How Open Floor Plans Affect Energy Efficiency
4 ways an open floor plan makes an energy efficient house
Gone are the days of box like rooms! Open floor plans are the latest trend in modern day custom homes! In case you are wondering what we mean when we say ‘Open floor’, it is the generic term used in architectural and interior design for any floor plan which makes use of large, open spaces and minimizes the use of small enclosed rooms. Basically, it refers to the elimination of barriers such as walls and doors that traditionally separate distinct functional areas, such as kitchen, living room and dining room.
Let us know understand how open floor plans help you in being energy efficient. Electricity is undoubtedly the most important form of energy that is consumed by us. Because we depend on non-renewable sources for power generation, we continually face the crisis of power shortage. If we do not minimize the wastage of electricity and maximize the usage of renewable sources, the day is not far when the world would go black again.
These are some of the ways by which open floor plans can affect energy efficiency. An open floor plan -
When you prefer having an open floor, the interior walls get removed. This indeed allows sunlight from windows on the exterior walls to permeate throughout the house. This can help you reduce the usage of electricity during daytime, as sunlight would be sufficient to light up the room. When you have more natural light in a place, you won’t have to rely on electric lights and hence your electricity bills will go down.
Energy efficient house plans are sometimes called ‘green house plans’, because they employ strategies to reduce energy consumption and costs of utilities. When you chose an open floor plan, there can be an adequate flow of air to all areas of the house. This will automatically reduce the usage of air-conditioners, coolers, fans and other cooling systems. An open floor plan thereby encourages adequate ventilation for all rooms and is very important for an energy efficient home.
The very thought of having to clean all rooms, bathrooms and open spaces is horrific and it also consumes a lot of physical and electrical energy along with time. This can be solved if you switch to an open floor plan, which implies having everything on display and segregating activities might not be difficult. This will consume lesser time and energy.
In addition, when you have an open floor you can make your home feel larger, even if the square footage is modest. Open floor plans allow this multi-functional lifestyle, where each room can have a variety of uses. By eliminating doorways and widening the passages to dining and living areas, you obtain a sense of spaciousness that divided rooms lack.
So, before you design a new home or remodel an existing one, consider investing in energy efficiency. By doing this, you will save energy and money and your home will be more comfortable, durable and eco-friendly. An energy efficient house should seek to balance the benefits of daylighting with the potential hazards of an increased solar cooling load.