With global warming, species extinction and deforestation high on the agenda, it’s now more urgent than ever that we all try to ensure that our homes are as ecologically friendly and sustainable as possible. While action at national and international level is essential, as individuals we can also all do our bit.
All these problems are the result of human actions and we can help to counter the effects if we try to live a greener lifestyle. Not wasting electricity or water, choosing not to take non-essential long-haul flights, eating less meat, avoiding single-use plastics and recycling more not only make a difference to the planet but are also good for us. Here we take a look at a few things you can do to ensure your home is as environmentally friendly as possible.
Energy efficient windows and doors for eco-friendly homes
One way to use less energy - and lower your household bills - is to ensure that your windows and doors are as thermally efficient as possible. All windows are now rated for A - G for energy efficiency, with A being the most energy-efficient and G being the least, so look out for glazing with high ratings to ensure that heat remains in the house.
The thermal efficiency of window glass is measured by its U-rating. The lower the U number, the more effective your windows will be at keeping the warmth in. Some glass has a special coating on one side that helps to reflect warmth back into your home. Using argon gas rather than air to fill the gap between the two panes of double-glazed windows also improves their thermal efficiency.
Another standard of energy efficiency that is important in the northern hemisphere is the G value, measuring the level of solar gain - how much of the sun’s warmth is allowed through the glass. This is rated between 0-1 and the higher the number, the better your windows are better at capturing the sun’s rays. Ordinary glass is naturally tinted very slightly green so look out for very clear glass that will capture more of the sun’s heat.
The material used to manufacture your window frames and doors is also crucial; wood has excellent insulating properties and is generally considered the most sustainable option overall. Doors made of wood are also very versatile: whether your property is traditional or modern, in a rural setting or one in the heart of the city, they can be designed to suit any style of house. Timber windows and doors offer a very opulent appearance but do require regular maintenance by either painting, staining or varnishing to keep them looking their best.
Other materials including uPVC and wood alternative are also very good at keeping heat in and cold out and all our windows and doors are now recyclable. Aluminium is increasingly used for slimline modern windows and with thermal breaks integrated into the frames, is very nearly as energy-efficient as other materials. Whichever option you choose, make sure that all your windows and doors are well fitted and are sealed against draughts.
Harness the sun’s energy with environmentally friendly solar panels, the perfect addition for your green home. Here in the UK, if you have a suitable roof, it’s very possible to install solar panels that will harvest enough renewable energy to reduce your energy bills considerably. Of course, this depends on the weather but even in the winter, you are likely to be able to generate enough energy to heat your hot water. If the solar panels generate more power than you can use, the electricity goes back to the grid and can save you a lot of money over the long term. Investing in solar panels can also be seen as a way of insuring against rising power prices in the future.
Green living with Bergson & Eaton: experts in creating eco-friendly homes
Whether you’re renovating your property, adding a new extension or planning a new build eco-friendly home, it’s important to keep green living and sustainability in mind. Choosing energy-efficient windows and doors, opting for sustainable materials and installing solar panels are three straightforward ways you can do your bit towards solving the difficult problems we face.
At Bergson & Eaton, we offer a comprehensive range of energy-efficient windows and doors, all recyclable and manufactured from sustainable materials. From our luxury bespoke wood alternative windows and hardwood doors to elegant conservatories and orangeries, we specialise in products that will beautifully transform your house into a green home.