Design your dream home to impress for less – less energy costs that is. How? It’s easier than you think, quite literally as easy as changing the curtains. For starters, just throw out those old outdated drapes and use high quality fabrics that provide cool temperature. Do the same with the rest of your upholstery and feel the difference. There are a lot of design dos and don’ts but these eight design ideas lead you to a more energy-efficient home design.
1. Choose your Fabrics
Fabrics, especially curtains, are always in fashion. They’re the easiest way to dress up a room. Whatever the season, stylish curtains are consistent energy-savers. Fully-lined curtains keep out cold air during the winter. And, they do the same for both light and heat when it’s summer. With a room that’s neither too chilly nor too warm, you are less likely to use the heater or air con.
2. Figure out your flooring
Unlike tiles, concrete floors are known to absorb heat and retain it. Unless the temperature drastically drops, floors remain relatively warm. Also available in patterns and other decorative styles, concrete floors need not be boring. Just add to the warmth with thick area rugs, preferably made of wool. These comfy floor accents will keep your feet warm and toasty without having to turn on the heater.
3. Color it Right
Colour is an expression of your personal style. But when it comes to reducing energy costs, there are colour Do’s and Don’ts. For both exteriors and interiors, cooler shades are more favourable than darker shades. Cooler shades reflect light while darker pigments absorb heat. What’s more? Lighter-colour walls have been found to reduce interior lighting costs. After all, it’s easier to illuminate a room with pastel walls than dark ones. Still not convinced? Think of it this way, you are your home and the paint is your shirt. Would you wear a black shirt on a hot day? Of course not! So, don’t paint your house in a dark shade.
4. Keep it Cool Up there
To save on energy, it’s not just enough to keep a roof above your head. You need to keep that roof cool as well. “Cool Roofs” are the next big thing in energy-saving. Designed to reflect sunlight, these roofs don’t retain as much heat as regular roofing. Both literally and figuratively cooler, these modern-day marvels help lower interior temperatures. Ideal for tropical counties, “cool roofs” are available as tiles, shingles, and paint.
5. Ways to Illuminate
Ever wanted a skylight? Now, you have a good enough reason to have one. Skylights are not only great for letting in natural light, they likewise contribute to better heating and ventilation.
As for night-time and not so bright days, be sure to invest in energy-saving lights. Switch out incandescent bulbs for fluorescent lights. Quality fluorescents last longer than ordinary bulbs. That’s short-term and long-term savings for you.
6. “Window” Shopping
Really good windows don’t just let you glimpse the outside. They also keep things from getting out or in. Depending on how your window was built, what materials were used and even its colours, windows contribute to lessening heat loss or in keeping cold air from entering your house. Vinyl, wood and fibreglass frames are generally heat-resistant while various glazing, tints and coatings may help increase the performance and function of your windows.
7. Choose your doors wisely
In lowering heating as well as cooling costs, insulation is definitely a major factor. But not just walls or windows contribute to overall insulation, doors do so to. If you’re redesigning your home in instalments, a good initial investment is a brand new door. Just make sure that the one you’ll get has a foam insulation and weather-stripping.
8. Stars do matter
How many appliances do you have in the house? Sure, you only use each for a couple of minutes every day. But minutes add up. So, it’s important that you pay attention to Energy Star ratings. The better the rating, the more energy-efficient the item, the more you save.
When it comes down to it, everything in your home can be designed to save energy. But take note, energy-saving options are likewise dependent on factors such as climate. So, consult an expert for your particular needs. As prices continue to skyrocket, the first step to saving is being certain.