Posted By Carolyn on March 3, 2012
Energy efficiency is on everyone’s minds these days, whether you’re a homebuilder, current homeowner or a soon to be first time homeowner. A home is a family’s most costly investment and the energy used to operate that home can be your biggest expense. Building energy efficient homes is easy and if you plan right and work with your builder, you can have a home that’s both comfortable and light on your finances.
A builder who is truly committed to the whole green idea is going to sit down with you during the planning stage and inform you how to increase the energy efficiency of your new home. They’ll discuss heating and cooling systems, solar panel options, insulation needs and even appliance requirements. If you plan for these green features from the start, your overall building costs are going to lower than if you change your mind halfway through construction.
Your largest wallet drainer comes with heating and cooling your home. Energy efficient homes often use geothermal heat pumps which save you money over a traditional forced-air system. Temperatures in the soil a few feet below ground level are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Pipes running through the ground utilizes this seasonal variation to heat or cool the home, respectively. These systems can use between 25-50% less electricity to operate. Other benefits include less maintenance and repair concerns since there are fewer moving parts. This also means you don’t hear any noisy fans and aren’t getting hit with blasts of air.
An energy efficient heating system isn’t much good if the home itself isn’t sealed and insulated properly. Energy Star rated windows with low-e glass keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. Wall insulation is critical when making a home efficient and comfortable. Pulverized recycled newspapers create the perfect blown-in insulation. This material increases the value of your home as well as keeps newspapers out of landfills.
Finally, choose the most efficient appliances. Although their initial purchase price is slightly higher, the amount of energy you’ll save over the life of the machines is well worth the cost.
Designing and constructing the most energy efficient homes should be the goal of any conscientious builder. Energy costs continue to rise so make sure your new home is as efficient as possible. Your wallet and the planet will thank you.
Want to learn about net zero energy homes visit us at Homearama June 9-24th in Miami Township. Put 6408 Birch Creek Dr., Loveland, OH 45140 into your GPS.