|Going green? Start with simple steps|
There is a growing awareness among home designers of the importance of reducing energy costs and creating a home that is eco-friendly, says Nancy Todd of the Rawson Property Group.
“If you do have funds or can get a loan, it does pay to install a heat pump and solar heating as a first step towards sustainable living. These will reduce your energy expenditure by 40 percent – geysers and pool pumps are the big consumers of energy – recovering the capital outlay in less than three years.
“Again, if you have funds, it pays to install double glazing on those façades that are regularly exposed to sunlight or to noise. Here, too, you can achieve significant savings on energy, said to be in the region of eight percent to 12 percent by most installers.”
In addition, says Todd, it is always a good idea to install an extra layer of insulation in the ceiling.
“The cost of this works out to less than R30 per square metre and it will help you contain an extra 20 percent to 40 percent of the heat in the room below. It will also help to keep the room cooler in summer.”