It’s a great thing that the world is becoming more eco-aware. With the news of just how much plastic is suffocating our oceans and how our carbon emissions are putting the world at risk (with London reaching its whole year’s quota for air toxins in under one month this year!) everyone is taking pride in defending our planet. After all, it’s us and our children who must live here, and no one wants to live in an unclean, unhealthy, toxic environment.
No doubt you’re dutifully recycling your cans and plastics, and maybe trying to use the car less and walk more. But a lot of environmentally-friendly advice seems to fall on investing in new, greener appliances. While newer models often come with a range of eco-friendly elements, they can be expensive and not all of us can afford to replace our larger appliances just yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do your part to help reduce carbon emissions and have an energy-efficient home or workplace.
We’re here with [keyword] experts, Daikin, to find the best ways to transform your existing appliances into better, more efficient, greener versions of their old selves!
Nix the night-time stand-by
We’re all guilty of this — leaving the TV on standby all night. Charging our phones overnight when they really don’t need that long. Games consoles left to hum away in the dark. If you’re looking to lower your bills and your carbon footprint, switch them off completely before you go to bed.
According to Energy Saving Trust, the average UK home spends £30 every year just on appliances left on standby. Spending £30 for something you’re not using isn’t good, and worse, it’s not good for the environment.
So, when you’re doing your check around the house that all the windows and doors are locked before going to bed, be sure to cast a quick eye to your plugs and devices and switch them off properly before hitting the hay.
Save a few degrees
Your boiler should be ideally replaced every 15 years, but your old boiler can still do a better job of being eco-friendly with a few easy changes. Simply turn the thermostat down a few degrees and turn it off at night. You’ll sleep better if your body can cool down anyway, and a few degrees less during the day won’t make you uncomfortable. Consider popping another layer on next time you reach to turn up the thermostat, as usually, this is enough to warm you up!
Like your boiler, fridges tend to last a while; around 10 to 20 years. But if your fridge is coming up for replacement, an eco-friendly model is definitely the way to go.
But let’s focus on your current fridge. When was the last time you cleaned the coils? According to Architectural Digest, cleaning the coils of your fridge can encourage better energy use.
Your fridge’s coils are usually located on the bottom, the top, or the back of your appliance. Turn your fridge off before you start, and remove the base grill if the coils are on the top or bottom, or pull your fridge carefully out so you can see the coils at the back.
With a refrigerator coil brush, you can brush out any dirt or debris that has gathered on the coils. Take the opportunity to sweep the floor too! Then, pop everything back in place. Be sure to wear gloves, and be careful when moving your fridge — if it’s too heavy, ask for help moving it.
Next, turn your attention to your tumble-dryer. The filters are meant to be cleaned after every use, but everyone has forgotten once or twice…
Clear out any lint that has gathered in the filter, then pour a little water on the filter screen to see if the water passes through. If it doesn’t and pools on top of the filter, your filter needs a thorough cleaning. Give it a good scrubbing in soapy, warm water, then rinse it off and try pouring a little water through again. If it still pools a little, repeat your soap-water attack on the filter!
Cold water clean
Your washing machine can be easily more environmentally sound by cooling down a little. Opt to wash your clothes on a cold wash setting for the following benefits beyond saving the planet:
- Protect colour vibrancy
- Protect elastics
- Better stain removal (warm water actually keeps the stain in!)
- Money saving
Keep your dishwasher working hard; always wait for a full load before setting your dishwasher off. Also, be sure to have your full load placed efficiently in the dishwasher to fit in as much as possible without compromising on cleaning.
Tree Hugger advises that, if your model has the option to, turn off its drying cycle and just let your dishes air dry. You can open the door at the end and leave them overnight to dry off.
A good air-conditioning system can provide effective relief from an overly-warm home. But, like any other appliance, it needs a little TLC every now and again to keep it working effectively and prevent any overuse of energy.
