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Home Design Guides: Climate control, Energy and water management

Calculate heating and cooling costs

How to calculate heating and cooling costs

Heating and cooling can be very expensive, and knowing what you're paying to use your heaters and air conditioners is a good way to rein in your usage. Here's how to calculate your costs.

Efficient air conditioning

Which cooling systems are most efficient?

If you need to artificially cool your home, it's well worth considering how much that'll cost, and what kinds of options you have. Air conditioners are effective, but they're also very energy hungry...

Which heaters are most energy efficient?

There are many different types of heaters, and many different sorts of fuels you can use to heat your home. Find out how each compares in terms of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.

What's a building envelope?

What's a building envelope?

If you're having a house designed for you, chances are that you've heard the phrase 'building envelope' being thrown around. Find out what this means, and why it's so important.

What's a sustainable home?

What's a sustainable home?

Pinning down exactly what constitutes a ‘sustainable home’ isn't easy - but understanding the kinds of things that really matter will help you go a long way towards building one.

Heating and cooling management

Heaters and air conditioners can easily account for most of your energy consumption if you allow them to. Find out what you can do to minimise the need for artificial heating and cooling, and to reduce your consumption.

MEPS label

MEPS labels and ratings for air conditioners

Air conditioners come with labels these days that indicate how efficiently they're able to cool (and to heat, if they're reverse-cycle models). Find out more about these labels and what to look for.

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