When the time comes to design your own home, more and more young West Australians are looking to go green.
We aren’t talking about a big emerald feature wall in the loungeroom, although that would be pretty awesome. We mean environmental efficiency – doing things differently so your new home design has a smaller carbon footprint.
So in honour of Earth Day on April 22, let’s take a look at how your home design can be greener than a tree frog hiding in a bucket of tennis balls.
- Plonk it in the right place!
The orientation of your home will play a huge part in how energy efficient it will naturally be. Ideally, you want to be facing living areas to the north. Minimise south facing windows as they get very little sunlight and can let a lot of heat escape in winter.
- Get in the zone
Make sure that separate parts of your home can be ‘zoned off’, so you don’t have to heat or cool the entire home – this is a huge energy saver!
- Light the way
Energy efficient lighting has come a long way in the past decade, with low power globes such as LED’s becoming much more affordable and accessible. Any higher upfront costs are very likely to be overpowered by the long-term savings.
- Reassessing the appliances
A huge oven, massive toaster and a drinks fridge out the back can seem cool initially, but they can seriously jack up your power bill despite hardly being used to their full capacity. Opt for smaller appliances that are more suited to your day-to-day lifestyle, and keep the drinks fridge unplugged until the morning of your big shindig.
- Get shady
Trees, eaves, outdoor blinds and patios all shade your home, stopping the walls from baking on those hot summer days.
If you’ve ever been camping, you’ll know how quickly your tent can heat up due to the lack of insulation. Be certain to make sure your entire roof has great insulation coverage.
- Windows of opportunity
Double glazing is the ultimate option for energy efficient windows, but it can be pretty expensive! The good news is that blinds or shutters do a very good job of trapping air against the window to limit temperature changes.
- Easy on the breezy
That cold chill you can feel while sitting on the couch on a winter’s night? It might not be the latest bloodbath on Game of Thrones – you could have a draught! Chances are you can probably hear it whistling too, which will help to pinpoint which window or door is not correctly sealed.
On the flip side, cooling breezes on a summer evening are just the kind that you want to invite in. Install security screens so you can leave doors and windows open to flush out the heat after a hot day.
- Go solar
A hot water system can use more energy than all of your other electrical appliances combined! So go for a solar hot water system, and if the budget permits, install some solar panels as well.
- Think outside the box
Lastly, give a bit of thought to your outdoor spaces! Planting water wise varieties and avoiding paving under windows are two small ways to keep the water bill and ambient heat on the down low.
Design your own home to be more energy efficient with Easystart Homes
Flipping through the house plans (Perth) of Easystart Homes, it’s easy to imagine yourself living in a stylish new home that doesn’t cost the earth (in every way).