What are the most effective energy-saving products when building a new home?
There are many different ways to save energy in a new home, especially when you are having a custom home built. When you are having a custom home built you will be given the option of upgrading or selecting the energy efficient level of all the mechanical devises that go into your home. There is an added cost to these items but in the long run they will save you money in energy costs.
The largest energy user in your home is the heating units, whether they are gas or electric you will spend more money heating and cooling your home than anything else you do in it. Here is a brief list of products that will save you energy when heating and cooling your new custom home;
• Air to air heat pumps. They run off electricity, but the efficiency rating of air to air heat pumps when you purchase the highest rated ones are better than high efficiency natural gas furnaces. The cost to buy them is also higher the more efficient they are.
• Geothermal heating. Geothermal heating is by far the most efficient heating and cooling system that you could install in a home. It is also the most costly system as well. The return is longer to recoup the costs you pay on installation but the value of your home is worth more as well for resale.
• High efficiency natural gas furnaces. These furnaces use less energy than conventional furnaces but are not nearly as efficient as geothermal or air heat pumps. They also do not produce air conditioning. The cost of them is by far cheaper than anything else so the recoupment of your installation costs over an average gas furnace is fairly quick.
Because heating and cooling is so much of your energy costs in your home you should consider upgrading the insulation in your home, this will go a long way to lowering your heating and cooling costs in the future.
Other ways to save money is to make sure that you buy energy star rated appliances. The higher the rating the higher the costs, but the less energy they will use. The clothes dryer is a big one when it comes to appliance energy use, it and your oven will have the largest electricity use in your new home (for appliances).
Lighting. Your lighting is not that large of an energy user, but the more lights that you have in your home the more energy they will use. A standard halogen pot light uses 50 to 80 watts. Changing that bulb to an LED will take the power consumption down to 5 to 10 watts. The cost of the bulbs is more expensive but the longevity of them compared to a halogen pays for itself without even considering the cost savings in energy.
One of the most expensive energy saving items that go into your new home is your windows. Windows are one of the most costly items to upgrade to make more energy efficient. Taking your windows from the standard double pane glass up to triple pane glass will greatly reduce the heat loss through the windows, the down side is that the cost of the windows jump considerably. My advice is to only upgrade the largest windows in your home to triple pane and any window that is facing the water or the direction where you receive the majority of the strong winds in the winter. This will help prevent the wind chill in the winter from costing you money on heating and will not be as big a hit on the budget.
When building a custom home you will have to think long and hard about how much money you want to spend in upgrading your home to save energy. There is a limit to what you should spend; you should way the energy savings that will come to you in the future compared to the cost upfront. If you do plan to sell the house within 5 to 10 years of building it then you have to take into consideration that the resale value of your home will be higher as more and more people are looking for energy efficiency in their next home.
Village Builders Inc.