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An energy-efficient home renovation: Handy ideas to minimise your household's energy output

Reducing your imprint on the environment starts at home, and home renovating is the best time to put on your energy-efficient thinking cap. Adding just a few energy-efficient features to your Melbourne home renovation will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but save you dollars in the long-run. Here are some important and handy things to know when it comes to integrating energy-efficiency into your next home-renovation project.

Window wise: If your home renovation includes changing the placement of windows, facing north is the way to go. North-facing windows let the winter sun in, and in summer they block more of the sun. If your window placement can’t be altered, you might choose to add window shutters or outside awnings to block the Melbourne summer sun. Although more-expensive, opting for double-glazed windows is another way to reduce the sun’s impact in heating your home in summer, and to minimise heat loss in winter.

Reach for the stars: Choosing appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings is an easy way to reduce your home’s energy and/or water consumption. If your home renovation includes new appliances, do compare appliance prices and energy-efficiency / consumption before you buy. If there’s one appliance you up the star rating on consider making it your fridge – the one appliance that will be constantly running and consuming power.

Light savvy: Making the most of natural light through north-facing window placement will reduce your need for additional lighting, and choosing energy-efficient lighting (or replacing your current lighting with energy-efficient globes) will also help reduce your carbon imprint greatly and save you money in the long-run. While energy-efficient globes will cost you more in the short-term, they consume less energy and have more than double the lifespan of standard globes. Home renovations are also a good opportunity to consider the placement of sky lights in certain rooms/hallways that are positioned away from windows and don’t receive as much natural light.

Heating/cooling: There are plenty of ways to reduce your need for heating and cooling, and many can begin before you get home renovating simply by being energy wise. In summer you can: make the most of a change in weather and open up windows/doors to let a cool breeze in, choose fans over air-conditioning and close blinds/curtains during the day to keep the sun and the heat out. Similarly, closing blinds/curtains in winter will help keep the heat in. Amid home renovations is a great time to do something about existing draughts in your home – sealing gaps and installing weather seals to external doors and backdraught shutters to exhaust fans in bathrooms.

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  • To discuss creating your energy-efficient home renovation, Melbourne clients can phone The Makeover Group on 1300 768 464 or visit www.themakeovergroup.com.au

Richard Armstrong is a Director of Melbourne firm The Makeover Group. With more than a decade of home renovation experience, he has helped hundreds of Melbourne clients undertake renovations to improve their home while maximising energy-efficiency.