We all have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint and, as we spend most of our time in our homes, that’s where we can make the most impactful changes. Making your house carbon neutral requires making changes to both your behaviour and the building itself.
Recycle, reduce food waste and avoid single use plastics
These practices aren’t exclusive to the home, but your house is where you will eat the most and create the most waste, so you should make sure that you have a system in place for all of these so that the habits are easy to keep.
Switch off lights and appliances when not in use
Your energy usage is a significant determiner of how big your carbon footprint is. Many of us will have grown up with parents telling us to turn off lights and appliances when we’re not using them to save money on bills, but doing so helps to save the planet too!
Get a smart thermostat
Smart thermostats are a great way to monitor your energy usage and see where you need to make changes. Smart thermostats can also give you an indication of how thermally efficient your house is and, if you are consistently spending too much on heating, then you should look at what changes you can make to improve it, such as upgrading your insulation.
Choose low energy appliances
Another step towards making your house carbon neutral is choosing low energy appliances that need less power to operate. New appliances come with an energy ratings label that shows you how efficient they are, but smaller appliances generally use less energy too, so it’s best to go for the smaller size if that’s all you need! You should also be smart about your appliance use, such as always washing a full load in your washing machine and using the right size of pan for the hob when cooking.
Invest in renewable energy sources
In order to make your house carbon neutral, you need to reduce the amount of energy you use, but you can go one step further if you can get your energy from a renewable source. Solar panels are a great option, as are heat pumps that extract heat from the air outside your home.
Improve your energy efficiency with external wall insulation
If your home is more thermally efficient, you will use the heating less which will reduce your carbon footprint. This is why you should make home improvements that increase thermal efficiency. Making sure your windows and doors are properly sealed and that your roof is properly insulated is a good place to start.
However, if you want to make significant changes to your house’s thermal efficiency, then you should consider installing external wall insulation. EWI can reduce your heating bills by up to 50%, so having it installed is a good step towards carbon neutrality.
Making your home truly carbon neutral isn’t easy as most of our actions have at least some environmental impact, but you can make changes to both your behaviour and your home itself that will significantly reduce your carbon footprint and move towards neutrality.