Important Factors That Can Determine Your Residential Energy Rating
Over the past few years in Australia, there has been a strong push to improve energy efficiency across commercial industries and in the home as well. Not only do such measures allow us to more readily conserve valuable natural resources but they lessen the negative impact on the environment and climate change. There are now strict energy efficiency requirements in place for new homes and additions; the building authority simply won’t give you a permit if your plans fail to meet these standards.
This article will take a closer look at three of the most important considerations that you can plan for to help make your home as energy efficient as possible.
The orientation of the house refers to which direction it faces, which parts of the house the sun hits during the day and so on. This can determine how well the house is able to be heated and cooled through the months of the year and can help keep the home as weather resistant as possible. It is considered a cheap way to ensure you have a strong foundation for an energy efficient home.
As a general rule with Australia’s weather and climate, it’s a good idea to have bedrooms facing south and living areas facing north. Further, having a lot of east to west facing windows can be problematic in terms of keeping the home cool. The Australian summer sun can be quite strong, meaning you need to think about what material are exposed to the sun in the summertime. Window glazing should be facing north for example, or you should consider double glazing/applying proper shading.
One of the most important factors determining the energy efficiency of your home is related to the insulation. A well insulated home will remain warm for longer as heat is kept inside more effectively and is less expensive to cool also, using far less energy. An important part of insulation is air sealing, which helps the process. It’s wise to plan to insulate your home from the roof down, the exterior walls and the floors to maximise energy efficiency. Every home is different and how much insulation is needed will depend on a host of factors, including the aforementioned orientation of the house, its size and the size of individual rooms.
The energy efficient systems and tools that you utilise in your home can be a big factor as well. This can include water saving and collecting features, your use of portable heaters, use of energy efficient lighting, the quality of your appliances and even your use of carpeting and rugs. Further, for maximum energy efficiency, going all electrical is highly recommended. With effective solar hot water systems available, it is possible to do without gas which reduces your environmental footprint significantly.
Residential energy efficiency is a wide ranging and difficult. In this article, we’ve discussed just a couple of the important factors that come into the equation, however there are many more. In the coming months, we’ll be discussing other tips that can ensure you achieve a high residential energy rating.