An energy-efficient home design can make an enormous difference in indoor comfort and cost savings. However, buying energy-efficient heating and cooling systems will not make a huge impact if your home is not designed for maximum efficiency. Therefore, if you are designing your future home, it's crucial to incorporate energy-efficient solutions into the design. Below are a few tips for designing a home that will promote comfort and generate annual energy savings.

Find the right orientation

Your home's orientation should allow you to take advantage of the sun's heat during winter and the cool breezes during summer. If your living areas are facing the sun during summer, your home will experience tremendous heat gain, forcing the cooling system to overwork. Therefore, your living spaces should face the direction that receives shading during summer. Incorporating solar orientation into your home design can significantly lower your annual heating and cooling costs.

Invest in wall, roof and floor insulation

Insulation is the first line of defence against heat gain and heat loss. Most homes lose or gain heat through the flooring, wall and roof. Therefore, incorporate insulation into the structure to limit heat gain and loss. Below are some insulation tips to maximise energy efficiency.

  • Invest in cool roofs with reflective coatings to prevent heat gain
  • Use attic insulation to prevent heated or conditioned air from leaking through the roof
  • Use underfloor insulation to limit heat loss through the flooring
  • Incorporate both internal and external wall insulation into the design

Retrofitting homes to add wall, ceiling and roof insulation can be costly. Therefore, do it at the design stage to avoid expensive upgrades. Also, choose quality insulation materials that can last throughout the lifespan of the home. 

Plumbing leaks can easily undermine wall insulation and cost you a lot of money in repairs. Therefore, invest in piping insulation to reduce the risk of plumbing leaks. Pipe insulation also prevents heat loss in heated water, resulting in lower water heating costs. During winter, insulation protects pipes from freezing and bursting, which can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and insulation replacement.

Choose energy-efficient window glazing

Many modern homes feature large windows to maximise natural light and provide scenic views of the outdoors. However, windows can significantly lower the energy efficiency of your home. They act as a medium for heat gain and heat loss. Therefore, even with adequate wall and roof insulation, you won't realise the expected energy savings. 

Therefore, choose double-glazed or triple-glazed window glass over the traditional single-glazed windows. Double-glazed and triple-glazed windows act as a thermal barrier against heat gain and loss. The glazing also prevents window condensation and protects window frames, siding and walls from moisture damage.

Incorporating energy-efficient solutions into your home's design can increase indoor comfort and generate significant energy savings. For these and other energy-efficient home designs, consult your designer.