Energy Efficient Homes: 5 Building Tips

Creating homes that are energy efficient takes both time and effort. Learning building strategies that not only are affordable compared to a conventional home, but that also add to the design can sometimes feel like a balancing act.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to start with a smart design and continue to completion. From the small details to the big picture ideas, here are 5 building tips for an energy-efficient home. We are all responsible for the environment, so let’s make our buildings more sustainable, starting with our homes.

1. Use a Smart Design

Start with a cost-effective design strategy. A smart design is completed with both designers and architectures. This is especially important when building a net-zero home. When creating a smart design, consider how builders and subcontractors will be able to actually implement every step.

Communication between the builder and designer is key, but this can be complicated if you’re not sure where to begin. The Zero Energy Project has a lot of suggestions for creating a high-performance net energy home design that is worth reviewing.

2. Estimate Energy Usage

Next, you need to estimate the home’s energy usage. This should be done during the initial design phase to make sure you can estimate just how the energy will flow through the home. For added accuracy, use energy modeling software which can help you reach your goal of net-zero (or close to zero) energy. This might lead to changes in your initial design.

3. Insulation Sealing the Home

A huge part of energy efficiency is the home’s insulation. The most cost-effective way for builders to improve energy efficiency is with a super-sealing process to the building’s envelope as well as super-simulation.

You’ll need to choose an air-sealing approach that matches both your budget and your climate, but this airtight sealing will go a long way. From there, optimize the insulation levels to keep the thermal bridging minimalized.

4. Choose an Energy-Efficient Heating System

The heating and cooling system can be a big strain on the home’s energy usage. Santa Rosa heating services recommends opting for a high-efficiency system that can help you meet your energy goals.

What should you choose? Look for an air-source, ductless heat pump which is known for its high efficiency. Because this type of system doesn’t have a central, forced-air process, it takes significantly less energy to power. Though it might seem small, the heating and cooling system really makes a difference.

5. Use the Sun

Last but not least, use the sun. One of the best ways to provide a cost-effective form of renewable energy is with solar panels. The most affordable choice is to use grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. These can power all of a home’s energy needs, including the lighting, heating and cooling, and appliances.

To reduce the amount of energy needed from solar panels, beware of what’s known as the “phantom” loads. These are any appliances or systems that continue to use energy even when they’re not in use. They draw energy unseen, and they really add to a home’s footprint. Paying attention to eliminating these “phantom” loads can help you reduce the amount of energy needed in total.

Create a Futuristic, Sustainable Home

The future needs more homes that are energy-efficient and sustainable. If you’re starting your home design journey from the start, follow these tips above. They’ll not only help you cut down on costs, but also on time spent making sure your home is as efficient as possible.

No matter where you live, you can take steps to create a home that’s sustainable and built to last. As we work towards a zero-emission future, every home will matter. How will your next project help the world become a greener place?