First Published: March 22, 2023. Updated: May 1, 2023
How to reduce your carbon footprint
Reducing carbon footprint successfully can depend on a lot of factors, including the ways you use energy in your home and outside.
But first things first:
What is Carbon Footprint?
The Oxford Dictionary defines it as: “a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced by the daily activities of a person or company.”
How we use energy in our homes can significantly affect our carbon footprint.
With plenty of attention surrounding the climate crisis, plenty of individuals are curious about the changes they can make within their homes to contribute towards a greener planet.
Reducing our carbon footprint is just one of the many steps we can take, but first it is important to know what effect carbon emissions have on the environment and how much carbon is typically used in the home. This way, we can understand all the changes we can make to reduce our carbon footprint.
Here at Boilerhut, we are committed to contributing towards a cleaner, greener planet. We provide a range of boilers featuring high energy efficiency and low-carbon heating features that allow you to reduce your carbon footprint.
Why is it important to reduce pollution?
Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is the primary greenhouse gas emitted from human activities that contribute to global climate change.
Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are unable to entirely escape the earth’s atmosphere, preventing them from dispersing into space. As a result, the gases blanket the planet and trap heat from the sun, gradually increasing the global temperature over time.
The consequences of increased temperature are heatwaves and intense droughts, which can fatally harm communities, animal habitats and the farming industry.
Additionally, the increased temperature has been linked to melting icecaps which raises the sea levels, which results in flooding, beach erosion and affected water supplies.
With 40% of UK emissions coming from the home, there is undoubtedly more we can do to limit our personal impact on the environment. In this article, we’ll provide five simple changes that you could make to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to meeting the UK’s new target to slash emissions by 78% by 2035.
How does central heating affect our carbon footprints?
The single largest contributor to carbon emissions within the home is heating. This is because the process of heating a home typically relies on the burning of fossil fuels and the expulsion of carbon dioxide.
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly alternative, switching your boiler could make a huge difference.
The majority of boilers across the UK are connected to the gas grid, meaning that natural gas is the most common type of fuel used to heat the water that circulates within a central heating system and warms our homes.
In a typical household, a gas boiler will emit approximately 2.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. So, how can we reduce these emissions?
5 ways to reduce carbon emissions within your home
The simplest way to reduce your carbon footprint is to use central heating less frequently.
However, during the colder months, this can be difficult, especially for vulnerable and elderly individuals.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways to keep your house warmer for longer without breaking the bank.
1. Setting your thermostat correctly
One of the most common questions about heating the home efficiently is whether the heating should be on a timer or set to a lower temperature for the whole day. The key thing to consider is that leaving the central heating on for the whole day will mean burning fuel all day, generating considerable carbon emissions.
The most efficient way to maintain a comfortable temperature within your home is to set your thermostat to an ambient temperature of around 20°C. This will set your heating to come on when the temperature in your home drops below your desired temperature.
Reducing the temperature down to 14 degrees as opposed to switching off the heating completely when nobody is at home will also prevent unnecessary carbon usage.
Even though witching the heating off completely seems to make more sense, it may actually cost you more and increase your carbon footprint.
This is because once you come back home and switch the heating back on again, the boiler now has to work harder to lift the temperature back up, which means it will not be running in condensing mode, and as a result create more emissions.
2. Insulate your home
Homes that are poorly insulated will allow heat to leak outside far more easily. This will require you to burn more gas to heat your home to the appropriate temperature.
By insulating cavity walls and loft spaces, you can retain heat in your home far more efficiently.
After a one-off investment, you will be able to save money on energy bills for months and years to come.
3. Draught-proof windows and doors
Another investment that could prevent heat from leaking out of your home is covering any windows and doors that create a draught.
By excluding currents of cold air, it will be much easier to maintain the heat within your home.
Upgrading to double-glazed windows could reduce heat loss by up to 30% compared to a standard single-glazed window.
Draught excluders are also cost-effective and simple ways to keep the heat within the home.
4. Install a smart meter
This suggestion may not be an active solution for reducing your carbon footprint, but it is an insightful way to measure your impact on the environment.
A smart meter will show you how much gas and electricity has been used within your home on a live display.
These devices can be crucial for reducing your carbon footprint as you can identify when your peak energy consumption periods occur, allowing you to reduce certain actions or consider an alternative.
Not only will the smart meter enable you to track the energy usage of your home, but it will also demonstrate the cost of the gas and electricity used.
Often, this can be an additional incentive when deciding to switch on the heating or use a particular appliance.
We do recognize that some people do not want a smart meter, but you can invest in a smart thermostat and smart boilers which will give daily, monthly and yearly gas usage figures.
Viessmann’s Wi-Fi range of boilers introduced in 2022 will allow you to have these features combined with a Viessmann Climate Sensor.
5. High efficiency condensing boiler
Homes currently featuring boilers that are 18 years or older could be producing far more carbon dioxide than necessary.
Older boilers tend to be far less fuel efficient, costing more to you and the environment.
Meanwhile, it is suggested that upgrading to a newer boiler could reduce your carbon footprint and prevent almost 2 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the environment per year.
Plenty of new boilers come pre-equipped with energy-saving features that have been innovated to reduce carbon emissions. Many of these boilers are around 90% fuel efficient.
As most modern boilers are condensing boilers, they will recycle the steam produced during the heating process, enabling more heat to come from the same amount of fuel.
If you are interested in buying and installing a boiler that will reduce your carbon footprint, consider choosing from the wide range of high-quality manufacturers supplied at Boilerhut.
We can advise you on the suitable model that will be the most energy-efficient within your home and complete an installation with minimal fuss.
Our carbon footprints are great at telling us what impact we are having on our environment.
However, with pressures to reduce the rate of climate change, it’s now more important than ever to implement some energy-efficient changes in the home.
The core energy consumer in homes across the UK is central heating.
Whilst it is important to stay warm throughout the winter months, there are specific ways we can reduce our carbon emissions.
By insulating our homes, keeping track of our usage, and installing energy-efficient appliances, we should be on track to reducing our carbon footprints and leave a cleaner, greener planet for not only our own children, but future generations as well.