We all want that amazing energy efficient house with a minimal footprint but sometimes our budgets have other plans. The good news is that there are many tweaks you can make to your home during a renovation that will have a huge impact in this direction. So let’s look at a few ways you can renovate your home to incorporate passive design elements to improve the energy efficiency of your home.
While this advice is general in nature, we recommend speaking with our passive home consultants for a more tailored approach.
- Double glaze your windows – Yes, it can be as simple as changing your windows to allow for better temperature control, making your home more energy efficient. A standard home in Australia has single glazed windows. Simply upgrading that and double glazing your windows will prevent heat loss, reduce condensation and increase humidity levels during colder months.
- Re-orient your windows with the sun – Does your reno involve changing the roof or some structural changes? If yes, this one’s for you! Re-orienting your windows to align with the sunrise and sunset can significantly impact the heating and cooling of your home. For example, making your South and East windows larger and reducing the size/ removing any North-facing windows will allow for optimal heating.
- Invest in exterior insulation – If you’re planning a renovation that affects the exterior facade of your house, it’s a good idea to think about expanding the thickness of your exterior walls. This may seem odd but you’ll be happy (and then some) when you see the savings in your energy bills.
- Use the government rebates to install solar panels: The Federal Government’s small scale renewable energy scheme generates a certain number of small-scale technology certificates (or STCs) for each kilowatt of panels you install. Because these STCs are bought by electricity retailers who need them to meet their renewable energy obligations, you receive money for each certificate. Closer to home, the NSW Government has announced their Empowering Homes program – a scheme which will provide interest-free loans for solar-battery systems to eligible NSW residents.
- Upgrade to recirculating appliances – No reno-talk is complete without the mention of swanky new appliances. This time around, look for ventless appliances that recirculate the heat (i.e. any heat generated from them will be used to heat the rest of your home). Note that these appliances will be most effective in fully insulated and airtight homes.