Greener Ideal recommends getting a professional out to inspect your air-conditioning unit to make sure it is still running efficiently and effectively. If your system is making any strange noises, best to give a professional a call.
There’s plenty of ways older appliances can still do their bit to be environmentally friendly! Take these tips on board and your home and workspace can be its greenest. When the time does come to replace your older appliances, be sure to keep in mind whether or not it is energy efficient. For example, if you're looking to replace an old, noisy air conditioning unit, your main focus might be on a quiet model. But don't neglect to check how exco-friendly it is! With a quality air conditioning unit from a supplier such as Daikin, you can have both an energy efficient and quiet air conditioning system.
Moving into a brand new house is everyone’s dream, but opting for a fixer-upper has its benefits as well. These spaces have a ton of personality and you can almost feel all those happy families who used to live there before you, enjoying their life to the fullest. However, old houses require some renovations, and if you too are fixing up a fixer-upper at the moment, here’s what you need to do in order to keep this project as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.
Get second hand furniture
Old homes and new, futuristic furniture simply don’t go hand in hand, and when you’re updating your old place, it’s better if you opt for old furniture as well. This means secondhand choices you find online or at your local flea market are quite all right, and besides giving your home a new dose of elegance and personality, they’re cheap and easy to fix. You can reupholster an old sofa quite easily and get an amazing new focal point for your home for just a couple of bucks!
Bring in the LED light
Although they’re aware of how amazing LED light bulbs are, most people are afraid of using them because they are costlier than those regular incandescent bulbs, which makes quite a difference if you have to add dozens of these all around the house. However, LED bulbs are up to 80% more effective than regular options and can last up to ten years, which means they’re a much better solution in the long run. So, get a bunch of these as soon as you can and your monthly bills will start plummeting right away.
Though it was considered every homeowner’s best friend half a century ago and is therefore still present in almost every old property, asbestos is probably the last thing you’d want to see right now. Whether it’s crumbling or already damaged, it can cause serious health issues when it’s released into the air. That’s why you need to remove it from your home, and the best way to do so is by contacting an experienced asbestos removal service and let these professionals take care of your problem. Once that’s done, your home will immediately become a healthier and nicer place to live.
Get energy-efficient appliances
Equipping your home with the latest appliances is quite all right, but keep in mind that not all appliances are the same. Instead of getting just any sort, be sure to purchase only those with a nice little Energy Star logo on them, because these are the only appliances that are energy-efficient. They use less power and water on a monthly basis and will surely help you save a ton of money in the future, but also help Mother Nature as well.
Use low-VOC paint
Repainting every single wall in the house is usually the first thing all new homeowners do as soon as they move in, especially when moving into an older property. But, this is another thing you have to pay attention to and instead of just any paint, get some low- or no-VOC paint. This kind of paint is completely acrylic and doesn’t smell at all, which means it won’t cause any allergic reactions and harm your health, and that’s just one of its many benefits. So, by using this sort of paint, you’ll be contributing to the health of your family and the planet at the same time, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone!
As you can see, renovating an old home in a green manner is more than possible, and all you need to do is get informed, get organized and try out some of these ideas in practice.
As the effects of climate change are felt across the world, being green and eco-friendly is an uprising trend and both individuals and governments are taking this task more and more seriously. April 22nd is the annual celebration of Earth Day, and on this date raising awareness about preserving the environment is the main mission for people worldwide. With this in mind, there are various ways for you and your home to become eco-friendlier and to reduce your environmental footprint.
Renewable power sources
Photovoltaic, or PV for short, solar panels are producing electricity by absorbing sunlight and are the most common renewable power source systems. They are vastly used in both residential and commercial applications, therefore very developed and convenient to install and use. Once installed, running costs are barely a factor and the initial investment pays off after just a few years. When going green, using wind as renewable power source is a great idea to consider as well. Massive array of wind turbines, also known as wind farms, are very popular and more and more countries are starting to use and benefit from these systems. However, wind turbines are applicable in small scales, too, and are convenient to set up in almost every household.
