Sustainable living is becoming more important these days as we become more aware of the effect that energy and water consumption can have on the environment. You also probably know that having an eco-friendly home will not only reduce your carbon footprint, it’ll reduce your energy and water bills too. So if you’re thinking of building a home in Perth, here’s what you can do to create a sustainable abode.
7 ways to make your home eco-friendly
1. Use sustainable cleaning products
Many sustainable cleaning products are biodegradable and made from 100% plant-based ingredients (eucalyptus, tea tree, lemongrass), while others are produced using safe and sustainable farming techniques. They’re free of harmful chemicals and substances like phthalates, phosphates, formaldehyde, ammonia, chlorine, bleach, and artificial fragrances or colours.
As a result, sustainable cleaning products can help you eliminate germs and bacteria from your home without harming your family, belongings, and the environment.
2. Harness solar power for your home
You can do this by installing solar panels on the roof of your home. Solar panels capture energy from the sun, which you can use to not only light up your home and power appliances, but also to warm up your home and water.
By using a sustainable source of energy, you can help reduce your collective dependence on fossil fuel (coal, natural gas), your carbon footprint, and your electricity bills.
3. Use orientation to naturally heat and cool the house
Positioning your home’s main living areas, windows, and doors to the north will let the sunlight and cool breezes enter the house, providing warmth and good ventilation. You can also keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter by installing external shading over the northern and western windows that can open and close to block or unblock the sun.
If your home’s oriented to take advantage of the sun and wind, you’ll not only be comfortable both in summer and winter, you’ll also cut your heating and cooling costs.
4. Reduce your water use
Install a rainwater tank or greywater system that’s connected to the toilet, laundry, and bathroom. Also buy a water-efficient washing machine and install a water-efficient showerhead and dual flush toilet. You should also consider taking shorter showers, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, and plugging the sink when washing food and dishes.
By reducing your water use, you can reduce the amount of drinking water you consume from the dam or reservoir.
5. Insulate your home
In Perth, it’s best to use insulation materials with an R-value of at least 5. You should insulate the ceiling, walls, and floors, install double-glazed windows and doors, and seal gaps around doors and windows to draught-proof your home. These’ll make your home more comfortable by stopping warm air from escaping in winter and hot air from entering in summer.
Insulating your home will also help you cut your energy use and bills, save non-renewable resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
6. Use living plants indoors
You can grow plants inside your home by placing them in ideal spaces that get an equal amount of sun and shade, or by making a vertical garden (grow plants on walls). Plants you might want to consider are Nephrolepis exaltata (sword fern), Aeschynanthus radicans (lipstick plant), Stephanotis floribunda (wedding vine),Spathiphyllum wallisii (peace lilies), Codiaeum variegatum pictum (croton), Bromeliaceae (bromeliads), and succulents.
Growing plants indoors is not only low-maintenance, it’ll also help you save on water and reduce your water bills.
7. Use smart technology to monitor devices
You can use a smart thermostat to regulate your home’s temperature, a smart meter for remote energisation, de-energisation, and appliance control, and a smart switch to turn the lights on and off. These smart technologies are connected to your home Wi-Fi network and let you automate or remotely control your devices (heating and cooling systems, entertainment systems).
By using smart technology to monitor devices, you can create a more comfortable, convenient, and energy-efficient home, as well as cut your electricity costs.
The benefits of an eco-friendly home
With an eco-friendly home, you can:
Save money, time, and resources
Sustainable, durable, and recycled building materials are affordable, require less maintenance over time, and help reduce waste output. Using eco-friendly materials can also cut down construction time, reducing your carbon footprint and keeping the money in the local economy.
Protect your health and your family
Eco-friendly building materials don’t contain toxic organic compounds and are mould and moisture-resistant, which help prevent breathing and heart problems. Sustainable living practices like using green cleaning products also promote good health and wellbeing.
Reduce your energy and water bills
Using energy and water-efficient systems and renewable resources (water, wind, solar power) can help you cut down on your energy and water use and, in turn, reduce your utility bills.
Protect the environment
Eco-friendly building materials and sustainable living practices help reduce your consumption of non-renewable resources, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy and water use.
Accounting for the Perth climate
When creating a sustainable home, you should take Perth’s climate into account. Here are some things to consider:
- The annual mean maximum temperature for the past 24 years is 24.8°C.
- The annual mean minimum temperature for the past 24 years is 12.8°C.
- For Perth Metro in 2017, the mean maximum temperature was 25.0°C and the highest maximum temperature was 42.0°C.
- Also for Perth Metro in 2017, the mean minimum temperature was 13.1°C and the lowest minimum temperature was 1.7°C.
- The annual mean rainfall for the past 24 years is 732.8 mm.
- The annual mean number of days of rain with at least 1 mm of precipitation for the past 25 years is 80.5 days.
- For Perth Metro in 2017, the total rainfall was 854.0 mm, the average annual total rainfall was 844.0 mm, and rain fell on 117 days.
Other daily elements
- The annual mean daily wind run for the past 14 years is 201 km.
- The annual maximum wind gust speed for the past 15 years is 83 km/h.
- The annual mean daily solar exposure for the past 28 years is 19.3 MJ/m 2.
9 am conditions
- The annual mean 9 am temperature is 18.2°C.
- The annual mean 9 am relative humidity is 63%.
- The annual mean 9 am wind speed is 12.0 km/h.
3 pm conditions
- The annual mean 3 pm temperature is 23.0°C.
- The annual mean 3 pm relative humidity is 47%.
- The annual mean 3 pm wind speed is 16.1 km/h.
Build a sustainable home with Gemmill Homes
Whether you want to insulate your home or reduce your water use, we can help you build a home that’ll have a lasting positive impact on both the environment and your energy and water bills, without sacrificing style. Contact us today for your free consultation.