Have you ever wondered what a truly energy efficient home looks like?
These are homes so well designed and thought out with energy conservation and minimal carbon footprinting in mind. This type of home utilizes advanced technology along with simplistic green technologies providing the owner with maximum gain and leaving a minimal impact on the environment.
An energy efficient house built from the ground up starts with the framework of the house. A common method is using 2 x 6 studs verse your standard 2 x 4 studs as the larger lumber decreases air gaps and allows for tighter insulating seals. Spray insulation along with the highest rated fiberglass is used to fill and seal cracks and crevices.
Moving from the framework and upgrading to double or triple glazed windows will provide another lay of thermal and elemental insulation. Glazed windows separate the internal window pane from the outside window pane through spacers and typically Argon gas. This separation creates a barrier that helps keep heat in and cold out during the colder months and during the warmer months those extra panes offer UV protection from the sun’s rays reducing heat inside the house.
For houses that are located in more sunny climates, many energy efficient homes make use of solar panels which capture the sun’s rays and turns them into store powered with the help of photovoltaic solar panels. This allows the homeowner to not only spend less on energy bills but also reduces their carbon footprint because they aren’t relying on the power plants to generate power.
Electrical appliances can be a large power draw on the environment and to maximize the efficiency houses built with ENERGY RATING rated appliances reduce power consumption by up to 50% if not more. These are everyday appliances such as the dishwasher, refrigerator, washer and dryer with energy and waste conservation in mind. To further maximize the energy saving potential home automated systems are put in place such as a “smart thermostat” that will learn your cooling and heating habits and begin to program itself. This helps ensure that the house isn’t being cooled or heated while no one is home and wasting electricity. All of which can be conveniently controlled from your smartphone or device.
Along with the smart thermostat are smart power strips which are specialized outlets that allow you to control devices with your smartphone but also allow you to shut down any other peripherals plugged into the same power strip. Since the smart strip can detect with the “main” device is shut off it kills power to the other electronic items preventing power drain from devices that aren’t off but are in standby mode.
Incandescent light bulbs are a relic of the past when it comes to making the home more energy efficient. With 90% of the electric used generates heat while only 10% of it actually generates light. CFL and LED lights provide the most energy efficiency as they burn brighter and longer and generate little to no heat.
For a home to be truly energy efficient requires careful consideration and a well thought out plan if building from scratch. Retrofitting or renovating your current home to be more energy-efficient may require making some upgrades but with the assistance of smart devices and more consumer level products becoming available on the market upgrading makes sense.