Energy Efficient Building – An Investment With Long-term Returns
“Going green” isn’t just a fad, especially when discussing energy efficiency in home building. It is a way to do your part to help the planet, but also a way to save a lot of money. People are often concerned when considering the initial up-front costs of upgrading to energy efficient materials. This initial concern should be taken in the context of the longer term returns though.
Savings from using less power over many years can make a large difference in a home’s finances. Lighting, heating, air conditioning, hot water, and appliances can all use significant energy, and if more efficient systems are put in place for each, large savings accrue over time.
How to save with energy efficiency around the home
Even small changes can make a big difference. Focusing on a few key items during construction can save money for the life of the home.
The Energy Star program rates a number of household items for efficiency, including windows. The National Fenestration Rating Council provides information to the program about window efficiency, and those that pass are awarded Energy Star approval. Energy efficient windows go a long way in preventing hot air from escaping all winter and cool air all summer. Low e argon windows are especially good at providing additional insulation.
There are many ways to be more efficient in how you light your home. Installing skylights and big windows in key spots is a great way to introduce natural light into the mix. Also, only using CFL and LED lighting, instead of old fluorescent and incandescent is important when choosing light bulbs for your fixtures.
The roof can absorb a lot of heat from the sun. This will drive up your cooling costs in the summer. But, there are now radiant barriers like Tech Shield that are designed to deflect a lot of this heat, reducing energy consumption in the summer by up to 15 percent.
The heating, venting and air conditioning system is usually the biggest energy sucker in the home. Consider using higher rated SEER units and high-efficiency combustion units.
An improperly insulated home is the definition of energy inefficient. Make sure high-quality insulation is installed in your walls, crawlspace, and attic to reduce energy loss.
Technology has come a long way in recent years, and water heaters have made some advancements you may not be aware of. Instead of having a giant tank of constantly reheated water, there are now efficient tankless options that only heat water when you need it.
Energy Star appliances are rated by the Department of Energy as energy efficient products that will save both money and resources. Focus on buying only appliances that meet this standard.
Winslow Homes has a passion for energy efficiency
Energy efficient home building is something Winslow Homes takes seriously. It’s important to us because we not only care about the environment but also about our customers’ wallets. Those in Raleigh, Durham, Wendell, Youngsville, Knightdale, Wake Forest and other surrounding towns can rely on us as a resource for building energy efficient homes. To inquire about how you can incorporate energy efficiency into your building project, call (919) 556-4700.