People spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, which means that energy efficiency is important. Building an energy efficient home can maintain moderate temperatures, lower humidity and increase air quality. Energy efficient homes use less energy, lowering the costs to run a household and also helping the environment in the process. Approximately 16% of all greenhouse gasses emitted in the United States come from residential homes, so while building an energy efficient home is a no-brainer, there are a few benefits that may surprise you.
Energy Efficient Homes Save You Money
The average home in America spends $5,550 a year on energy. By buying energy-efficient appliances, making home improvements, and taking energy saving actions every day, you can put the money back in your wallet. Taking simples steps like replacing light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs or halogens saves 30 – 80% on energy bills. Try washing clothes in cold water; it can save you $63 a year. Unplug lamps or items you’re not using around the house, you will see a difference when the bill comes.
Energy Efficient Homes Freshen the Air
There is a lot of added moisture in the air that you’re unaware of. Through kettles, coffee makers, plants, and bathrooms there are fumes and pollutants in your home that you are breathing in constantly. Controlling the airflow with mechanical ventilation helps confirm that the air in the building is being refreshed with outside air as often as required. The air in your home should be completely replaced with fresh air every three hours. Clean air also takes less time to less energy to heat than the polluted air, saving you more money.
Increase the Value of Your Home
Energy efficient homes typically have longer lifecycles, lower maintenance fees, and cost less to operate. By replacing new windows with energy efficient options throughout your home you can increase your asking price by $8,000-$10,000 depending on the size and number of windows. Updating your roof to be more energy efficient can help with air and water leaks, saving you thousands of dollars on your bills, and helping with resale as well. Here are some more common energy upgrades:
- Heating and cooling systems
- Solar panels
Once you know where you can improve your energy use, start by making the changes that are the most affordable and have the biggest return. Then consider whether the expensive upgrades are worth the investment. Keep in mind that tax credits and financing options are available for energy efficiency improvements.
Energy Efficient Solar Panels
If you want to go the extra mile, solar panels are a great way to offset energy costs and reduce the environmental impact of your home. Living in Southwest Florida, we get plenty of sun. By adding solar panels to your roof, you can generate and store energy on a strong, sunny day, but most people have concerns about is what if it’s constantly cloudy or overcast? How will I generate power for my home when it’s raining or snowing? Solar panels will continue to draw energy even when it’s cloudy, indirect, or diffused. Generate more clean energy through solar panels to save you operating costs on your home.
Shielding the Sun from Your Home
When building in subtropical climates, the position and angle of your home will affect the energy use. Typically, walls of glass are placed on the back of the house so when the home faces the water it will increase energy use. Large overhangs will help keep the sun from beating directly through and into your home, keeping your home cooler.
Insulating Your Home for Energy Efficiency
Residing in a subtropical climate means heat and moisture can all wreak havoc on your home. When building consider using a barrier of radiant plywood on the roof. Radiant barrier plywood reflects radiant heat, keeping your attic cooler and reducing the use of central air throughout your home.
When using masonry block walls, there tends to be a loss of energy with them when used alone. Try pairing them reflective foil back material to reflect radiant heat gain.
To insulate the ceiling from the living area, builders in the south should use a minimum R-30 ceiling insulation.
Any energy saving benefit listed here, on its own, may not be enough to motivate you to do a major energy efficiency overhaul or even undertake one energy-saving upgrade. All of these energy saving benefits together can make a great impact, especially if you’re starting from scratch and building a new home rather than remodeling.
If you’re interested in building an energy efficient home, keep these tips and benefits in mind when preparing. Energy efficient benefits to your home will keep it lasting longer while increasing the resale value. The builders at Frey & Son Homes can help you. Call (239) 495-8200 or visit www.freyandson.com for more information.