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Trends in Energy Efficient Homes
November 4, 2015
Look for these features in the energy efficient homes of today.
If you’re set on energy efficient living, there’s no reason to go out and buy a new house – there are plenty of ways to make your current home one of those energy efficient homes we all hear about. Being sure that your walls are properly insulated, installing double paned windows, and utilizing things like weather stripping and window insulation techniques can help to save you money on your heating and cooling bills. But here are few more “out of the box” type techniques to help make your home more energy efficient.
While solar panels were once a piece of equipment only available for concept houses and the fabulously wealthy, new solar panels manufactured in China as well as solar power sharing plans are now available, making the cost of solar panels much more manageable for the average homeowner. Some solar panel companies will even install the panels for free and continue to own them until you’ve bought enough electricity from the solar panel company to pay for the cost of the panels and insulation. In certain areas, these types of agreements aren’t allowed, but the installation company is able to sell the electricity made from the solar panels on energy efficient homes to the electric company until the cost of the panels and insulation have been compensated.
Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters have been around for years, but are just now making their way into energy efficient homes across the US. Tankless water heaters only heat a small amount of water at a time, rather than keeping a large tank of hot water heated around the clock, saving tons of energy!
Vivint and other companies have created home control systems that allow homeowners to control many functions of energy efficient homes, just like a programmable thermostat. For instance, you can use the control system to automatically dim or turn off lights during the day or when you aren’t home. Other features, such as heating and cooling systems, can also be controlled via these systems.
Advanced Heating and Cooling Systems
Tons of energy efficient heating and cooling systems exist these days which use innovative ways to conserve energy. One such system, called an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) exchanges energy between air leaving the home and air entering the home, heating the air in the winter and cooling it in the summer. This allows for energy efficient homes with airtight windows as the ventilating system eliminates the need to open windows for fresh air.
By “cool roofs” we mean cool as in temperature. Cool roofs reflect heat back away from the home, eliminating excessive heat absorption during the summer. Keeping homes insulated is one of the biggest factors in creating energy efficient homes.
Insulated Concrete Wall Forms
Insulated concrete wall forms make up some of the most energy efficient walls available in construction today. Considered to be 94% efficient, these walls are exceptionally insulating, as opposed to the best case scenario 75% efficiency of a traditionally built and insulated wall.
Energy efficient homes are all the rage these days, and why wouldn’t they be? With minimal costs up front, you can save money for years on the heating and cooling of both your home and the water you use within your home. Alternative Energy Construction would be happy to discuss any renovation or new construction needs you have for a more energy efficient home.