Last updated on January 25th, 2022 at 04:33 am
Sustainability doesn’t need to be an expensive element of your new home– in fact, with some pre-planning and intelligent design, it’s possible to build an energy-efficient home that’s affordable.
Here are our top tips on how to introduce sustainable elements into your home design without breaking the bank.
It’s impossible to achieve a cost-effective, energy-efficient home without smart design. This starts with orientation – your living areas should face north, as they’ll receive sun for the longest period of the day in winter and can be shaded by roof eaves in the summer.
North-facing windows and walls also receive more solar radiation, adding heat to your home in winter and remaining shaded in the summer. However, this requires some engineering to ensure windows are covered by the overhang of the roof and not exposed to the elements.
Considering your new home’s orientation in the initial stages of your home design will also reduce your heating and cooling costs, as the sun will naturally heat your home during the winter and keep it cool in the summer.
The east coast of Australia has plenty of sunshine year-round, so why not take advantage by installing solar panels? The technology has come a long way, with a number of suppliers offering their services, meaning it has become an affordable option for many new homes.
While initial costs may be higher than traditional electrical sources, it will pay off in the form of lower energy bills in the long run. If you live in an area with a particularly high number of sunny days, you may even find that energy companies are paying you, as any excess power your panels capture can be sold back into the power grid.
Air leaks can wreak havoc with the internal temperature of your home, so in order to keep heating and cooling costs down and increase your home’s energy efficiency, it’s essential you address these with external and internal sealants.
Any great builder can advise on the best way to seal the building envelope, which will minimise the amount of airflow and reduce the risk of the internal and external temperatures evening out. This is especially important in areas of extreme weather – when it’s over 35 degrees outside, you don’t want your home to feel the same!
Sealants will protect the flow of air in and out of your home, but insulation takes it one step further, slowing or preventing heat flow through the ceilings and walls so that your home remains cool in summer and warm in winter.
This makes it is one of the most cost-effective strategies for energy efficiency and a key element of passive design. The type of insulation you use will depend on your design and type of construction, so it’s best to consult your builder on the best approach for your design.
Every new appliance in your home should be energy-efficient, or at the very least, electric. Technology has come a long way, meaning that energy-efficient appliances are often competitive in price, with any potential indifference often quickly negated by energy savings. Installing these will ensure you can confidently maintain an energy-efficient home without compromising on cost.
Thinking about building an energy-efficient home in VIC, ACT or NSW? Get in touch with the Achieve Homes team today!
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