Whether it’s your dream home or the first house you will ever own, if you are building you have the opportunity to take the initiative even before construction begins to plan for the future, according to RESNET®, the Residential Energy Services Network.
By building a new house to be as energy efficient as possible, you are setting the stage for years of savings in utility costs while ensuring your home is healthy and maintains a high level of comfort.
When designing a new home for maximum energy efficiency, consider how each step can contribute to saving you thousands of dollars with features that will improve its overall performance.
For starters, choose a builder who is knowledgeable in energy efficient design and can offer a number of suggestions on how to build your home using modern technology and techniques.
Here are a few general guidelines to start with:
• Consider which direction your home will face. In our climate, a southern exposure will collect the sun’s rays in winter.
• Decide which size is best for you. Obviously the smaller the home, the less energy will be required for heating and cooling.
• Provide adequate and ample insulation.
• Create an airtight seal in the structure and add a proper ventilation system.
• Select energy efficient ENERGY STAR certified windows and doors.
• Choose an energy efficient water heater, air conditioner and furnace.
• Select ENERGY STAR certified appliances.
• Pay particular attention to the location of windows and doors. A well-lit room will allow you to use less electricity during the day.
Plus, there are even more savings to be had by paying special attention to kitchen and bathrooms.
In the kitchen, along with ENERGY STAR certified appliances, windows and doors, install florescent lighting. Since the lights in your kitchen are used more than any other room in the house, installing florescent lighting will reduce your electricity costs as you keep your kitchen looking bright (compact florescent light bulbs require less energy and last ten times longer than regular incandescent bulbs).
Reduce water consumption in your bathrooms with energy efficient low-flow showerheads (also conserves hot water to reduce energy bills) and low-flow toilets.
An investment in a programmable thermostat and light switches plus motion sensors for lighting will also provide savings over time.
Since the opportunity for maximizing energy efficiency is never so available than when you’re building a new home, plan carefully to take full advantage of the latest technology that works within your budget.