against existing walls or screwed onto wooden battens, in order to leave an air gap between the panel and the wall. Widely used in recent years, hemp wool, a natural and ecological product, offers a better thermal coefficient than traditional glass wool. Be careful not to forget to apply a steam brake slide to limit the penetration of moisture into the walls. This step will keep your home free from condensation and mold.

2. Ventilate your home Once a house is well insulated, it must be well ventilated. Firstly to avoid condensation and mold problems, then to improve indoor air quality. It is often the case that the air inside a house is more polluted than outside, leading to a number of health problems. Natural ventilation, also called passive ventilation, which uses natural outside air movements is an appropriate solution, but it can be difficult to achieve. The installation of a controlled mechanical ventilation system is a popular choice. It extracts internal air and replaces it with outside air, which in some cases increases the need for cooling or heating. Double-flow ventilation offers the eco-friendly advantage of avoiding the heat losses associated with air renewal by recovering waste air extracted around the house, renewing it and restoring the existing heat into the rooms.

3- Harness natural energy sources

The idea is to use the energy naturally present in the air, the sun or the earth in order to limit the use of fossil energies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The sun is an abundant, sustainable and free source of energy. It is therefore one of the most widely used natural resources. There are two types of solar installations: solar thermal energy, which uses solar energy for domestic water heating, and photovoltaic panels, which convert sunlight into electricity. The second solution is obviously more advantageous, although more expensive, but a properly installed installation has a lifespan of over 25 years. Used wisely, it can significantly reduce your bills and your negative ecological impact.

4- Repair, change or recycle home appliances and equipment

It is essential to make sure domestic heating and hot water production equipment is adapted to your home. A powerful boiler, for instance, is not required in a well-insulated house. Omnipresent in the domestic landscape, home appliances are also an integral part of our lives. Washing machines, microwaves, fridges…All these appliances draw huge amounts of energy: the regular use of these devices accounts for forty to sixty percent of our daily electricity consumption. New models are designed to consume less energy and even though their purchase price might be higher, they represent a cheaper investment on the long run. Remember to recycle older devices when they reach their end of life cycle. Considering the mounting height of trash in landfills, repair can also be, in some cases, the most environmentally-friendly and cheaper solution.

5- Use natural materials

A truly ecological house is made of materials that have little impact on the environment and indoor air quality. This is the case for natural materials such as straw, bamboo, sand, wood and bio-sourced insulation, made from renewable plant or animal raw materials (wood wool, hemp wool …). For finishes, prefer natural paints, make from non-toxic materials such as clay, chalk, marble, earth and mineral pigments for better indoor air quality.

Article by MachineryZone

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