An energy-efficient house uses less energy compared to traditional houses. This type of eco-friendly home will help you save on electricity bills, and live in a comfortable and healthy environment. Not to mention will help you achieve a minimum of 6-star energy rating (in Australian standard).
A star energy rating is the rating standard of a house’s thermal energy performance. A six-star rated house ensures that your utility bills will be lower than usual while keeping your home environment-friendly. A higher star rating (up to 10) means more energy efficient living space.
Features of an energy-efficient home
Whether new or old, most energy efficient homes possess the following features:
1. Solar panels
Solar panels are one of the best features of most energy-efficient homes. Solar panels can convert the sunlight into direct electricity, reducing your dependency on fossil fuels. This can also lower your energy costs.
2. Eco-friendly materials
An energy efficient home should be made up of eco-friendly materials. Eco-friendly materials need less energy to be produced in the first place. Moreover, they help to keep the environment clean and green.
3. Proper insulation
Insulation is a must-have feature for a quieter, comfortable, and energy-efficient home. The right balance of insulation can trap the heat in your home. It means you don’t need to pay extra for the heating system. There are certain types of insulation systems designed for some particular areas and homes. Homeowners can also choose from different types of insulation systems for their homes depending on their location and age of their house.
Here’s a quick video of why installing proper insulation to your home is a must:
4. Better window placement
Smaller windows with double-glazing can help trap the heat inside your house. This can also reduce outside noise and drafts. Where you place your windows, how large they are and even what you use to cover them all impact the amount of heat or cool you lose.
5. Correct exterior doors
The internal temperature depends a lot on the exterior door. A correct exterior door can control the temperature of your home by trapping the cold or hot air.
The numerous benefits of skylights make them ideal for an energy-efficient home. They can improve your home’s lighting, heating, and ventilation. Correctly chosen sky-lighting will lessen the need to use electrical lighting during the day.
7. Energy efficient appliances
Appliances such as your refrigerator, heaters, and washers tend to become inefficient and energy-hungry over time. Energy efficient home appliances with high-energy ratings need less electricity or water to run.
8. Exterior color
The exterior colour of your home also has an impact on its efficiency. A light colour will help your home stay cooler, while a dark colour keeps it warmer. Choosing the right colour based on the climate you live in is an important feature of an energy efficient home.
Flooring can play an important role in maintaining the energy efficiency of your home. The right flooring can help you maintain the right temperature without an extra cost. Rugs or carpet can aid in maintaining the temperature of your home.
10. Advanced house framing
Also known as Optimum Value Engineering (OVE), this is a special framing technique where a house is built using less wood, meaning that it can save energy and environmental footprint. This feature reduces your house-building cost too.
11. Water-heating system of an energy efficient home
Most energy efficient homes have high-efficiency water heater system. Water heaters are responsible for 15% of energy costs so this factor is an easy but important one to tackle.
A few more useful tips to keep your home energy efficient
While planning to make your home highly energy efficient, you can also maintain the following rules to reduce the energy costs of your existing home:
- Plant trees around your house to give it shade. Trees can help balance the light and heat of your house during summer and winter.
- Replace your old electric appliances with more energy efficient products.
- Keep your electric appliances unplugged when they are not in use. This habit will save a lot on your electricity bills.
- Seal the ducts properly so that the air can be directed efficiently in your home.
An energy efficient home does more than just improving your bank balance. It ensures that you are living in a low-impact and eco-friendly environment. Also, living in a home that requires less energy will help you pass the star energy rating assessment, as you’re contributing to saving the environment.