In planning your new home, looking ahead to the future is important. One of the many considerations you need to make is how energy efficient you want your new home to be. Energy efficiency does not start once you and your family are moved into the home. You should start planning for it at the earliest stages of your new home construction. To help ensure your home is the most energy efficient it can be, here are some aspects of the construction to discuss with your builder:
Your quest for an energy efficient home should start with the foundation. Many homeowners do not realize that there is a significant loss of energy through the foundation and the loss drives their utility bills up.
There are several ways of dealing with this problem, but one of the most commonly used is to opt for an insulated concrete form foundation. Not only do the forms help to lower your energy bills, but they are hurricane and tornado resistant. They also help with reducing the outside air infiltration, which means fewer allergens in your home.
Landscaping is usually not thought of until the final stages of completing a home, but it can play a major role in how energy efficient your home is. For instance, planting trees in the southern and western regions of the yard can help to provide shade that will prevent large amounts of sunlight from shining on your home. As a bonus, once the leaves have fallen off during the cold months, the trees will allow sunlight in to warm your home.
You can also choose to plant shrubs and bushes next to your home to help with the energy efficiency. The greenery can help with insulating your home throughout the year. Be sure the greenery is about one foot from the home to avoid a pest problem.
Some homeowners focus on the amount of light that can be brought into their homes through windows and not the potential savings that can come with choosing the right ones. Lighting is important, but if you have the wrong windows, the heat loss from those windows could lead to higher energy costs than anticipated.
Regardless of the size or placement of the windows, you need to check for windows that have energy efficient features. For instance, the addition of glazing to a window with a low U-value frame and low emissivity values could help you save.
Talk to your builder to find other ways to make your new home energy efficient.