Your Guide to a Budget-Friendly Energy -Efficient Homes

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I am considering building a house but am on a tight budget. I want to ensure my home is as comfortable as possible on cold and hot summer days. Is it expensive to make my home energy efficient?
Not at all! The key to building an energy-efficient home is all about design. The correct placement of your different rooms, windows, and doors will help make your home as comfortable as possible all year round with little to no upgrades.
If you are starting your journey and haven’t picked a block of land yet, try to choose one that will allow your main living areas to face north.
One of the best ways to reduce your heating bills in the wintertime is to have windows and doors that face north. The northern glass allows the sun to naturally warm the home, which goes a long way to keep your bills down.
As your dining, kitchen, and living areas need the most cooling and heating energy to stay comfortable, designing your home with these areas to the north is a great way to make the home more efficient for little to no added cost.
It’s not just about the glass to the north, though; choosing which direction the rest of your windows face significantly impacts the home’s efficiency. Out of all the orientations, windows facing south provide no thermal benefit to the home and only serve as a way for energy to be lost out of the house through the glass. Avoid placing any windows to bedrooms and living areas to the south and keep southern windows to the wet areas if possible.

I have installed a roof-top solar system in my home. Will this help make it more energy efficient?
Unfortunately, no. Installing a solar system in your home will help offset your energy bills if you schedule your appliances to operate during the day as much as possible. Still, it won’t make the home more structurally efficient.
As the aim of making your home more energy efficient is to reduce the number of times you feel the need to turn on the air-conditioning or gas heater to be comfortable, the solar system wouldn’t help. The more efficient your home is, the less you’ll think about heating it in winter or cooling it down when it’s hot outside.

My house is almost 25 years old, and it’s always hot late afternoons making it too unbearable to not turn on the air-conditioning at night. What else can I do to reduce costs or make my home more energy efficient?
There are a few practical steps that you can take to make your home more comfortable. If upgrading windows is out of your budget, tinting the windows and doors that are causing the biggest issues is a great way to cut out much of the unwanted solar heat gain from the glass. Not only does the tint reduce harmful UV light, but it also significantly reduces the heat gain through direct sunlight coming into the home. This goes a long way towards taking the ‘sting’ out of the hot afternoon sun.
Installing tint might not always be the best option, though, and it can sometimes make rooms that are cold even colder. If you feel that your room is too cold, going for a different film, called a ‘Low-E’ film, maybe the way to go.
A Low-E film is essentially the opposite of a tint film. While tint film is fantastic at blocking the heat coming into a home through direct sunlight, a Low-E film is excellent at allowing this heat to go into the home. Once in the home, the film acts as a barrier to the warm air -reducing any heat loss through the glass; making it more comfortable when it gets cold outside.

I have a newly built home, but it’s still freezing early mornings; I thought I built an energy-efficient home?
Several options are available when assessing homes for energy efficiency. These include Deemed-to-Satisfy, Performance Solution, and, widely considered the gold standard, a NatHERS Assessment. Each method has different ‘real-world’ outcomes and will result in various comfort levels in the home depending on which one was used to achieve compliance.
You may be experiencing a cold home in the morning for several reasons, from large windows and doors to overshadowing by surrounding trees and buildings.
One of the best ways to see the areas of concern in your home is to have a NatHERS Assessment done.
Unlike the Deemed-to-Satisfy or a Performance Solution, a NatHERS Assessment models everything in the home, from windows, walls, doors, floor coverings, even colours and how many windows open. We then used CSIRO climactic data to model the home’s exact location.
This lets us see exactly how each room performs, so we can provide targeted solutions to make the home as comfortable as possible.

Energy Advance is one of the only energy assessment companies in Australia that have been awarded ISO Accreditation for Quality Management (ISO 9001:2015), Occupational Health and Safety (ISO 45001: 2018), and Environmental Management Systems (ISO 14001:2015).
We are considered specialists in our field and have the best team of people to provide you with the best energy efficiency solutions possible. | 1300 850 228

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