When building a new home, there are a number of decisions you can make that will ensure your home uses energy efficiently from the outset. The same knowledge will also help you to choose an existing home that takes advantage of passive heating and cooling - the use of natural light and wind to regulate the temperature inside your home - or to renovate for better efficiency.
These choices might include the type and colour of roofing material you select, your roof shape, the amount and type of insulation you install, and the collection and use of rainwater. Any of these aspects of home design will affect how much energy (and money) will be necessary to keep your house comfortable.
Hot air rises - and for that reason, how you manage the area under your roof is vital to your home's climate control efficiency. Find out more about ventilation and controlling heat.
Instead of allowing it to run down the drain, rainwater can be collected to use on gardens. Find out more about how rainwater collection and storage can help improve your home's efficiency.
Your roof is extremely important when it comes to insulation. Not only does the sun beat down on it all day, but it also helps prevent warmth from escaping in winter. Find out how to insulate your roof.
Having your eaves positioned properly will provide shade from harsh sun in summer, and at the same time allow precious sunlight in to warm your home in winter. Read more about how this works.
Darker colours absorb heat - and some materials collect and store warmth while others reflect and dissipate it. Find out how to choose the right colours and materials for the best passive heating and cooling.