What is an Energy Efficient Home?
We’re a lot more environmentally friendly nowadays and everyone is looking for ways to not only help save energy, but also to save money on their energy bills.
Energy efficient homes are houses that are specifically built to offer you the same level of comfort but by using less energy than a traditional or standard house.
So, what exactly makes a home energy efficient? Let’s have a look and find out.
Passive Solar Home Design
Natural cooling and heating is a priority when designing an energy efficient home.
For Perth and southern regions of WA, it’s important to maximise your windows on the north side of the house to catch the winter sun. This provides natural warmth and lighting, which in turn reduces the need for heating and turning on lights unnecessarily. In summer, as the sun is higher, these windows will be naturally shaded.
The position of windows is also very important to catch the sea breeze when it blows in the summer months. Opening these strategically placed windows when the breeze comes in will expel much of the hot air in the house and reduce the need for air conditioning.
Correct sealing of all windows, doors and floors (if timber) will stop unwanted cold and hot draughts of air from entering the home.
Regarding room placement, the main rooms and living areas in your house should be north facing. This will allow you to enjoy the sun in the winter and keep warm, as well as make sure the summer heat doesn’t become overwhelming.
Bedrooms are better on the east side of the home to avoid those baking hot summer afternoons which heat up the west side. This helps to cool down bedrooms when it’s time to sleep. And finally, it’s best to place the laundry, bathrooms and utility rooms on the west side.
With these advantages, you will use less energy and your cooling and heating costs will be kept to a minimum since you do not need air conditioning as much.
Choosing the Right Block of Land
The orientation and location of your block of land are also important for energy efficiency. As mentioned above, a north facing block makes the best use of the sun’s energy for free. If your land isn’t north facing then clever design can always make the best of what you have. Read more about choosing a block of land in Perth.
Regarding location, trees and greenery have a huge impact on the heat around a home. A treeless location with many homes tightly packed together will require more artificial heating and cooling. This can be managed over time however, with smart landscaping and gardening. Natural lawn (as opposed to artificial) around the home also keeps the ground area cool.
Using Quality Building Products
We all know that it takes a lot of work to build a house and this includes finding the right materials for the job. It is easy to choose materials that are cheap and simple, but in the long run this will cost you more money in maintenance and repair.
That’s why it’s better to invest in quality building products for your energy efficient home from the very beginning. For example, by choosing energy efficient windows and double glazing, you can make sure you don’t lose heat in winter, as well as not let any heat into your home during summer. There is a Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) that rates different windows on how they impact a home’s energy efficiency.
You can also choose timber that comes from certified sustainably managed forests. These are ethical choices based on your beliefs and budget.
You can also buy recycled products to do your bit for the environment and enquire to see whether your builder can recycle materials during the building process to reduce landfill waste.
There are many options for using quality energy efficient building products during construction of your new home so please contact us for more information.
Choose New Appliances Carefully
In the modern age, we can’t live without our electronics and appliances in our home. But, many of them use a lot of energy without us even realising. When you are building your new home, be sure to choose energy efficient appliances, especially the ones that you will be using every day.
This will keep running costs low moving forward. In addition, being strategic with where you position them in your home will also use up less energy. For example, you can make sure that any appliances that require hot water are near those systems to reduce heat loss.
Plant Trees in the Garden
Planting trees and nice greenery in your garden is a win-win situation. Not only do they make your garden look nice and colourful, but they can also provide you with some much-needed shade when it is hot and sunny outside, as well as provide some shelter from the wind. This can mean that your home stays cooler when it is hot and it can help you keep energy use down and your bills even lower.
Solar energy is a very popular choice in Perth and WA given our wonderful weather. Solar panels and the exciting evolution of battery storage play a big part in building your dream energy efficient home.
Rainwater tanks and greywater systems are also excellent ways to recycle and save money at the same time.
Read more about the benefits of building a new house.
Looking for advice about building your new energy efficient home? Get in touch today and let’s talk about your situation.