6 Creative Ideas for Energy-Efficient Home Design
By: John | Date Posted: December 28, 2021
Energy-Efficient Home Design
Greener living was once considered a trend, but now it’s working its way to becoming mainstream.
There are endless ways to make your home more sustainable and just as many benefits to it, some of them being reduced energy cost, lower carbon footprint, and better overall health.
That is why we compiled this list of 6 great ways you can make your home design more energy-efficient.
Plants have some amazing benefits such as improving the air quality and filtering damaging toxins out of the air. People who surround themselves with greenery tend to experience improvements in both physical and mental health.
Living greenery can be part of sustainable home design in some quite creative ways, and having a green roof is one of the most popular trends of its kind. Living roofs consist of different types of flowers, grass, and shrubs, planted on a water-retaining layer. They are eco-friendly, highly energy-efficient, and beautiful at the same time. Living walls are another option to include more greenery in your home design. Green wall systems are quite convenient since they can be added to any wall surface.
There hardly is a home decor statement element better than the one that makes the indoor and outdoor spaces blend together. Elements such as large decorative windows, sliding glass doors and windows, or giant single-panes are ideal solutions to make your home and garden look like one.
Including glass surfaces in your home design has other perks, too. It increases natural lighting, makes the room feel more spacious, and creates a more tangible connection with the surrounding nature. If you decide to opt for large windows, make sure you pay attention to energy efficiency since you don’t want to create conditions for the heat to escape easily.
If there is a place in your garden that collects a lot of rainwater, building a rain garden would be a great idea. Rain gardens provide several benefits not only for homeowners but for the environment, too. When properly designed and planted, they serve as a natural way to absorb runoff water. This way, you’re reducing the amount of water that enters the sewer system together with all the chemicals it picks up along the way.
Another interesting perk of installing a rain garden is mosquito prevention in the backyard because having a natural absorption point for all the extra water makes it harder for mosquitos and other pests to find a breeding ground in low-lying areas of the lawn.
Natural materials are used more and more for the decoration of walls, ceilings, and floors. Decorating with sustainable materials is beneficial for the environment, but it also improves the quality of life of people living in such spaces since items from natural sources produce fewer toxic gasses.
If you decide to renovate, it is a good idea to look for eco-friendly materials. Nowadays, you can easily find 3D panels made of natural woods, glass elements for decor and furniture, naturally-colored metals, stone counters, as well as many different plant-based materials. You can even find rugs made using natural resources such as hemp, jute, or wool. Pay special attention to wallpaper, since many of them are made with vinyl, a material that is not environmentally safe.
Using a smart thermostat can help reduce both your heating and cooling costs by up to 15%. The device works by learning your habits and adjusting the temperature accordingly. For example, if 11 p.m. is the time when you normally lower the temperature, the thermostat will start doing that for you automatically. You can also control the device through an app, even when you’re not home. That way you can be in charge of cooling and heating even when your plans unexpectedly change.
You can also add automation to your home lighting. If you install motion sensors and dimmer switches, the lights will turn off automatically whenever you leave the room.
Just like a green roof, a cool roof can provide your home with insulation and can keep your energy efficiency on a higher level. These roofs protect your home against solar heat gains and can keep an entire house and the attic space cool. Great products for designing and constructing a cool roof should have a thermal mass that will reflect the sunlight, such as slate, clay, or tile. And the benefits of such roofs include lower energy bills, a longer roof’s service life, and much better indoor comfort.
Your home’s entry points can easily drain its energy use if not properly insulated. Checking your windows and doors for insulation could help you save a lot of money long-term. Windows, for example, have been improved a lot over the years and you may want to replace older ones with extra panes, storm windows, or maybe even gas-filled ones, all depending on the climate you live in. You can also check the fit of your windows and doors and make sure there are no air leaks.
Every home should have proper ventilation systems, so make sure to leave enough room for the HVAC, cold air returns, thermostats, and radiators. These will be your house’s respiratory system, so make sure not to block them with a sofa, couch, or any bulky furniture. All the vents should be exposed and able to direct the air to the middle of the room. This will ensure energy-efficient heating and cooling of your home, and if the vents have enough room to work towards your room, the bills will be lower and you won’t be wasting any energy.
If you are looking to save energy in your home, start with the little things. Analyze its weak spots and find the ones you can easily improve. Making your home more energy-efficient may seem like a lot of work, but if you turn just a few of our ideas into reality, you’ll be well on your way to realizing that green home of the future.
Thank you for reading!