How to Build an Energy-Efficient Home

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(Family Features) Whether it’s your primary objective or a secondary benefit, creating an energy-efficient living space is a smart choice for homeowners. Sustainable architecture and materials can help ensure you rely less on limited resources while reducing the cost of operating your home.

These green ideas range from relatively simple to major undertakings, but they all have one thing in common: energy-efficient living, which in turn results in lower energy bills.

Be mindful of electricity use. Monitoring your usage habits is a simple starting point when you want to move toward more energy-efficient living. Using less electricity during peak hours reduces the strain on your energy provider, which can help curb your monthly bill. Check with your utility provider to confirm what times of day they offer lower rates. Other tips include using natural light to your advantage and turning off lights and other electronics when they’re not in use.

Install energy-efficient windows. Even standard double-pane windows lose a great deal of energy in the average home. In the winter, they allow cold to seep in, while in the warmer months blazing sunlight can quickly elevate a room’s temperature. However, energy-efficient windows act as an effective barrier to both cold and heat. They can even protect your belongings from fading and damage caused by ultraviolet light. Newly installed windows also tend to have tighter, unblemished seals, addressing another common culprit of energy loss. If new windows are not in your budget, check your window and door perimeters and consider resealing them to prevent air leakage.

Opt for efficient appliances. Appliances may make modern life substantially easier, but they account for a significant share of a home’s energy usage. However, you can reduce how much they need by choosing an efficient model that uses 10-50% less power than less energy-conscious options. Not only do they help reduce greenhouse emissions and promote sustainable living, but some energy-efficient appliances also have lower maintenance requirements.

Boost insulation levels. Adequate insulation keeps heat in your home when it’s cold outdoors and prevents too much heat from seeping in when temperatures soar. However, over time loose-fill insulation (such as cellulose, fiberglass or mineral wool) can break down. It’s also common for homeowners to discover their homes were constructed with insulation that only met minimum standards at the time they were built, so there’s room for improvement. Consider adding insulation to commonly deficient areas like the attic, garage, basement and exterior walls.

Start with a solid foundation. Building a new home is a big investment, especially considering rising energy requirements and fuel costs. Relying on energy-efficient construction materials, like Nudura’s insulated concrete forms (ICFs), can provide homeowners nearly 60% energy savings compared to traditional building methods using wood. ICF construction results in less waste during the building process and also reduces the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling due to their continuous insulation, thermal mass and high R-value. The result is an airtight structure that enables building mechanical systems to heat, cool and ventilate more efficiently, creating a healthier living environment with a lower carbon footprint.

Learn more about energy-efficient options for your home at nudura.com/eco-friendly.






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