Like solar panels and wind turbines, geothermal heating and cooling systems also use the forces of nature to provide us with energy, and are therefore very environmentally responsible as well. Because geothermal systems do not burn fuel to provide heat, greenhouse gasses and carbon monoxide are not emitted into the atmosphere. They also use less electricity, which effects in lower demand from your local power plant.
Investing in insulation is definitely a thing to consider, as reducing energy for heating during cold winters and hot summers is not only eco-friendly but can have a big impact on your monthly bills as well. It keeps the warm air in during cold weather and hot air out when it’s warm, which will have a great effect on your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. A lot of renowned project home builders are offering eco-friendly materials as insulation solution, which makes it even “greener” if it’s made of cotton or sheep wool. To provide even better thermal insulation you can install double or even triple glazed glass with a vacuum in between on your widows, which is proven to be very successful when it comes to preventing heat, i.e. energy loss.
LED lighting system
Using LED (light-emitting diode) system as light source, which is up to 80% more efficient then the traditional fluorescent and incandescent lights, will have a great eco-friendly effect on your household. Less energy use reduces demand from power plants and therefore decreases carbon and gas emissions. Additionally, LED lights don’t use toxic elements, such as mercury, which avoids contamination of the environment when disposed.
Eco-friendly roofs are uprising, trendy and unique solutions when it comes to environment reasonability and going green. Planting gardens on rooftops helps insulate buildings during winter and absorb rainwater, which reduces the water pollution in urban areas.
When it comes to environmentally responsible homes, some people, however, aren’t happy to stop at solar panels, wind turbines, insulation or LED lighting. Instead, they went even further and built houses which are mainly or even entirely made from natural and eco-friendly materials. Wood and stone are obvious choices, but recycled glass and tires provide great insulation and are convenient to use as eco-materials as well. Houses are surrounded with vegetable gardens and food farms, and combined with renewable energy systems, they can provide total off-grid lifestyle, which reduces the environment footprint enormously.
These are some of the solutions that can make your household eco-friendlier and more responsible towards the environment, in case you decide to go green and embrace the Earth Day spirit. Most of these solutions are beneficial for your wallet as well. Yes, the initial investment can be quite pricey, but it pays off over some period of time and as going green is uprising trend, the value of your property will increase with no doubts as well.
Planet Earth has survived several natural disasters in its four-and-a-half-billion-year life so far, but we humans are doing more damage in a shorter space of time than any natural event that has happened to the planet before. The effects of global warming are becoming unmistakable, with melting ice-caps and rising sea-levels, animals are losing their habitats and the natural balance is being disturbed.
As we continue the drive towards technological advancements, more environment-damaging behaviours are emerging, which is seriously impacting the state of the planet. But it’s not all bad news, because although these changes in technology and industry are causing these behaviours, they are also providing solutions by harnessing the power of infrared.
The Earth’s Surface Temperature
Global warming not only has a detrimental impact on the environment, but it causes a series of knock-on effects that, in turn, cause major changes to the weather, resulting in natural disasters that can have devastating results for people living in at-risk locations.
The Earth’s surface temperature can be monitored, and the data is used to produce insights and predictions about emissions in each location. The surface temperature is observed using infrared thermal-imaging cameras, which highlight the areas in cities where emissions are above average. Plans can then be put in place to remedy these problem areas.
Protecting Endangered Animals
Infrared technology can be used to map galaxies that are beyond the reach of the human eye (including the most high-powered telescopes), and scientists are now using infrared to monitor the numbers of endangered animals. Until now, conservationists have had to physically count the numbers of each endangered species in particular habitats, making this a long and somewhat unreliable process.
Because different animals give off different heat signatures, experts can now use thermal-imaging technology to identify different animals, even through thick jungle canapes. Although this technology is expensive to run, it presents a more accurate representation of animal numbers, which highlights the effects of our habitat-damaging behaviours and helps us to put a plan in place to make a change.
