Ways to Increase Your Home's Energy Efficiency When Building
If you are building a new home, investing in energy efficient fixtures and installations is a smart idea, not only to help reduce ongoing energy costs but also to increase the home's resale value. Home buyers are increasingly attracted to homes with a high energy efficiency rating (EER), such that even a one-star increase in a new home's EER can lead to an increase in the home's selling price. Read on to find out more about three ways you can inexpensively increase the EER of your new home.
Plug air leaks
Most Australian homes suffer from unwanted draughts, and the increased heating and cooling required to maintain the temperature in draughty homes can cause an increase in household energy costs.
To avoid air leaks in your new home, ensure your builder fills any gaps or cracks around doors, skirting boards and skylights before you move in. Exhaust fans are also a common entry point for unwanted draughts, so ensure that the fan you select has an automatic closer fitted to seal off the air when the fan is not in use. These quick fixes are relatively inexpensive but could deliver large savings on your electricity bill.
Don't skimp on insulation. The effectiveness of home insulation products is determined by their R-value, a measure of how well the insulation protects against heat loss. Insulation with a low R-value may be cheaper to install, but in the long run, the increased energy costs will far outweigh the initial savings.
To achieve an EER of six stars, a home's roof insulation must have a minimum R-value of 4.1 and its wall insulation a minimum of 2.8, depending on the climate zone the house is located in and the materials used in its construction.
Choose double-glazed windows. Single-glazed windows let in heat during summer and allow warmth to escape during winter. Double-glazed windows are twice as energy efficient as their single-glazed equivalents, and in many cases, window films can be added later to further increase their efficiency.
The glazing required to achieve a six-star EER varies by climate zone, so to find out the requirements for your area, check with the Australian Building Codes Board, or ask your builder for advice.
A custom home provides an excellent opportunity to have energy-efficient fixtures installed in your home, as these installations are generally much more expensive when carried out on a completed home. By taking into account these three tips, you can help increase the EER of your home, help reduce your household energy costs and potentially increase your home's resale value.