Big Advantages of Energy Efficient Homes
Energy efficient homes have gained even more popularity over the last several years with environmentally conscious consumers and homeowners looking to buy or remodel their home. In fact, home buyers list energy efficiency on the top of their list for features they’re looking for when purchasing a new home. What changed? The introduction of smart technology, and the rise of the Smart Home. Read on to discover the big the advantages of energy efficient smart homes.
Green Building Blocks
You’ve probably heard the term “green building” many times before. Have you ever wondered what green building really means? Here’s how the EPA defines it:
“Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from site selection to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high-performance building.”
So, when building a new home, the green cycle of energy efficiency really begins with your selection of eco-friendly building materials and continues through the construction of your home and choice of high-quality appliances and fixtures. Add to that the advantages of easy-to-use smart home technology to save you money and make you and your family more comfortable and safe.
Energy Efficient Green Building Materials
Reducing your environmental footprint has never been easier or more cost effective. When building or remodeling a home, an essential foundation of energy efficiency is to create a design that takes advantage of the local environment, site conditions and climate. Here are a few of the key ways to save energy and build an energy efficient home.
Roof Radiant Barrier Roof Sheathing - this under roof insulation is perfect for warmer climates because it reduces the amount of heat that’s absorbed by your roof and reflects it away before it gets trapped in your attic. With this radiant barrier, your HVAC runs more efficiently, and your cooling costs decrease.
Low-Emissive Glass - Ever get too hot near the windows in the summer, but feel a chill in the winter? The solution is to install low-emissive doors, windows and skylights that have a special high-tech coating that reflects infrared light. This reflection keeps the heat outside in the summer and inside in the winter. In fact, this one upgrade alone can reduce the amount of energy you’re losing by an incredible 30% to 50%.
Solar panels have come a long way over the last decade. No longer bulky or unattractive, panels can be installed on your roof to compliment the look of your home while converting the sun’s energy to everyday usable electricity.
Insulation isn’t just for attics anymore. Using a combination of climate-appropriate insulation in the attic and interior walls allow both cooling and heating to work more efficiently while lowering your utility bills and keeping you more comfortable.
High-Efficiency HVAC systems and heat pumps by Lennox Heating provide a superior comfort level and enjoyment in any home. Look for units featuring Smart programmable thermostats that work with your schedule when you’re at home or away.
Calculate Energy Savings with HERS Rating Scale
The Home Energy Rating System HERS tells you how efficient a home is. It’s based on the International Energy Conservation Code created in 2006. The HERS scale has a 100-point range. The lower something measures on the scale the more efficient it is. Almost anything you can think of on the inside or outside of your house can be measured for efficiency. For example, you can measure the energy savings of an entire home or individual components like electrical plugs, HVAC systems, solar panels, and roofing.
If you’re shopping for a new home, look for ones that are HERS rated. This rating system takes the guesswork out of deciding what appliances will save you money and which home will have the lower energy bills.
Watch this short video to learn more on understanding the HERS label.
Easy Energy Efficiency at Home
Whether you’re buying a new home or remodeling your current one, these energy efficient products are the ones to invest your money in:
LED lighting and compact fluorescent lights generate much less heat than regular bulbs and last five times longer. This is a simple money saving change you and your family can make.
ENERGY STAR® appliances like Whirlpool & KitchenAid lower water and energy usage over standard models. Quite often there are rebates by ENERGY STAR® for these products, and many come standard in new homes.
Smart programmable thermostats let you control your home's comfort and temperature based on your family’s needs and busy schedule.
Smart technology apps via your smart devices let you turn lights and ceiling fans on and off, regulate the temperature, and lock doors. With smart switches, you can turn lights on and off with your voice.
Tankless water heaters – no more ice-cold showers when you’re using a tankless water heater. It’s efficient and fast because instead of heating an entire hot water heater, it only heats water being used–instantly.
New Pulte homes are up to 30% more energy efficient than the average existing home. To learn more read about Pulte's energy advantage and discover all the ways your new home can be energy efficient from the moment you walk through the door.
Contributed to Your Home blog by Carol Youmans
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