Your friends are calling you and you run out, locking the doors, but forgetting to turn off the lights, fans and geyser. You don’t care as you can pay for the electricity bill. Two kilometers down the road, there is a slum and the people are burning plastic, wood and tyres for some light and warmth. Don’t you think that the energy that you are wasting in your home could have been invested better here, so that poor people would’t have to burn anything and increase the carbon emission? With energy production on a downward spiral and its demand increasing day by day, it makes sense that we use as less of it as possible. In our day-to-day life, we use energy without even giving a thought to where it goes. We forget that the energy we use so luxuriously is produced with a considerable harm to the environment. If we use less of energy, we would be minimizing the dangerous destruction that is being caused to the environment. After all, our survival depends on the survival of the ecology and we must do our utmost to protect it. The first step towards this would be an energy efficient home. Imagine a house that stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but uses minimum electricity. Think of the amount of energy that can be thus saved and diverted towards other uses. So, if you are now looking for an energy efficient home design, check out the tips that follow.
Designing An Energy Efficient House
- Research is of utmost importance. This will help you to determine if you need a more cooling option or a heating one. You can also determine the type of materials to use, by taking into account the extreme weather and the length of seasons.
- To insulate your house from heat or cold, seal its thermal envelope. Separate the living area from the outside space, by constructing energy efficient doors and windows. Make sure that the design and construction errors are minimal, as these allow in the heat as well as the chill.
- Insulate your house by increasing its R-value (the thermal resistance of a building). The ceiling should have an R-value of about 50, so that the heat does not escape from inside the house. Fill the walls with either fiber glass or foam to keep an R-value of 20 for the rooms. Even the floor should have an R-value of 20.
- A sealed house, with athermal envelope, is very efficient, so it is very important to control the ventilation. It is better to use energy recovery ventilators to transfer fresh air and retain the temperature of the air inside the house.
- Make sure that the foundation walls are insulated, so that it does not impact the energy efficiency of the house negatively. Place all heat generating appliances in the basement.