Think about making an investment in energy efficiency, whether you’re building a new house from scratch or renovating the one you already have. You’ll save money and energy, not to mention your home will be cozier and more lasting for the effort.
The process of planning is also an excellent opportunity to investigate the possibility of installing a renewable energy system that can supply electricity, heat water, or offer space heating and cooling. You should also consider looking into the many ways in which you can finance an energy-efficient house.
When you buy an existing home, the first thing you should do is have what’s called a home energy assessment, which is also known as an energy audit. This will tell you how your home consumes energy and help you determine the most effective methods to reduce your energy consumption and expenditures.
Whole-House Systems Approach
Optimizing the energy efficiency of your home requires taking a whole-house systems approach. This ensures that you and your team of building professionals take into consideration all of the variables, details, and interactions that affect the amount of energy that is used in your home.
This is necessary if you plan to design and build a new home or do an extensive remodel on an existing house. In addition to the manner in which you utilize energy, the circumstances of where your property is located, and the climate of the surrounding area, these factors include the following:
- Home electronics and other electrical appliances
- Insulation and air sealing
- Lighting and natural light during the day
- The heating and cooling of the space
- Heating the water
- Windows, doors, and skylights.
It is recommended that prior to making any improvements, you consult with an energy assessor to get your Home Energy Score. The House Energy Score is a nationwide rating system that was established by the United States Department of Energy. It offers a rating of the present efficiency of your home as well as a list of improvements that may be made and possible savings that can be realized.
The Score provides an indication of how energy efficient a home is by taking into account the construction of the property in addition to its heating, cooling, and hot water systems. The Home Facts document includes information that pertains to the existing framework and processes. The recommendations include information on how to make the home more energy efficient, resulting in a better score and thus saving money.
Homes that are ultra-efficient use the most recent innovations in energy-efficient architecture, appliances, and lighting in conjunction with renewable energy systems that are available on the market. Some examples of these systems are solar water heating and solar power.
In many cases, designers are able to combine passive solar heating and cooling solutions, as well as tactics that are energy efficient in landscaping, by making use of the local climate and site circumstances. The goal is to cut residential energy use as much as feasible at the lowest possible cost and then to make up for the decreased load using on-site renewable energy systems.
Advanced House Framing
Advanced house framing, also known as optimum value engineering, is a method that improves the energy efficiency of wood-framed homes while simultaneously reducing the amount of lumber used and the amount of waste produced. This method can be used whether you are constructing a new home or adding on to an existing one.
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