As oil and gas prices are soaring across the globe, Singaporean households will also be affected. Are you worried about the prospects of having to pay a higher electricity bill? Do you typically use lots of that energy to cool down your place? If so, the time’s just right to consider energy-efficient interior design upgrades.
A number of changes can help you create the perfect microclimate inside your flat without needing a ton of energy to maintain these ideal conditions.
Energy-efficient home interior design upgrades rank among the ones that yield the highest return on investment as far as renovations are concerned. In order to make the most of such a project, consider and plan the improvements bound to reduce significant temperature changes inside the flat. Here are a few of those.
Material Selection for a Lower Electricity Bill
This one is a no-brainer. Some materials have better insulating properties than others. They’re the ones to prioritise if you want to keep heat out of your home without having to turn the AC to its lowest temperature setting.
Thermal insulation materials can be matched to just about any interior design style. Cork is a great choice – it looks good in almost all settings and it’s super sustainable. Bamboo has similar properties and it’s another incredibly versatile insulating material that you can pick for flooring or even the creation of wall panels.
A few other excellent insulating choices to consider for various aspects of the renovation include insulating concrete blocks, foam boards (perfect for walls, floors and ceilings), structural insulated panels (another great choice for wall, floor and ceiling reconstruction), fiberglass, cotton, mineral wool and even cellulose (often used to put together sustainable insulating panels).
Doors and Windows Play a Part
The wrong kinds of doors and windows can contribute to some of the biggest energy efficiency losses in your home.
In fact, up to 40 per cent of the home’s energy escapes through windows that lack proper insulation. Just think about the amount that percentage is going to represent on your electricity bill.
While new windows and doors can be costly, they will save you a lot of money. Research from the US shows that while energy-efficient window panelling costs anywhere between 325 to 785 dollars, it can contribute to reductions in electricity bills that range from 125 to 465 US dollars. That means the new window will pay itself off in just a couple of years through utility bill reductions.
Some of the window varieties to avoid if you want to boost energy efficiency include metal, steel and aluminium-framed ones. These materials contribute to the biggest heat exchange between the external world and your home.
As far as insulation is concerned, wood, vinyl and most kinds of composite materials are excellent choices. These are also a good pick for doors that will reduce the loss of cool air from your home.
For window glass itself, choose varieties that have two or even better – three panes. These have a sealed space in the middle (in the case of three-pane windows, there will be two sealed spaces) that act as additional thermal insulation.
It’s not a myth – fans can help you maintain a cool home while also reducing your electricity bill. They can be used on their own or in conjunction with AC units.
Ceiling fans are the best variety – they deliver much better results than standing ones. For best results, consider having those in conjunction with energy-efficient air conditioners. That combo will produce the biggest energy savings while also giving you optimal living conditions.
When you have both AC units and ceiling fans, you can increase the thermostat by as much as four degrees Celsius without losing comfort. Ceiling fans use significantly less energy than AC units, which is why their installation will produce a very quick and very notable result as far as your electricity bill is concerned.
Colours don’t just affect your mood, they also have a functional purpose. This effect has to do with the amount of light that different colours absorb or reflect.
It may seem impossible that something as simple as repainting can help you bring down your energy bill but that’s a fact.
Dark colours absorb about 70 to 90 per cent of all radiant energy. This means that rooms painted in dark colours, especially the ones that see lots of sunshine during the day will remain warmer than the same rooms painted in light colours (like white, beige and cream).
Usually, paint tins feature the so-called light reflectance value (LRV) printed on them. The higher this number is, the more light the colour will reflect rather than absorb. These are the tones you should be choosing for your rooms.
For even better results, consider light colours in combination with shades or blinds that keep sunlight out of the respective space.
Obviously, bringing more of these renovations into your living space will give you better results. But even if you make one or two changes, you’ll see good outcomes.
If you don’t how to implement home improvements for energy efficiency or where to start with current living space diagnostics, contact Home Guide. We’ll help you find out what’s working and what isn’t. Once we pinpoint the biggest energy drainers, we are a home renovation contractor that can come up with renovation plans that will give you a better, smarter and much more sustainable flat.