Small changes can make a noticeable difference over time and they don’t have to cost a fortune to implement in the first place. Architect and television presenter George Clarke is among those calling for homeowners to change their ways for the good of the environment.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he says that saving energy has to bring direct benefit to consumers if they are going to embrace it properly. Moreover he makes the point that eco-homes are not exclusively brand new properties packed with the latest (and expensive) green mod cons.
“There is a perception that eco-designed homes are newbuilds, with a lot of hi-tech modern features. But all homes need to become eco-homes if we are to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Kyoto Protocol.” Clarke offers a number of practical suggestions for making your home more eco-friendly, including using underfloor heating instead of radiators, insulating lofts and cavity walls, and lowering your thermostat by as little as one degree.
He advises blocking out draughts around doors and windows and using thick curtains in rooms instead of blinds. Interestingly Clarke favours wood framed windows rather than UPVC or metal, which is good news for period home owners with traditional wooden windows already in place.
“They are easier to repair, more insulating, last a lifetime and are less polluting than the cheaper UPVC, from which many domestic window frames are made, which emits toxic compounds,” writes Clarke. Another advocate of wood for windows is Sarah Beeny from Channel 4’s Property Ladder and Help! My House Is Falling Down.
She also has firsthand experience of using the Ventrolla Perimeter Sealing System (VPSS) on projects as part of the renovation process for old and damaged sash windows.
“Specialist service providers can renovate and upgrade the performance of all sorts of wooden sash and casement windows, often at a fraction of the cost of a full replacement job,” says Beeny. “In particular the renovation service employed by Ventrolla works wonders for improving both looks and efficiency.
“People know me for my understanding of the property market and maximising opportunities from refurbishment projects. “One of my golden rules is to respect and preserve period features wherever possible and for that reason I am happy to champion specialists such as Ventrolla who can make this process easier and more achievable for homeowners.”