In our previous post we have talked about what a sustainable house is. We have also started describing the strategies of creating a sustainable home for yourself. This post will describe more ideas about building a sustainable energy-neutral home.
Ideas for an energy-neutral house
2. HR ++ glass or triple glass
Nowadays most people have double-glass in their homes. It is definitely better than the single-glass, however, quite some heat can still penetrate through it. Therefore, new types of high efficiency glass are constantly being developed. These new glass types consist of two or three glass plates with a special layer in between. This layer can contain dry air (in HR and HR+ glass), or a noble gas (in HR++ or triple glass). Noble gases have better insulating properties than dry air, therefore, it is better to invest in this type of glass. HR+++, or triple glass, is significantly more expensive, however, it has even better insulating capabilities. Investing in new glass is more environmentally friendly, but also increases the level of comfort of your home.
3. Ventilation system, often with heat recover
Having wind flying through your house is obviously not comfortable, you should fix any existing holes or cracks to avoid draft. However, you should also pay close attention to ventilation. Dirty air must be able to leave your home and clean air must be able to come in, this is important for your health. But ventilation also causes your home to lose heat. You can save energy by choosing a heat recovery system.
4. Solar water heater
As is obvious from the name, solar water heaters are using solar energy to warm up your water. Some estimates say that with a solar water heater you decrease your energy consumption for hot water by almost 50%. It is also an environmentally friendly alternative to natural gas: no CO2 is released when solar energy is used. Moreover, sunlight never runs out. In the summer, a solar water heater can even supply all the hot water you need, making your home truly a sustainable house. In the winter this probably will not work, so you’ll need a combi-boiler or a heat pump.
5. Solar panels
More and more people are currently investing in solar panels. And this is not surprising if you consider all the benefits of this investment. Your home will be considered more energy-efficient, which will increase its market value. Using solar energy is clearly good for the environment. Moreover, if it is possible to arrange the electricity-return in your area, your solar panels will actually generate some income, when you have excess energy!
6. Heat pump
A heat pump is a good solution for those wanting to completely avoid the usage if the natural gas. A heat pump does basically everything that a central heating boiler does, but then in a more sustainable way. According to some estimates, the CO2 emissions you produce by heating up your home decrease by 35 to 50%. A heat pump works like an inverted refrigerator. It extracts heat from the outside air or soil. This heat is stored in a buffer tank and can be used for heating and/or hot tap water.