When building larger homes, energy efficiency becomes a major concern. Who wants a $700 electric bill? Not me! Fortunately, there are many steps you can take when working with your builder on your custom home to cut energy costs.
In making large homes energy efficient, heating and air conditioning are the biggest concern. But the great thing about building a new home is that you can choose the latest, most energy efficient model available. Today, heat pumps are one of the best options for energy efficiency. Keep in mind that the higher the SEER rating, the lower the costs of cooling your home. Whatever system you choose, regular maintenance is a must for energy efficiency.
While cooling and heating accounts for about half of your home’s energy use, did you know that your washer/dryer and water heater use 14 percent of your energy each? Many homeowners don’t think much about their water heater, but opting for an advanced water heating system, such as a heat pump, hybrid gas, or integrated “combi” water heater, could save you thousands of dollars in energy costs over the life of the water heater.
When picking out your appliances, make sure to choose ones that are Energy Star rated. The EnergyGuide label will tell you the estimated yearly operating costs for that appliance. Comparing those labels can help you choose the most energy efficient model. And keep in mind that extra features often use more energy, so if you don’t need them, don’t get them. If you hardly ever freeze food, don’t go with a refrigerator model that has an extra-large freezer.
Finally, finding energy efficient lighting is a breeze these days. LED and compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs abound. There is no reason to waste money paying to power old-school incandescent light bulbs.
At Oak & Willow Design + Construction, we always consider energy costs when designing and building our clients’ homes. We never want to leave our clients with unexpectedly high electric and gas bills. That’s why we use our expertise to help you choose the most efficient HVAC systems, water heater and appliances on the market. Leave us a comment if you have any questions about making your home more energy efficient.