Energy Efficient House Design: Features and Benefits

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Wind power was the spark that ignited the industrial revolution more than two centuries ago, and ever since then, the world hasn’t turned its back on renewable energy. However, it all boils down to energy efficiency. These days it’s not just about maintaining industrial output and staying ahead of market demand. Energy efficient house design is the new era of energy use because of these factors:

Having an energy efficient home;

  • saves you money,
  • it’s good for the environment,
  • it improves the overall quality of your life,
  • And -owing to thermal regulation- translates to better appliance performance.

History Always Repeats Itself
When solar panels made their maiden appearance on the energy arena, a lot of people didn’t give them a chance. “You’ll need a battery the size of a football field to store all that energy,” people would say. Fast forward a few decades later and solar energy is the primary fuel sustaining the space satellites that are at the centre of our world’s communication infrastructure.

Now, we’ll take a look at the different types and features of an energy efficient house design.

The Passive Design Model
Passive design is a construction concept that can be applied by anyone. This design considers the climate and site conditions to maintain a comfortable temperature range in the home. Proponents of the passive design look to incorporate the existing environment ‘as is’ -location, climate etc- in any remodeling plans meant to boost your home’s energy efficiency. It’s as basic as drilling a borehole if the water table is high enough or simply replacing tiles with solar roofing material.

Thermal Mass
Thermal mass measures and determines the amount of heat required to heat a solid substance. In construction, materials like brick, concrete and tiles are said to have a high thermal mass. This means that they require a lot more energy to change their core temperature than your ordinary wood. Thermal mass can be used to cool a house by absorbing heat during the day and can then be cooled over night by allowing a cool night breeze to flow through the house.

The Need to Adapt: Insulate!
When it comes to insulation you should always remember that heat is lost through windows, walls, floors and even the roof. Insulation serves one purpose: to prevent heat from escaping the home. Thermal resistance value (R-value) is the yardstick for insulation ability. The higher the R-value rating, the better the material’s ability to retain heat. Adjustments should be decided on the basis of the current situation. For example, white is a good heat reflector whilst black is the direct opposite, it absorbs. We’re not suggesting that you paint your house black. However, darker shades increase your R-value.

The Benefits Are Endless
There are a million and one reasons why an energy efficient home is a must have. You save money on energy costs. You increase the value of your property. On top of all that, the quality of your life will improve significantly.

Finally, like they say, “It’s never what you do, but how it’s done”. Improvements of this nature should only be handled by professionals. It’s a once-off expense that should last you a lifetime. So take your time and don’t cut corners no matter what. Good luck 🙂


Author:  Justin Jersey

2017-08-23T12:21:45+00:00 June 21st, 2017|Energy Efficiency, Home Tips, Maintenance, Management, Renovations|0 Comments

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