Seeing energy bills rise in cost is now, unfortunately, a familiar sight for many. The energy it takes to keep a house both running and comfortable is increasingly expensive, leading many to make compromises elsewhere. While these challenges can’t always be avoided, there are a number of ways in which homeowners can make things easier and more affordable, even with a few tweaks to their home’s design.
Drawing from the experience of property developers and interior designers, we’re sharing four of the best ways that homeowners can reduce their energy bills through property design. And, whether it is during the coldest part of winter or the height of the summer sun, there is often room for improvement.
Fabrics have the brilliant ability to insulate a home and those who decorate their living spaces with dense curtains and plush rugs will find themselves keeping warmer during the winter period. In addition to adding insulation to a home, fabrics, especially those made from natural materials, restrict airflow too, minimising the effect of draughts.
The benefit of rugs and other similar fabrics is that they can then be removed during the summer period too, since they can be compacted and stored easily to help promote a cooler and well-ventilated space when necessary.
Outbuildings & Extensions
It can be challenging to ensure an entire home is adapted to the season, which is why many residents will, instead, choose to have season-specific rooms. Summer houses are a prime example and have become recently very popular as homeowners seek to enjoy these rooms during the summer months while simultaneously relieving themselves of the need to cool an entire property.
Alternatively, some homes are creating cosy nooks and reading spaces that can be enjoyed as warmer sanctuaries during the cooler period. These spaces not only offer comfort during the winter but can be enjoyed without the need to heat an entire home.
Of all the facilities that help to reduce home energy costs, solar panels are certainly the ones to be most valuable. In addition to large solar panels that sit atop roofs and reduce energy costs throughout the year, there are also options for smaller, more compact solar panels. These can sit in gardens, atop sheds or even fences, helping to build up smaller amounts of energy for a home and its devices.
Some residents are choosing to use these panels to power their vehicles too, with charging stations for cars and bicycles benefiting from even small amounts of solar power.
The Right Windows
Windows are one of the most important considerations for a home in the UK. This is because the variable climate places a great deal of pressure on residents, requiring them to handle both significant warm and cold periods.
Double and triple-glazed windows offer substantial insulation and can reduce the amount of heat required in a home to make it feel warm, while other window designs can improve airflow or even embrace shutters to limit the amount of sunlight in a room. This is why, when considering an EPC rating and the potential costs of heating and cooling a home, many will first inspect the quality of windows in a property.