With increasing energy costs a real possibility in the future, energy efficient house design is becoming increasingly important. Anyone designing or building an energy efficient home should consider these key points:
1) Proper Orientation
You can lower heating and cooling costs by orientating your house appropriately to make the most of passive solar gain, while at the same time minimizing heat gain in the hot months.
You can provide shade for your home during the summer months by planting deciduous trees in strategic locations. Those same trees will help your home to retain the sun’s heat during autumn when the leaves start to fall.
Another important design consideration is the addition of low emissivity windows and low U-value window frames. If you live at a higher altitude you can benefit from UV rays all year other than during really colder months.
4) Air Tightness
You can enjoy significantly lower energy bills by making sure you have good air tightness; in other words ensuring that all joints in vents, doors, ducts and windows are properly sealed. This prevents cold air from entering and warm air from leaving.
5) Heat Recovery
A waste water heat recovery system and a flue gas heat recovery system are two examples of heat recovery technology which can help to maximize the energy efficiency of your home.
6) It’s important to install the most energy efficient heating system, along with an accurate thermostat, especially given that at least 50 percent of your home’s energy bills are the heating costs.
You can also save a lot on your energy bills by installing LED light bulbs wherever possible, which typically won’t need replacing for at least 10 years.
8) Hot Water
A tankless hot water system is a lot more efficient than the more traditional hot water tank, especially given that about 15 percent of your energy bill is for hot water.
9) Solar panels make perfect sense – not only can they save you money but you can often sell your surplus electricity to your local power company.
Choose one of the many energy efficient insulation systems or materials available, such as insulated concrete forms.
The most important step on the path to your new home is choosing the right designer for your project. You should look for qualified drafting professionals who are experts in designing energy efficient homes.