Below we have listed various eco home improvements. These are all actions you could take if you are not planning any building work right now. They also include actions that would suit a heritage home.
If you are planning building work, these options will still apply to you. But you also have some extra possibilities here.
Switch to an ethical/renewable energy provider – we have found them to be very comparable cost wise to non-ethical suppliers and you will be supporting green energy providers.
Smart Home Technology
Consider using Smart Home technology to make your heating ‘on demand’ and reduce energy use overall
Consider installing loft insulation (after all, heat rises!)
Better Air Quality for Well-being
Consider installing DCV (Direct Control Ventilation) and MEV (Mechanical Extract Ventilation) for better air quality
Draught excluding is simple and very effective (much of the temperature we ‘feel’ is actually caused by draughts not the actual ambient temperature)
Block Your Chimney
Draught exclude an unused chimney with an expandable balloon or a ‘Chimney Sheep’ (comes with a dangling decoration to remind you to remove it before lighting a fire!)
Open Your Chimney in Summer!
If you have a blocked chimney, you could consider re-opening it to allow for passive stack ventilation in summer. Passive Stack Ventilation is where heat rises and leaves your home through a high level vent such as a chimney or rooflight. It will make your rooms noticeably cooler.
Seal Suspended Floors
Seal and/or insulate suspended floors (using findings for best practice from Sophie Pelsmakers research)
Rainwater harvesting for washing cars, watering plants and potentially also washing machines (rainwater is much softer if you live in a hardwater area) and toilet flushing
Upgrade Your Boiler
Upgrade to a more efficient boiler (though if your house already has insulation, consider replacing with an air source heat pump).
Heavy curtains (these were found to be more effective than previously realised in this research)
Use Water Saving Kits!
Use water saving kits on your taps and shower heads
Dry your Washing Outside!
Dry your washing for free outside – this saves a lot of needless energy and makes your clothes smell nicer too
Plant more trees – good for biodiversity and they provide a lot of cooling to existing buildings (more than you would expect!). Plus they are good for sitting under in hot weather and could provide you with some fruit, saving energy on delivering you fruit from abroad via the supermarket
Reduce lighting energy
Consider task lighting coupled with daylight instead of ceiling lights to reduce energy use. When changing lightbulbs opt for low energy ones (they are much better and brighter than they used to be!)
Use small seat and feet warmers to increase temperature where you need it instead of heating a large area, especially if you regularly work from home. Mini radiators and warm upholstery can also help. As can sitting by a sunny window.
If you have a heritage home you can also install secondary glazing!
These range from removable magnetic plastic covers, to beautiful glazed ‘shutters’. They increase the warmth of your windows significantly and mean that you can still keep your beautiful heritage windows!
Finally, here are some other things you can do!