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5 Tips for an Energy Efficient Renovation

Posted on 15 May 2015

So you’ve found your renovator’s delight and are sitting down ready to design your dream home. While you may have grand plans and a scrapbook full of ideas, have you thought about how energy efficient your renovation will be?
With all new home constructions, renovations, alterations and additions needing to comply with the National Construction Code 6 Star Standard these days, the energy efficiency of your design will need to be considered.

So what things do you need to think about? Let’s take a look.


1.    Orientation

If your renovation includes an extension, positioning it to take advantage of natural sunlight can save on your household energy costs. Double glazing and the type of wall and floor construction will also affect the passive heating and cooling capabilities of your home. Even if you are only renovating a room or two, you can still make a difference with the window coverings you choose, and even by thinking about your backyard. Consider removing plantings that block the winter sun, and positioning trees that shade your home from the harsh summer sun.

2.    Insulation

Good insulation, combined with other design elements, reduces the need for additional heating and cooling, and provides a much more comfortable and energy efficient building. Insulation may vary in composition, and can be made of wool, cellulose, glass wool and polyester. The insulation you choose will depend on the climate zone you’re in.

3.    Energy efficient lighting

Australia is undergoing a phase-out of inefficient incandescent light bulbs and there is now a great selection of more energy efficient lighting to choose from. With lighting representing around 12% of home energy costs, taking advantage of natural daylight where possible and choosing not only the most efficient globes but the right positioning can be a huge factor for most homes in saving on power.

4.    Double glazed windows

The amount of heat loss in your home can be significantly reduced by using double or triple glazed windows.
Statistics now show that in comparison to single glazed aluminium windows, double glazing can reduce heat loss or gain by almost 30%. It is also recommended that the gap between the two pieces of glass be at least 12mm and filled with Argon gas for the maximum energy efficiency. And although the initial outlay may be more expensive, the reductions in your heating and cooling costs are likely to make up for it in the long term.

5.    Solar panels

Solar PV systems generate electricity for your household use, and additional or excess energy feeds back into the grid. So with a highly energy efficient solar home, you could even make some money back! It is important to get a qualified and experienced contractor who will sit down with you and determine the best needs for your renovation, and to work out what type of solar panelling is the right choice.

Considering the energy efficiency of your design should be a priority when planning a renovation. Not only can it save you money on your energy bills, it can also add value to your home.

In the market for a new home to renovate? Make sure you get it checked out wherever you are with pest and building inspections in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, or on the Gold Coast. Even if you’re renovating, you want to make sure that the structure of the building is solid, and that you have a good foundation to work from in creating your new home.


By Darel McBride


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