How to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency & Its Importance.

Homes that prioritise energy efficiency not only contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also offer numerous benefits to homeowners. These eco-friendly homes are designed with green building practices and incorporate technologies that minimise energy consumption and maximise resource efficiency.

What are the Current Energy Efficiency Standards? 

With fossil fuels becoming more and more stretched and as a result more costly, energy efficiency in construction, especially when it comes to homes and workplaces is becoming somewhat of a trend. This April saw a change in MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) and EPC regulations to ensure higher minimum standards for sustainability when it comes to living spaces. This change now means that properties for rental must achieve an EPC of at least an E with this being predicted to go up to a C by 2030. 

Whilst many new-build properties take energy efficiency into account as part of their design, even if your home isn’t a new build, there are ways you can improve overall energy efficiency and take a step toward a more sustainable living space. 

How Can I Improve the Energy Efficiency of My Home?

  • Insulation 

As Design Studio Architects have covered in our post ‘The Benefits of Sustainable Insulation for UK Homes’, Insulation can go a long way to making your home more sustainable and energy efficient. 

Whether using natural, recycled or high-performance insulators like Aerogel, choosing the right insulation for your build project (or simply replacing your existing insulation with one of the above alternatives) can help improve energy efficiency and help reduce running costs.

  • Air Sealing  

Air sealing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Simply put it reduces the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home.

Air seals at strategic points around the building prevent drafts from entering your home through gaps and cracks around windows and doors, while also preventing heat from leaking out through these vulnerable points. 

Through a strategic design approach to air sealing, you will avoid the issue that many properties have of having one or two cold rooms that are expensive to heat, and make it easier to keep your property uniformly comfortable throughout the year.

  • Ventilation 

Good ventilation is essential to keep the air quality in your home consistently high by allowing fresh air into your home while expelling stale air. 

Without purposefully designed ventilation, the only way to achieve this is by physically opening windows or doors, which isn’t always practical in the winter and is highly wasteful of heat. Through the installation of trickle vents and air bricks, you’ll have access to good fresh air all year round.

  • Windows and Doors

Investing in energy-efficient composite materials and triple glazing can help keep warmth in your home without it escaping wastefully. Triple glazing also has the advantage of blocking out excess noise.

  • Lighting and Appliances 

In the average UK home, a lot of electricity and gas is wasted through inefficient appliances and lighting designs. By selecting the most efficient lighting and built-in appliances to yield significant savings on electricity over time.

  • Renewable Power 

Many new build homeowners equip their properties with a ground source or air source heat pump, to replace dependence on mains electricity and gas with renewable power drawn from the ambient environment. You may also wish to consider roof-based solar panels in your garden to save even more money on energy bills.

Good architectural design can incorporate a lot of the above, and if you are in the market for improving upon or even designing and building your own home, then a professional architecture firm like DSA can talk you through your options. 

The Benefits of Improving Energy Efficiency 

Energy-efficient measures such as sustainable insulation and renewable energy sources, can significantly reduce the environmental impact of your home’s operation. Additionally, these sustainable options can help your home grow in value, offering more than just a greener conscience. 

  • Lower Energy Bills

In the current cost of living crisis, the benefit of lower energy and utility bills is pretty self-explanatory. However the benefits extend to more than your bank account, lower bills mean less energy is used, which in turn means less energy wasted.

  • Reduced Carbon Footprint

Reducing the population’s carbon footprint is a global goal, helping to minimise CO2 emissions that have a negative impact on climate change. Natural insulation and eco-friendly building materials go a long way to reducing your home’s overall carbon footprint, coupled with renewable power, air sealing and energy-efficient glazing and you have the recipe for a very waste-free household. 

  • Improved Indoor Comfort

Apart from the obvious perks of having a lower carbon footprint and more money in your wallet, having an energy-efficient home can also give you a greater sense of comfort indoors. Air-sealed rooms that are draught-free and maintain a comfortable temperature, with efficient ventilation for air circulation are much more appealing to live in.

  • Increased Property Value

A property’s EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating can have a direct impact on the valuation of your property. According to RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) 60% of estate agents in the UK believe those with higher EPC ratings are holding their value.

Looking to Design Your Ideal Living Space or To Improve Your Existing One?

At DSA sustainability is something we take very seriously. Our team of expert designers can help you design the perfect living space that can help reduce running costs and your carbon footprint at the same time. Contact a RIBA chartered practice to begin your project today.

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