Ways to make your home sustainable
We know that sustainability plays a leading role to protect the environment which means that new houses are built from natural materials under ecological aspects.
Local materials out of renewable sources should be used to avoid long distance transports. In addition, the most advanced technology can be installed to take advantage of renewable energy sources.
But if you already own a nice house built several years ago and you want to stay and not change it for a new one? A lot of owners find themselves faced with exactly this situation and want to know what they can do to improve the sustainability of their homes. Let us have a look what you can do without tearing down your house.
Which are the compulsory basics to improve sustainability?
Each ecological renovation starts with the idea to improve the insulation of your house. If you do not reduce the transmission of heat from interior to exterior, any other investment in modern, renewable energy sources does not make sense. You will not gain a profit of it; it would not work. The first step is to check how you can improve the insulation without too much construction work. Normally you should choose exterior insulation to avoid problems of humidity or mould in the wall or in the interior surface. Next step is to replace your old windows with modern double- or triple-glazed windows with insulated profiles. Do not forget the ground plate and the roof to apply insulation.
If you do not want to substitute your windows, the installation of thermal-backed curtains or roller shutter may be a solution. The latter also help to keep summer heat out of home to avoid the usage of air condition. Sometimes a second additional pane of glass like a box-type window may be an appropriate solution in old buildings. Anyway, always additional glazing can create a microclimate zone heated by natural sunlight. This principle is known since centuries in winter gardens and greenhouses and is one of the main natural building techniques for sustainable houses, also used in brand new low-energy houses.
Which renewable energy sources exist?
Now, after wrapping your house well against the cold winter weather, you can think about renewable energy technique. There are different systems depending the energy source you want to benefit from. The most known renewable energy source is without any doubt the sun. It is able to provide you heat and electricity.
Solar Systems, operating with solar panels. They take advantage of the solar radiation by means of liquid-floated tubes that transport the heated liquid to a buffer tank. You can heat your house with this energy or also use it for hot water.
Instead of that, Photovoltaic Systems operate with thin photovoltaic panels. With the help of a physical effect the sun light is converted to electricity. There are two different options to profit: either you store it to batteries of high capacity or you fed it into the public grid, where it is paid and later you buy it when you need it, as usually your traditional currency.
What else exist in the range of renewable energies? There are two natural energy sources that provide always energy, even in the strongest winter time or in rainy periods, including at night: Energy out of the air or out of the earth.
Air Source Heat Pumps are able to extract the difference of temperature in the ambient air to heat your house.
Geothermal Heating work with horizontal or vertical pipes installed in the ground of your property. In your house, a heat pump extracts the heat out of the liquid and heat your home.
Little changes that help the environment without high costs
You do not have to spend much money to start today with little improvements in your home. You can significantly reduce electrical consumption by swap all traditional light bulbs for LED light sources. Try to wash your clothing only with cold or hand warm water and avoid the usage of a dryer. Also in kitchen you can save electrical energy if you use modern household appliance, open the fridge only a short time and benefit the rest heat of the oven when it is already switched off.
Try to reduce water consumption using water filters and the waterstop mode of your WC. Sometimes it is possible to make usage of rain water instead of drinking water in the WC.
Last but not least, plants can help to create a green home for very little money. All plants improve the air quality of your house, there are even some plants that can clean the air from contamination caused by emissions of artificial construction or furniture materials.