Embellishing yet Energy Efficient Decorating Ideas for Home Furnishing
While no doubt that quality construction materials, appropriate insulation, and proper sun orientation can add value to your homes, couple of considerate home decor ideas can enhance your house’s energy efficiency, offer better comfort, and reduced utility bills.
There are innumerable ways that can help you owe an energy-efficient house, but modernization offer us with homes content with cheaply constructed structures that might be elegant but at the same time add to our wasteful and costly living problems. If you too are experiencing few problems related to energy-efficiency of your house, then we can help you create an interior space that is not just green but is beautiful and embellishing.
A well-designed home is one that is well-planned and that allows inappropriate flow of energy during climatic changes. Well-planned houses allow the warm air to rest inside in winter and flow outside in summer. Such homes are planned on the basis of the simple principle of flow of energy and allow you to enjoy the light and cool breeze when you want and deliver you with warmth that is needed when the outside temperature is cold. So if you too wish to own a house that is attractive, welcoming and energy-efficient then here we present to you some deliberate decor ideas that can help you create your dream home with ease.
You won’t have confidence in, but it is true that almost 25% of cool or warm air is lost via windows. An intelligent window treatment can create a huge impact and enhance the overall performance of windows in your home.
Sunlight flowing directly through windows brings heat into the house. You can keep the hot sun rays away from your home with reflective colored blinds, which is a convenient and cheap option. If your room or house is decor with dark color elements, then you must opt for blinds that are light in color or that have translucent support that allows the sunlight to enter the house, while keeping away the heat. Another creative option is consider hanging drapery liners or blackout shades as they are also effective in diminishing the solar heat effect.
Window treatment items backed with summer shading coefficients are also available in that market, which varies in effectiveness in preventing sun’s heat from streaming into the house. Such items with low shading coefficient offer better prevention from the solar hear. For instance, a window treatment with shading coefficient of .30 reduces the heat conservation by 70%. So you may select a number depending on your requirement.
While the above solution is for homes with sunny climates, those areas with cool climate have to opt for an opposite window treatment process. Honeycomb shades or cellular shades are effective in retaining most heat. The inbuilt air pockets within these structures enable trapping in warm air and hence help to maintain warmth inside the house. These shades may vary in shades, thickness, opacity extent and fabrics, so you may select one that well serves your requirements.
Selecting Right Window Furnishings
Cellular shades are less translucent than solar shades. For high-rise structures with big windows, the best solution to save energy is using woven and unobtrusive mesh fabric. They are obtainable in an assortment of colors and offer a clear view of the exterior scene. You can add draperies and additional treatments to add more effectiveness to the windows.
If you wish to block the sunlight, then opt for insulating shades. They comprise of 3 to 5 quilted layers of elements that insulate and act as powerful barriers and combat condensation. For enhancing the effectiveness, you can seal insulating shades against window frame with grooved or magnetic tracks.
Another acceptable choice to treat windows is shutters and blinds but opt for them only if they are made of wood, as metal blinds actually release heat off air during winter and trap it inside during summer. Also, metal blinds tend to lose solar heat convective at their corners and between the slats.
If you have a slight bend towards fabric drapes then backing them with durable suede or cotton felt can boost their performance. According to decor experts, even felt drapery liners fits and hangs better than the other stiffer options available in the market. If you do not want to add a back support of an insulating shade or a liner, then you may hang them with closed cornice and opt for a tight weave and make sure that the drapery touches the floor or sill. If the bottom or top are closed, then it would provide more coolness to the room. So you can plan accordingly keeping the mentioned principle in mind.
Furniture and Furnishings
There is, as such, no special category of energy-efficient furniture available, but definitely, you can re-arrange your furniture and play with furnishings to add more energy-efficiency to your house. Polished, shiny furniture pieces and surfaces reflect solar heat back into the walls where they can be stored for longer time, and hence high-backed furniture elements can create a shelter for the house and keep it warmer. You can also check for skirted furniture elements as they add value to the drafty rooms.
