While opening up our homes to the outdoors and making the most of our interior space is certainly something all of us should be thinking about, so too is the idea of investing in a sustainable house design – something that’s as equally eco-friendly as it is gorgeous to look at.
But if you’re concerned that this might mean a whole redesign of your house to accommodate such improvements, don’t worry. Nowadays, it’s easy to attain a sustainable house design without too much of an investment. That’s not to say you won’t have to spend a little bit of money to do this, but the benefits more than makeup for it.
So, to give you an insight into just how to make your home more eco-friendly, here are 6 of our favourite eco-home ideas that you can think about to upgrade your house, including key ideas on how to improve your home’s insulation.
First things first, when it comes to eco home ideas, one of the best things you can do is enhance the volume of natural light being let into your property, so you’re less reliant on indoor lighting. This is especially important if you live in an area that isn’t constantly sunny, as the addition of even just a few new windows can make a massive difference.
So, start by taking a look at your property from the inside to locate rooms where more natural light might be needed, and then assess if it’s feasible to install a new set of windows in that space. Alternatively, if you want to open up your lounge and kitchen, then now is the perfect time to invest in a set of sliding doors or bi-folding doors.
Not only are these two home features fantastic for welcoming in additional light, but they also provide a seamless transition into your garden alongside brilliant, uninterrupted views.
If you’ve not invested in it already, proper home insulation is one of the simplest and quickest sustainable house features you can invest in for a noticeable return. Specifically, good insulation will minimise any potential heat loss from your home, meaning you won’t need to have the heating on as often over winter.
Cavity wall and loft insulation is the ideal place to start in this regard, but so too are your windows and front entrance door. A surprising amount of heat can be lost through poorly insulated windows, the details of which we discuss in our double-glazing article, so making the effort to ensure they’re sealed and glazed correctly will do wonders for heat retention in the home.
Here at Express, we recommend replacing all your current windows with aluminium frame windows if you haven’t already, before investing in double-glazing with advanced low-emission glass. This type of glazing comes equipped with a metallic coating on the interior side to reflect internal heat back into the room, rather than letting it escape outside.
For those with a bigger budget, another good eco-friendly house design feature to consider is solar panels or a heat pump. Solar panels, in particular, can do wonders for reducing your energy bills by providing you with a previously untapped source of energy.
Not only will they make you less reliant on the national grid for power, but they can work on any shaped roof, though flat rooves are better as you’ll be able to get more out of your solar panels throughout the day by not being reliant on a single direction of light.
Of course, if you decide you’d rather invest in something a little less visible than solar panels, then you could install a heat pump instead. Relying on heat in the air, ground, and water, heat pumps collect and transfer this into your home to raise or lower its temperature, meaning you’re not reliant on a boiler.
Naturally, this sort of investment can be expensive, however, there are now plenty of government-led incentives and subsidies available for those who are interested, which can help foot the cost.
Nobody likes a drafty house. Not only does it make your home colder, but you wind up spending more on heating bills as you try to counter the issue. So, if your home is drafty, then one of the more uncommon eco-friendly house ideas you should consider is to air-seal your home.
Now, despite what the name suggests, this does not mean making your home entirely airtight. Instead, air sealing involves finding all the areas in your home where air and heat can escape and then sealing them with caulk.
From gaps under your windows to the eaves of your roof, spend time examining your home’s exterior to find out where all these cracks are, then either seal them yourself or hire a professional to do so. If you’re interested in learning more, read our article on how to reduce heat loss through windows.
While not a direct physical addition to an eco-friendly house design, growing your own veggies can go a long way towards making your meals more sustainable by making you less reliant on shop-bought foods.
So, whether you decide to overhaul your garden to accommodate new vegetable-growing patches, or you decide to invest in a new greenhouse, there’s never a better time than now to start.
And if your garden isn’t big enough to grow veg, then there’s no reason you can’t invest in a lean-to conservatory instead. Made predominantly of glass, this type of home addition will give your plants all the light they need to thrive, and they can even be enhanced further with the addition of a glass roof lantern.
Last, but not least, one of the best eco-friendly house ideas you can try in your home is to invest in lots of little things that will cumulatively boost the sustainability of your property. Smart meters for tracking energy use, energy-efficient light bulbs for warm and cheaper lighting, and eco paints that don’t harm the environment, all of this can go a long way.
For example, our powder coat paint comes with none of the same toxicity as other paints that could impact the environment, as well as being long-lasting and weather-resistant, making it the perfect choice when decorating a new set of aluminium windows and doors.
And there you have it, with these 6 sustainable house features, you should now have a good idea of how to make your house more eco-friendly. If this article has inspired you to expand your home with new windows or a sustainable extension, then why not get in touch with the Express Bi-folds team today?
With over a decade of experience making and installing bespoke windows, we’re dedicated to helping our customers build the home of their dreams. Reach out today to learn more and don’t forget to browse the rest of our blog for more insightful articles like this one.