Building a new house can be quite an exciting prospect, but once decided upon, there’s a lot of considerations that need to be made. Increasingly, making sure that your house is an energy-efficient home has become one of the most pertinent.
An energy-efficient home simply means a house that reduces unnecessary consumption – and that can mean everything from switching to renewable sources of energy, to reducing your home’s greenhouse gas emissions. It’s important to note that any house can be energy efficient, no matter where or when it was built. If you’re setting out to build a brand new home, being energy efficient should be at the forefront of your mind. Not only will it lead to more healthier living conditions, but it can also deliver a better ROI for you in the long run.
The initial cost associated with ensuring your house is energy-efficient might cause you to hesitate. If it does, know that in the long run, these investments will more than pay for themselves. For example, while installing solar panels might be costly initially, it’s going to noticeably bring down your electricity bill each month. Furthermore, including energy-efficient features will also increase your house’s value should you ever decide to sell it.
It’s also worth noting the implications it has on the environment. Being environmentally conscious has become an ever-popular trend these days, and what better place to start being more eco-friendly than with your own home. Building with energy efficiency in mind means that you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint on the planet!
So, how do you go about making your home energy efficient? Earlier we said that this was possible even with existing homes, regardless of when or where they were built. This is indeed the case. Whether you’re building from scratch or planning a renovation, energy efficiency is something you should always aim for, and here are a few ways on how.
Insulation is probably the first place to start; it creates a necessary barrier between your home’s interior and the outside. You want things to be warm inside during the winter, and nice and cool during those hot summer months. An energy-efficient home is well sealed against air leaks, with all the little nooks and cracks covered up and adding a bit of extra insulation is always a good idea. This cuts down on your heating and cooling costs while ensuring that you stay nice and comfortable throughout the year.
Next, it’s time to switch over to solar power – at least partially. Solar energy has reduced an estimated 40% of Australia’s power use and as we mentioned earlier, this can have quite a noticeable benefit on your electricity bills each month.
Keep an eye on what products you buy as well – especially their energy star value. These are regulated by the government and the more stars a product gets, the more energy-efficient it is.
Now that you know what makes a home energy efficient, it’s time to get into how you should go about building one. As we said, it’s vital to begin the initial planning and design process with energy efficiency in mind.
For starters, ensure that there is passive solar gain for rooms that really need it. This can cut down on the usage of electricity to light and heat up rooms. Windows, for example, can be a major deciding factor on whether you lose or gain heat energy. This can be controlled with correct and efficient placements and ensuring that it’s all airtight.
Choosing the right building materials is also crucial in ensuring that you own an energy-efficient home. This applies to everything from the type of timber you use for your flooring and walls, to the colour of paint that will adorn your house. Items like glazed windows, blinds, and overhangs among others, can all contribute to keeping your house nice and comfortable, cancelling out the need for any heat control mechanisms.
As such, it’s obvious that much forethought is required to ensure that what you’re building is indeed an energy-efficient home. Expertise and experience can also be invaluable, ensuring that both your design and building materials are as energy-efficient as possible. And that’s why it’s important to find the right builder, preferably one who has already worked on building energy-efficient homes in the past.