In this cost of living crisis, the question of how much energy you use is more important than ever before. With a boatload of guidance out there for keeping an energy efficient house, many people struggle with finding ways to reduce their energy bills. All too often, these individuals are left unsure of where to turn.
At iHus, we build for generations of families – and that gives us a special perspective on things. In our experience, reducing energy consumption is about more than just using the latest energy-efficient appliances or having enough loft insulation. It’s a complex blend of high-quality building materials, effective time management and ongoing lifestyle changes…
1) Reduce Energy Loss with Effective Insulation
When it comes to creating an energy-efficient home, most people focus on insulating it first. After all, what’s the use in spending money to heat a property if it’s all just going to escape through poor insulation? Unless your house is brand new, it’ll lose heat through draughts in your windows, doors, flooring and roof tiles – an issue that definitely needs addressing.
It’s estimated that draft-proofing gaps in door frames, window panes and skirting boards could save you up to £125 a year on energy bills. At iHus, we only use the highest-quality materials for our projects, so you won’t have to worry about poor insulation affecting your energy usage. Here’s just a handful of building materials we use for annexe construction…
- PVCu doors and energy efficient windows are fitted as standard, with 28mm double glazing to achieve an ‘A’ energy rating.
- Our standard cladding option is Marley Cedral Lap weatherboard, a low-maintenance material ideal for external wall insulation due to its long life expectancy.
- All internal walls are built using a super-insulated structural timber frame.
- Flat EPDM roofing comes as standard, however all annexes can be upgraded with a well-insulated pitched design, and finished with a choice of concrete tiles.
- Insulated structural timber floors are finished with your choice of laminate flooring, with vinyl flooring to match in shower rooms.
Many of our customers comment on how cosy and warm their annexes are, visit one of our 400+ real customer homes up and down the country by booking an Open Hus visit, and find out for yourself.
2) Explore Renewable Energy with Solar Panels for an Energy Efficient House
No matter how energy-efficient your home, it’s always worth exploring renewable energy to further reduce your carbon emissions. At the very least, you should use natural light to help heat your space by opening curtains during the day. However – if you’re looking for ways to burn less energy, then installing solar panels is definitely the best route to go down…
Here at iHus, our expert team are well-versed in solar panel installations and can add them to your build with ease. With top-tier installation on all our fixtures and fittings, we’ll work with you to create a bespoke garden home that requires much less energy to burn. Solar panels are an investment, but one that’s worth while – from saving £100’s on energy bills, to increasing the value of your property, they’re something to seriously consider when considering annexe living. Regardless of whether it’s a flat or pitched roof design, no project is too complex to install solar panels on.
3) Improve your Energy Efficiency with LED Light Bulbs
Opting for LED lighting is a simple way of becoming more energy-efficient, while reducing the impact of monthly energy bills. According to the Energy Saving Trust, by swapping out traditional halogen bulbs for LED alternatives, you could save up to £6 per light bulb each year. The more LEDs you use, the greater your savings will be throughout that time. It might not sound like much, but every little helps when it comes to improving your energy efficiency.
At iHus, we understand the importance of low-impact, energy-efficient lighting. That’s why we ensure that every annexe we deliver comes complete with modern, LED lighting fitted throughout. From overhead ceiling lamps, to LED strips under mounted kitchen units, you’ll benefit from ultra-efficient, A+ rated lighting when entrusting us with your annexe project.
4) Reduce your Energy Bills with a High-Quality Heating System
On top of lighting, it’s also worth exploring low-carbon heating tactics in the quest to reduce your carbon footprint and become more energy-efficient. Installing quality radiators is the first – and most important, step to achieve this. At iHus, every annexe we build comes with Rointe radiators installed throughout. Not only do these high-spec systems provide efficient electric heating, they also use the latest technology to help reduce power consumption by over 60%.
5) Make your Home more Energy-Efficient with Consistent Heating
Once you’ve got great heating controls installed, it’s time to find the most effective way of warming up your home. Generally speaking, annexes are far cheaper to run than dwellings with larger footprints. However – even in small homes, it’s still a good idea to throw a jumper on from time to time, as opposed to cranking up the thermostat every time you feel a chill.
According to the World Health Organisation, an ambient temperature of 18°C is perfect for healthy adults, with only slightly higher levels required for younger and older people. Despite this, most households set their thermostat at higher temperatures than necessary, leading to an increase in energy usage. However, by dropping the temperature of your home by just one degree, it’s estimated you could save around £115 a year on the cost of energy bills.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that it’s more energy-efficient to keep all the rooms in your house heated, as opposed to only warming up the ones currently in use. While this might seem like a great way to save money at first glance, it only means your boiler will have to work harder to heat your rooms than if they were consistently kept at a lower heat setting.
6) Close Doors and Blinds to Lower your Energy Usage
It’s all well and good heating rooms in the most energy-efficient way possible, but what’s the point if all your hard work is undone by leaving doors open for heat to escape? There are a number of ways to save energy and ensure rooms retain their heat, but – perhaps the most important, is hunting down and addressing any draughts of air escaping into them.
It’s good practice to close the doors in your house so heat can’t escape, as this means your central heating won’t have to work so hard to maintain set temperatures. To help make a more energy efficient house, it’s also worth closing curtains and blinds to ensure further heat isn’t lost at night. This is particularly true if radiators are located directly below your windows.
Trust in iHus
Our expert team have more than ten years experience – and over 400 bespoke annexe constructions, under their belt. We’re aware of the financial struggle people are currently facing, which is why we’re always happy to advise on how an annexe might benefit you.
Simply get in touch with our friendly team to discover how we can help create an annexe space that you – and your family, can truly call home.