Benefits of eco-friendly homes
environment, tree, nature-2948299.jpg

If you’re on the fence about making more sustainable improvements to your home – allow us to present a few persuasive facts. 

Going green and making our homes eco-friendly is a great thing for the environment. But living sustainably also offers a whole range of other advantages for Australian families.

1. Reduce your energy bills

Using renewable energy can help households cut costs. In fact, a family using a 6.6kW solar power set-up – purchased for somewhere between $4000 and $6000 – will typically save between $1200 to $1800 on their power bills each year.

If you do the math, over the lifetime of the solar system (roughly 25 years) a household will recoup the cost of the system in three to five years, and save between $30,000 and $45,000 on bills in total.

solar panels home

Solar panels can cut your electricity expenditure long term. Picture:

Meanwhile, a family without solar will pay this money to power companies, plus a lot more once rising power costs are factored in.

Making your home energy efficient and eco-friendly via renewables can also give you peace of mind that you’re helping the planet.

Renewables like solar are much cleaner than traditional energy sources like coal, which produce greenhouse gases.

2. Better-planned living environments

Families that live in sustainable houses will be noticeably more comfortable in their home year-round. These two examples illustrate how homes tackle eco-friendly design based on their climate and needs:

blue mountains home

Family A live in the Blue Mountains of NSW – a cool climate area – and choose to build their house with eco-friendly principles to keep warm in winter.

The dwelling is orientated north to draw sunlight into living areas through double-glazed windows.

High ceilings are avoided and the front door has an enclosed entryway to stop cold air from flowing into the home. Rubber draft stoppers are also installed on the bottom of the doors to keep out any cold air.

Wool insulation is put into the walls and ceilings, and under floor heating is installed that’s run by solar panels.

Meanwhile, on the outside of the home, the family opts for durable and heavy timber cladding to limit damage when the winds pick up.

As a result, the family home stays relatively warm all year round. The family will still need to use power to heat the home in the middle of winter, but once it warms up the dwelling can be kept cosy without using too much power.

Family B live in Brisbane and want a home that keeps them cool in the hot, sticky summers.

They choose to build a Queenslander-style home to create maximum ventilation, in and under the house. Windows are plentiful and open wide to allow in the cool breezes, but they are shaded from the sun by eaves to stop rooms from heating up.

Queenslander home

In the ceiling there’s reflective foil insulation, which is especially good for creating a buffer from the hot midday sun.

Ceiling fans are put in all the living areas and bedrooms to help keep the air moving.

Outside the family paints the house in light, white and grey tones to help reflect the sun.

In the garden they plant plenty of shady native tropical trees to cool the areas around the house.

These two examples show how putting thought into your home to make it eco-friendly will create a much more comfortable atmosphere and reduce the need for energy guzzling appliances.

3. Potentially better health

It’s a no secret sustainable living is good for the earth, but it’s also good for you.

Here are some health benefits we see from going green at home.

Less artificial temperature control

Improved insulation and ventilation, means less reliance on heating and air conditioning. This reduces the circulation of dust, mites, and mould – lessening the risks and symptoms of respiratory diseases, like asthma.

Katoomba house

A quality combination of ventilation, like you see here, and insulation is better for the environment and your energy bill. Picture:

No harmful toxins

Eco-homes use less chemicals and harmful materials during construction compared to conventional homes. This helps occupants avoid breathing in toxins that can have harmful effects over the long-term.

Lower fire risk

Natural materials used in green homes can be less flammable and, in some cases, don’t burn at all, reducing the risk of fire.

Reduced air pollutants

Solar energy is not guilty of producing air pollutants like other energy production methods – which is ultimately better for the air we breathe.

Meanwhile, inside the home, families who chose electric stove tops powered by solar can also avoid the harms created by cooking with gas in enclosed spaces, which has been linked to asthma in children.

4. More time

Well-designed eco-friendly homes made from robust materials often result in less upkeep.

This will cut the amount of time (and money) you need to allocate for household maintenance.

5. Connection to nature

Indoor-outdoor living is an important aspect of eco-homes, and this can help keep residents better connected to the natural world.

For example, orientating a house to the north means you can sit inside but enjoy the feel of the sun during the day.

Using the breeze for natural ventilation can leave us feeling calmer as the air flows through the house.

Sound is also an important aspect. Double glazing, for instance, can also assist with reducing external noises from busy streets or aircraft, which can interrupt sleep and be damaging for mental health.



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