The way we live has an enormous impact on the environment around us. Employing the best green building technologies and design principles for your home will reduce your carbon footprint and lower those pesky energy bills. How? Read below to find out.
SAVING ON SOLAR
With so much demand on our precious natural resources, there’s one resource that is abundant, clean, and infinite – the Sun. And there are many ways to harness the power of the magnificent Australian sunshine.
Installing solar panels is not only a great way to help combat climate change, but it also insures you against the rising price of energy. As a renewable energy source, there are no pollutants generated when running solar. This means you can utilise solar for electricity, hot water and to power solar batteries without any harm to the environment.
You may be eligible for a rebate when installing solar panels, so check out the NSW Government rebate schemes here.
INSULATION IS KEY
Nobody wants to spend their summers in a sweatbox with the air conditioner cranking 24/7 or wake up to a freezing house on a winters’ morning. Uncontrolled ventilation is often a sign of poor insulation and can result in needing to use air conditioners and heaters more frequently to combat the problem. Not great for your hip pocket, or the planet.
Good insulation provides the first step in arming against hot and cold temperatures, draughts and rain. From floors and ceilings to walls and windows, insulation is the best defense against the outside elements. Best of all, it means a greener and more energy-efficient home. It’s a good idea to have your insulation checked and approved to ensure all cavities are compliant.
Double-glazed windows have become more affordable over the last few years and will not only make your home quieter, but they’ll also protect against the harsh sun. Double or even triple-glazed windows have a vacuum in between the panels of glass to minimise heat escaping from your house in the cooler months.
ORIENTATION & DESIGN
Whether you’re building, renovating or extending, the best way to be green is to maximise the potential for passive heating and cooling.
Good sun orientation and design are fundamental to your homes’ thermal performance, creating a comfortable and energy-efficient home. If your home is north facing, it’ll give you the best source of winter warmth and natural light, reducing your reliance on auxiliary heating and cooling solutions and slashing your energy costs.
West-facing walls need particular attention when it comes to shade and blinds, as the summer heat will only increase over time. Utilising existing trees or adjoining buildings for exterior shade, as well as considering strategic breezeways can help insulate your home from the western sun.
Creating zones in your home will also help to keep certain rooms or areas closed off without the need to heat or cool. Controlling the temperature in specific zones of the house will make a big difference in your energy usage and the impact on the environment.
Skylights may also be a great solution for rooms that lack good natural light sources, meaning your light switches can stay off during the day. You may benefit from remote-controlled skylights to catch the sun at certain times of the day, or to block the sun in the hotter months.
ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTBULBS & APPLIANCES
Most people want to know that their home appliances work, will last a long time and won’t chew up a lot of electricity. Everything from washing machines and fridges to dishwashers and heaters come with an energy star rating. The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient your appliance is. Although the highest stars may be a little pricier to purchase upfront, they’ll be well worth the savings in the long run.
One of the simplest ways to make your home more energy efficient is by replacing halogen or traditional bulbs with stylish LED lights. These long-lasting ‘Light Emitting Diode’ lights come in various luminance, can be dimmed and most importantly, consume around 85% less energy than traditional bulbs.
As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second-best time is now. Incorporating trees into your landscaping design will not only give your outside areas a lush aesthetic, they’ll clean the air, provide a home for animals and create shade. Installing artificial turf is a great way to save on water usage and protect you from water restrictions in times of drought. And you won’t have to spend your weekends mowing the lawn.
Other eco-friendly landscaping ideas include installing slimline rainwater tanks to run along your fence line and creating spaces for veggie patches for you to grow your own food.
Being climate-conscious while thinking about building a home can seem overwhelming, but there’s plenty of help at hand at Crystele Homes. Contact us today to discuss your green home ideas.