According to the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation & Science, 40 percent of energy used in the average Australian home is dedicated to cooling or heating.
At various times of the year, many homes require the use of heating and cooling to maintain a comfortable living environment. The costs that come in hand with heating and cooling can be minimized with effective and affordable solutions as follows:
Eaves help shade walls and windows naturally and efficiently from the high angle of the summer sun keeping your home cooler.
Eaves work particularly well on the north side of a home, providing effective summer shading whist in the colder months letting the winter sun in. This occurs as the winter sun is at a lower angle than the summer sun and reaches under the eaves.
Eaves can be beneficial to the west of a property too where we can experience the hot afternoon sun and strong weather conditions. They can provide additional waterproofing and prevent paint from cracking and fading in the sun. Without eaves, you may need to consider additions like adjustable window shutters/awnings to keep your home comfortable.
Glass is ideal for letting natural light into a home although renowned for losing or letting in heat. Because the sun moves across the sky throughout the day, careful glass/window placement during design is a must for obtaining optimal energy efficiency.
Glass windows facing north are perfect providing lots of warmth to your home from the winter sun. Glass facing east or west can overheat in summer, so adjustable shading is required. This can be provided in forms of internal and/or external window furnishings. Glass windows facing south get little to no direct sunlight which can make a home cold; warm up the space with curtains and pelmets.
A popular and effective glass product used to increase energy efficiency is the double glazed window system. Comprising of two panes of glass and separated by a spacer then filled with air or gas, you can obtain improved solar and acoustic insulation. The use of argon gas filled systems can improve a home’s energy rating by over 30%.
Although you don’t see it, you’ll feel the impact of good insulation every day. Your home will be quieter and more comfortable plus you’ll save money on energy bills. The right level of insulation for your home depends on your climate but generally the more the better. The higher the ‘R value’ the better the insulation.
For more ideas on increasing the energy efficiency of your home, read here.