A home designed and built using the latest thinking on energy efficiency can be cheaper to run and more comfortable and healthier for the people who live there.

The best time to consider adding energy-efficient features is right at the start – when you’re in the design stage. The other thing to think about is that there is no one single ‘magic ingredient’ that will give you maximum energy efficient.

We’ll let you in on a secret… it’s all about features working well together to ensure you have the most energy-efficient house. It’s about ‘joining the dots’ to create a picture of energy efficiency. That’s not all. It’s also about the way you live. Picking up some good habits is all part of energy-efficient living.

Free energy for 5 billion years

Let’s start with some of those features, and these are just the tip of energy-efficient iceberg. The sun is our greatest energy source, and it’s free energy. So make sure your house takes advantage of all that free warmth by siting your home in the right-direction – north facing. For instance, thinking about the size and location of your windows to make the most of sun’s warmth is one the principles of ‘passive solar heating’.

Information saves power

Using smart technology, like home automation, to control the efficient use of appliances and systems within your home saves energy and money. For instance, you can program the times when certain appliances switch on or off to reduce energy usage. Knowing exactly when you’re using the most or least energy during the day gives you a picture of your day-to-day energy use.

Insulation essentials

It’s no use having the most energy-efficient heaters if you haven’t got a well-insulated home. All that heat will simply conduct itself out of your home, and you’ll be back to square one. You’ll be wasting energy and burning money. Lock the warmth into your home with ceiling, wall and floor insulation.

Waste no water

Many homeowners are rightly focussed on energy efficient electrical appliances, but creating a home with a minimal environmental footprint means also looking at other aspects. You can reduce your water usage with water-efficient appliances and fixtures, which can include toilets and low-flow shower heads. In some parts of New Zealand, ‘grey water’ reuse and rainwater use are options.

Making it a habit

Having the latest energy-efficient appliances, making the most of passive solar heating and having proper insulation is part of the story. Simple, everyday actions can help, too. For example, don’t leave appliances on standby; switch them off at the wall. Clothes dryers may be convenient, but they suck up energy – so if you can dry clothes outdoors, please do. If you have curtains, pull them closed on cold nights – they’ll help keep warmth in.

No-obligation chat

Come and enjoy a no-obligation chat with Design Builders about creating a home that maximises energy efficiency. We can show even more clever ideas that can help you save energy and money, and do your bit for our planet. Contact the team today.