by Jayne Holden
How to furnish your home interiors in a cost-effective and sustainable manner
Heating and taking care of the home is one of the most important concerns of any family member. One consequence of the recession which has already been affecting homes and families for the last few years is the rising cost of utilities. Gas, electricity and oil suppliers are raising their prices, and as a consequence, the costs heating and lighting homesis going up.
Energy consumption in the US is very large compared to the rest of the world, because it is a country with a very developed consumer society and economy which depends largely on huge amounts of electricity and heat to keep going. What we wish more people knew is how easy it is to reduce the daily outgoings of your energy consumption with no greater cost to you.
You will have already seen how the website here at Make Your Home Energy Efficient deals with the basic changes we can make to simple services such as lightbulbs, putting heating on timers, and remembering to switch off appliances and energy-sucking standby machines.
So today, we’re going to focus on another angle of saving energy: the actual design and material used within your home. How can redecorating contribute to a more energy-efficient home – both in terms of your bills, and in terms of your larger impact on the environment?
We’ve been investigating contemporary doors and windows with companies like Todd Doors to bring you a summary of the materials, styles and fittings which work hardest to keep a house warm, and whose construction does not cause huge damage to the world’s resources and atmosphere.
A very global-minded way of making your home energy efficient is to endeavour to use sustainable materials which are known to be easily replenishable and do not cost huge amounts of energy, labour and/or electricity to produce. "GreenYour" is an excellent website for advice on sustainable doors.
The most renewable materials are bamboo – also great for floors, and a favoured wood to use over oak and larger trees as it has a very quick regrowth period – straw board, or a reclaimed door (these are easier to find than you think – just check the measurements first!). Make sure to measure the frame and length so that you know the required statistics. Also think about thickness – this will make a difference to insulation.
Another simple way of making your home heating more efficient is to invest in draught covers to be placed at the bottom of doors. This keeps the small breezes and cold which can often sweep through a house from passing from room to room.
Recycled Material as Insulation
Many savvy modern door manufacturers are also using recycled material as part of their constructions – these can both improve the insulation of the items, and reduce impact on the environment. Recycled wood chip or straw board is an excellent filler and door component, which is particularly good for creating energy-efficient doors within a home interior.