Don’t plan to update the look of your house with a couple of seasonal tricks as then it would not work fine during the natural climate transformations. For instance, seasonal slipcovers add a great deal to furniture during summer or even winter, but their color can create a big impact. Cotton furnishings and fabrics with light tones are ideal for summer and those with dark textures are suitable for winter insulation. For better warmth, you may remove the table cloth and stick to cool surfaces.
Rearranging furniture elements is another trick to add warmth and comfort to your house during seasonal changes. You can place furniture pieces near heat sources during winter and keep them away from direct sunlight during summer. For better ventilation, in summer it is wise to place furniture apart. Open style or light furniture elements must always cater warmest areas in the house as they do not retain much heat.
Understanding the principle of Passive Cooling and Heating
If you intend to place furniture based on the principle of passive cooling and heating, then make sure that your furniture does not restrict the solar heat from reaching the thermal volume. The basic rule is to keep almost 70% of the floor or wall uncovered. Also, for better circulation of air you need to maintain air spaces under various furniture items. It is essential so that warm air can circulate easily within the house or room.
Big-size furniture like armories, bookshelves, and entertainment units can maximize insulation for non-mass or exterior walls. You may, therefore, place dark, hefty pieces close to a window where they can boost thermal mass by releasing or absorbing solar heat. Other than this, including certain functional accessories, is a great method to enhance the overall flow of energy within a space. Folding screens can be used to block windows shield and drafts on cold, winter days. Adding ceiling fans is also an excellent way to maximize energy-efficiency of your home. Ceiling fans can save almost 40% of energy bills during summer and up to 10% during winter. Setting fans on low speed during winter pushes the trapped heat on walls and ceiling to move down and add more warmth to space.
Wall Covering and Floor Covering
The major trouble with walls and floors is a conductive loss of heat and gain, but there are numerous intelligent decorative solutions that can reduce this effect to a great extent. Carpets or rugs based out of wool with a thick pad beneath act as an efficient insulator and prevents loss of heat in winter and gain during summer. You can add area rugs over bare flooring to deliver seasonal flexibility. You can remove them completely or substitute them with grass mats in summer.
Consider redecorating your floors or walls with linoleum or cork tiles as they are excellent natural insulators. In addition to this, you must not forget about taking benefit of any passive cooling or heating sections in your home design. If you have big windows covered with tile, patterned or stained concrete or brick flooring, then they can add great value to the thermal mass. Such elements absorb solar heat during daytime and release them during night. If such walls are covered with light color paints, then it would reflect heat and light down to the objects.
When talking about wall treatment then don’t forget about the drafty exterior walls as they will benefit Drafty exterior walls can be benefited with an additional covering of wallpaper, cork tiles, fiber, fabric and paper-based wall coverings as they offer enhanced insulation than painted walls.Consider wallpapers backed with foil as these reflect heat back into the room and combat it conducting via the walls. You can add functional textiles, quilts and tapestries on exterior walls to add more insulation space and at the same time make it seem beautiful.
Lighting plays a pivotal role in maintaining the overall energy-efficiency in the home. Almost 75% of energy-efficiency in a house is affected by lighting. You must, therefore, adopt measures that can maximize the lighting options. Creative placement of light lamps can help enhancing the energy efficiency. One way is to place the lamp in a corner and between two walls so that its light is reflected two walls at the same time. Insulated recessed lights on ceilings can avoid loss of heat through the fixtures. Lamps with darker tones trap the light inside, while light colored lamp shades offer the maximum release of light.
If you have torchbearer fixtures, then avoid using halogen lights as they result in waste of their energy.Every ten watts of power used by halogens release 9 watts of heat and just 1 watt of light. There are other better alternates available, which you can employ with ease and that would deliver you with more light at reduced electricity bills.Compact fluorescent are best suited to floor and table lamps. For bathrooms, garage, kitchen and similar areas, you can install linear fluorescent bulbs as a single light fixture and deliver enough light in such areas. If you wish to keep incandescent bulbs in few of the fixtures, then install dimming controls. Such lights are somewhat similar to the natural daylight and enhance the overall volume of light saved by almost 25% per year.
To complete the energy-efficient look of your house, you need to pay attention to the sound experience of your house. Make sure that your home interior is not just beautiful but is also sound proofing as otherwise it would disturb the overall ambiance of your house.