Wildfires are unpredictable and can happen in any hot location at any time, claiming the lives and habitats of many animals (and people) in the process. Once a fire gains momentum, it becomes an unstoppable force that requires manpower and resources to extinguish.
The key to battling these fires is to prevent them from happening in the first place, and thermal imaging can be used to identify the beginnings of wildfires. Again, this technology is expensive to run, and is still in trial stage, but thermal cameras strapped to helicopters can be used to monitor at-risk areas and extinguish fires before they become too powerful to manage.
Infrared and the Home
You don’t have to be a conservationist or a firefighter to make use of environment-saving infrared tech, because infrared heat is being harnessed in heaters that are less wasteful of energy. In fact, the principles of infrared show that these heaters will directly heat up the objects in a room rather than the air around it, making for a more efficient heating solution.
Technology: Cause and Effect
We live in a time where technology is always changing. In previous years, advancements in industry have caused harm to the planet, but now a new wave of technology is appearing. Technology that streamlines our day-to-day experiences, is more economical, and helps the environment. Technology that harnesses the power of infrared radiation to save our resources and save you money. Technology that is always changing and continues to do so for the better.
Daniel Sefton is a writer for Cürv, providers of infrared heating panels and smart-home products.
Over the past couple of decades, environmentally-friendly construction has grown from a fringe movement to being the mainstream status. The major forces driving green building are market and client demands, but also state and local governments which are adopting regulations and proposing initiatives focused on sustainable housing. This is all happening because reducing energy and water usage have become the top humanity issues, and no one can look away now that these problems and years of reckless use of Earth’s resources have come back to haunt us. If you are planning a renovation project, you should know that it will impact not only your house and your community but also our planet. If you want to minimize that influence, here are some tips that could help you.
The trends that are paving the way for a better future
In the last couple of years, climate changes have affected everything, even the construction business, causing property owners to take a significant financial hit. According to Fema, every dollar invested in resiliency saves four dollars in recovery, which means that resources should be invested in constructing buildings that can withstand natural disasters. Furthermore, construction is leaving a huge amount of waste every year, so experts have finally found ways to recycle and use that waste for further projects. All of this is a part of a large-scale movement of building properties that reduce gas emissions, save water and rely on renewable energy. This movement refers to both private and commercial buildings.
How do private homeowners fit into the picture?
Each remodeling project, regardless of how large or small, leaves a trace on the planet. While commercial and public construction is responsible for most of that impact, homeowners need to join the fight as well. For example, if you are building your home from scratch, you should invest in sustainable materials, encourage minimal use of energy during the works, and, if possible, build tiny. If you don’t want to skimp on square footage, it would be useful to build upwards and take up less soil space. The trend of building upwards to go green is very popular in Australia, which makes reliable crane hire in Sydney and other Aussie cities a very in-demand service for even the tiniest renovation tasks. As for remodeling, the first things to think about are lowering your home’s energy use and preventing energy leaks. You’ll do that with insulation and energy-saving features, such as triple-glazed windows.
Specific things you can do to green up your remodeling
Sure, all of this is nice and well, but what exactly can you do to make your remodeling more sustainable and energy-efficient? Prepare to find out.
- Caulk, seal, and weatherstrip. Proper insulation puts focus on sealing up every potential point of heat and cooling loss so that the energy waste would be minimized, energy consumption lowered and energy savings maximized.
- Install energy-efficient windows. Low-e, multiple-glazed windows with vinyl or wood frames are among the best ways to reduce energy costs and improve your property’s energy-efficiency.
- Position the windows in a way that they receive the biggest amount of natural light possible and provide adequate ventilation by opening up your rooms.
- Get a whole-house fan to minimize the use of air-conditioner or completely eliminate the need for it.
- Install clerestory windows, solar tubes, light shelves, and skylights to minimize the use of artificial lighting.
- Switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED lights or compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Use structural insulated panels (SIPs) to drastically increase the energy efficiency of your property and reduce noise pollution.
- Go low flow in your bathroom. By installing a low-flow showerhead and faucet and a low-flush toilet, you can cut your water use by 60 percent.
- Get an Energy Star-rated HVAC system.
- Replace your old appliances with energy-efficient models, as the dated ones tend to require more energy to perform the most ordinary tasks.
- Use sustainable construction materials for both the interior and the exterior. Some of the excellent options are bamboo, cork, recycled plastic, reclaimed wood, sheep’s wool (e.g. for insulation), etc.
Your home may be a mere drop of water in the sea, but what else is the sea made of, if not billions of drops of water? If you can make your home renovation green, someone else can too, and this already makes a movement that can change things.
About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger, DIY enthusiast and sustainability buff from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and a contributor on several interior design and eco blogs, always on the lookout for new ideas and latest trends in the field.
Most people are already aware of the most common energy saving tips for the home; never leaving your gadgets on standby or only using as much water as you need for a bath. However, together with Northern Powergrid, who can help out with any electric connection around your property, we’ve put together this handy guide to energy saving tips that might just surprise you…
Invest in a smart thermostat
Did you know that if you turn your heating down by just one degree, you could shave up to £80 per year from your energy bill?
By investing in a smart thermostat, you can take the hassle out of monitoring all your household devices. While these handy gadgets can often come with a large price tag (some will set you back over a hundred pounds), they could take as much as a third off your heating bills long term. Smart thermostats are able to learn the required time that it takes to heat up your home and then adjust themselves accordingly so that the heating comes on at just the right time to bring your home to your desired temperature. This also means that you’ll never have to worry about coming in to a cold house – smart thermostats can be controlled using your mobile even when you’re out and about!
You can easily save energy in the bathroom too, especially if you use a shower. You can start by investing in a water-efficient shower head if your shower uses hot water directly from a tank or boiler, as opposed to it being electric. Doing so will mean that you’ll still get to enjoy a powerful shower whilst reducing the amount of hot water that you use. In fact, it’s been calculated that this nifty gadget could save you up to £75 a year on your energy bills!
Another helpful device that you should consider investing in is a shower timer – these are relatively inexpensive, with some models costing under £10. By reducing the amount of time that you spend in the shower by just one minute per day, you could save £7 a year per person in your household.
When it comes to cooking, it’s easy to use more energy than you need – the good news is that it’s also very easy to save energy with these tips! When cooking rice or vegetables on the hob, remember to only use enough water to keep them covered and ensure that you’re using the right sized pan. When you cook a small meal in a big pan, you waste energy as it takes longer to heat the contents – the same applies to using the correct sized ring on the hob.
If you love to bake, you can save time by baking more than one meal at once and saving some to heat up in the microwave later. After all, when you use the oven every shelf has to be heated up, so making the most of the free space helps you save energy.
If you cook chicken in the oven often, it may be wise to invest in a pressure cooker – after all, cooking chicken using a pressure cooker only takes about half the time that it would to cook it in an oven.
Your washing machine can also help you to save energy. Did you know that 90% of a washing machines energy expenditure comes from heating up the water? If you can turn down the temperature of your washes, for example from 60 degrees to 40 or 30 degrees, you can save up to a third of the cost of running the cycle. Remember to run a hot wash every now and again though, as this will help to keep your washing machine clean.
Ideally, you should try to fit a lot of clothes in your wash, as filling it only halfway or less wastes a lot of energy. Additionally, reducing the amount of washing cycles that you run by just one a week could see you saving £5 a year on your energy bills.
On the topic of laundry, try to refrain from drying clothes and garments on radiators. Doing so means that your home’s boiler will need to work harder than is necessary.
A well-stocked fridge is a good fridge!
