When renovating or extending your home, incorporating energy efficient features will not only reduce your bills, you will have the added benefit of knowing you’re doing your bit for the environment. At Duncan Thompson Extensions, we are a registered HIA home builder we are proud to be a part of ‘GreenSmart’ designs, a program established by HIA to promote affordable and durable environmental solutions in residential design and construction. Here’s our tips for improving the energy efficiency of your home and reducing your ongoing energy costs.
Consider The Materials Used in the Building of Your Home Extension
Higher density materials (such as bricks, concrete and stone) can provide sufficient thermal mass to absorb and store heat, and when used effectively can stabilize temperature shifts within a home by slowing the rate of heat transfer. This can lead to significantly reduced heating and cooling bills.
Invest in Double Glazing
Up to 40% of a home’s heat can be lost, and up to 85% of its heat can be gained through windows and doors. Double glazed windows are great solution for an energy efficient home, particularly if you plan on having larger window panes. Also make sure that your windows and doors are airtight when closed, and reduce the number and size of windows on west and east walls and ensure the largest windows are north-facing.
Use Skylights in The Right Places
Use skylights or clerestory windows to increase natural lighting into internal spaces, reducing the need for artificial lighting during the day. Consider placement to ensure you are not allowing excessive heat into the house during the hot summer months.
Install Energy Efficient Lighting
Use LED lights and globes throughout your home extension. LEDs are the most energy efficient lighting choice on the market. Not only do they minimize energy use for lighting, they provide exceptional light output, are extremely long lasting and contain no mercury. Additionally, they can meet a variety of lighting needs from bright white light to soft, warm light. Selecting the right LED lights, positioning lights strategically, and utilizing natural light as effectively as possible can drastically reduce the energy consumption of a home.
Position Windows to Maximise Cross-Ventilation
Allowing breezes to flush out warm summer air that’s built up during the day provides a natural cooling method and minimises the need for air conditioning.
Eaves over north-facing windows can keep unwanted sun out in summer and let the sun’s warmth in during winter. Pergolas, verandas and window awnings along the north facing side of the house can also provide extra summer shade.
Choose Energy Efficient Appliances
In most homes, 40% of energy use is accounted for by heating, cooling and hot water, while appliances and plug loads may account for up to 60%. Therefore, selecting energy efficient appliances is essential. Look at the energy star rating when selecting your dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine and dryer. Energy-efficient appliances reduce a home’s energy use, emit less air pollution and can even increase the resale value of a home.
Solar panels provide one of the most cost-effective forms of renewable energy for a home. They can power all the energy needs of a home including lighting, heating and cooling systems, appliances and hot water. Although the initial cost of a solar system is relatively high, they will save you a great deal of money in the future, making them a wise long-term investment.
The ultimate goal of an energy-efficient home is to significantly lower energy usage on a daily basis. An energy-efficient home saves money and energy, creates a high degree of comfort for the residents, and increases the resale value of the house.
If you are planning an extension or renovation and would like to work with a team that is highly experienced and knowledgeable in the must-have design elements for an energy-efficient home, contact the team at Duncan Thompson Extensions today.