We all like to do our bit for the environment. We recycle, use kitchen waste to make compost, use reusable shopping bags, etc. These are all done in an attempt to decrease the usage of our planet’s resources and to reduce pollution.
However, there might be more than you can do without even setting foot out of your home. When it comes to energy consumption, temperature regulation is one of the highest costs. We heat our homes in winter and cool them in summer.
Keeping that much air at an even temperature requires a fair amount of electricity. This energy requirement increases significantly if the home is not properly insulated. It’s simple – the more gaps there are in the home’s outside, the more chance there is of energy escaping.
As the air inside escapes, it is replaced by incoming air. This incoming air needs to be heated or cooled and so regulating the temperature inside requires even more expenditures. That’s why a lot of the newer houses built are practically hermetically sealed to make them more energy efficient.
In Mexico, EcoDom has a unique business proposition. It takes waste plastic, sorts what it can use, and grinds it into small pieces. These pieces are then heat treated until they become a moldable plastic.
They pours slabs to be used as walls in new homes. The walls are strong enough because they have rebar embedded into them, and they are quick to make. But, best of all for those in need, the house can be erected in just a few days at a cost of a few hundred dollars.
It is an innovative solution. The homes can be made to whatever specifications you like. They are so affordable and easy to add extra bedroom due to their flexibility, they offer the poor a shot at a sturdy, well-made home. They will last for a longer period. The plastic acts as natural insulation, thereby reducing the costs of heating or cooling the homes substantially.
Why Is Energy Efficiency Important?
If we waste energy, we are wasting resources. More wasted electricity means more fossil fuel that needs to be burned to replace it. What do we do when it all runs out?
Also, the actual burning of the fossil fuel to create energy causes its own set of problems for a world already on the brink. The combustion process releases Carbon Monoxide into the atmosphere. This is one of the gases that has been credited with accelerating greenhouse warming. This has led to fundamental changes in the world’s climate already.
In Germany, they’ve made tremendous efforts in switching over from fossil fuels to renewable sources. As of last year, renewable energy accounted for 38% of the country’s total output. At the same time, the move to renewable energy sources has cut Germany’s coal bill by 16% and helped them shut down the majority of their nuclear power stations.
The Rwandan government encourages private sector to invest in renewable energy sector and provides incentives such as subsidizing people who install biogas in their households or facilitate the population to buy solar water heaters.
How Do I Make My Home More Energy Efficient?
For now, though, the most important thing to remember is that keeping the envelope of air inside the house is key. This means stopping up areas where the air might be able to escape outside.
Here are some areas that you might want to check on first :
- Insulation in the ceiling: A house can lose a lot of energy through the roof. Ensure that the ceiling is properly insulated.
- Check the windows and doors: You will need to make sure that all the caulking has been done properly and that no air can get in between the frame and the wall. Double-glazing can prevent energy loss from the windows. Window dressings can provide another insulating layer.
- Check the insulation in the walls: Is there a space between the inner walls and the outer? How good is the insulation here? A double brick wall, for example, provides pretty solid insulating qualities. A brick and drywall combination, on the other hand, does not.
Check out this infographic for more ideas and facts.
By doing everything that you can to ensure that your home is energy efficient, you can save energy, save money and save the planet. It’s a win-win-win.