Renovating your house: how to save energy and money
Are you about to renovate your house? And would you like to help the environment and your wallet at the same time? Find out how.
What is an ecological renovation?
If you're looking for a way to consume less fossil fuels, such as natural gas or oil, this is called an ecological renovation. By doing one, you can reduce your ecological footprint and gain financial benefits.
Ecological renovations are usually more expensive than standard renovations, but in the long term, the energy savings far exceed the original investment.
Ecological renovations make it possible to reduce a household's consumption of primary energy sources. That counts towards the energy performance certificate (EPC), a useful instrument used to determine and compare a building's energy consumption. Increased efficiency ultimately increases the value of your house.
The different stages of an ecological renovation
Well-targeted actions improve the thermal comfort of your home and ensure you save energy. A few ways to get started and to optimise your (financial) efforts.
1. Insulation: the most important step
Before you install any new devices, it is particularly important to improve your home's thermal performance. That way, you will reduce consumption from your heating so that it won't cancel out any future savings.
This is about insulating your home efficiently to avoid heat-loss caused by air circulation or a lack of air-tightness.
- Limit heat-loss caused by circulation: ensure there is good air-tightness in the outer shell of your home with well-insulated, thick walls, roofs and floors, but also with good window frames, in which you can place three panes of glass. Also, reduce thermal bridges (where the insulation layer is breached), particularly at contact points between the walls, floors, roofs and window frames.
- Limit losses due to a lack of air-tightness: seal cracks and gaps properly.
2. Efficient heating
Once you have insulated your home you have various options for efficient heating: thermal solar panels, a heat pump, a wood-fired boiler or wood burner, or a wood-pellet-fuelled burner with a high efficiency rating.
3. Renewable energy
Renewable energy is the current trend: green electricity and biofuels. Be sure to look into whether installing a solar boiler, a biofuel boiler or burner, or a heat pump could benefit you.
How profitable are solar panels?
Taking into account the evolution of energy prices, investing in solar panels (14 for an average household) will pay for itself in 6 years in Flanders. In Wallonia and Brussels, it will even take only 4 years. Depending on the region in which you live, the average yield of your solar panels will be between 7 and 8% for at least 25 years. An ecological renovation is therefore very profitable.