Install efficient fittings
THAT’S partly because government regulation dictates that all new homes must meet a minimum six-star energy rating, and partly because builders have a better understanding of sustainable design.
In fact, earlier this year, design and build company The Sociable Weaver built Victoria’s first ten-star property, a four-bedroom display home in Cape Peterson that self-heats and self-cools using passive solar design, cross ventilation and heavy-duty insulation.
Constructing an 8-star home will, however, generally add around 3.6% to the total cost of your build.
But the result is a more comfortable home that could save you more than 40% in heating and cooling costs.
Of course, you don’t have to build from scratch to benefit from the recent advances made in eco-friendly design.
It’s possible to retro-fit many energy efficient features, such as ceiling insulation, water-efficient shower heads, and LED or compact fluorescent lights.
Whether you choose to build new or upgrade your existing abode, here are five simple ways to make your home more energy efficient: point and exits at another.
The best cross ventilation is achieved by opening windows or doors on opposite sides of your home, so the breeze can flow freely directly through the home. In new homes, higher ceilings, wide entry halls, and sliding stacker doors or bi-folds also provide a greater volume of space for air to circulate.
Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme makes it easy to compare the water efficiency of different products.
When choosing your toilet, appliances, shower heads, and mixers, look for fittings that have a high WELS rating. A 3-star rated shower head only uses around 6-7 litres of water per minute, while regular shower heads can use up to 25 litres per minute.
Light fittings should also be compact fluorescent lamps or LEDs.