Turning your house into an eco home isn’t just about the big items, like eco furniture and eco appliances. It’s about the little things too. Here’s a guide to some eco fixtures and eco fittings which can help your eco house to save energy, to save money and to protect the environment all at the same time.
Eco heating fixtures
Radiator insulation panels – These fit snugly behind the radiator and help to conserve heat. They work by reflecting heat from the back of the radiator, which would otherwise be wasted, back into the room. Radiator insulation panels are estimated to provide energy savings of up to 20% on the heat emitted by a radiator, which more than covers the cost of this eco fixture in under a year.
Hot pipe insulation – Insulating hot water pipes is estimated to reduce heat loss by up to 80%. Not bad for a simple piece of foam you can snap onto your hot water pipe in seconds.
Solar power heating – It’s estimated that a solar power heating system can supply eco homes with up to a third of their hot water per year, and up to a 70% reduction in hot water energy bills. Solar power heating systems comprise of solar panels of typically 4-5m² on the roof connected to a heat transfer system and hot water cylinder.
Solar evacuated tubes can be used in replacement of solar panels as an eco fixture on your roof. A row of these cylinders can generate heat even when the sun isn’t shining; they also require less maintenance and last longer than solar panels. The drawback is that they’re generally more expensive.
Eco lighting fixtures
Solar powered security light with motion sensor – When fitted with motion sensors security lights only switch on when they’re needed, rather than waste electricity illuminating the driveway throughout the night. Security lights are now available which are solar powered. These don’t require mains power but instead charge up their rechargeable batteries during the daytime, offering even more savings on your eco home’s energy bills.
Energy saving bulbs – Lighting is estimated to account for 10-15% of our energy bills. With this in mind, it makes economic as well as environmental sense to invest in energy saving light bulbs. A normal bulb uses 60 watts and lasts up to 1000 hrs. An energy saving bulb, on the other hand, uses only 9 watts and lasts up to 10,000 hours. With these figures in mind, it’s no wonder the sale of older incandescent bulbs are now banned in the UK and energy savings bulbs will soon be a common eco fitting in every home.
Eco water fixtures
Water saving taps – Did you know that running a tap for 2 minutes whilst brushing your teeth can use up to 12 litres of water? So it’s no surprise that water saving taps can save literally 1000s of litres of water every month in an average household. Unlike taps you twist, water saving taps are activated by lifting and lowering the nozzle, which means you tend to only use water when needed.
Flush control – When you consider that flushing the toilet uses up to 13 litres of water, it’s no wonder that toilets use around 30% of our household’s water. Thankfully, it’s possible to vastly reduce the amount of water used per flush. Displacement devices can be placed in the toilet’s cistern which sits beneath the float to reduce the amount of water used by up to 3 litres. The saving offered by this eco fitting can amount to saving thousands of litres in the average eco home over the course of a year.
Water saving shower heads – Many people think having a shower uses less water than having a bath. But with the popularity of water intensive power showers, it’s quite often the reverse. However, people can reduce the amount of water their shower uses without compensating on water pressure. Energy saving showerheads reduce the flow of water coming through the shower head, which can provide water consumption savings of up to 60%. Water saving shower heads are a cheap eco fitting everyone can use in their eco house to make huge savings on their water bills every year.