Renovating or buying a new home can be an overwhelming task, but you can start by designing your home to be resource efficient.
A home that is well-designed and well-equipped with energy and water efficient appliances will not only allow you to save on your utility bills, but it can also greatly enhance your quality of life.
Air-conditioners, water heaters and refrigerators account for about 75% of the total electricity consumption in a home, as seen in the Household Energy Consumption Profile below.
Make use of the practical tips and solutions in this guide while coming up with plans for your new home.
Designing for a Cooler home
Install fans to keep cool and save on air conditioning. Using a fan instead of an air-conditioner can save you $385 a year!
Choose light colours such as cream, white or beige for walls and large furniture. These reflect heat better than dark colours.
Use curtains or blinds over windows, or solar window films to block unwanted heat from the sun, especially for east- and west-facing windows.
Avoid obstructing windows and pathways with large furniture pieces as they block airflow for natural ventilation.
Use partitions to minimise the space to be air-conditioned. Less energy is required to cool a smaller and more targeted space.
Did you know?
Ceiling fans are more effective than standing fans for cooling purposes and they come in a wide variety of colours, shapes and styles to match any home interior design.
Designing for a Brighter home
Choose light colours such as cream, white or beige for walls, curtains and large furniture. These colours brighten up the room.
Use light-coloured, loose-weaved curtains on your windows to allow daylight into the room while preserving privacy.
Consider task lighting to reduce lighting use.
Place floor or table lamps at corners as the reflection off walls will give more light.
Install light dimmers to improve the ambience of your home and to save electricity.
Did You Know?
Task lighting refers to lighting directed at a specific work area to support a visual activity (e.g. reading, working).
Placement of Appliances and Power Sockets
Position your TV and computer screens to be perpendicular to your window. This reduces glare and minimises the need to increase screen brightness.
Ensure that power sockets are easily accessible and visible so that turning off appliances at the socket after use becomes more convenient.
Allow sufficient space around the refrigerator to ensure adequate ventilation. For example, allow spaces of 2cm on both sides, 5cm at the back and 10cm above the refrigerator, or follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Place the refrigerator away from heat sources such as direct sunlight, cookers and ovens.
Did You Know?
Insufficient spacing will decrease the cooling efficiency of refrigerators, resulting in higher energy use.
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