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Climate change: How can you make your home eco-friendly?

Climate change: How can you make your home eco-friendly?

With new homes being built with eco-friendly design in mind, older properties can prove the worst offenders when it comes to their carbon footprint.

But making alterations to your existing home can be costly, running into hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

So, how can homeowners make their properties kinder to the environment while keeping costs down?

We spoke to the Welsh government and Energy Saving Trust to find out.

All homes have the potential to become more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.

- Energy prices to rise for millions of households
- Natural resources used at 'unsustainable rate'
- Clean energy to power all new homes from 2025

The Energy Saving Trust's head of UK energy Laura McGadie said the first step in cutting carbon emissions - and bills - was to take control of your heating.

"Make sure you understand your heating controls and set them to only heat the rooms you need, when you need them, and not above the required temperature," she said.

"To do this effectively, you will need a decent set of heating controls which, for most central heating systems, includes a timer or programmer, a room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves. Fitting and using these properly could save you £75 a year on your bills and reduce your carbon emissions by 320kg."

For a quick and cost-effective improvement, insulate any exposed hot water pipes, along with your hot water cylinder if you have one.
Around a third of heat in an insulated home is lost through the walls, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Most homes in the UK have either solid walls, which can be insulated from the inside or outside, or cavity walls, which have a gap that can be filled with insulation.

Installing solid-wall insulation could save a gas-heated, semi-detached home around 930kg of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

The Welsh government said changes should be tailored to each home.