Building Your Dream Home
More than 1.39 million people will be building a new home in the U.S. this year.
Building a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. As you start planning your new home you’ll find there are thousands of decisions to make. Choosing the right contractor, floor plan, carpet color and bathroom fixtures are all part of the process. Unfortunately, the price tag often brings us back to reality.
The decisions you make now will last you a lifetime. Before you know it, you’ll be moving into your dream home. But one thing people often overlook in the planning process is the energy bill. You’ll have an energy bill longer than you’ll have a mortgage. However, there are several ways you can make your home energy efficient without spending a lot of money.
Common Features Of A New Home:
- 2 car garage
- 4 or more bedrooms
- Central air conditioning
- At least one fireplace
- Full or partial basement
Deciding what energy source to use is a complicated decision. If you live in an old home or a mobile home now, your electric bill is probably very high. These homes are not energy efficient and are energy guzzlers.
A new energy efficient home with more square footage will typically cost you less to operate than an old home or a mobile home. Energy efficient savings will last as long as you own your home. Installing the proper insulation will cut down on the size of heating/cooling system and keep your home economical to operate.
Use Nature To Make Your Home Energy Efficient.
- Use trees in your landscaping - trees can reduce air conditioning costs. Enhance your comfort and minimize the need for lawns and lawn mowing.
- Use the sun - Make sure your windows are south facing and have limited glass on the north side.
- Use the earth - by using a Ground Source Heat Pump you can use the energy found in the earth to heat and cool your home. The earth is one big solar collector.
- Before any heating and cooling system is installed, a Manual J Thermal Analysis should be properly sized for the home to ensure energy efficency.
Other Things To Consider So Your Energy Bill Isn’t The Size Of Your Mortage.
- If using a forced-air system make sure all ducts are sealed. Duct leakage often leads to comfort, moisture, health and safety problems.
- Insulate - make sure all low spots and gaps are sealed. These spots allow air to flow freely.
- Use sprayed-in insulation (wet-spray cellulose, blown-in fiberglass or foam) instead of batts in exterior walls.
- In bathrooms, insulate behind fiberglass tub enclosures (when they are installed against exterior walls).
- Insulate dropped ceilings over closets and bathrooms.
Stopping air infiltration will save you money in the long run. The short cuts you take now will cost you in the long run. It’s hard to forego the quality carpet or that great faucet. But building energy efficiently is like putting money back in your pocket.