Building a home is such an exciting time, especially if you’re building an energy efficient home. There’s nothing like the feeling of going green while saving money and not being as beholden to “the grid”. There are plenty of options for you to build your energy efficient home. Consider some of these for bringing down your bills while possibly increasing the future resale value of your home.
Whole Home or Partially Green
If you plan to build an energy efficient home, areas to consider include:
- Electricity source(s)
- Electronics and appliances
- Water heater
- Doors and windows
- Air sealing
If a whole-home program doesn’t fit your plans or budget, consider where you want to spend. Perhaps then HVAC, insulation and air sealing might be your primary focus, especially for Colorado’s winter.
It’s astounding what can be done these days to build an energy efficient home; especially something called “ultra-efficiency“. This type of home is resplendent with all the latest bells and whistles. You take all the things mentioned above; make them high-tech, and then tag team them with energy efficient construction materials.
- Recycled Steel: Can be custom ordered to fit and be less expensive than wood.
- Insulating Concrete Forms: Insulation material is placed between two concrete forms.
- Plant-Based Foam Insulation: This green material has a high thermal rating and protects against mold and pests. It’s rigid and it also dampens sound.
- Structural Insulated Panels: Two pieces of wood (usually plywood) are sandwiched between insulating foam. Fire resistant and can save you in energy costs.
- Composite Materials: Comprised of recycled plastic and wood. Highly resistant to the elements.
When creating ultra-efficiency, a savvy builder will turn to e-windows as well as heat recovery ventilation (HRV). This will recycle heat within the home to maintain comfort without using your heating/cooling system needlessly.
Heating and Cooling
Check out some of the exciting options:
- Geo-Thermal: Use the heat and energy from the earth to warm/cool your home through your existing duct system.
- Solar: By far the most popular option and most cost-effective. There are now solar shingles that don’t look much different from traditional tar shingles. Use the sun to power everything from lights to hot water to kitchen appliances to HVAC to heating/cooling. The more solar your home is, the less you pay to utility companies.
- Wind: Like solar, this resource is infinite and free. A windmill catches the wind, turns a turbine, and makes electricity. Simple, clean, efficient, cheap.
Building an energy-efficient home has some up-front costs. So consider the long-term value of several years of reduced/eliminated utility costs against the initial price. Then consider the resale value the efficient technology provides. Whether it’s worth it or not is purely up to you.
Talk to us today and live green by building an energy efficient home.
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