Everyone today is asking “how to reduce electricity and energy bills”. The soaring prices of energy in the international market and the domestic factors have put a significant strain on the people. But are there any ingenious architectural ideas to reduce energy costs in 2023?
The short answer is Yes. There are many ways and design ideas that you can incorporate in your house during construction or after renovation to reduce energy bills.
In this blog, we will discuss some brilliant and ingenious architectural design ideas that will help improve energy consumption and efficiency and reduce your annual expenditure. This is particularly true in Pakistan, where the energy problem has affected many people.
Construct House in North Direction
When constructing your house, ensure it is facing north or south direction. This is particularly true in hot Asian weather, where the sun is most visible and intense. The solution is to design the house in a direction not on the path of the sun as per your region.
Naturally, an architect would always ask you before designing your house, and you should also insist on it. This is an excellent advantage as the sun’s intense rays will not directly add to the house’s heating and will always be away from the sun’s path. It should be remembered that this is only a one-time chance and should be considered at the design level as nothing can be changed at later stages.
Use of Wall Insulation
Wall insulation is one of the most ignored yet effective ways of reducing heat exchange and improving energy consumption. This concept has started gaining traction in Pakistan as more insulation solutions are available.
The ideal time for adding insulation is during the house construction, as the architect can ask the contractor to add insulation material between the walls and on the ceiling. Adding that later in the stage will not be easy and ideal. The ideal material that can be used here in Pakistan is either Styrofoam or polyurethane foam, with the added benefit of sealing the pores. However, styrofoam is cost-effective and less likely to break your construction budget.
If You Can Use Wood Panels
You must have learned in school that wood is the least heat-conducting material, making it ideal for insulation. Although wood can be expensive in Pakistan, especially in a city like Lahore, imagine the overall electricity bill it can reduce.
You should add wood panels on the floor and walls if you can, as it will add texture to the overall house theme and reduce energy bills over the long term. However, wood is expensive and needs constant attention and maintenance in a humid and warm region like Lahore.
Add Sun Shades
Sunshades are essential design elements that prevent direct heat and sunlight from penetrating your room and house. Ask your architect at the design stage to add sun shades on each window that faces the sun to reduce heat penetration.
When combined with window blinds or curtains, this will massively reduce overall heating. Also, the sun shades prevent rain from penetrating the window crevasses, preventing paint from falling off.
Install Double Glazed Windows
Double-glazed Aluminium windows are a dent in your pocket, but they are priced for their efficient work. These windows ensure the heat does not enter your room even when no curtains are added. The bonus effect of using double-glazed windows is reducing outside noise and a night of peaceful sleep in a cool room.
Although double-glazed windows aren’t that widely used, the have started to gain attention, thanks to the modern and more informed architects in Lahore who have started this trend.
Use Cool LED Lights
Have you ever heard the word warm light? This is because some lights are “warm” in appearance and add to the room’s overall temperature. Such as yellow light, when used in a closed space, will not only increase the temperature but the comprehensive energy bill. The most efficient alternative is using cool LED lights in each room. The best combination is the replacement of yellow incandescent lights with white colour LED strips with a higher life span. Some LEDs are less expensive and give the room a new look plus they are available in different colours.
In the end, there is no doubt that electricity bills are a significant cause of concern among the citizens. They constitute as much as 20% of the total house expenses and are likely to increase in the near future as the international financial situation is not coming to normalcy soon. This is particularly true for metropolitan cities like Lahore and Karachi, where the heat is more than usual due to urbanisation and the concrete effect. Adding and incorporating these elements to your house at the design, construction, and architectural design levels is the best long-term solution to avoid future problems.