With energy costs continuing to rise, today’s homebuyers are looking for homes that are going to be more cost-efficient to run as time goes by. They are motivated to make energy-efficient changes in their homes due to the potential to save money as well as energy.
Everything from location to orientation, to local climate, to the shape and size of the building will all be relevant in making an energy-efficient home.
Knowing the trends to look for can help you find the perfect energy-efficient home for you. Here are some construction trends that make homes energy efficient.
When it comes to energy-efficient design, the simpler the better. Simpler shapes with a bigger space are less expensive to build, air seal, and insulate. A smaller sized home that’s just right for the number of people living in it can also reduce energy costs.
A house’s location can greatly determine its energy-efficiency. One way to choose is by checking the sun’s angles. Taking advantage of this for passive heating, cooling, and solar energy production can greatly reduce your home’s energy consumption. A house that has south facing windows can use the sun’s heat during the winter, lowering heating costs. In the summer, you can just shade those same windows to lower cooling costs.
Local climate also affects insulation levels, air tightness, moisture control, and daylighting.
Windows and doors can really suck out heat and cold from a well insulated, airtight building envelope and are the third most cost-effective opportunity for making a home energy efficient. You can control window and door heat loss and gain by selecting appropriate window and door products, carefully locating them, and optimizing their size and orientation.
A continuous source of fresh air and moisture control are critical to the success of an energy-efficient home. Ventilation makes energy-efficient homes healthier and more comfortable than standard homes. Highly energy efficient ventilation systems, known as heat recovery ventilation (HRV) systems or energy recovery ventilation (ERV) systems expel stale air while recovering its heat and returning that same heat to the home with the fresh air.
Highly-efficient, cost-effective, heating and cooling systems are essential for energy-efficient homes. One good choice is an air source ductless heat pump, also called a mini-split heat pump. These systems are highly energy efficient and don’t have the shortcomings of central, forced-air systems or the high costs of thermal heat pumps.
Minimizing energy use for lighting, while optimizing light for residents, is an important feature of zero energy homes. LED lights are the perfect match for these tasks. They are more energy efficient than CFLs, last many years longer, and contain no mercury. In addition, they can meet a variety of lighting needs from very bright white light to soft, warm light. Selecting the right LED lights for the task, locating lights strategically, and utilizing natural light as effectively as possible can drastically reduce a home’s energy use.
While experts agree that the best way to save money on electric bills without reducing the amount of usage is to use LED lights, there are still important things to consider.
Day lighting is an important component of reducing electricity. This has to do with how much natural light a room gets. The kitchen and living room are two spaces that use the most electricity. As such, it makes sense that they have sufficient natural light.
Solar panels are by far the most cost effective renewable energy source. However, when there’s a power outage they can’t help you.
There are two main ways you can still have electricity when the lights go out with solar energy: installing an off-grid solar system or installing a method of energy storage, such as batteries.
Astley Electrical can help make sure you still have electricity during a power outage while keeping your home energy-efficient for the rest of the time.
Call us today to talk about your options.