Keeping your fridge and freezer as full as you can will mean that they won’t have to work as hard. If you always have empty shelves, downsizing may be a good option – just try to choose an A++ model when switching, as these can save an estimated £190 throughout their product lifetime.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to defrost on a regular basis to prevent ice from building up – causing extra energy use. You shouldn’t neglect the area at the back of your fridge either, dust can build up around the condenser coils found at the back of the fridge and can lead to more unnecessary energy use.
Energy saving on the go
For around £20, you can now purchase plug sockets which have been designed to be switched on and off via your mobile.
This design will definitely come in handy if you’re out and about and suddenly remember that you forgot to turn off the TV at the wall. After all, by turning your gadgets off at the plug rather than leaving them on standby, you could save an average of £30 a year for your household.
Australian homeowners are increasingly aware of the importance of an eco-friendly lifestyle. This is very much noticeable in the home décor and design which is changing with this in mind. Small changes within a household can mean a lot in terms of environmental impact and they are usually also a savings measure.
One of such changes is the increased usage of LED lights which come with many benefits in comparison to the traditional ones. These benefits outweigh the cost of installation that is still somewhat steep with LED lights.
When purchasing a single LED light bulb, it costs significantly more than an ordinary light bulb and it can cause a homeowner to give up on a purchase. However, when the durability is taken into account, an LED bulb is actually much less expensive because it’s a purchase that can last you up to 20 times longer than a traditional bulb.
Even the middle and lower class Australian families can afford this investment because it still pays off to change the bulbs if you do it in phases. You can start with the rooms you’re using the most.
No toxic elements
The research shows that most Australian businesses use fluorescent lights because they are cost-effective and provide good enough quality for the needs of an average office. However, there’s proof that these bulbs contain toxic elements and can take their toll on your health if you spend day after day under those kinds of lights.
On the other hand, LED lights can be used in the same way without such dangers because they don’t contain any harmful materials. They also make less noise which makes them more pleasant to use in the office.
Ease of installation
Simple LED lights are easy to install and that can be done by any homeowner on their own time, without any preparations. However, if you’re changing the lights in the whole house, you should also check your installations in the process.
Additional features, such as a switch for dimming the lights or adding a timer for them, should be dealt with by a professional electrician. A local electrician from Parramatta could add these features and change the lights in an afternoon and no further maintenance is needed.
Energy consumption is the biggest concern for Sydney households since that’s also the largest bill to pay. Any household appliance that lowers the energy consumption can be important in the long run if a family is trying to save money. This is more noticeable with the lighting than with the largest appliances, since the lights are always on.
LED lights are therefore a good choice for saving because they offer the same quality of lighting but they waste much less energy than any other type of light bulbs. The difference will be noticeable when you calculate your yearly expenses.
The Australian climate isn’t always pleasant, especially during the summer. Any appliance that creates additional heat isn’t really helping with keeping the home cool or with keeping the energy bills low. Traditional bulbs heat up the place and it takes a long time to cool it down afterward.
LEDs are much more useful in this regard because they use and waste less energy. Electricity wasted with lighting turns into heat which means that LED lights aren’t making the room hotter while it remains as well lit as with traditional lights.
LED lights have a lot of benefits in comparison to other light bulbs. They are both more eco-friendly and less expensive.
A green home means a happy and healthy home that everyone deserves. By going green, not only will you reduce your ecological footprint and protect the environment, but you’ll also create a healthy space that exudes style and freshness. Eco-friendly design brings numerous ideas, from subtle changes and nature-inspired decorations to major remodels. So, if you’ve decided to give your home a new look, why not make it a green one?
Simple, but eco-friendly changes
Starting small is always a great way to begin your home’s green transformation. When it comes to eco-friendliness, even the smallest changes count, so you should make one step at a time and work your way up to a green home. For example, you can simply introduce the recycling system to your home. You should also adopt other eco-friendly habits that can make your home greener. From turning off the lights and unplugging the appliances to turning off the water while brushing your teeth and line drying your laundry, these simple changes are not only eco-friendly, but they can also pay off in the long run. In addition, they will help you become more eco-conscious and prepare you for some major remodels.
