Wednesday, 16 March 2011 7:22 PM
If you are planning a green home improvement project this year then you will certainly not be alone - indeed many Britons are looking at ways that renovations such as new flooring can both lower their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.
And when it comes to the options available for making your property more energy efficient through a home improvement scheme, you will literally be spoilt for choice.
From small and simple actions to large-scale renovations, it has never been more popular to go green and you could soon find yourself enjoying the benefits of such a lifestyle.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon emissions is simply by turning down your thermostat - just one degree lower can cut your heating bills by ten per cent!
However, if you really want to make a difference to your utility bills then now could be the perfect time to invest in a whole new central heating system.
Boilers on the market today have never been more environmentally-friendly, with the condensing model a particularly popular choice as it is able to transform more of its fuel into usable heat for your radiators and taps, meaning you see less power go to waste.
Having heating controls fitted alongside your new boiler could also give you more command of how much money you spend keeping your house warm, by allowing you to choose when radiators come on and in which rooms.
After all, there is no point in spending your hard-earned money heating a space that is rarely occupied.
Boilers account for around 60 per cent of your annual energy bill spend but by having a condensing type and heating controls fitted, you could find yourself reducing these outgoings by over £200.
However, as with any gas appliance, it is vital to remember that if you are considering investing in a new boiler you contact the right tradesmen to do the work, rather than tackle the job yourself.
All boiler engineers working in the UK are legally required to be members of the Gas Safe Register and hold a card outlining the jobs they are qualified to carry out.
But there are some other jobs you can carry out to make your home event greener. After all, what is the point in splashing out on a new central heating system if all of the hot air it produces is lost through the walls, ceiling and floor?
Insulation is another of the most important tasks you can get stuck into in your home to make it greener. And there are so many options available - from installing double glazing to adding a hot water jacket to the water tank. Even draught proofing under the doors could see you saving a few pounds each year.
Fitting insulation beneath your floorboards will help to reduce your heating bills, while creating a cosy and comfortable space for you to enjoy. Indeed, through simply filling any cracks or gaps in the floor or skirting boards and having the floor insulated, you could save some £70 a year.
But why stop there? For truly environmentally-friendly floors, you can choose from a range of green options that are both easy on the planet and the eye.
Cork floors are a particularly attractive option in green homes as they are soft and comfortable to walk on and are also good thermal insulators.
Bamboo is also a popular choice as it comes from one of the world's fastest growing grasses, meaning that it can be harvested more regularly than trees and is easier to sustain. It is also extremely strong and durable.
Alternatively, you could choose wood that has been certified sustainable by the Forestry Stewardship Council or use recycled boards for beautiful but environmentally-friendly hardwood floors.
Such flooring seems to always be in style, giving your home a classic yet also contemporary feel. In addition, real wood is a strong and durable option that is unlikely to need replacing any time soon.
And for the best finish possible, why not contact floor fitters in your area? Not only will they be able to offer you advice on all the green flooring options available to you, they will also be able to do the best job of fitting them.
By following this advice, you could find yourself enjoying a beautiful, green new home in next to no time.