With the energy efficient revolution firmly planted in the collective paradigm, builders of new homes are reaping a myriad of benefits. Some include lower cost for utility bills as well as generating revenue. The areas that have been targeted are insulation, windows, skylights, doors, solar and wind technology, and Energy Star appliances.
Empirical data along with tips are listed on authoritative websites such as energy.gov, which is a division of the U. S. Department of Energy. The information provides homeowners with specific details regarding insulation and other factors that contribute to energy efficient innovation. For example, a printable diagram is available that highlights exactly where to install several types of insulation materials. Some listed are the attic, walls, floors and garages. Each area has a particular type of insulation to use including loose, roll, and batt. It goes further with the benefits achieved and cost.
Insulated concrete is the latest component in building energy efficient sustainable homes. It adds substantially to reducing utility bills year round. In addition, it removes concerns that lumber has such as cracking, warping, rot, and termites. The standard used to measure the effectiveness is called R-value with R-2 and R-3 being examples. The higher the number the better protection provided. The term used in the industry is weatherization instead of insulation.
Windows, Skylights, and Doors
Just like insulation, windows, skylights and doors have a rating system. In this case, it is known as energy performance rating. Again, the higher the number the more energy efficient the products installed are. Consumers will need to know acronyms such as SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) and LSG (Light-to-Solar Gain). Beyond this, the types of windows including double pane, the frame glazing material, caulking and other components need to be considered. This also applies to skylights and doors.
Window treatments and film also contribute to the energy health of homes. While window placement based on the sunrise and sunset are being factored in, custom window treatments for your home maximize this detail. They cut UV rays and add an elegant touch with plantation blinds complementing a structure’s interior and exterior aesthetics. The selection gives consumers a bevy of choices with functionality, materials used, colors, shapes, and cost.
Solar and Wind Technology
Enormous gains have been made with innovating technology that harnesses natural resources of the sun and wind. Solar panels are lighter, smaller and can produce enough energy for a single home of 2,500 square feet. Additionally, homeowners are capable of generating income by selling excess electricity to the power company. This requires a specially designed grid system as well as being in an area that supports this kind of project. While it has been slow going, major states and countries including New York and Canada continue to add this infrastructure to the grid.
Wind is another technology that is making headway in the energy efficient initiative. There are projects that offer homeowners grid systems to produce electricity. The components consist of turbines, towers, generators and other parts. In addition, a dedicated space sufficient in size is also necessary. In some instances, these two technologies are combined to achieve 100 percent coverage. Government at all levels has substantial rebates and tax credit incentives to encourage their use.
Energy Star Appliances
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has created the Energy Star rating system that covers a broad range of appliances that include washers, dryers, thermostats, low-flow toilets and sinks, ceiling fans, and light bulbs. The yellow rating sticker can easily be found on each product listing annual energy use and cost savings. Occasionally, they come with rebates to entice customers. The appliance especially light bulbs are demonstrating life cycles of decades.
Efficiency abounds in new home construction for both energy and cost. Taking these steps at the beginning of the process will maximize this important potential. Homeowners can install most of the items listed. It is recommended to research and partner with contractors that specialize in green technology.
Author: Lizzie Weakley