With the world becoming environment conscious and slowly but surely moving towards a more sustainable future, net zero homes are gaining popularity. Whereas energy saving was previously a preserve of large industries and firms, it has lately become an option for private homes too as more people play their role in conserving the environment. If you are in the category of people who want a more efficient, sustainable place to live, a net-zero home may be your best option.
So what is a net zero home?
A net zero home is basically a housing unit that generates as much energy as it uses, making the total/ net amount of energy that it purchases from the local energy company zero/nil. Although it is a fairly new idea to the world, the concept of net zero homes is gaining popularity as people become more interested in having a home that is not just affordable, but also comfortable and resilient over time.
So what makes a home net zero
The one qualifying factor for a net zero home is of course its energy efficiency. The key to maintaining your home on a net zero level is to maintain energy consumption at an all-time low to enable you to generate enough power to meet your home’s needs.
The common characteristics of net zero homes are:
- Their overall design is such that they are up to 80 per cent more efficient than conventional homes, so they require less energy on the daily.
- They are especially airtight and heavily insulated with additional layers to preserve heat in the winter and keep out excess heat in the summer.
- They can be customised to benefit from passive heating by taking advantage of warmth and light from the sun.
- They are fitted with high-efficiency HVAC systems, appliances and other devices to ensure that energy use is low.
- Most, if not all, net-zero homes have an on-site energy generation system that is capable of generating as much power as the household uses in a year.
How do net-zero homes produce energy?
Each net-zero home is unique in its own way, but similarity comes in on their including their own sources of renewable energy. For most, they make use of solar photovoltaic panels that can generate energy for lighting, heating and cooling systems, and powering appliances. The energy absorbed by solar panels can be stored in a battery and used later too.
Can an existing home be upgraded to become a net zero home?
Not all net zero homes are new builds. It does take a bit of planning and changing from your current home to a net zero one through conventional renovation approaches, but it can be done. You may need to improvise your existing insulation levels to exceed code standards, reviewing placement of windows to work with the sun, and also redesigning HVAC systems to improve their efficiency. You may also need to install the energy-generating technology that is best suited for the building and its location.
As you can see from the features, to the working and even their maintenance, net zero homes bring to life a futuristic concept that is easy to adopt and definitely friendly to the world for generations to come. In as much as its uptake is slow, it remains the go-to home design for the future.
Have you been thinking of having your own net zero home but don’t know where to start? Whether all new or upgrading the one you already have, your partner all through is waiting for your call. Talk to us on: https://www.livesmartconstruction.com/ and let us help!