Triangle homes are becoming more “energy friendly” than ever before. The energy-efficient movement has resulted in the phasing out of old incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescents and in an increasing number of what are called “zero energy” homes that produce at least as much energy on-site as they use to operate on a daily basis. Whether you’re still switching out light bulbs or researching installation of solar panels, read more about energy-efficient homes below.
The most effective way to get a home more earth-friendly is to start incorporating the energy-efficient design into the home as early on as possible in the design and building process with a “passive” solar design. When you are building the home, if you are planning a net zero home from the beginning you will incorporate windows and overhangs to help keep the energy the home uses to a minimum. Moreover, being selective of which types of glass you use can help keep the conditioned air inside the home rather than letting it leak out through the windows or other openings. This alone will help you come much closer to getting your home to that net-zero energy use you are striving for.
Energy-efficient appliances cut down on the amount of energy your home uses, which is great news if you need to upgrade major appliances and want to see a decrease in your energy bills. One of the most impactful upgrades to a home’s appliances is a geothermal water heater, which uses a lot less energy to heat your hot water supply with a desuperheater. This preheated water will supplement the house’s main hot water supply. If you’re not quite ready for that upgrade, consider a new, more efficient HVAC system and/or be sure your old system is under regular maintenance to save lots of energy and cash.
Another great way to help cut down on environmental impact and help conserve water is to install low-flow shower heads and faucets. Investing in low-flow toilets makes great sense, too. Consider water-efficient appliances for your washing machine and dishwasher as well. You will use less water and it will take less energy to run your home on a day-to-day basis.
Using efficient appliances along with installing solar panels can help your property produce enough of its own energy to power your entire home. If your home uses less energy, solar panels and other power savers on your property may be able to keep up with the energy needs of the home.
Visit an open house or two this weekend and see how many of these features you can spot.