The Best Materials to Upgrade the Energy-efficiency of Your House
There are two ways to make your household less expensive. The first one is to adopt money-saving habits, like turning off appliances as soon as you stop using it, maximizing the use of natural light, etc. the second one is a structural issue of your home’s energy-efficiency. The latter is often determined by the materials used in the construction of the home or upgrades made on its already existent structure. So, with that in mind and without further ado, here are several best materials that you can use in order to improve your energy-friendly home.
There are many reasons why glass is energy-efficient. First of all, it’s a simple way to maximize your home’s use of natural light. Seeing as how the illumination of the place (even with LED) increases your power bill, the use of glass instead of external walls (slider doors, etc.) can make quite the difference. Direct exposure to sunlight can also increase the room temperature by quite a bit. During the summer, when your goal is to keep the place a tad cooler, you can regulate this with curtains (especially floor-to-ceiling curtains) and blinders.
2. Double-glazing windows
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that about 10 percent of energy leaves your home via windows. This means that by switching to a more energy-efficient option, like double-glazing, you stand to save between $200 and $250 every year. The material itself is fairly common. You have the frame (PVC, timber or some other option) and two panes of glass. The air between the panes, however, acts as an additional barrier. This prevents heat from leaving your home in the winter and cold air leaving the place in the summer. The concept itself is neither innovative nor revolutionary.
The next material worth mentioning here is the acrylic. First of all, the material itself is synthetic, which makes its repurposing incredibly simple and efficient. As far as the application of the acrylics goes, it is the most cost-efficient to go for whole acrylic sheets. Within your household, acrylic can be used as Plexiglas, cladding material, paint and flashing material. Each of these uses makes your home more energy-efficient. The ROI, nonetheless, depends on the price of the acrylics and the area of the home that you want to transform by using it.
4. Concrete sheets
When speaking about eco-friendliness and energy-efficiency, not a lot of people think about the concrete. Still, concrete is easy to manufacture, which makes it somewhat green, to begin with. Other than this, it makes your home waterproof, weatherproof and fireproof. Also, keep in mind that concrete panels have strong insulation properties. This lowers your heating bill, thus improving the cost-efficiency of the household.
Another thing worth mentioning is the concrete flooring for your home. This is one of the rare ways to improve air quality and reduce waste, seeing as how it is a completely natural material. In fact, there’s nothing in the properties of concrete that would make it not green. The only reason for the controversy behind concrete’s eco-friendliness lies in the mining industry necessary for the raw materials to make it.
5. Shipping containers
In a scenario where you want to add a room to your household or construct a backyard structure (like a shed, a workshop or a garage), shipping containers may be the thing you need. First of all, these containers are fully customizable, which means that you can enhance them in any way possible. It is a cheap building material that some people even go as far as to turn into tiny homes. Keep in mind, however, that in order to get the optimal energy-efficiency you need containers that are in their prime. This means no rust or dents. In other words, you need one-trip containers, not those that were in service for years before reaching your property.
6. Traditional brick
There’s a reason why traditional brick and mortar were used for so long as the primary home-building materials. The cost depends on the type of brick and you need to make sure that you’re entrusting its use to a skilled bricklayer. Also, this method is by far the best when you’re not constructing a home in an earthquake-prone area. One more thing keeping in mind when constructing the home out of bricks is the fact that the foundation needs to be stable and durable. From here, you can insulate the place and further enhance the energy-effectiveness that you get from this incredible construction material.
As you can see, all of the above-listed have their use. Some of these materials can even be combined in the same structure. For instance, your traditional home could have a shed or a guest house made out of a container shelter. Furthermore, some of these options are only available if you are erecting a new structure, while others seem like completely viable upgrades. All in all, it’s your job to lay out the plan and see how it fits your budget. Only then will you have an iron-clad plan laid down before you.