When we bought our first home in 2010 I was very keen on getting the house as energy efficient as possible. Having grown up in Germany I know how good thermal comfort can feel. And I was not willing to keep on living in a cold and draughty home, especially if it was my own.
Back then many people thought I was crazy. They didn’t see the value in upgrading insulation and windows. We should concentrate on cosmetic updates. We would overcapitalise. Even my partner was not quite on board.
Like most old homes, our house didn’t have any insulation at all. The usual single glazed aluminium windows. A dark, cold and draughty house. In short, the heater would run nonstop, without ever getting the house comfortable. And the second we would turn the heater off it would be cold again. Does this sound familiar?
A freezing 0.8 star rating.
With some simple changes we managed to convert the house into a comfortable family home. Reaching a 8.4 star rating and very low energy bills.
How did we do it?
We insulated all walls, floors and ceilings. We also installed high end double glazed upvc windows throughout.
Led lighting, new energy efficient appliances and water efficient fixtures are keeping our energy bills low.
All paints and finishes are low voc and non-toxic, making sure we all stay well and healthy.
We also have a small 1.5kw solar pv system on our roof. Which means most months of the year we get some money back from the electricity provider.
I’ve always enjoyed living in our now comfortable family home. And the nay sayers have long gone. Even real estate agents have been commenting on how great the house feels inside. They say that more and more renters and buyers are looking for energy efficient homes.
But this is not why we did it. We did it for us. Not only to save money on energy bills. But to have a home that we love to live in and that feels comfortable all year around.
We never had to worry that our kids would get cold or sick, when they were little and crawling around the house.
But the last few months, being home all day, made us realise how much we enjoy being home. How beautiful and comfortable it all feels.
We don’t need to worry about high energy bills. We do not need to decide between being warm and spending a fortune on energy bills. Or being cold and miserable all day and saving money.
Getting up on a 5-degree cold morning and the house is still 18 degrees inside. Even though the heater was off all night. Priceless.
Not having the heater running all the time and feeling comfortable in your own skin. Priceless.
Investing money to make our home more energy efficient was hands down the best decision we ever made.
We just love our energy efficient home.
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