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How to greenover your interiors — from buying smart appliances to plugging gaps between floorboards

·2-min read
New kitchen appliances are being developed with intuitive features. Look out for ’smart connected’ cooker hoods and hobs that can communicate, auto-adjusting air extraction rates when in use (Plain English Design)
New kitchen appliances are being developed with intuitive features. Look out for ’smart connected’ cooker hoods and hobs that can communicate, auto-adjusting air extraction rates when in use (Plain English Design)

The term ‘greenover’ has recently come into parlance, offering a neat soundbite to encourage us to consider what changes can be made – both in design and in efficiency – to ensure that our space is doing its bit for the environment.

We all know that bringing down our energy bills is beneficial both to the environment and to our wallets, so to minimise draughts, take the time to add draught-excluder tape around poorly fitting doors and window frames, plug gaps in walls and between floorboards (for the latter, a simple mix of sawdust and flexible wood glue such as PVA does the job brilliantly), and, if you’ve not got double glazing, fix up secondary glazing film (for the cooler months, at least).

Thermal lining for windows can work wonders cutting out chills and reducing external noise, and if you’re not a fan of heavy curtains, it can just as easily be added as an interlining in contemporary blinds, too.

Conversely, in hotter countries, opting for semi-sheer shades or reflective film on windows (especially in east- or west-facing rooms) can help to minimise heat disruption.

Increasingly, pressure is (rightly) being put on appliance manufacturers to ensure that their goods aren’t created with ‘planned obsolescence’ (where something is made with a deliberately short lifespan, and is hard or impossible to repair when it does break), so if you’re planning new purchases rather than procuring second-hand goods, take this into account when doing your research. Consider ‘smart’ appliances, which intelligently adjust energy usage as required, saving energy over their lifetime.

Choosing the correct fuel is key to maximising efficiency in modern wood-burning stoves. Opt for fuel with a low moisture content (under 20 per cent), such as kiln-dried or seasoned wood, or manufactured alternatives such as fire bricks (compressed and kiln-dried wood particles). (Interior Design and Styling by Elle Kemp and Martin Gane of Ridge & Furrow)
Choosing the correct fuel is key to maximising efficiency in modern wood-burning stoves. Opt for fuel with a low moisture content (under 20 per cent), such as kiln-dried or seasoned wood, or manufactured alternatives such as fire bricks (compressed and kiln-dried wood particles). (Interior Design and Styling by Elle Kemp and Martin Gane of Ridge & Furrow)

The last few years have brought a rise in the popularity of open fires and wood-burning stoves, particularly in urban areas, where they are often used in conjunction with central-heating systems.

In countries such as the United Kingdom, air pollution is still a top environmental risk to human health, so if you do use fires for supplementary heating, it’s important to understand the properties of what you’re burning, opting for appropriate fuel and veering towards occasional rather than daily use where possible.

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