3 Must-Know Tips for Building an Energy-Efficient Home

Posted on: 18 August 2021


Your home is more about your lifestyle and less about your taste. What's more, building a new home can be a costly affair, so it's always best to ensure nothing goes wrong by making the right decisions. Energy efficiency is among the many things worth considering when building a house. A home built for energy efficiency comes with many benefits. Reduced energy bills, cheaper insurance, higher property value, increased comfort, and better air quality are just a few of the many ways you will gain from an energy-efficient home. Therefore, if you plan to build a new home, here are quick tips to make it energy-efficient.

Site Selection

Your home's location will make a significant difference in how energy efficient it can be. Keep solar access in mind when thinking about your home's location because it plays a crucial role in your energy costs. You will want sufficient sunlight in your home. Therefore, choose a location that won't obstruct the sun. With enough natural light in your home's mainly used areas like the bedrooms, living rooms and kitchen, you will rely less on artificial lighting during the day. Your home's location will also determine the amount of solar heat gain, but this will depend hugely on its orientation.

Home Orientation

How you choose to orient your home plays a crucial role in your home's heating and cooling expenses. You must be careful to choose the ideal orientation for your climate. If you live in a cold region, you will want to maximise solar heat gain. On the other hand, maximum natural shading is the goal for warm climates. Generally, north orientation is ideal for climates that need winter heating. North-facing windows and walls tend to receive more solar radiation during winter. Therefore, if you live in a hot or mixed climate, you should orient the longer walls of your house to the north. Doing this will maximise sun exposure in winter while minimising it in winter.

Proper orientation is essential because doing it improperly can result in overheating in summer and insufficient sun in winter. In both cases, you will need to rely more on your heating and cooling system, further increasing your energy bills. Therefore, work with your home builder to determine the ideal orientation for your home.

Thermal Mass Materials

The materials you choose for your home will also determine its energy efficiency. Therefore, go for high thermal mass materials to enhance your home's energy efficiency. High thermal mass materials like thick plaster, concrete, tile and brick absorb and store large quantities of heat while releasing it slowly. Therefore, they are ideal for hot climates that tend to have significant daily temperature swings.