Wondering whether or not to make eco-friendly upgrades to your house, and whether it is worth the time and investment to do so? There are some common misconceptions regarding eco-friendly renovations, particularly relating to being so costly to build that it means that you will never be able to make a return on your investment. However, that is simply not the case.

It is possible to help not only the environment but also boost the eco-friendliness of your home whilst also saving money. But how exactly do you do achieve that? Octagon Capital takes a look at the best ways you can make your home more energy-efficient as well as cut down on costs:

  • Filling wall cavities in your property
  • Look at purchasing solar panels
  • Purchase an eco-friendly air-source heat pump
  • Use energy-saving bulbs
  • Make the most of natural lighting
  • Choose water-saving taps
  • Be savvy with your window choice




Filling wall cavities in your property

Insulating your cavity walls can help you to save a significant amount on your heating bills each month. This is notably the case for houses built before the 1990s, where many homes built before this period do not tend to have cavity wall insulation already installed, and it is thought that around a third of all heat lost in a property that is uninsulated is lost via the walls. The costs of renovating your property so that cavity wall insulation has been installed costs an estimated £475. However, according to Which? an eco-friendly house that has cavity walls saves each year around £160 when it comes to heating bills, meaning that you will make a return on your investment in just three years.


Look at purchasing solar panels

Of course, one of the most popular ways people decide to make their homes more environmentally friendly is through purchasing solar panels. Some people can be put up by the initial upfront costs involved with installing solar panels (costs can vary between £5,000 up to £8,000) however, you could end up making considerable savings in the long run. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you can earn up to £260 a year if you have solar panels in your home due to government feed-in tariffs, as well as saving on average £60 yearly on electricity bills.


Purchase an eco-friendly air-source heat pump

Perhaps the idea of having solar panels installed on your property does not appeal to you, maybe due to the less than aesthetically pleasing nature of them. This is where having an air-source heat pump instead may come in handy.  But what exactly are they?

Air-source pumps help to keep you warm all through the winter months as they generate their heat from outside air (if the temperature is above -15 degrees). The technology that air-source pumps use also provide warm water for your home, as well as provide underfloor heating, meaning that having these installed in your property can have a number of different uses. Furthermore, not only will you reduce your overall carbon footprint, but you will also be reducing your fuel bills in the long-term, as you can expect to make fuel savings each year of up to £1,805.

If the idea of purchasing an air-source pump is of interest to you, you should take a look at the governments Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, created in order to encourage people to pursue more eco-friendly investments for their homes. So whilst installing such a system could cost around £7000 you could end up earning anything between £905 and £1,365 from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme each year, with the exact amount you receive depends upon the current heating system you have.


Use energy-saving bulbs

Did you know that LED bulbs not only last twenty times longer than other types of bulbs available but that they also use 85 per cent less energy too? This makes energy-saving bulbs one of the cheapest, but also one of the most worthwhile investments you can make in order to have your home not only be more eco-friendly but also to reduce your running costs.


Make the most of natural lighting

We all want to reduce our electricity bills, and one of the easiest ways that you can do this, whilst also being more environmentally friendly is to make the most of natural light in your home. Here are some of the best ways you can do just that:

  • Using glass in partitions, doors wherever possible in order to filter as much light between spaces as possible
  • Consider having light-coloured floors, as this is another way that light can bounce naturally from the windows into the space
  • It is also worth over-extending curtain poles. This means that as you will be able to pull curtains fully back you won’t block natural light falling into that room


Choose water-saving taps

Another way you can reduce your bills and be more energy-efficient is by deciding to buy water-saving taps. There are a number of energy-saving taps available on the market that produce hot and cold water instantly, meaning you do not need to boil a kettle.


Be savvy with your window choice

Did you know that whilst uPVC windows actually generate as much as 43 per cent more wast than timber windows, with half the lifetime of them too? Though uPVC windows have been commonly seen as the more environmentally friendly option, it is not necessarily the case. If you are choosing new windows consider having wood windows. This is because overall, it has a lower environmental impact, as it is very thermally efficient as well as being a good insulator.