Vintage and pre-loved
Buying new furniture, for example, is more expensive than finding the beauty in the vintage and antique. Furthermore, the production of new pieces requires the use of materials and the very production process is often harmful for the environment. Therefore, you should embrace vintage and pre-loved pieces that you can find in your own attic or basement or on the flea market. Not only is this an eco-friendly alternative, but it will also give your home a rustic charm and an authentic appeal. You can even repurpose your old furniture and other items and find them a completely new use. A set of old chairs can be transformed into an outdoor bench, for example, at minimal cost and with no effect on the environment.
Nature as an accessory
Nature-inspired designs are a popular trend that can make your home more stylish and eco-friendlier. Houseplants are always a beautiful addition that can green up your home, both literally and figuratively. Namely, apart from adding a splash of green to your space, plants act as natural air purifiers that will free your home from airborne toxins, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing fresh oxygen. This will increase your indoor air quality significantly while also making your space more open and pleasant. From large leafy plants to small succulents, there’s no better accessory than greenery. Vertical gardens are another hot trend that you can implement both inside and outside, elevating your home to a greener level.
Natural all the way
While regular materials are treated with certain chemicals that are then off-gassed into the air, sustainable materials are produced according to certain eco-friendly standards that prohibit the use of harmful substances. In addition, certain materials are produced using finite resources that cannot be replenished. Switching to eco-friendly materials, such as bamboo, cork, natural stone, reclaimed wood and others, is not only eco-friendly, but stylish, too, as these materials will add a beautiful, natural touch to your home. Such an example are beautiful natural rugs made out of jute or wool.
You should also be mindful of synthetic materials found in bedding, covers, area rugs, etc., since they are also unhealthy. Natural materials, including organic cotton, jute, wool and sisal, are a much better choice for a green, healthy home.
Colourful green paint
Regular paint contains high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), toxic chemicals that may be extremely harmful after prolonged exposure. Green paint, on the other hand, contains little or no VOCs at all, which makes it a much healthier alternative. So, if you’ve been thinking about applying a fresh coat of paint to your walls, make sure that it’s VOC-free.
Not only are green designs beneficial for the environment, but they are also healthy and extremely stylish. From simple changes and everyday habits to various upgrades and remodels, there’s plenty of ways to make your home green.
A water pump isn’t always the first thing you think of when you consider ways to becoming more eco-friendly. However, it definitely should be as the European Commission (‘Putting Energy Efficiency First‘) shared that an additional 20% is added to energy bills as a result of inefficient pumps.
What is a water pump used for?
It’s fine if you don’t immediately know what a water pump is. It’s a centrifugal that uses a rotating impeller to move water into the pump and form a pressurised flow. You actually use water pumps every day of your life, even if you don’t realise it.
Heating systems reply on circulation pumps that move hot water through the pipes and they even help water reach your house from the main supply.
How do I know if my pump is Faulty?
A really obvious sign that your pump isn’t running to its full potential is visible leaking. Even if you can’t spot an obvious leak, you may notice damp spots around the location of the pump. There are other obvious visual elements such as a crack or rusting nozzles. You may even see some mould forming or notice the pump has an odour.
An inefficient pump will usually form a choke point. This is where the pressure builds up and can burst without any warning. It’s dangerous and expensive to repair the damage made to the property, plus the cost of a new pump on top.
Why are old pumps more inefficient?
It’s simple; more energy is needed to push water through a blocked water pipe. An inefficient pump often uses way over the average amount of electricity usually used to normally function.
The European Commission is currently trying to bring in wide efficiency measures. The focus is very much on making efficient and eco-friendly circulators mandatory. This has already shown to help improve the efficiency of water and sewage pumps. However, the pumps can still block, crack and develop choke points and thus timely repairs will still be necessary.
What impact does this have on the environment?
