How to Build an Environmentally Friendly and an Energy-Efficient Home

Sarah Jessica Smith - Contributor

Posted on Monday 7th October 2019

 

Building your house from the foundation up is a daunting challenge but also an opportunity to add some features that you won’t find in older edifices. A mere half a century ago, few builders cared about environmental friendliness and energy efficiency, which is not the case today. The two should be high up your list of priorities. By protecting the environment and economizing energy consumption, you are actually saving money of future home improvement and maintenance costs.

Installing top-quality isolation

The walls, the roof, and the floor are the surfaces that your home will lose the most energy through. If the insulation is executed poorly or the quality of the insulator is bad, then your house will cool slower in summer and lose heat faster in winter. This problem becomes especially important to solve in dry regions such as Southern Australia where temperatures soar during ever more frequent heatwaves. In order to prevent such a scenario, search for good-quality isolation that will get installed into your house. The total cost might be high at the end but saving on isolation and insulation can cost you thousands of extra dollars to have the house refitted.

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Sealing the doors and the windows

We take the doors and windows in our house so much for granted that we have completely forgotten that they are actually gaping holes in the façade. We rely on builders to install them properly and more importantly, to seal them around the edges. If there is a draft coming from a closed window, then you know that something is wrong and that you are wasting energy. Properly installed seal can last for decades without the need for extra caulking so supervise the handymen a bit to ensure you’re house doesn’t waste energy once erected.

An efficient duct system

Apart from the AC unit, the most important section of a new house is ducting. It is thanks to air ducts that you get fresh air in the house. However, if all the connections are in order, then you can hope for efficiency higher than 95%. The importance of a good ventilation system is evident in places like Adelaide where it’s not smart to inhale the arid air outside in summer. That’s why experienced home builders from Adelaide know that proper installation of ducting is essential.

Efficient faucets

As far as waterworks are concerned, saving water is important both for your bill at the end of the months and the environment. Faulty faucets that leak waste a huge amount of water which is irresponsible on your side as the homeowner, considering how many people don’t have access to clean drinking water worldwide. Good-quality faucets throughout the house, from the garden tap to the bathroom, ensure that no water is wasted and that your utility bills will be under control.

Enough light

Something that most prospective house owners don’t think about during the build itself is light fixtures. Furthermore, many people fail to realize how much natural light is important. When properly sealed, large windows are the ideal roofing solution for letting enough natural light inside. If you have the opportunity, installing a skylight is not a bad option at all. If the house receives more natural light, than it means you’ll turn on the lights later at night, saving on the energy bill. Moreover, if the nightlights use LED technology, then you can hope for an additional save. This type of lighting uses 95% of energy for light and only 5% for generating heat, which makes then incomparably more efficient than incandescent light bulbs.

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Alternative energy sources

Using energy responsibly is one thing but you have the opportunity to generate it as well. Roof solar panels and mini wind turbines are expensive to install but their price had been steadily dropping from the 1970s and the introduction of these technologies. Investing in alternative energy generation now will lower your energy bills in the future; eliminating them even. On the other side, you will not only be using energy from renewable sources but you will be generating it as well, joining in the fight to save the planet and combat climate change.

As you have seen from the 6 solutions offered here, energy efficiency and environmental friendless mostly go hand in hand. The age-old myth that protecting the environment will set you back thousands of dollars simply does not hold water today. By investing in things like solar panels, solid insulation, and good-quality faucets, you can only save money, not lose it. Of course, this investment is a long-term one but building your own house is also a constructional vow for decades to come.

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