Energy efficient homes are becoming more and more popular, not just because of the savings made when the electricity bill arrives but because energy efficient homes tend to increase your home’s value.
As home buyers become increasingly aware of the need for energy efficient practices and housing as well as their benefits, many are willing to pay for homes that are already set up with environmentally friendly upgrades.
Of course, how much your home increases in value depends on what type of energy efficient designs and equipment you’ve included in your home and how many. The amount of money you save will also depend on things like energy costs in your area and how much rebate you can get for your solar power, for example.
How to get a bang for your buck with an energy efficient home
If you really want to make ‘going green’ a worthwhile investment in both the short and long term, design is a key factor, particularly the use of passive design principles.
A comfortable house is possible when these passive design practices are used. For example, removing draughts; shading windows from the summer sun or utilising the sun to warm the house in winter; designing the house to allow natural breezes to cool the home and using insulation.
Other green options for an energy efficient home
In addition to the design of your home, there are other options to achieve energy efficiency. Ultimately, what you decide to implement in your home will come down to your budget.
Insulation is the best way to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. By installing insulation in your ceiling, floors and walls, your home will be more comfortable and reduce the amount you need to rely on an air conditioner or heater.
Appliances account for around 45% of greenhouse gas emissions in the average household. The top three highest energy users are the refrigerator, cooking appliances such as the oven and microwave and the television, respectively. If you’re looking at having an energy efficient home, this is definitely the main area for consideration.
When looking for energy efficient appliances, consider the following:
- Buy the right size appliance so you don’t need to use it more than you need to
- Check the energy efficiency label. The more stars, the more energy efficient it is.
- Don’t forget to check the water efficiency of your washing machine and dishwasher.
Heating and cooling
Air conditioners and heaters account for a whopping 40% of household energy use. When considering your heating and cooling options, opt for systems with good star ratings and ensure the system is the right size for the space you want to cool and heat. When an air conditioner or heater is too small for the space, it will run harder and use a lot more energy than is needed. On the other hand, if you have a system that is too big, it will have difficulty maintaining a balanced temperature and will use more energy than is needed.
Not all windows are made equal. It’s amazing the difference double glazed windows can make to the comfort of a home and energy efficiency. A double glazed window is made up of two panes with an air gap in between. It’s this air gap that acts as a layer of insulation and can also block out external noise. In addition to double glazed windows, proper window coverings such as blinds or curtains will deliver maximum energy efficiency.
Yes, the outlay for solar panels can be a big one and it’s not an immediate return, but solar panels are a great long term investment. They’ll eventually save you money on your electricity bill and will certainly add value to your home if you look to sell down the track.
Consider the use of natural lighting as much as possible, even the inclusion of skylights is a smart idea. The use of energy efficient LED light bulbs throughout your home is also a good move. Not only do they use less energy, they last longer than a normal incandescent globe.
Making the move towards energy efficient homes is certainly the best step a homeowner can take. Not only will it continue to reward your bank account, it will reward your environmental conscience and make your home even more attractive to environmentally conscious buyers when it comes time to sell.
Interested to learn more about our energy efficient homes? Contact Dixon Homes Canberra