With pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases increasing, energy efficiency has never been more important. So if you’re building a home or are thinking of renovating, you’ll want to start thinking of ways to make your home sustainable. Not only is it better for the environment, but it can also help you save money in the long-run.
Here are our 5 tips on how to build a sustainable, eco-friendly home.
1. Choose non-toxic building materials.
When choosing materials for your new build, look out for natural materials that are non-toxic. This can include natural lumber, clay paster, and mortar. You’ll want to chat with your builder about the materials they are planning to use, and ensure it is non-toxic. Keep an eye out for the Environmental Choice tick of approval – it’s New Zealand’s eco-labelling programme. It’s also a great idea to source your materials locally to help reduce the negative environmental impact of transporting them.
2. Insulate your home
Investing in good insulation can save you money on energy costs by reducing the amount of heat that escapes your home. A poorly insulated home can be cold, damp and expensive to heat. So you’ll want to ensure you choose a company that has quality insulation materials that will help reduce your heating and cooling costs drastically.
3. Install double-glazed windows
Homes generally lose 10% of their heat through windows and doors. Installing double glazed windows can reduce this heat loss, keeping your home warmer, and again, reducing those energy bills!
4. Select appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings
Another factor to consider when building a new home is the appliances you choose to install. From your oven, microwave, fridge and freezer, it’s a good idea to select appliances that have a high energy efficiency rating. The label is rated with stars, and each start means a 10% saving in running costs. If you’re renovating your current home and already have your appliances sorted, you can start somewhere small – like swapping your regular light bulbs to eco bulbs.
5. Utilise the sun
When planning the layout of your house, you’ll want to design it in a way to maximise natural sunlight. This will help reduce the use of artificial lighting, and lower energy costs. There are a number solar-powered options that may work for your home. Such as solar water-heating and solar panels. Utilising the sun means you’ll be sourcing more energy naturally rather than through electricity and energy.
With these 5 pointers under your belt, you’ll be ready to start making sustainable decisions for your new home.
For advice on insulation, give us a call, we’d be happy to chat!