Are You Still Designing Your Home?

Are You Still Designing Your Home?
16 April 2021
We give our top 10 simple tips to build a home that uses less electricity and saves you money. 

Building your home is a big investment and something you want to get right.  We all know that household energy bills can be expensive, but there are a number of tips you can incorporate in the design of your home to help reduce your future energy bill and create a beautiful comfortable space for you and your family.  These tips are best to integrate at the design stage and focus on initiatives to improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.

Here is a simple list of 10 ideas around home design in order to achieve a better energy outcome:

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Choose the right flooring – polished concrete, timber or tile flooring for rooms on the north side of your house will help keep your home cool in summer.

Include additional insulation as a barrier to heat flow – your home will stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Keep in mind the size and efficiency of your windows – strategic window placement can help with the heating and cooling of your home. We recommend larger windows on the north side of the home and smaller windows to the west to avoid the hot afternoon sun. You can also ask your building about the Window Energy Rating (WERs) of the windows proposed.

Place your living areas to the north – this will help maximise the amount of natural light throughout the year.

Appropriately position eaves or awnings (shade sails, pergolas and shutters) especially on the north side – this will help shade your rooms from the hot summer sun which is at a higher angle in the sky.

Seal your home against air leakage through the placement of draught seals at windows, doorways and other openings – unsealed windows and doors can account for 15-25% winter heat loss.

Choose an efficient hot water system to reduce your energy bills. We recommend either a heat pump hot water system or gas boosted solar hot water system. If you opt for an electric hot water system, then choosing an induction cooktop will also remove the cost and requirement for a gas connection.

Consider induction hot plate – from an energy efficiency point of view, induction provides the most efficient distribution of heat and can be powered by your solar system.

For appliances like dishwashers and air conditioners, aim for good energy performance. These may cost more upfront but will save you lots in the long term. We recommend:
🗲 Aiming for a WELS 3.5 stars or higher and EER 3.5 stars or higher dishwasher.
🗲 Aiming for an EER and COP of 3 or higher for your Air conditioner, based on the climate zone of Perth. These ratings measure the efficiency of the air conditioner’s ability to heat and cool.

For the innovators, we also recommend thinking about how your garage might accommodate future advancement in technology. Things like a dedicated single or three-phase charger for an electric vehicle or consideration for the location of a household battery, are great things to consider in the design stage so your home is ready for the future!

By taking advantage of the climate and energy efficient ideas through these tips, you can maximise energy savings, enjoy the natural light, stay cool in summer and warm in winter! To find out more information, we recommend visiting the Australian Government website, Your Home, which has plenty of information on how to build an efficient and sustainable home.
References:

Commonwealth of Australia, 2013 available at: https://www.yourhome.gov.au/energy

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