The demand for energy efficient homes has soared in recent years as more and more of us seek to live lifestyles that are more sustainable and that minimize our impact on the environment. And, of course, more and more of us are looking for ways to maximize our budgets and make the most strategic use of our dollars.
If you are wondering how to be more energy efficient, starting with the home in which you live (or hope to live in soon!) is the most logical place to start. After all, home energy use accounts for 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Finding ways to increase efficiency not only helps on a big picture level, it impacts our own bottom lines when it comes to energy costs.
What to Know About Energy Efficient Homes
Let’s start at the beginning: what is an energy efficient home? By definition, it is one that is designed to use less energy while still delivering the same level of comfort, convenience, style, and protection to homeowners. In many cases, the appeal exceeds that of a traditional or conventional home. For example, in a standard new build in Florida, you’re going to get single-pane, hurricane impact windows made from aluminum or even non-impact windows with aluminum shutters. This is it. With a high performance home built for efficiency, you will see double-pane vinyl windows that have hurricane impact protection.
It may not seem like much of a difference – but you will definitely feel it in terms of maintaining a comfortable atmosphere in the home and see the savings reflected on your monthly utility bills. Not only that, they offer better protection against severe weather, which we are not strangers to here in the Sunshine State.
Another difference is in insulation. You perhaps can’t see the difference between having R20 Icynene blown insulation in your attic or crawl spaces versus having standard R30 blown or batt insulation, but you will notice it when it comes to the comfort level of your home and your ongoing costs for heating and cooling it.
Can Anyone Home Be an Energy Efficient Home?
Yes, in a manner of speaking. Updates and improvements can be done to any home to make it more efficient. Let’s say you have an older home. It’s full of “character” – but also gaps, drafts, old windows and doors, and who knows what they used to insulate it a generation or two or three ago? In this case, you can retrofit the home with newer and better materials, from spray foam insulation to double-pane windows to ENERGY STAR certified appliances. These will make a difference in your energy consumption and your comfort level.
However, improving an old or inefficient home can be expensive and it may take some time before owners realize a return on their investment. If you are looking for an energy efficient home to purchase, and you want to start saving and enjoy a higher level of comfort and convenience now, it is worth considering a new build.
The Gold and Platinum Series
But not just any new build. While they are typically more efficient when compared to existing homes, many new homes are not necessarily all that energy efficient in their own right. Look for homes that are designed and built with the goal of reducing energy consumption and saving you money top of mind. This ensures that each feature and element works together seamlessly to provide optimal results. They are literally built from the ground up to be lean and green!
For example, Synergy Homes Gold and Platinum Series are up to 75 percent more energy efficient than existing conventional homes. How do they compare to new homes? Homes in these series are up to 50% more efficient. While any step we can take towards reducing consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is an important one… taking several leaps forward is certainly an exciting prospect.
How do we take those steps? Each of our Gold and Platinum Series homes is built with a tight thermal envelope. This refers to any structure that separates the air inside your home from the air outside. The roof, the foundation, the windows and doors, the outer walls… These are all part of the thermal envelope. By strategically designing this to be “tight,” meaning that it will not transfer much cool air out in the summer and warm air out in the winter. In other words, you will pay less to cool and heat your home as your energy is not just flying right out the window (literally and figuratively!).
By utilizing the most efficient materials on the market, such as R20 Icynene spray foam insulation (compared to standard R30 blown or batt insulation), we can create a tight envelope that minimizes consumption and waste while maximizing comfort.
Learning what to know about energy efficient homes is the first step. Take the next by contacting Synergy Homes and exploring our Gold and Platinum Series.