It’s amazing how a few changes can transform an uncomfortable home that’s expensive to run into a cosy refuge that’s low on emissions. The open houses at Sustainable House Day – The Nillumbik Trail are full of inspiring ideas to achieve this.
Like many homes in Nillumbik, the original Comfy Home was hot in summer, cold in winter and it seemed an impossible task to bring it up to standard. The owners thought long and hard about how they could change their uncomfortable concrete box into their dream home.
Starting with a house that rated 1.6 stars under the NatHERS scheme, concrete block construction on a concrete slab with a flat roof, poor solar access, a Bushfire Attack Level of 29 and lots of water entering the house, they had a lot of challenges to consider. The house now rates at 6.3 stars under the NatHERS scheme and 10 stars under the Scorecard program.
They rearranged rooms to make the most of spectacular views and incorporated extensive insulation and beautiful timber windows to great effect.
Replacing the wood heater ($1,600 per year to run) with a Daikin US7 2.9kW split system brought their energy bills down to about $360 per year (that’s total electricity – no gas!).
The old kitchen was replaced, including an induction cooktop, convection microwave oven and high efficiency dishwasher. Bathrooms were updated with highly efficient toilets, tapware and showerheads saving over 70,000 litres of water each year.
They had thought it would be impossible to make their home as efficient and comfortable as it is without bulldozing it and starting from scratch but are now delighted with the renovation and plan to stay there for a long time.