Housing of the Future: How to Build an Eco-Friendly and Energy-Efficient Home


When building a house, homeowners of today want to make sure their new homes are both cost-effective and environmentally-friendly. They wish to save money in the future and save the environment now. If you’re interested to make your future home eco-friendly and energy-efficient, here are some of the best tips for this type of building.

First things first: location

Even though it’s hard to be very picky here, there are some things about the location of your new home that you can influence. For instance, avoid orienting your home to the west, which will keep your home cool and without sunlight. However, if you can choose, make sure not to build your home in a disaster-prone area with frequent hurricanes, floods or earthquakes. Also, it would be ideal to live in a neighborhood with ample public transport and shopping spots so you can minimize travel time and reduce pollution.

Size matters

You can employ every known energy-saving technique and use only the most sustainable materials, but if your home is huge, it will still have a big environmental impact. It will take much more material to build it, energy to keep the optimal temperature, and chemicals to keep it clean. So, unless you really need a big house, it’s better to opt for a smaller square footage.

Insulate for the win

Since we spend around 50% of all energy consumed in a home on heating and cooling, having a good insulation is very important if you wish to reduce your energy waste. Make sure your new home is airtight, especially around windows, doors and ductwork. Proper insulation will bring your energy consumption down, save you money and make life in your new home much more pleasant and quieter.

Use appropriate building materials

If you really want to have an eco-friendly home, then you must use appropriate materials. Concrete is always a good choice since it’s actually quite environmentally-friendly and easy to produce. Also, it can be made on site, so no long transport time is necessary. Concrete can be a bit cold, but if you live in a warmer climate like Australia’s, it might be the perfect choice for you. Just contact some Sydney formwork experts who will offer you the best advice and make sure you end up with a beautiful home.

Energy Star appliances

Getting energy-saving appliances is just as important as good home structure. So, when shopping to equip your home, make sure to choose Energy Star appliances. They use much less energy and water, and can significantly boost your energy savings.

Efficient HVAC systems

Energy Star HVAC systems are based on the design of your home. They are much more effective and help you save energy and money. However, make sure to hire an expert installer so that your system can perform to its full capacity. Another way to reduce heating and cooling costs is to get a smart thermostat. This little gadget can find the optimal temperature for your home and turn the system on and off to reduce energy waste. Also, try setting it one degree lower in the winter and higher in the summer. You will not notice the difference, but your energy bill will.

Save water

Saving water is just as important and quite simple with today’s gadgets and technology. Investing in low flow faucets, toilets and showerheads is an easy way to reduce water waste and make your home eco-friendly.

Choose energy-efficient lighting

Traditional light bulbs might be cheap, but their lifespan is short and they use up a lot of energy. On the other hand, LEDs and CFLs might cost more upfront, but they last longer and use less energy.

Go solar

If you want to take your energy-conservation up a notch, you can install solar energy systems on your roof. Solar energy is at its all-time high today. Systems are much cheaper and efficient than before, so it might be the perfect time to go solar. Harnessing the sun’s energy is a considerable investment in the beginning, but it will bring down your energy costs and supply your home with clean and renewable energy. The initial costs will return to you in about 20 years. However, it’s good for the environment from the second you install it.

Collect rainwater

Besides the sun, you can also use other elements for your benefit. For instance, harvesting rainwater can also help conserve water and bring your bills down. The water you collect can be stored and used for flushing toilets, washing your car and watering your landscaping.

Don’t forget the landscaping

The proper use of landscaping can also help in making your home more eco-friendly. Big leafy trees and shrubs can protect your home from direct sunlight in the summer, reducing your cooling costs. Once the winter comes and the leaves fall down, sunlight will reach your home and provide you with extra heat. The orientation of your landscaping is quite important. Make sure to plant trees on the southern and western side to make the best use of the sun’s energy.

By designing your home to be eco-friendly and energy-efficient, you’re not only saving money and energy, but also protecting our environment and giving future generation a chance to see all the beauties of our planet Earth.

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