Having an energy efficient home can save you money in more ways than one. First, there’s with electricity use. Secondly, because more and more people are becoming environmentally aware, energy efficient home designs are also more valuable when it comes time to sell.
How much you save will be dependent on several things such as how many energy-saving modifications you make to your home, the cost of electricity in your area and for solar panels, the rebate will also have an impact. Your budget will also determine how many energy-saving features you have in your home.
Energy efficient home tips
Appliances have a considerable impact on our environment, and we rarely think about it when we make our morning cuppa. In fact, our household appliances account for 33% of energy consumption and a whopping 45% of greenhouse gas emissions in an average household. The main culprits for energy consumption include the refrigerator, oven, microwave and television.
To significantly lower your energy usage and spend, keep the following in mind:
- Buy an appliance that’s the right size for you. Don’t buy a refrigerator that you’ll only ever have half stocked.
- Take note of the stars on the energy efficiency label. Try to get an appliance with as many stars as possible.
Heating & Cooling
Air conditioning systems and heaters are massive drains on energy and take up 40% of household energy use. Living in Australia, it’s hard to go without an air conditioner so when you’re in the market for a new one; it pays to do your homework instead of buying one simply because it was on special.
- Check the star rating
- Ensure the system is the right size for the sized room you want to cool/heat.
There’s a common misconception that having an air conditioner larger than the space it needs to cool is a good thing but, it’s not. The air conditioner will have a tough time maintaining a proper temperature balance and in doing so, it ends up using more energy than it should. On the other hand, a system that is too small for a room will work extra hard to cool it and again, use more energy than needed.
Shading can include everything from the addition of eaves, outdoor awnings, shutters, pergolas and even plants to block out the heat of the sun, mainly because unprotected glass is the most significant source of heat in a house. An expert blind installer will be able to calculate the sun angles for your location along with house orientation to ensure the best use of the shading.
Before you even consider air conditioning and heating, consider having installation installed in the roof and walls to get the most out of your heating and cooling.
When it comes to energy efficient homes, Australia is leading the way with solar energy, 21% of Australian households now have solar panels. Solar panels are an excellent long term investment that’ll eventually save you money off your electricity bill.
Windows and window coverings
Windows can often be the gatekeepers of comfort. Extreme cold can easily creep in through single glazed glass, just as the searing hot sun can. Luckily there are plenty of options for windows and energy efficiency. Double glazed windows are an option; the air gap that forms in between the two panels is what acts as an insulation layer. Add quality blinds or shutters over the top and it’s next-level energy efficiency and comfort.
In an energy efficient home, natural light is your friend, make the most of it. You can achieve this with window coverings that open and close to allow both light, privacy and ventilation or with the installation of skylights. If you must use electrical lighting, always opt for LED bulbs. They are long-lasting and energy efficient compared to the old-style incandescent bulb.
Switching to an energy efficient home doesn’t have to be a project all done at once; a step by step approach is just as good. The most budget-friendly option might be to start with some good blockout blinds in your loungeroom to cool it down for summer. Not only will you begin to save money on energy use, but you’ll also start to enjoy your home more thanks to comfort.