More Energy Efficient Home Ideas & Plans
The modern home doesn't just have to be attractive and comfortable. It also has to be energy efficient. Modern homeowners are aiming to help both the environment and their wallets by creating an energy-efficient haven for themselves and their families. Achieving this is much easier than it seems. There are countless changes you can introduce to your home to help save power. Here are some great examples.
1. Good attic and wall insulation
Heat is constantly flowing in and out of your home, day and night. During the winter, it’s very important that you keep the heat inside in order for your house to stay warm. Insulation is what keeps all the heat from leaking out rapidly. When your home is well insulated, you can count on your heating bill to stay low.
The insulation in your walls depends on the material they’re made of. An American-style home might require additional insulation to be installed to help the home retain heat. European homes are usually built from thick walls which require minimal insulation to do their job. Attics in both regions are particularly vulnerable to heat leakage due to their proximity to the roof. If your attic is unfinished, adding a layer of insulation would have a huge effect on how much it can retain heat.
2. Limit idle energy wastage
The electronic devices in your home use up a lot of energy. This isn’t at all unexpected. After all, that’s the main reason you have electricity in your home. However, some of these devices use electrical energy even when they’re not being used. Those little lights that shine throughout the night and annoy you from afar aren’t just there for show. They signal that the device is on and ready to be used. However, this also means that the device is using a bit of electrical energy to power that light.
This is called energy vampirism. These electric appliances might not be using a lot of energy, but that tiny bit that they do use piles up over time. Turning them off when you go to sleep might be a chore, but it can save you quite a bit of energy. Instead of having everything connected to separate outlets, use an extension cord to connect several devices to one power outlet. This allows you to turn everything off with the press of a button, making the process a lot easier.
3. Consider renewable sources
Using less power isn't the only way to make your home more energy-efficient. Generating your own electrical power would have the same effect. Luckily, homeowners can do just that by installing solar panels on their own homes.
Solar energy is a great way to turn your home into a powerhouse of efficient energy management. The sun is an endless source of free energy that is just waiting to be utilized. Personal solar panels might have seemed like a pipe dream a couple years ago, but the technology has improved significantly. Today, you're able to install and use solar panels on your roof with ease. As long as you have spare space on your roof, you can utilize the power of the sun to make your home more efficient.
4. Install efficient lighting
When you install lights in your home, you need to be sure that they’re the most efficient option available. Lightbulbs take up a lot of energy during the night, which is why it’s important that they expend as little energy as possible. Keep in mind that not all lighting options are created equal. Some are much more efficient than others.
Most new modern homes are outfitted with LED lights in order to save energy. They’re a lot more efficient than incandescent lights and they last longer. LED lights can also be made into very diverse shapes that can match the design of your rooms. The LED strips at Azoogi are a good example. You can install these kinds of lights just about anywhere in your home and they’ll be a lot more efficient than other lighting alternatives. Plus, you get more control over your design choices.
5. Use cold wash cycles
Washing machines use a lot of water and electricity to do their jobs. Heating up the water alone takes up ninety per cent of the energy that a washing machine uses. This is an unnecessary amount of energy when you consider the fact that the hot water doesn’t really do much for cleaning.
Unless your washing machine load is heavily stained or mostly white, you don’t have to use hot water cycles to clean them. A cold cycle will do just fine with some detergent. Keep the washing cycle cold and you’ll save a lot of power when cleaning clothes.
Energy Efficient Home Designs
Before you design a new home or remodel an existing one, consider investing in energy efficiency. The Home Energy Score is a national rating system developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Score reflects the energy efficiency of a home based on the home's structure and heating, cooling, and hot water systems.
Proper site orientation (passive solar design) of a home is essential for taking advantage of the sun’s energy. Specifically, in the Northern Hemisphere homes should be oriented north-south. he north-south orientation minimizes direct sunlight during the summer (which lessens cooling demands) while maximizing sunlight during the winter (which lessons heating demands).
Optimizing home energy efficiency requires a whole-house systems approach to ensure that you and your team of building professionals consider all the variables, details, and interactions that affect energy use in your home.
Keeping your home energy efficient isn't all that difficult. Most of the energy wasted in your home can be saved by making some minor changes in your day-to-day life. The bigger changes aren't all that bad either. The more you invest in making your home energy-efficient, the more money you'll gain in the long run. There's no bad way to save energy when it comes to home design.