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Top Tips To Building an Eco-Friendly Self-Build Home

Building a green self-build home not only helps save the environment: it can also save you money. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to accomplish too.

Going ‘green’ reduces your carbon footprint, minimises the stress and financial drain that accompanies high energy bills, and helps you save money for other important things.
Here are our favourite tips for building a green home.

Choose an Optimal Location

When purchasing land, look for a site that has convenient access to public transportation and local amenities, as you will not have to go everywhere by car.

Install Solar Panels

Solar panels are growing in popularity because they use the ultimate renewable energy resource: the sun. There are also government grants, financial incentives, and tax breaks available to those who use solar power for their home.

Insulate, Insulate, Insulate

Heating and cooling account for half of a home’s energy consumption. Gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and ductwork lets conditioned air out and causes energy costs to go up. Proper insulation will keep your energy use and costs stable.

Use Eco-Friendly Lighting

LED and CFL light bulbs can be more expensive to purchase, but they last longer and use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, representing significant cost and energy savings in the long run.

Go Small

Larger houses are more expensive to heat and cool and use more energy overall. Choose the smallest possible design without sacrificing comfort. Where possible choose sites and building designs that will get the most sunlight to make your home feel warmer without the heating on.

 

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Use Sustainable Building Materials

Every component used to build your house, from roofing materials to insulation to flooring, should be made from recycled / sustainable materials. There will be instances when this is not possible, but if green versions are available and affordable within your budget you should favor them. Remember receycled and sustainable materials don't mean you have to compromise on the quality and style of the finnish.

Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances

Look for appliances that have been deemed energy-efficient by a recognised environmental protection authority. These devices have been engineered to deliver energy savings without compromising performance.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats will activate your HVAC system only when a designated temperature is achieved. If the thermostat is set 1 degree down in the winter and 1 degree up in the summer, an additional 3-5% can be saved on a typical energy bill.

Install Energy-Efficient Windows

Modern windows come with a declaratory energy label from the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC). Choose windows with the highest possible rating, ‘C’ is the minimum level for an eco-home, while the most energy-efficient windows are ‘A’ rated.
Once your home is built, keep the green momentum going by turning off any lights and appliances not being used, reusing food storage containers, and buying food and household items that come in recyclable packaging. Limiting time spent watching television or surfing the Net also helps lower energy usage: try planning ‘game nights’ and other enjoyable yet sustainable ways to spend time with your family.

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