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Fall is well and truly underway, with crisp mornings and chilly evenings rounding out the days. Even if you haven’t turned on the heating yet, it’s probably not long before you’ll be thinking about it as we head towards winter - and for those keen to reduce their environmental impact, it’s about more than just saving money on your energy bill. A home with energy-efficient adaptations can reduce its carbon footprint by around 70%.
It’s important to make sure that your home is prepared for winter before it actually arrives - the last thing you want is to be stuck in a cold house when it’s too snowy or cold to have anything done about it.
Luckily, there are several straightforward ways to make sure that you’ll be “toasty” all season, without compromising sustainability or the environment.
The first thing to do is make sure that your home is properly insulated. You can add as much extra heat as you like with radiators, wood burners, and electric heaters, but if your house is not well insulated the heat will just disappear. This is unsustainable for both your finances and the environment.
There are several different eco-friendly options for insulation, so read up on their benefits and think about which would work best for your property. Try sheep’s wool for the ultimate natural insulator, capable of retaining heat and absorbing nasty chemicals while remaining breathable and fluffy for maximum effect.
Sustainable heat sources
Adding an eco-friendly heat source to warm up your nicely insulated home is the next step. A traditional wood burner is the choice of many looking to heat their homes in a more sustainable manner since responsibly-sourced fuel means your whole heating cycle can be carbon-neutral.
However, there are some downsides - such as needing a chimney - which isn’t really a quick-fix solution. The sooty emissions from wood burners can sometimes cause problems for those with breathing difficulties, and the work required in chopping, moving, and storing logs might not be ideal for those with mobility issues or busy lifestyles.
A great alternative is a ventless fireplace which burns eco-friendly ethanol biofuel - a sustainable fuel sourced from corn, which emits only a very small amount of steam and CO2. As they are wall mounted, do not require a chimney or vent, and come on at the touch of a button, they are low-hassle to install and maintain.
Other projects to consider include adding double or triple glazing to your windows, but that might be too much for this winter. In the meantime, try adding thicker curtains or draft excluders around doors and windows to help keep out the chill. With a few of these ideas, you can do away with clunky old electric heaters, and stay cosy while maintaining your eco credentials.
Written by Sally Collins
About the Author
Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years of experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.