When it comes to the green home, ratings matter. There are a number of eco certification for home based appliances and white goods. Plus you can get your home professionally assessed for energy efficiency.
Residential homes can be given a rating based on the National House Energy Rating (NatHERS) which is an index of the home’s thermal performance. It is done through a professional analysis by a qualified assessor working in conjunction with the builder of the home. NatHERS provides a baseline for assessment software to rate a home’s energy efficiency potential. Most homes in Australia currently fall below a 5 star rating, but the current tool has now been adapted to allow for a potential 10 star rating (which would be equivalent to zero conditioning energy). This system is based purely on the home’s infrastructure and does not include appliances or hot water systems. Find out more about energy ratings for your home.
Good insulation is a key feature in any energy efficient home. And homeowners are keen to take advantage of Kevin Rudd’s important announcement last week, with funds for ceiling insulation becoming available from the federal government. The Federal Government will be providing eligible homes wiht free ceiling insulation worth $1600. Landlords and renters can benefit too with rental properties being included in the package.
Yet with all the available insulation out there, which one should we consider?
Eco Home Tip #16 – Ask about the R value – the measure for insulation materials is the R value. A high R value means better insulation potential. For example, Pink Batts offers a range ceiling insulation products that have an R value of up to 6.0.
Eco Home Tip #17 – Natural insulation – Take your insulation innovation even further and look for ceiling insulation made from sustainable materials, such as Goldenfleece wool insulation. All natural wool fibre has great insulating properties, with the CSIRO claiming, “wool insulation performs better because of it’s ability to rapidly absorb and desorb moisture from the air.” And you’ll be helping out the rural farmers!
Eco Home Tip #18 – DIY insulation – there are lots of simple insulating ideas homeowners can adapt to protect their homes against the elements. Seal draughts with door snakes or hang some thick curtains on your windows to keep out the coming cold.
Insulation is the first step to a great energy efficient home that will save you money. Well designed homes that incorporate insulation, thermal mass design and sustainable energy alternatives, such as solar panels, can save some homeowners up to 50% on their annual energy consumption. Plus you get to enjoy the comfort of having a pleasant living environment year round.
You can find more great eco home ideas on the Green Pages.