Aim to make your project as energy efficient as possible. Any style of home can be customised for energy efficiency and there are several advantages to living in an energy efficient home - saving money on energy costs is the most obvious.
Other benefits include the satisfaction of knowing you will be reducing your impact on the environment through the decreased use of fossil fuels, the increased comfort of effective natural lighting and ventilation and the improved resale value of your home due to lower power bills.
The main features of energy efficient housing relate to:
- Use of wall, ceiling and roofing insulation
- Ventilation and Draught Proofing
- Energy efficient appliances.
Use of wall, ceiling and roofing Insulation
Insulation is the most effective way of improving a home's energy efficiency and can make your home more comfortable as it acts as a barrier to heat flow - reducing the amount of warmth escaping in winter and reducing the amount of heat entering in summer. In fact, by correctly installing insulation in ceilings, in walls and under floors, you can effectively reduce heating costs by up to 50% and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We are all familiar with the way insulation works. In summer, we keep our drinks cold by putting them in an insulated esky* - insulation in the lid, walls and floor of the esky* keeps the summer heat out and ice stays solid for longer. In winter we drink hot tea or coffee from a thermos*. Again, the insulated walls ensure a hot cuppa hours after the kettle was boiled.
In homes, insulation installed in walls, ceilings and floors acts the same way, keeping heat out in summer and in during winter.
* Esky and Thermos are registered trademarks of Nylex Limited and Thermos L.L.C. respectively.
Ventilation and Draught Proofing
When planning your home you should consider internal layouts of rooms, doorways and windows, to allow for good cross ventilation to cool your home in summer, and reduce or eliminate the need for mechanical air conditioning.
Air leakage has a significant impact on thermal performance and allows hot, dry and dusty air to enter you home. This can be minimised by draught proofing, or sealing, and gaps around doors and windows with weather stripping. The same can be said for gaps in the house construction such as along skirting's, cornices and other internal lining joints.
However, the more airtight you make your home, the more important it become to have adequate ventilation so that you maintain air quality, especially in kitchen and bathroom areas.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Water heating accounts for up to half of your home's energy consumption. Both energy and water consumption can be reduced by installing an instantaneous gas or solar hot water system (reduces your energy consumption by around 30% and saves up to 80% on heating bills) or by doing simple things like making sure taps are turned off, installing flow regulators, using a low flow AAA shower and water efficient appliances, as well as insulating your hot water pipes.
Speak to the ee-FiT team to arrange a free measure and quote and not only will you save on future energy costs; you will also help to make your mark for the environment.