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How to Design and Build an Energy Efficient Home

Jun 21, 2012

Designing and building your own home certainly has its advantages. First of all, you have the choice of style and the ability to add all those ‘must have’ features you always wanted.

Then you have the opportunity to make some smart choices and design a home that is energy efficient as well. An energy efficient house can save you a lot of money over the coming years, as well as providing you with a comfortable and healthy home.

This is where a RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Contractor or builder can offer services that will ensure your home is both energy efficient and environmentally on the right track.

A good architect who is knowledgeable in energy efficient design can offer many suggestions on how to build your home using modern technology and techniques that can help you save on your energy bills. Here are some general suggestions to start you in the right direction:

  • Consider which direction the house will face. In a northern climate a house with a southern exposure will collect the sun’s rays, even in winter.
  • Decide on which size is best for you. Obviously the smaller the home, the less energy will be required for heating and cooling.
  • Provide adequate and ample insulation.
  • Create an airtight seal in the structure and add a proper ventilation system.
  • Select energy efficient ENERGY STAR certified windows and doors.
  • Choose energy efficient water heaters, air conditioners and furnace.
  • Select ENERGY STAR certified appliances.
  • Pay particular attention to the location of windows and doors. A well-lit room will allow you to use less electricity during daytime hours.

For people who are really energy conscious, there are alternative methods of generating power that may be practical and create savings. However the start-up costs for some of these methods may be rather high, but they are worth looking at.

Solar panels: Take energy directly from the sun’s rays and convert it to usable energy in the home.

Geothermal energy: A method of harnessing the stored energy created by the earth’s core.

There are many things to consider when building an energy efficient home, so getting some advice on the best course of action for you will help you make the best decision.

A certified RESNET contractor or builder will have the answers to help you make the best decisions when constructing your new home.