An energy-efficient building > The building

The purchase or lease of a home is a matter of great importance. Consideration should be given to a set of aspects connected with the building?s energy efficiency and quality, aspects that will help you to save: its exposure, which should best be primarily north-south; the type of thermal and acoustic insulation; the type of windows and glazing; the sanitary hot-water and heating installation; the power rating of the various facilities and the amount of power contracted with the utility company (it is recommendable to contract the minimum); the type of automatic adjustment of the heating and/or air conditioning system; the facilities for the use of renewable energy, and the certification or energy studies of the building. Depending on the available space, in newly-built houses or buildings it is a good idea to recover the wise old architectural practice of establishing a building?s exposure according to the lay of the land, designing the main façade to face south and avoiding poorly insulated party walls to the west. When you install the energy system in your home, include a centralized facility for heat production since it provides a higher yield than individual systems; likewise, choose condensation or low-temperature boilers and, for sanitary hot water, choose systems with a hot water storage tank. For the supply of sanitary hot water, consider the use of thermal solar panels. The investment is higher but it pays off with the savings that are subsequently obtained. There are also heating and sanitary hot water production systems that use biomass. A well insulated building allows energy savings of over 50%. Choose carefully the type of glazing, the dimensions of the windows and their exposure. These points are of fundamental importance to reduce cold in the winter and heat in the summer. Paint the walls in a light colour since this reduces the heat gain by up to 35%.

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