If you're constructing a new home, adding energy-efficient features can turn your property into an environmentally friendly powerhouse. More homeowners and builders are emphasizing environmentally friendly home design in order to reduce the carbon footprint of each home and the amount of energy consumed. In this way, your property will exert less pressure on the environment for its heating, cooling and water consumption needs.
You may be wondering what steps you can take to make your home more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Here are key design features that you can incorporate into your new home to enjoy significant energy savings over the years.
It starts with an insulated frame
For your home to use less energy, it must be properly insulated. The entire envelope of the home (including walls, floors, roofs, windows and doors) needs to be insulated against leaking air. Air leaks are the primary cause of high heating and cooling bills, as well as overall higher energy consumption.
During the design and building process, make sure that the outer frame is made of good insulating materials, such as timber. In addition, the windows should be thick enough to prevent leaking air, and the doors should be fitted with airtight insulation all around the frame.
Next comes the HVAC system
Nearly half of the energy consumption in a home can be attributed to heating and cooling costs. A more efficient HVAC system can significantly reduce energy consumption and make your home more environmentally friendly.
The HVAC unit should allow for efficient air distribution, and the ducts and vents should be properly insulated and less prone to leaking. In addition, a programmable thermostat comes in handy to control HVAC costs and keep the home at a steady, controlled temperature.
Did you know that changing the lighting in your home can also result in reduced energy consumption? Switching to LED and CFL lights will lower your utility bill and exert less pressure on limited resources in the environment. LED and CFL bulbs can use up to 80% less energy than previous models.
As water resources continue to become scarce, home designers are looking for more efficient ways of reducing water consumption in the home. One of those ways is installing plumbing fixtures that consume less water. Top on this list are toilets, faucets and showerheads that discharge less water without compromising on performance.
How is this possible? Some models combine compressed air with water discharge to maintain high pressure while using less water. Look for energy-efficient variants of your home's plumbing fixtures to cut down on your water consumption.
Appliances also matter
Energy-efficient appliances are also key components of an energy-efficient home. Make sure you consider replacing older appliance models with newer, energy-certified models. They can cut down on energy consumption by as much as 50%.
Contact professionals to learn more about energy makeovers.