7 Interior Design Ideas to Improve Energy Efficiency
There are many ways to make your home more energy efficient. Buying energy efficient appliances and sourcing sustainable building materials are some useful techniques. However, these are usually expensive and time consuming. Luckily, interior design also plays a vital role in achieving an energy efficient home. Our very own Fiona Mostyn says energy efficient design is about creating an interior design scheme with factors like heating and lighting in mind. So, below we’re going to take a look at how you can have an energy efficient home through your interior design choices.
Be smart with your wall paint
One simple way to decrease your electricity bill is to paint your walls bright colours. Having bright walls means that light can reflect off them, reducing the need to turn on any artificial lights. On the other hand, dark colours tend to absorb heat, making your home warmer without the need to turn up the heating as much. Keep these energy-efficient considerations in mind when giving your house a fresh coat of paint.
Make use of rugs or throws
Decorate your floor with area rugs and throws that can absorb heat and keep it in a room. Aside from absorbing warmth, they’re also homey additions that work to separate connecting spaces like the living room and the kitchen. Again, dark colours work well in absorbing heat and light, so you might want to use darker rugs to decorate your living room come winter.
Window treatments and placement
Do It Yourself post on ‘Energy Efficient Interior Design’ reminds that the sizing, type and placement of windows will affect a room’s temperature. Thermal curtains help in preventing cold drafts while airy drapes are good for the warm weather as they let the breeze come in. Blinds are less than ideal in reducing heat, but they do help keep hot light from entering a room. You could also consider window treatments that have a reflective side that blocks UV rays during warm seasons but also has a heat-absorbing side that reduces heat loss on colder nights - we have recommended these in a project just this week. These windows can usually be reversed depending on the season.
Replace your water heater
Boilers always seem to take up a lot of space, and some boilers just aren’t very efficient. Newer models save you space while saving energy as well. It is advisable you get your boiler checked regularly so that you ensure it is running efficiently. If your boiler is outdated, it is worth considering replacing it with a tankless model that only heats water when needed. Not only will this save you on heating costs, it takes up less space as it won’t need a huge tank to store warm water. However, if you do have an old model, HomeServe recommends you get boiler insurance to help shoulder the cost of any repairs, just in case your unit breaks down. Repairing a boiler is very expensive, so it is always best to be prepared if you’re not in a position to completely replace it with a new model.
Change your lighting
Simple upgrades to your light bulbs have significant effects when it comes to reducing your energy consumption. LED lights are still the most energy efficient. Even if they’re still more costly than regular bulbs, they end up saving you 75% on energy costs in a year compared to traditional fluorescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs also end up helping you save energy, but these might not last as long as LED bulbs do. For rooms that are usually well lit, consider making the switch right away.
Position furniture with circulation in mind
Another energy efficient design change you can do when decorating your home is rearranging your furniture based on air circulation. Designer Mag advises against placing furniture over any air vents or any passages that block the flow of air, which are usually located in the center of the room. This way, your gas or electric fire won’t have to work as hard to heat your home. If your room is a little drafty, dense furniture could also help solve this particular problem. Consider purchasing high back chairs or skirted furnishings in rooms with drafts.
Install a ceiling fan
A ceiling fan is an energy-efficient way to keep your house cool during the summer. Moreover, Impressive Interior Design discusses how newer ceiling fans have blades that can rotate in reverse, which sucks warm air upwards. This can also help during winter. When the blades rotate in the opposite direction, they can bring warm air trapped near the ceiling down to the living space.
If you have a home you would like to be more energy efficient or would just like to discuss the design of your home, please get in touch here.