Energy Efficient Home Building Starts With The Design And Materials
With the costs of utilities, especially energy, constantly rising it’s now more important than ever to build homes with energy efficiency in mind. In some parts of the country, it’s possible to spend nearly 10% of your income just for heating and cooling your home. Based on nationwide surveys of home builders Asheville NC has a high percentage of residents who are environmentally conscious and want to build green homes. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to save money on energy with a new home.
Before You Get Started the Design Is Important
The design and planning of your home is where saving energy starts. Everything from the direction the home faces to the materials used can save on heating, cooling, and water heating. In addition to that, having the roof situated properly in order to install solar panels can go a long way towards saving money on that installation as well.
There are high r-value insulation products available for both the walls and attic areas that need to be designed into the plans. Most homes in most parts of the country are required to have minimum 6″ thick walls to provide more space for insulation. The same for the attic and floor, but in some colder climates, even more is required. Nearly all windows will have to be double or triple pane and in some areas, low e glass to reduce air conditioning costs will also be installed.
Attic ventilation is also a good way to cut back on cooling since the attic space can get extremely hot even on rather mild summer days. Ventilation is far cheaper than most air conditioning.
The Heating And Cooling Systems Are Far More Efficient Now
The old systems that relied on fossil fuels to run boilers or furnaces are dying a slow death. They are being replaced by air to air and air to ground heat pumps that absorb heat from the air or ground in order to heat the home. These can be much more efficient and use far fewer greenhouse fuels to get the job done. Many homes are also using water heaters that connect to the heat pump as well as solar water heating systems. Heating water for showers, baths, washing and cleaning is a major energy cost for most families.
The biggest advantage of a heat pump system is its ability to run on electricity garnered from a solar electric panel system. This can make heating and cooling the home nearly free on sunny days.
Solar Energy Is Coming Down In Price
Solar panels are now at grid parity in most of the US meaning that they cost less to buy and install than using electricity from the power company grid. This is important for the future of humanity and as the prices continue to fall on the panels their efficiency is rising. Soon the costs will be so inexpensive for solar that millions of homes will have no other choice for heating, cooling and powering their homes. While batteries are still expensive their prices are also dropping rapidly and at the same time the batteries are getting smaller and providing more power per kilogram.
If you are planning on building a home in the near future it’s a good idea to start by contacting an experienced green home builder and architect. JL Builders is one such builder in Asheville NC That way you can rest assured that the home will be designed from the start with energy efficient home building materials and specifications in mind.