How can I have an Energy Efficient Home?

We hear the term often, we know what it means, but often we do not understand what it means for us individually. When building a new home or renovating an existing home you really need to have energy efficiency at the forefront of your design.

Designing an energy efficient home is easier, and more cost effective than you may imagine with the right team. A designer will consider the following elements:

  • Home Orientation including shading
  • Insulation requirements
  • Windows and glazing requirements
  • Utilising renewable energy sources

If your home has good orientation, the need for heating and cooling can be significantly reduced, or even eliminated. Resulting in a greater impact on the ongoing living costs of your home, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and arguably the most measurable – comfort levels. Orientation considers the sun’s path in summer and winter, along with direction and type of winds to maximise your homes natural ability to heat and cool.

Insulating your home is the number one most cost effective way to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Insulation reduces the heat gains in summer, and reduces heat loss in winter by limiting the volume of heat passing through. Ideally, the walls, roof and ceiling should be insulated. Consider it this way – insulation is the sky in summer, and thermos in winter!

According to the Australian Window Association, ‘up to 40% of a home’s heating energy can be lost and up to 87% of its heat gained through windows’. Window sizes and material, glazing type and external shading must be considered very carefully at the design stage. Even your choice of window covers will have an impact on your homes performance!

In addition to the above, installing a solar system generates renewable electricity by converting energy from the sun. The panels are best installed on a north facing roof however, they can be installed in any direction with tilt systems. 

An energy efficient home will provide you a comfortable and healthy environment to live and relax, while having a positive impact on the environment too. Be conscious of your design, and the value it holds for your home’s performance.

Download our ‘Pre-Start Checklist’ to discover what steps you need to take before construction can begin, or call us now on 1300 560 300 to discuss building your energy efficient home.

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Tom Coy

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