Have you been thinking about renovating for improved energy efficiency and reduced costs? You can make your renovation smarter by following these few simple steps to a more energy efficient household.
Building main living areas that face the north will soak up the radiant heat and provide natural light throughout the house, especially during winter months. This will essentially act as a solar heating mechanism in winter but is easy to shade off during summer months with the addition of blinds, shutters or curtains to stop the heat from penetrating.
The addition of doors as entrances between various rooms create zones within your household so that you can efficiently heat or cool different sections of your home. By adding doors as new entrances between rooms, you can pick and choose which rooms will be heated or cooled by blocking off other areas of the house with closed doors. For example, you could heat your living room and kitchen if they are conjoined with a door left open and block off the bedrooms which you aren’t using by closing them off.
Insulation for your walls, floors or ceilings is another great option for saving up to 45% on your household heat bills. Insulation slows down heat loss in winter or cooling in summer which effectively reduces the need for heating and air conditioning that typically uses a lot of power. Insulation needs to be installed by a professional as it involves materials including fibreglass, cellulose and/or foam. Adding insulation in your walls, roof or flooring is well worth it if you have insulation that doesn’t currently exist in these areas, however, if insulation already exists, you may need to seek professional advice on the cost effectiveness of adding additional insulation.
Another clever way to add insulation to your home is by installing soft furnishings such as curtains, carpet, rugs and blinds. If your bedrooms or living room have wooden floor boards you might consider replacing them with carpet or adding a large soft rug to those rooms. Curtains and blinds also help to regulate the temperature during different seasons and choosing modern prints and designs will also give your house a fresh lift!
One of the easiest ways to reduce your electricity usage is choosing lights that are more energy efficient. Also, reducing the amount of lights in each room by evaluating the size and brightness of each bulb will save you more money on energy bills.
If you have considered double glazed windows in a colder environment then think of it as an investment! Although initially expensive, they can reduce your heat loss by 45 – 50% in comparison to single glazed or non energy efficient windows. Making sure your old windows aren’t leaky is essential. You may need to replace them with storm windows and add new weather stripping, however double glazed windows would be the best option in cold environments and don’t necessarily need to be covered by blinds and curtains for extra heating.
Small changes to water systems such as water saving shower heads, taps, dishwashers and washing machines can also make a significant difference both saving water and saving on your water and electricity bills. A water recycling system may also be something to consider and will have a larger impact on your everyday water usage but is well worth it in the long run for both you and the environment!
Installing solar panels on your home not only benefits the environment by providing electricity from pure energy derived from the sun but it also reduces your energy bills because it eliminates the cost of paying for fossil fuelled energy.