When considering the design of your new home, it pays to consider creating an energy efficient home. This may cost more when you are building your home, but it will save energy, and so also save money, over the long term.
You get to relax in your new home knowing that you are not going to be stuck with huge electric bills. Even better, you get to know that you have reduced your carbon footprint substantially.
But how do you go about designing a home with energy efficiency in mind? Is it about the layout of the house? Or about the materials used during construction? Or simply just installing energy efficient appliances?
It’s about all those things and a good few others besides. In this post, we will look at what you need to consider when choosing energy efficiency. We do recommend getting in an architect and contractors that specialize in this field so that you get the best possible results.
Top Things To Consider When Building A House For Energy Efficiency
What are the most important factors to consider? That’s going to depend on where the home is situated, how big it is, and how many people will be living there. Here are some of the things that you’ll need to consider.
Your Home Appliances
Appliances these days are not the gas-guzzlers that they once were. If you are moving into a new home, it makes sense to consider new appliances. Look for the Energy Star rating to help you choose the right ones.
Modern homes are usually built to create a cocoon of air inside the house. If you keep your windows and doors closed, these homes are pretty much airtight. Which is good when it comes to conserving energy.
The more air that can escape from the home, the harder it becomes to regulate the temperature within it. Insulation prevents air escaping and so keeps the temperature in the home fairly constant.
You should also remember that insulation is about more than just what’s up in the roof. A truly energy-efficient home means also ensuring that the walls are completely insulated and that the windows and doors are not allowing a lot of energy to escape.
Smart Use of Light
A more efficient design features such as windows helps you to make the most use of natural lighting in the area. Newer designs tend to feature larger windows and higher ceilings that help to get in the maximum amount of light and also help keep the home cooler.
Skylights throughout the home can help to add to the airy feel and also become an energy-free light source.
Cooling and Heating the Home
In a regular home, the heating or cooling bill can make up a huge chunk of your energy bill. To reduce this bill in future makes sense. Keeping your home as sheltered from the elements as possible will help to keep the temperature inside more constant.
Adding shutters and awnings can be used to keep the sun out on very hot days. Clever landscaping, like planting trees for shade, or to act as a windbreak can all keep the home cozier.
The idea is to use natural elements as far as possible to keep the home comfortable and reduce your reliance on electricity.
Cooling and heating your home can push the energy bill up. So can heating hot water. A lot of energy is wasted in keeping the water up to temperature all the time.
Solar energy makes for a great money-saving option and it would be great if you could use it to power the whole home. If that’s a step too far for your budget, though, concentrate your efforts on where they’ll make the most impact. Heating water is one of those areas.
A solar water tank is more expensive, but the initial costs will be offset by the energy savings you make later.
Skylights, Windows, And Doors
The problem with any gap in the walls is that there is the potential for energy to escape through it. Standard glass windows allow a lot of energy to escape through the pane. A way to combat that is to add a window film that prevents the energy from escaping.
The films come in several different grades and some can also double as privacy screens. These, along with ensuring that the framing is done properly, and the right window dressings make the window just about impregnable when it comes to energy loss.
Skylights can all have the film applied to them in place of blinds or drapes.
Doors are another item in the home that can be surprisingly energy-inefficient. This is because your standard door is usually hollow inside, meaning that there is not as much insulation against the outside as you might think.
Solid wooden doors are ideal, but very heavy. Fiberglass makes an admirable substitute. Do, however, check the energy rating before making your final choice.
Optimum Value Engineering
This is used particularly where a house is a wood-framed home. The idea here is to reduce the amount of lumber used, cut back on waste, and create a more energy-efficient environment. If you do choose to go this route, make sure that you choose a suitably qualified contractor.
Consider the Materials Used
One of the areas that you shouldn’t skimp on is the roof of your home. Smart materials help to reflect more of the sun’s rays off the roof. This, in turn, keeps your whole home cooler in general.
If you are building a home from the ground up, you have the perfect opportunity to build smartly. It’s going to set you back a little more, but you’ll be rewarded with a cozy home that costs a lot less to maintain.
You’ll have a beautiful place to live in, and you get extra kudos for reducing your family’s carbon footprint at the same time.
The key to getting the best results is to choose the right team of experts to help design the home. Choose architects that specialize in this field to ensure that your home is placed in the ideal spot and that you can make the best use of natural resources.
The same applies to the contractors that you choose to do the building. It’s better to stick to a contractor with actual experience in this area so that you can get the best deal and the best craftsmanship. With the right team behind you, your dream home can become a reality.