Building a More Energy Efficient Home

Heating and cooling costs will continue to rise, and what you do in your home can actually affect the environment negatively. Happily, there are some things that can be done to increase your home’s energy efficiency. This will help you save money, help the environment, and feel good about what you are doing. If you are building or remodeling your home, here are some things to keep in mind while completing your project. The savings will add up the whole time you live in your house.

1.Use tight construction. This is most easily accomplished if you are building your own home. Most gaps in the home happen during framing. You can seal your home from air penetrations (which can cause heating and cooling problems) but improving the construction of your home. Make sure the construction is actually fitted. This will not only make your home more cost efficient to cool and to heat, but will also improve the over all quality of the air inside the home.

2.Put in high performance windows. Nearly 50 percent of a home’s heat gain or loss takes place through window transfers. While you will pay a little more up front, the savings in the long run really add up. Plus, these windows add value to your home. Prices are coming down, and so you can get high performance windows for much less than what they cost ten, or even five, years ago. Frame windows with wood, fiberglass, and vinyl instead of metal. Metal is a poor insulator and even high performance windows can’t stop heat leaks through the frame.

3.Install energy efficient heating and cooling equipment. This is one of the more obvious ways to cut down on costs regarding your home. Most heating and cooling stores sell heating and cooling systems that make use of advanced technology to more effectively control the temperature of your home. When building or remodeling, put in such systems at the outset in order to derive maximum benefits. When these systems are combined with higher performance windows and tight construction, your savings increase even more.

4.Landscape with energy efficiency in mind. The proper landscaping can contribute to your home’s energy efficiency. Carefully placed trees can be great tools in improving your home’s energy efficiency. Shade over the home during the summer means that your home won’t heat up as quickly. During the winter, trees act as windbreaks to further lessen air penetration to your home. Other landscaping elements like climbing plants and landscapes adapted to the climate will also contribute to your home’s energy efficiency.

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