Many home buyers – and even existing homeowners – are looking at ways to reduce energy and maintenance costs. While pre-built, resale houses may have a lower initial investment cost, buying a newly built home may be a better option for long-term savings. New home builders that specialize in green building techniques can provide features and options for better energy efficiency and comfort in the home.
Everything begins at the planning stage. Even before construction, homebuyers should meet with the builders in order to determine the features and of their new home. From the home's exterior design, to the framing, heating and cooling systems, and fixtures, homeowners should be aware of every aspect of the construction, and give feedback on any design or structural concerns they might have.
An energy-efficient home has a number of essential components which help to ensure the comfort of its inhabitants and the overall efficiency of the building.
Effective Insulation. Properly installed insulation in floors, walls, and the attic tends to be most effective in terms of cost savings in climates that have a wide range of annual average temperatures. This can help ensure even temperatures throughout the house, reduced energy use, and increased comfort. Foam and fiberglass insulation are among the most commonly used materials, but there are a number of environmentally friendly insulators that use recycled paper or plastic.
High-Performance Windows. Energy-efficient windows help keep heat in during winter and out during summer. These usually have two or more panes of glass, improved framing materials, and are specially coated to minimize heat transfer. These windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furnishings.
Tight Construction and Ducts. Creating an environmental "envelope" by sealing holes and cracks, and in heating and cooling duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, and noise. This can significantly improve indoor air quality, while reducing the possibility of thermal leaks which can increase heating or cooling costs.
Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment . Many new home builders include options for energy-efficient heating and cooling systems which are quieter, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of the home. These usually cost less to operate compared to older, inefficient heating and cooling systems, and when properly installed into a tightly sealed home, can significantly minimize energy costs without sacrificing comfort.
Energy-Efficient Products and Fixtures. Home owners can take advantage of ENERGY STAR qualified products such as lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent light bulbs, fans, appliances, and others that help maximize energy savings.
By providing better options for energy-efficiency, new home builders can help homeowners enjoy ensure long-term cost-savings comfort in their new homes.