Well, using more electricity not only burns a hole in your pocket, but it also causes further damage to the planet. As a majority, we still rely heavily on burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. We all know this method is highly unsustainable and highly damaging to the ozone layer.
Using more power than necessary is causing you to release more harmful chemicals and thus, increasing your carbon footprint along with it.
Ensuring your pumps, pipes and utility system are all working efficiently helps combat the risk of using more energy than necessary.
New pumps and cost-effectiveness?
The cost of repairing or replacing your pump with a new version will cost less than it would to repair structural damage a burst pump would cause.
As we’ve discovered, inefficient pumps will add money to your energy bills. The pump will use more energy than needed to push water past a blockage or just to keep the water flowing at a constant rate.
Replacing your old pump in a timely manner is more cost-effective and more energy efficient. As a result of this, it is better for the environment and will help towards keeping your carbon footprint at a minimum.
If everyone had a new, fully functioning water pump and they each would be saving 20% of their energy bill – just think how much money and energy we could save by making this movement together.
Having a swimming pool is a true blast. The only problem is that it can also bite off a big chunk of your budget every month. After all, you need to spend a great deal of energy on heating and filtering the water. Well, it does not have to be that way, not if you are prepared to invest a bit of time and money up front in order to save much more later on. The initial outlay pays for itself many times over down the road. This is your chance to champion smart energy use, cut your ownership costs, and do something good for Mother Nature.
Line up tech stapes
First off, you have to carefully select technology for your backyard oasis. Various equipment pieces and components make a big difference in terms of power consumption. The key pieces to keep an eye on are the heater, pump and filter. Let us start with the pump, the heart and soul of the pool. It needs an adequate supply of power to circulate the water. What many people do not know is that it can operate on lower pressure for a number of hours and still get the job done.
So, take your time figuring out whether you should go for a single-speed, two-speed, or variable speed pump. I would advise the latter option: it offers the most flexibility, user-friendliness, and is a must consider. That being said, the gains depend on the type of pool. For instance, high grade fibreglass pools have smooth finishes that resist algae and mildew. That means shorter pump run times compared to granite and other counterparts.
Furthermore, the choice of filter makes a difference because it impacts the demand on your pump. For residential pools, three main solutions are sand, Diatomaceous Earth (DE), and cartridge. You should steer away from sand filters as they are the biggest energy consumers. DE products are a bit less wasteful, but they require a lot of maintenance. Hence, from an energy-efficiency standpoint, cartridge is the way to go.
Cover all the bases
A type of pool heating system can make or break your efforts. Three primary categories are heat pumps, solar systems and gas heaters. They all have their pros and cons, but solar systems take the prize in the area of energy-efficiency. They are basically a no-brainer in areas that receive a lot of sunshine or in countries with high electricity prices. The only drawback is that you could struggle to satisfy major pool and spa heating requirements.
Another element that plays a pivotal role is insulation. It determines the pool’s thermal efficiency, the amount of heat retention and loss. Therefore, you should consider insulating the walls and ground surface. You would need tools such as aluminum tape, pipe insulation, reflective bubble, tape measure, etc. On the other hand, in case you have a self-insulated fiberglass construction, you probably do not have to invest in the pool’s envelope.
At last, bear in mind that your habits also matter. So, mind how often you run your pump, maintain your filter regularly, and check skimmer & pump baskets every now and then. Make sure there are no performance hogs like filters jammed with debris and leaves. Accept nothing less than peak efficiency. You will also be able to boost the lifespan of your water sanctuary and main components in the process.
The best of both worlds
A pool is a perfect outlet for get-togethers, personal pastime and exercise. And if you want to have an environmentally friendly pool with lower energy consumption, you need to make informed, conscious buying decisions. Opt for components and accessories that make the softest hit on your budget. The upfront investment might be high, but the benefits in the long run are too great to miss. At the same time, commit to doing regular maintenance. That way, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits in your yard without overpaying for the privilege.