In recent years, many more home buyers are opting for energy efficient homes. This may be due to environmental concerns, or the fact that the cost of operating such an efficient home can be significantly lower than the average. But as the cost of purchasing an energy efficient home is higher than its standard counterparts, you may wonder, what makes energy efficiency a better option?
Manner of Construction
When energy efficient homes are built, it is with a whole-house systems approach in mind. This means that the systems in place to run the house, heating and cooling, ventilation, water management, lighting, all work together to decrease their energy usage.
The home is also constructed to have a "tight envelope" in construction terms, meaning that it keeps out the wind and rain by better, tighter placement of materials.
The materials used to construct these homes pose a much lower risk to the environment on the whole, as well as being able to more easily regulate the energy usage of your home. While some materials sound quite out of the ordinary, they can cause significant reduction in your energy costs.
Low-E windows, as they are often called, have a coating on the glass that holds heat in better than traditional windows. To hold heat out in the summer, contractors may use what's called cool roofing. This roofing reflects the heat of the sun away from the home before it enters.
In place of traditional lumber, a combination of recycled wood and plastic fibers can be used. This can save up to 50% on energy costs. The downside to this material is that it isn't as attractive as traditional materials, so it isn't used as often.
Rather than using wood beams for support, some opt to use recycled steel beams. Building one home using wood beams can require up to 40–50 trees for construction, where recycled steel requires only 6 scrapped cars. They function the same as their wood counterparts, with a significant reduction in landfills as well as carbon footprint.
For insulation, straw bales can actually be used, and bonded to stucco or plastic. Straw is a resource that is natural, and would otherwise simply be burned. Concrete can be used, poured between two insulating materials, for freestanding walls or even building blocks. This can save up to 20% on energy costs in cold climates, compared to wood wall counterparts.
Savings over Time
Considering all the options available in energy efficient construction, homeowners have found that the savings seen over time are well worth the initial price difference from a traditional home. This is an investment you will be able to see pay off well in the long run. Contact a construction company that specializes in energy efficient homes like Uskoa Construction LLC today for more information.Share