Building a new home or extension can often have a negative impact on the environment and your wallet if not done correctly. However, just a few small tweaks to your design can make your extension energy efficient by saving greater levels of energy. Here we look at a few simple ways to revolutionise your new home extension, make it more environmentally friendly and save you money on your heating bills.
Location, Location, Location!
There are many factors to consider when designing your new extension but one that is often overlooked is the location. Many homeowners are limited by space when considering an extension, but it’s important to take into account the direction that your new extension will be facing. A south facing design will benefit from greater levels of sunshine throughout the year, allowing the room to heat up naturally thereby reducing the energy consumption; in contrast, a north facing design will receive less sunshine and may suffer from increased exposure to the elements. However, if you are limited by space you could look to incorporate a wrap-around design and position a window to gather additional sunshine via the south side. Alternatively, you could include some skylights to soak up the sun and allow extra light into the room.
Windows & Doors
Choosing the right windows can make a big difference to your new extension as they allow natural light to enter the room and offer protection from the elements. If you insulate the walls, roof and floor but ignore the windows, you may suffer from cold spots around the windows which will draw heat away from the room resulting in condensation and draughts. Therefore it’s important to choose windows that match the insulation elsewhere in the room. Double-glazed & Triple-glazed windows are perfect as their design offers a significant reduction in heat loss and noise pollution and will keep your new extension feeling warm and cosy. Incorporating blinds can also aid heat regulation all year round as they conserve heat during the Winter but also provide shade during the Summer.
The importance of floor insulation is often overlooked by homeowners and designers alike, but recent studies suggest it could save a household as much as £50 per year! Floorboards require a steady airflow from the air brick to prevent rotting, but you can lay mineral wool insulation between the joists and seal any gaps that are prone to updraughts. This will reduce heat loss in your new extension and as the materials themselves are relatively cheap, you will continue to benefit from savings on your energy bills for years to come.
According to recent studies, having an eco-friendly home will increase its value by 6% and what better way to do so than by producing your own solar electricity! Despite the initial installation costs, solar technology is very reliable and requires very little maintenance as there are no moving parts. Another benefit with solar panels is that they will generally produce excess power which can be sold back to the national grid. All you need to do is make sure your solar panels stay clear from leaves or snow and they will continue to produce green energy for many years to come.
Tip – Don’t like the look of solar panels? Why not look into Solar Tiles which can be used in place of standard roof tiles and offer a more traditional finish.
CPM (Complete Project Management) offer a variety of home extension solutions for both residential and commercial properties in Mid & East Devon. We specialise in kitchens, bathrooms, wet rooms, loft and cellar conversions and our dedicated team of experts can offer advice about any modification to your home. Contact us today for more information about making your new extension more environmentally friendly.