Building an energy efficient home
Today, more homes than ever are being designed and built in a bid
to make them more environmentally friendly with the aim of reducing greenhouse emissions and water
consumption. In fact, our social tendency to greater size and affluence has created houses that demand more
than the environment can provide. Residential energy use accounts for 16% of U.S greenhouse gas emissions.
However, low-tech, pragmatic techniques will maximise your home's efficiency. Installing those systems from the
ground up is cheaper than retrofitting. Just by doing some simple things you can drastically reduce energy costs. A
well-designed, compact energy efficient home might mean a new home could take a bit
longer to build and it could cost more, too -- but the long-term environmental savings are priceless. By adopting
more environmentally friendly measures your energy efficient home will be more
comfortable to live in and less costly to run.
Getting Started in Home Automation (Lighting and Appliance Control)
Some examples include things like insulating the garage, attic and basement and protecting windows from the
sun's rays with large overhangs and double-pane glass.
Hot energy saving examples: One of the hottest things in household energy savings is the
compact fluorescent lightbulb, a funny looking swirl that fits most into standard sockets. Another example is to
use the most efficient washing machine you can find and dry your clothes the natural way by hanging them on a
Ask for an energy audit: How green is your house ? A home energy
audit, which most utility providers will do free of charge, will tell you the amount of power your household
consumes and what you can do to reduce it.
Check the label: Energy Star, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will help you find
approved products thereby reducing your utility bills.l
Some of the things you may have to think about include:
* Use native plants in the garden to cut water use. Landscaping that uses less water.
* Install a rainwater tank for watering the garden and toilet flushing.
* Fit water-efficient showerheads, taps and dual-flush toilets.
* Avoid an overshadowed building site to allow natural light and warmth.
* Ensure ceiling, walls and roof are well insulated.
* For natural ventilation, make sure opposite and adjacent walls have openings of some kind.
* Shade windows with eaves.
* Choose a light colour for the roof.
* Fit ceiling fans.
* Insalling skylights to bring in natural light.
* Swap some standard light globes for halogens.
* Installation of a solar hot water system
*Passive solar designed homes
* Rooftop solar panels to generate electricity
* Energy efficient fittings
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