According to the Department of Energy, an average home can save up to 25% on utility bills by following various energy efficiency measures. The monetary savings is certainly appealing. Therefore, it’s not surprising that, since 2019, over 2 million homes in the US have been certified by ENERGY STAR—and more are expected to embrace the concept of building energy-efficient housing.
If you want to build a custom home designed for energy efficiency, this article will provide some helpful tips worth considering.
Your Home’s Size and Shape Matters
Your custom home’s size and shape have a significant effect on energy efficiency. Big houses tend to have larger surface areas that enable more drafts and heat transfers. These spaces would cost more to heat and cool. Homes with open floor plans and rooms with high ceilings are also harder to keep warm, making them energy inefficient.
Consider designing a custom home with fewer open spaces and more confined rooms. By dividing more areas using walls and doors, the house’s temperature becomes easier to maintain.
Choose Energy-Efficient Building Materials
Most energy-efficient houses are built from scratch to take advantage of energy-saving construction materials. These materials can contribute to the overall energy efficiency of the custom home.
Some of the popular energy-efficient and eco-friendly building materials available include:
- Recycled steel
- Insulated concrete walls
- Bamboo wood
- Structural insulated panels
- Vacuum insulation panels
Consider using these building materials if you have sustainability in mind from the very beginning.
Consider The Direction Of The Windows
Most people know that well-insulated windows contribute to a house’s energy efficiency, but few realize that window placement is also essential. The direction your windows are facing has an impact on room temperature and natural lighting.
- North-Facing: Windows facing this direction often have the least natural light and the coolest temperatures. Because of this, rooms with north-facing windows can be the ideal area for a kitchen. If utilized this way, it’s recommended to keep this window small and insulated to avoid heat loss.
- South-Facing: This window usually gets more natural light and generates more heat. Rooms with south-facing windows make for a perfect living room or activity area because it’s naturally warmer and well-lit enough to save electricity.
- East-Facing: These windows get plenty of natural sunlight in the morning but get significantly cooler throughout the day. Similar to north-facing windows, it’s perfect for rooms that generate heat, like kitchens.
- West-facing: Like south-facing windows, west-facing windows get the most natural light throughout the day. However, these rooms tend to get brighter and hotter during the summer months, so getting shades or blinds is recommended.
Install Energy-Efficient Roofing
The roof is constantly exposed to the sun. That’s why using the right materials and color on your roofing can have a significant impact on your home’s energy efficiency.
For a lot of people, installing a cool roof is becoming a popular energy efficiency option. Cool roofs are specifically designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb far less heat than other roofing options.
Using light-colored roofing is a simple way to make your roof energy-efficient. Light-colored roofing helps reflect sunlight and prevents too much heat build-up, keeping the rest of your house cool. If you prefer to have darker-colored roofing, it’s possible to apply roofing membranes or a reflective coating on them to prevent heat build-up.
Building your own energy-efficient custom home is an excellent investment that offers many advantages for you, your wallet, and the environment. Talk to your trusted home builders for other effective energy-efficient options.
H.E. Feldman & Son has over 40 years of experience in building exceptional custom homes and room additions. If you plan to have your own custom home, contact us today for a free quote and allow us to help you turn your vision into reality.