One of the many advantages of deciding to build instead of buy is that you have the opportunity to live in an energy-efficient home. Older homes come in various levels of quality, and unless it was originally designed with efficiency in mind, upgrading an existing home can be quite costly. Building science has come a long way in recent decades and many “green” building techniques are now becoming standard practices. New homes that are built with the environment in mind don’t necessarily have to cost a lot more, and they always cost less to operate because they use less energy.
If you are planning to build an energy-efficient home, talk to your construction superintendent about including these methods and materials:
Air Sealing and Insulation
It takes energy to produce the conditioned air in your home, whether it’s heated in winter or cooled in the summer. When this air escapes to the outside through cracks and holes, your HVAC system has to work harder to maintain your temperature settings. Sealing all these openings during construction helps improve energy efficiency by keeping conditioned air in your home.
Insulation has a similar effect. More insulation in the walls, floor, and roof means that less heat is able to enter your home in summer or escape in winter. The effectiveness of insulation is measured by its R-value, with higher numbers being better. The Pacific Northwest has three climate zones, so the recommended R-value will depend on the location of your home.
Windows do much more than just allow light into your home. They also allow fresh air to circulate when open, and prevent heat or cold from escaping when closed. In summer, you want your windows to keep heat out while your air conditioning system is operating. In winter, the more heat you can get from the sun, the less your furnace will have to work. Adair Homes offers JELD-WEN Low-E Windows to reflect heat away from your home during the hot months and keep the heat inside during the cooler months. Windows with Low-E coating also help protect your floors, furniture, and walls from the sun, so they will last longer with less fading and cracking.
The roof is also a significant source of heat loss and gain in a home. Sufficient insulation is a good first step toward improving energy efficiency, but choosing the right type of roof also has an impact. Adair Homes offer LP Techshield Roofing to block radiant heat and reduce the attic temperature. This allows your air conditioner to work less to maintain a cool temperature in summer, keeping your family comfortable while also keeping your energy bills low.
The appliances in your home can be major contributors to energy consumption. Choosing Energy Star-rated devices helps you save energy every day. Look for the Energy Star label on your:
- Washer and dryer
- Refrigerator and freezer
- Electric stove
- Air conditioner and furnace
Most major appliance manufacturers offer Energy Star options at competitive pricing, so these choices don’t contribute significant cost to your energy-efficient home.
Smart Home Tools
New smart home devices allow you to easily control features in your home like lighting and outlets, so if you forget to turn off the lights when you leave the house, you can do it remotely. Smart thermostats also allow you to create detailed settings to optimize energy use and control them from an app if you’re not home. Smart outlets offer similar functionality by allowing you to turn them off and on from your smartphone or tablet.
Adair Homes offers the Nexia smart home system, which includes an American Standard Gold 824 Smart Thermostat, keyless entry system, automated garage door controller, and indoor camera system so get the benefits of both better energy efficiency and home security.
Adair Homes is here to guide you through every step in the process of building an energy-efficient home. If you need land or financing, our trusted partners can help. Our design team will ensure that the floor plan you select and customize will have all the features your family needs, and our construction superintendents use only high-quality materials and the latest methods to ensure that your home is cozy and comfortable all year long. Contact us today to get started.