We live at a time when being conscious of the fitness of the planet and using energy resources efficiently, are top priorities. With global warming a looming threat and science pointing to humans being a direct cause for this worsening condition, it has become obvious that we all need to not contribute to the further warming of the planet.

Today there is a worldwide focus on energy efficiency, and a demand to use less of the fuels that cause global warming. Where sustainability leaders like Peter Benedict St. Andrews place an intense focus, is on creating work and living spaces that are self-sustaining or that use natural energy sources like wind and geothermal, thereby using less fossil fuels.

These efforts are taking place around the world. In terms of living spaces, many are now being designed or reconfigured to make them as energy efficient as possible. These spaces are setting trends today and creating foundations for sustainable communities. Here are a few areas of focus for an energy efficient and sustainable home.

New types and uses for building insulation

In a large number of homes more that 40% of the heating or cooling energy escapes because it is poorly insulated. This of course causes heating fuel to be wasted and requires more used to heat the same space. A primary culprit for this situation is poor insulation which breaks down as not enough in the right places and the use of inferior insulation to seal leaky areas of the home. To create energy efficiency, there should be a goal of exceeding the mandated use of insulation in the home and avoid gaps and compressions in the insulation. Additionally, you should use the highest quality and most effective insulation on the market. There has been great advances in insulation utilizing new materials that can trap heat and cool better. There should also be a focus on the problem areas that include: jambs, and sills of doors and windows and at junctions where floors and ceilings meet external walls. Focusing on these areas insures that the home will keep its desired temperature longer causing the HVAC system to work less and lowering energy usage considerably.

Take advantage of the Sun

The Sun is our greatest energy source, it is always available and best of all; it is free. When thinking of energy efficiency, the sun can play a great role. Every house can gain greatly from being properly positioned with regard to the sun so that it can provide energy for the home. The real focus should be on facing the house to capture the most sun during the day. The home should also use materials that can capture heat and cause less fuel for heating to be used.

Additionally and as importantly, the technology for solar has reached new levels of efficiency. Adding solar panels to a home can in some cases take you completely of the energy grid. You end up saving lots of money on electricity bills and help the environment. Tesla just announced the sale of innovative solar panel tiles that look beautiful and are very efficient at storing energy from the sun.

Energy efficiency is no longer an option, it is a necessity and we all need to do all we can so that future generations are not faced with problems for which there is no solution. Use these tips to help make your home more efficient and they will help create a sustainable community.