We all know Florida leads the country in citrus production – we outpace nearest “rival” California by a wide margin. We are the Sunshine State, after all! But did you know that Florida is also the country’s third-largest tech industry? Over 33,000 high-tech companies are based in the state. But despite leading the US in these respects, Florida is lagging a bit behind many other states in terms of energy efficiency. This sector has been slower to change. So, if you are looking in for Port St. Lucie Florida for homes on the market, you might be wondering if you can find one that is energy efficient. Good question.
Let’s see if we can find an answer – and a terrific, energy-efficient home!
Port St. Lucie Energy Efficient Homes
First, we’ll back up a moment: what is an energy-efficient home? More specifically, how is it different from a conventionally built home? Simply enough, it is a home that is designed and built to conserve energy and reduce usage. The “how” can look different, but it typically begins with a tight thermal envelope.
The thermal envelope is basically any element that separates outdoors from in. Your foundation, outer walls, windows, doors, and roof. When the thermal envelope is “tight,” it limits the transfer of air from indoors out and vice versa. In other words, you won’t be paying to heat the outdoors in winter and your AC won’t be fighting a losing battle during the long, hot summer.
All homes have a thermal envelope. Energy-efficient homes ensure that it functions optimally to reduce energy usage – and your utility bills. This includes elements such as more effective:
- Insulation. Builders use R-30 blown insulation as a standard. Synergy Homes uses R-20 Icynene spray foam. In the attic, this reduces the ambient temperature from 44-64 degrees warmer than the air-conditioned square footage to just 10-12 degrees. Think about a summer day where the temperature is a scorching 98. You are paying to keep your home at 68, but your attic space is reaching triple digits. With high-performance homes, you reduce energy usage and your appliances don’t have to work as hard. Differences like this – and like using spray foam instead of blown or batt insulation – make a significant difference in your home’s efficiency.
- Windows. Port St. Lucie Florida homes that are energy-efficient go beyond the state’s code, which requires single-pane, hurricane impact aluminum windows or non-impact windows with aluminum shutters. Synergy Homes provides double-pane hurricane impact vinyl for a higher level of performance (and safety).
- Energy Star Appliances. While not part of the thermal envelope, the appliances in your home play a major role in the efficiency – or inefficiency! – of your home. Washers, dryers, water heaters, dishwashers, ranges, and other large items account for a significant portion of your usage. Appliances alone draw 13% of your total consumption, while water heating is about 14%. Heating and cooling account for a whopping 46%.
Energy Star appliances cut this down from the get-go, but remember: the tight thermal envelope means that those heating and cooling systems do not have to work as hard. This further decreases your usage.
High-performance homes are built from bottom to top to ensure maximum efficiency. Top Port St. Lucie energy-efficient home builders seamlessly blend functionality with form to deliver beautiful results that will endure for years (decades!) to come.
There are other, smaller steps you can take to make sure your home runs as efficiently as possible, including:
- Turn your refrigerator temperature down. Even a degree or two can make a difference in consumption without impacting food storage safety.
- Use cold or warm water for washing your clothes.
- Run your dishwasher only when it is full, and, if you can, allow them to air dry.
- Turn the temperature on your water heater down. (This is an important safety measure as well, when you have children, as it prevents scalding.)
- Invest in a smart thermostat so you are heating/cooling as needed and reducing waste.
- Replace air filters on your HVAC systems as needed (typically once every three months, or more frequently if you have pets).
- Use low-flow showerheads and toilets.
- Check your weatherstripping and repairing/replacing if necessary.
- Plant shade trees and shrubs. Beat the heat and beautify your landscaping: it’s a win-win.
These are great steps, and ones well worth taking. However, if the “bones” of your home are not sound, then you will still see continued high energy usage and utility bills. Start with a great foundation, so to speak. A tight thermal envelope is your best bet when it comes to cutting consumption.
If you are looking at Port St. Lucie Florida homes, put energy efficiency high on your priority list! There are energy-efficient models from which to choose. Synergy Homes has been leading the way in the high-performance home building industry, and we offer several model options that are designed with you in mind.
It’s time to stop thinking and talking about energy efficiency; it’s time to start living it! Learn more at Synergy Homes.