How To Build an Energy-efficient Home (Top 12 Tips)

Introduction:

Before designing or planning a home, one should consider investing in energy efficiency. As a result, Homeowners can save money and energy, and the house will be comfortable and durable. One might want to look into financing alternatives for an energy-efficient home as well.

A more effective way to approach making a home more efficient is to keep the energy-efficient home design in mind while construction is happening, which is less expensive for a homeowner in the long term.

An energy-efficient home aims at improving the energy performance and the thermal comfort of the house in winter and summer. It ensures the sustainability of the building and construction costs as low as possible.

The first step in renovating an existing home is to undertake a home energy audit to identify how your home uses energy and the best strategies to reduce energy use and expenditures.

Why Should We Build Energy-efficient Home?

There are various reasons why we should adopt an energy-efficient home. Some of these are:

1. Energy-efficient building design involves constructing or upgrading buildings that can get most work out of the energy supplied to them.

2. It helps in reducing the energy loss in the form of heat through the building envelope.

3. Energy-efficient homes are less expensive to run, more comfortable to live in, and better for the environment.

Steps To Build Energy-Efficient Home

If you are planning to build or renovate your existing house to be an energy-efficient one. In that case, the following steps help you achieve a smart and energy-efficient structure by utilizing building materials and equipment and easy-to-learn building strategies.

1) Location Or Site Of The Building

Location, shape, and construction materials are all essential factors to consider while building an energy-efficient home. These factors will have a considerable impact on the heating and cooling requirements.

In the ideal scenario, passive solar energy gain in the winter is maximized while heat gain is reduced in the summer. It’s done by taking advantage of the home’s location, orientation, and landscaping.

We should design a home that takes advantage of various solar angles. In the winter, the midday sun is at a low angle, whereas it is at a high angle in the summer. As a result, position your property to save money on heating and cooling.

At the back of the house, homes on the south side of the street-facing north receive a lot of sunlight. Homes on the north side have shade in their backyards during the warm afternoons.

If you live in a colder region, you’ll want to position your windows so that they can absorb the most sunshine. In the winter, south-facing homes capture sunlight, but in the summer, they block it.

2) A Smart Design Of The Building

Smart design is the foundation of a cost-effective zero net energy home. All of the energy efficiency measures required to design a net-zero home should be familiar to designers, architects, builders, and homeowners.

And the house should be built so that builders and subcontractors can carry out these processes as cheaply as possible.

Builders should request that designers pay extra attention to some design parameters. These important aspects will not fall through the cracks if the builder and designer communicate effectively.

Energy-efficient Home Design
An Energy-efficient Home Design
Source: inhabitat.com

3) Solar Tempering

During the winter, using the sun to heat through south-facing windows reduces heating expenditures. In the summer, shading those same windows reduces cooling expenses.

Solar tempering tries to maximize the passive usage of the sun’s heat while avoiding the additional expenditure of thermal mass required for optimal passive solar heating. Solar tempering should be considered throughout the planning stage.

4) Landscaping And Shade

We can prevent our house from absorbing excess heat by landscaping using elements of shade. It can help in reducing the temperature by up to 6 degrees.

Trees can provide shades with canopies, such as the Yellow Buckeye and London Plane tree. Deciduous trees are ideal for shielding summer heat while allowing sunshine throughout the winter.

They blossom in the spring and summer and lose their leaves in the winter, making them ideal for both seasons. We can choose dense trees and bushes to give continual shade and protection from severe winds.

Landscaping For Shade
Source: energy.gov

5) Ventilation System

A well-designed ventilation system for an energy-efficient home provides comfort and saves energy by reducing the usage of electrical equipment for heating and cooling. Furthermore, house ventilation removes polluted air.

Windows and mechanical systems with fans are the most basic ventilation systems used to keep the interior comfortable. Healthy and natural ventilation should be a priority in your house design.

6) Use Of Energy Saving Devices

With the evolution of technology, a smart gadget selection can assist you in conserving and optimizing energy in your house.

Compared to traditional appliances, such devices require the least amount of energy to operate, lowering your electricity bills even further.

An energy-efficient home must be smart to provide a decent return on investment and save money in the long run, 

7) Installation Of Energy Efficient Lighting

Every building structure has an interior and external lighting system, which can consume a significant amount of energy depending on the type of lighting fixtures or bulbs used. According to a study, it is found that light accounts for 14% of the electricity budget for an average home.

Fluorescent bulbs and LEDs are recommended because they produce less heat and more light, resulting in energy savings. LEDs provide a high return on investment and can be used in a wide range of light fixtures.

Energy-efficient Lightings
Energy-efficient Lightings
Source: prnewswire.com

8) Super Insulate The Building Envelope

A building envelope acts as protection or covering. The building envelope is the outer structure of the building and is one of the critical energy systems.

It acts as a barrier between the indoor and outside environments, shielding the home from the elements such as air, moisture, and general bad weather.

After making it airtight, super-insulating the house may be the second most cost-effective technique for making a zero-energy home.

As previously said, energy modeling can assist you in optimizing the insulation levels for the ceiling, walls, and floors. You can choose frame methods that make it easier to insulate the building envelope and reduce thermal bridging.

9) Design For Water Conservation

In energy-efficient homes, water-saving technology is becoming more widespread. Homeowners, for example, are opting for greywater recycling systems. The wastewater from showers, sinks, laundry tubs and washing machines is known as greywater.

We can construct a diversion system to transport greywater from your washing machine to your bathroom or garden. This device can help you save money on your water bills by reducing your water usage by roughly 50%.

10) Roofing System

Another key factor when building an energy-efficient home is the roofing material. Because the material used for your roof deflects sunlight, it absorbs less heat, allowing your home to keep a consistent temperature.

The roofing materials you choose have an impact on your overall energy efficiency. The roof’s materials help you save energy, reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and keep your home cool without using air conditioning.

11) Water Heating System

After heating and cooling, water heating is often the most expensive energy consumption in a home. As a result, designers and builders must choose and locate efficient water heating equipment and other steps to reduce hot water usage.

Energy-efficient Water Heater
Energy-efficient Water Heater
Source: ericsenergy.com

12) Use of Sun for Renewable Energy

Installing solar panels is one of the most useful methods to make an energy-efficient home. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels connected to the grid are currently the most cost-effective renewable energy source for a zero-energy home.

They can supply all of a home’s energy requirements, including lighting, heating and cooling systems, appliances, and hot water.

They are, however, the most costly component of a zero-energy home. Therefore we should consider solutions for lowering or minimizing those costs.

Solar Panels Used In Home
Solar Panels Used In Home
Source: saveonenergy.com

Conclusion

Energy-efficient homes are becoming increasingly important as energy becomes a critical economic concern due to rising demand and unsustainable energy supplies.

It means that even households must assess how efficiently they utilize power to heat and light their homes. Energy-efficient buildings can save money while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

There are personal benefits in addition to the overall environmental benefits of a more energy-efficient structure. One of the most significant advantages of upgrading or building a more energy-efficient home is lower heating and electric bills.

Overall, even though an initial investment in energy efficiency is required, homeowners will frequently recoup these costs within a short period of time due to lower energy costs.

Furthermore, by making investments that will be selling points well into the future, we can increase the home value. These energy-efficient solutions effectively make a “future-proof” structure.

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