A Green Lifestyle and Your Home: How to Make Your Energy Consumption More Sustainable
As care for the environment becomes an increasingly urgent measure, people around the world have begun to reconsider their lifestyle choices. Some of the main ways to lower one’s individual carbon footprint are connected to energy consumption habits. That is why homeowners across the globe have made changes to their homes, making them more sustainable and efficient.
The primary adjustments you can make to enjoy the benefits of greener energy solutions are installing solar panels, air or ground source heat pumps, or having an electric or biomass boiler fitted in your home.
However, before making any significant changes to your lifestyle and your home, you will need to know a bit more about how these appliances work and how exactly they can help you lower your carbon footprint, while not sacrificing energy efficiency.
In what follows, we talk you through how these sustainable energy sources operate and what they can add to your home to help you become more eco-friendly.
How does sustainable energy work in your home?
Unlike traditional sources of energy, which require fossil fuels to operate, sustainable energy runs on resources that are naturally replenished. By making use of solar power, geothermal energy, or biomass, sustainable energy can efficiently attend to your energy needs, while having a reduced detrimental impact on the environment.
So, how exactly do energy systems such as solar panels, air and ground source heat pumps, or electric or biomass boilers work? You can learn more about this below.
By installing solar panels, you can harness the power of the sun to fuel your home. Also referred to as photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar panels turn sunlight into electricity.
This happens through a process known as the photovoltaic effect, which occurs when photons from sunlight come in contact with electrons in the silicon in the solar panels. Subsequently, the electrons release energy in the form of electricity, which is then transferred into your home for use.
If you choose a solar panel system of the right size, you will be able to enjoy green and free energy in your household by making the most of solar power.
Air and ground source heat pumps
Air source heat pumps operate by transferring heat from the air into your home. Not only that, but during hotter temperatures, these appliances can also be used as cooling systems. This is possible because of the fluid in the air source heat pump, also known as refrigerant. During colder weather, the heat pump’s refrigerant is warmed up and compressed, after which it is transmitted to a heat exchanger that releases heat into your home.
Ground source heat pumps also have a refrigerant that allows them to convert heat from the ground and transfer it to your home. By absorbing energy from the ground, the refrigerant in the ground source heat pump reaches a boiling point and produces gas, which is then transmitted to your home as space and water heating.
These two sustainable energy solutions offer a great alternative to natural gas or electricity required to keep a cooling system running.
Biomass and electric boilers
Biomass boilers are considered a sustainable energy source because they are fuelled by chips of wood, pellets, or logs that are burned to heat up homes. With the energy generated from burning biomass, the water supply in the boiler is warmed up and subsequently transferred to taps and radiators in the home.
Electric boilers, on the other hand, run on electricity. The water supply in the boiler is warmed up by a heating element fuelled by electricity and is then transferred to your radiators and taps for use. In addition, electric boilers can efficiently be paired with other forms of green energy, such as solar panels. This way, you can maximise the sustainability of your domestic heating system and lower your carbon footprint.
What do you need to consider before installing sustainable energy sources?
Before opting for a sustainable energy source, you should consider what is feasible when it comes to your lifestyle and your home.
This is important because, in some cases, some appliances will not be suitable depending on your energy consumption requirements or the infrastructure of your house. For example, your roof might not be able to accommodate a solar panel installation if you have a thatched roof or if its orientation isn’t optimal for sunlight exposure.
Another crucial consideration is the amount of energy you consume. This will help you determine which appliances will best allow you to meet your energy needs. A question you might ask yourself, for instance, is: how many solar panels do I need? Your answer will vary depending on the size of your home, as well as the number of people consuming electricity in your household.
Last but not least, you will need to give some serious thought to your budget before installing a sustainable energy system. Generally, solar panels, air or ground source heat pumps, and electric or biomass boilers are more expensive than conventional energy sources.
However, if your goal is to make your home a little greener, this higher cost is worth it. In the long run, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of highly efficient energy sources and feel like you are making a contribution to the environment with the choices you make for your home.