MAKING YOUR HOME ENERGY EFFICIENT
Modern home designs are much more energy efficient than earlier houses because of the new government regulations that ensure all new homes meet at least a 6 star energy rating, although many people are now opting to build their new home to an 8 star rating. This adds about 4 percent to the total building cost but gives the advantage of an overall reduction in heating and cooling costs of 40%plus, which with today’s high energy prices represents huge sayings.
We cannot all build new homes, but we can all take advantage of many of the latest advances in eco-friendly design and modern energy efficient features.
These relatively inexpensive measures will help to make your home more energy efficient:
- Well Insulated
Installing insulation in ceilings, both stops heat entering your home when it’s hot and traps the heat inside when you need it in the cold months. Many types of insulation are environmentally friendly as they are made from recycled materials
- Cross ventilation
Having adequate cross ventilation is one of the most effective ways of cooling your house as it ensures that hot air is removed on the cross breezes. Having windows open on either side of the home or installing revolving vents can reduce internal temperatures significantly
- Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are very efficient at cooling down a room and their running cost is about 1/10th of the cost of normal air conditioners, so installing them in every room can give huge savings
- Efficient Fixtures and Fittings
By using fitting such as toilets, showerheads, taps and mixers choose those that have a high Water Efficiency Label (WELS) as they use much less water. A showerhead with a 3 star rating used about 6 to 7 liters of water a minute compared with a standard unit that uses 25 liters plus a minute.Fluorescent lamps and LED bulbs are also much more efficient than standard bulbs
Turn down the setting on hot water cylinders and water heaters so the hot water is at the right temperature and you do not have to add cold water to your shower or bath.
- Home Orientation
Try and have all your daytime living areas on the north facing side of your home so they are in the sun during the winter months and more shaded in the summer season
Adding a shade shutter or shade cloth structure to reduce the heating effect of the sun