When you choose to build an energy-efficient home, it benefits you, your community, and the planet. Energy-efficient homes are becoming increasingly popular and more important as the world becomes more environmentally conscious. On top of being better for the environment, it can save you, the homeowner, a significant amount of money on utility bills. Plus, you might even be eligible for incentives from the government!
Benefits of Designing an Energy-efficient Home
There are several advantages to designing an energy-efficient home.
It reduces the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the house.
Through the use of proper insulation, energy-efficient windows, and a well-designed HVAC system, you can cut down on energy use and, therefore, energy costs.
You save money.
When you design your house in such a way that it reduces the amount of energy and water you use, you’re going to save. You’ll see your utility bills drop with a house that’s high in efficiency.
You experience increased home comfort.
Energy-efficient houses are sealed to be airtight and use highly efficient HVAC systems, including heating, cooling, and ventilation devices. Between the design of the home and the effectiveness of the systems, you’ll enjoy better home comfort overall.
You help the environment.
One of the most obvious benefits is the positive impact on the planet. When you invest in an energy-efficient home, you’re investing in and protecting the environment. All the efficient features work together to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases, as well as shrink the home’s carbon footprint.
You up the value of your home.
Homes that are highly energy efficient are valuable. Whether you design an energy-efficient home from the ground up or incorporate energy-efficient components, it always adds to the resale value.
Tips for Your Energy-efficient Home Design
Whether you’re aiming for a net zero home or just trying to make your home as energy efficient as you can, you should start with smart design. Home builders should be familiar with the steps involved in making an energy-efficient home. Your home design should lay out the steps so that your home builder can implement them in a cost-effective manner.
Here are some common factors that are typically taken into consideration when designing an energy-efficient home:
- Energy-efficient materials and practices
- Strategic site selection
- Orientation of the house
- Shape and layout of the house
- The square footage
- Roof overhangs for heating and cooling
The first step in every good home design geared toward energy efficiency includes carefully considering the size, layout, topography, orientation, and materials.
Energy-efficient homes make full use of solar power. This includes everything from powering parts of the house to harnessing the warmth of the sun to supplement the heating system. This involves orienting the house in a way that maximizes the power of the sun. It also means using strategically placed windows and shades to keep the house cooler in the summer.
If you’re truly committed, look into powering your home, or part of it, with solar panels. It’s a cost-effective form of renewable energy. Plus, it can power everything in your home, including lighting, heating systems, appliances, and hot water. While they are expensive initially, they can save you money in the long run.
Super-sealing the building envelope is another way to improve the energy efficiency of a home. It’s also extremely affordable. Super-sealing means making your house airtight. There are a variety of air-sealing approaches, so you can choose one that aligns with your climate, budget, and your home builder.
In addition to super-sealing your house to make it airtight, super-insulating is another way to contribute to energy efficiency. During the design process, you should identify where you can optimize the insulation levels. For example, certain framing strategies are better for insulating the building envelope.
Insulated Windows & Doors
Windows and doors are weak points when it comes to letting warm or cool air escape or enter the house. You can insulate your house and make it airtight, but you’ll be losing lots of energy through windows and doors if you don’t select highly-insulated models. Find the best products and have them optimized for size and orientation for maximum efficiency.
Also make sure to select energy-efficient HVAC systems, from heating and cooling to ventilation. Since energy-efficient homes are normally sealed airtight, it’s important to have ventilation, which also makes your home healthier and more comfortable. You can choose an HRV or ERV to expel the stale air while also recovering heat energy.
For heating and cooling, shop around and find the most efficient models and which would work best in your custom home. You can look for ENERGY STAR certified systems, but also consider the fuel source. Heat pumps are highly efficient and they serve as both a heating and cooling system, so you don’t need an AC.
As for hot water, do your best to locate efficient water heating technology. Plus, you should learn about other methods to minimize hot water use and ask your builder. Water heating is usually the largest energy expense in a home after heating and cooling.
As part of your design, you should plan out your home’s lighting. This will help you when it comes to selecting the most energy-efficient light fixtures. Of course, LED lights are good as they’re more energy efficient than CFLs, last longer, and don’t contain mercury. LEDs are also quite versatile as they vary from bright white light to soft, warm light.
In addition to using LEDs and other efficient lighting technology, try to use natural light as much as possible to reduce your home’s overall energy consumption.
Finally, choose energy-efficient appliances. You can explore different options for the various appliances and electronics you require in your home, but selecting high-efficiency appliances will help to minimize energy consumption.
Save Money, Help the Planet
Ultimately, building an energy-efficient home saves you money in energy bills and helps our planet. Every step you take to make your home more efficient has an impact. When you harness the power of nature in your home build, you become a more eco-conscious person. In your energy-efficient home, you’ll feel good knowing you’re doing your part to protect the environment and that you’re saving money at the same time.
And as our world becomes more conscious of our environmental impact and home-building trends move toward sustainability, the value of your energy-efficient house will only increase.
Get in touch with us to discuss plans for your energy-efficient custom home.
We don’t just build you a house, we build you a home. We assemble the top architects, designers, and trades personnel to work in conjunction with our experienced and licensed staff in order to make your dream home a reality. As a Tarion Custom Home Design-Builder, we feel it is our responsibility to be adaptable to each client’s individual needs. There’s no job we can’t handle, and we will do whatever it takes to meet your requests with high-quality results. Our architects and designers are always looking for new and exciting challenges, so the only limit is your imagination.