Tips to help you be more eco-friendly at home
Few could have missed hearing about the mass protests that have been happening for the last few weeks in central London, organised by the Extinction Rebellion climate activists. Regardless of your opinion of whether they were right to cause the disruption that they did, most would agree that climate change is a huge issue and one that we need to be taking direct action on. While activists such as these and Greta Thunberg call for large scale action, small changes on a mass scale can also contribute hugely to halting the damage that we’re doing to the planet.
We therefore thought it would be useful to offer some tips that we can all follow to reduce our carbon footprint, specifically in relation to our own area of expertise – plumbing and heating.
Use your heating more efficiently
Gas is most commonly used for heating our homes and of course this is a fossil fuel which is in finite supply and its production has a negative impact on the environment. There are several things you can do to heat your home more efficiently and therefore reduce the amount of gas that you use.
- Turning down the temperature – do you need the heating to be as warm as it is? Could you manage to turn it down by just a few degrees? You may not even notice much difference. Spring is upon us and that means the weather is very changeable but perhaps make the decision to turn the heating off now and just wear a jumper on the days when it is still cool.
- Keeping your boiler running efficiently – a faulty boiler can often use more gas than it needs to. Having your boiler serviced regularly will help to keep it running as it should as well as detect any issues you didn’t know were there
- Heating each room as required – don’t just approach your heating as a binary ‘on or off’ choice; heat each room individually according to its use. Use your radiators’ thermostats so that each one gives out the appropriate amount of heat for that room. Main living areas obviously require more heat but spare bedrooms, for example, don’t. Don’t waste heat in rooms where it’s not really needed
- Conserving heat better – if your home is cold, stopping heat escaping could be a more effective solution than just turning the thermostat up. Wall and loft insulation, keeping internal doors closed, energy efficient windows and doors and even thicker curtains can all help
Reduce water wastage
Getting water to our homes uses energy which has an environmental cost and, while we still get a lot of rain in this country, climate changes including sustained periods of dry weather and heat waves, the likes of which we saw in the summer of 2018, mean that water is not as plentiful as we may believe and future supplies are uncertain.
These are ways that we can all conserve water, and homes that are on a water meter would also benefit financially from using less:
- Swap baths for showers – baths clearly use significantly more water than showers though be aware that some power showers can actually use more. Take showers rather than baths and make sure you have a water efficient shower head. Also aim to limit the amount of time spent in the shower
- Don’t run water unnecessarily – don’t leave water running when brushing your teeth and if you’re washing vegetables, run a small bowl rather than running under the tap. If you run the tap while waiting for hot or cold water, capture it in a jug so that it can be used for something else such as washing veg or watering the garden
- Check for leaks – this can account for a huge amount of water loss. Check for damp patches or loss of pressure. Unusually high readings on a water meter can also be a warning sign. Get leaks repaired by a plumber as soon as you notice them as not only are they wasting water, they could be causing damage
- Fix leaky taps and appliances – leaking taps, toilets and washing machines are all wasting water. Get them fixed by a plumber
- Install a water butt – capture rain water when it does come to give you water for the garden in dry spells
Everybody can do their bit to combat climate change
Will these small changes save the world? Maybe not in isolation but by adopting these changes en masse, we can all help. Not only can they help the environment, many of these measures can also save us money – and who doesn’t want to do that!
If you do have an inefficient boiler, a leaky toilet or a more significant leak then we can help. Call us on 0800 032 6478 or complete the message form opposite.