An energy efficient home is not just what you do inside your home to reduce your energy consumption, but it is also what you can do during the building process. We are going to tell you why you should consider building an energy efficient home along with the many benefits you can receive from it.
What to think about when building an energy efficient home
Energy efficiency isn’t just about saving the planet; while that’s one of the main reasons we decide to do it, you can also save yourself a significant amount of money in the long run. There are so many different steps you can take to make your home more energy efficient no matter how big or small.
The best place to first start is to think about your insulation. There are many places you can insulate and protect from drafts around your home. One of the most critical places is your attic, heat tends to rise and if not correctly insulated you could be loosing a rather significant amount of heat. You will also want to think about insulating your walls and interior ceiling.
Draught proofing is also a great way of stopping warm air escaping in the colder months. It will also help with controlling ventilation throughout your home by reducing condensation and damp leaving the air in your home feel fresh.
Insulating your home isn’t just good for the winter months but also the summer months. During the winter months it traps the warm air in your home, and during the summer months, it traps the cooler air, so there is no need for airconditioning units.
House hold appliances
Before purchasing any household application we believe that research is key, you want something that isn’t going to take up to much energy to run but will also run at a sufficient speed. When you do go shopping for your new appliances, we recommend looking for those with an energy star certified sign to ensure you’re getting the best energy appliances. A high efficiency on demand water heater is great for only heating up water when it is needed. You don’t have to wait around for it to warm up as they head quickly, they are also great for maintenance and don’t have to be cared for too often saving you money and time.
You may also want to think about getting low flow toilets, washing machines and showers which can save you money on your water bills. This will also help with any water waste; when we take powerful showers, we are often unaware of how much warm water we are using.
External energy saving
Many of us don’t tend to think about the external things we can do to you homes when building a new one or moving into one. Solar panels are becoming ever more popular due to the number of benefits you could receive after installing them. Installation of solar panels will help cut your energy bills, after all, sunlight is free, while you may think they are a little pricey to install initially, you will only reap the rewards later on. You can get paid for the energy you make even if you consume it, the UK government has recently rolled out a Feed-in Tariff scheme which pays you, if you would like more information on this you can click here. You can also be paid for any energy you give back to the grid that hasn’t been used. Finally, it will also help you reduce your carbon footprint as it doesn’t release any harmful carbon dioxide or any other pollutants.
You can now also get solar water heaters that work in a similar way to solar panels collecting sunlight to heat the water. They include storage tanks and solar collector, this can dramatically decrease your energy bills and make your home a lot more energy efficient.
Once you have built your home and you start to think about landscaping the surrounding areas you may want to consider planting some trees on the side your house receives the most sun or gets too hot in the summer months. It will help prevent your home from warming up to quickly and will provide shade.
In the UK we receive a significant amount of rainwater, so why not consider a rainwater collection system. On average around 85,000 litres of rainwater lands on the roofs of UK homes, imagine how many showers you could have with that! By having a rainwater harvesting system, you could reduce 70% of water taken from your mains. You can get a range of different sizes and packages from Gutter Mate.
Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs)
You might consider installing Ground Source Head Pump near your house. This is cost effective for large houses. GSHPs use pipes that are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in your home.
A ground source heat pump circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around a loop of pipe, called a ground loop, which is buried in your garden. Heat from the ground is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump. The ground stays at a fairly constant temperature under the surface, so the heat pump can be used throughout the year.
There are many benefits of GSHPs:
- Could lower your fuel bills, especially if you replace conventional electric heating
- Could provide you with income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
- Could lower home carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing
- Can heat your home as well as your water
- Minimal maintenance required
You are also going to want to look for an energy provider that gives you the best electricity supply for your home. You want to pick an energy provider that will charge you specifically for the energy you consume, the last thing you want is not to be consuming much and being charged a significant amount for doing so. We always recommend looking for an energy provider that provides fixed-rate plans, this way you will always know what you’re paying no matter the cost of the energy being provided to you.
There are now so many different ways you can make your new home energy efficient. The future is going green, and you can help the environment by applying some of the suggestions mentioned throughout the article.
Insulation is going to be one of the first things you want to do; this can significantly increase the amount of warmth you feel in your home. Choosing the right appliances can save you a fair few pound on our energy bills and can reduce your energy consumption. Solar panels and solar water heaters are also a great idea especially in the UK, even though we don’t see as much sun as we would like to, Solar rays are still collected when it’s cloudy so you can receive a huge amount of energy through applying them to your home.