Often the best time to think about ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home is when you’re building a new home or renovating.
This is an exciting time but it can also be complicated and stressful with all sorts of decisions to make. These include decisions about the design of the home, heating and cooling, insulation, outdoor areas and appliances. Your choices can improve not only your lifestyle and comfort but can cut your heating, cooling and water costs for many years to come.
There are many experts who can give you advice on home energy efficiency and help with your planning.
Planning ahead will help you avoid pitfalls and extra costs and ensure a better final result.
Speak to experts for advice. Money spent consulting with design, lighting or energy experts can be repaid many times over. Clever thinking at the design stage can pay huge dividends later on.
Talk to friends who have renovated - their experiences may reveal great ideas and savings as well as traps to avoid.
Look at magazines for ideas and inspiration. Building advisory services and home ideas centres are also valuable sources of information.
Do a home sustainability assessment. This will identify areas where you can improve the energy efficiency of your home.
Note uncomfortable rooms and discuss with your builder or designer. You may be able to make modifications to improve the comfort level.
Talk to your local council or state or territory government department about building regulations. You may need to comply with energy efficiency and water saving regulations.
Find out the requirements for homes in your chosen location by checking with your builder or local council. These may cover things like building materials, styles, fences and hot water systems.
Clever positioning of your home on the block allows you to take advantage of winter sun and minimise summer heat, saving on heating and cooling costs. A well-designed floor plan and appropriate orientation on your block can make a huge difference to the energy efficiency of your home long term.
Building a new home or renovating an existing home provides a perfect opportunity to install a range of energy efficient appliances. Compare efficiency of appliances at Saveenergysavemoney.com.au!
Building and renovating homes requires the use of a lot of resources and building materials. Many of the decisions you make about building products will affect the quality and comfort of your home, as well as future maintenance costs. They will also have an effect on our environment.
Choose long-lasting, durable materials that don’t need a lot of maintenance.
For more information on building products click here.
Don’t forget about your garden or outdoor area when you’re building or renovating. In Australia, our gardens and outdoor areas can often add a whole new living area to our homes and improve our comfort and lifestyle. If you live in a mild or warm climate, building a shaded deck can be just as effective - and cheaper - than extending your living room.
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