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Consider Energy Savings when Building a New Home

Updated on June 8, 2012

Starting Right When Building a New Home

When building a new home, energy savings start from the time you buy that plot of land to build your dream home. Go round the neighborhood area that you are planning to settle in and inspect existing buildings, especially those that have been around for some time. You will find that people have preferred certain materials, trees, or window facing orientations to take the maximum advantage of the climate in that area. You would do well to follow these trends.

Next, decide whether you want to follow the sun or avoid it. This automatically gives you the correct orientation for the main rooms of your new home. You can save on heating energy if the winters are cold by having south facing windows in the northern hemisphere. At this stage, it is wise to get yourself details on solar devices to save energy, as you may have to position some of them on the roof to get the maximum advantage.

A high energy saving component would be the size of your home. Build a home that is just suitable for your normal needs and that of your family. The less space you have, the cheaper it is on energy expenditure, as you would save on heating or air conditioning. And a smaller home would mean fewer materials used, which automatically saves the energy for the materials needed to build your home.

Other Hints to Save Energy

Limit the number of exposed walls. This would automatically leave fewer surfaces for the loss of heat or ingress of heat. This means saving in energy costs to maintain uniform temperatures in the house.

If your home is in an area that is warm during summer, see if you can position windows and doors so that there is a lot of cross ventilation. This keeps the house cooler.

If the area you are building in has severe winters, consider insulating the walls and roof to conserve heat. Initial costs may go up, but savings in energy over the years would easily compensate for this.

Doors and windows should have good sealing against the jambs, and not allow any air to escape. Look at double glazing to increase the insulation of openings. You would, of course, have to balance this with the extra costs involved.

Let in the maximum amount of natural light to reduce lighting costs. Examine fresh new ideas, like light pipes, so that you do not unnecessarily increase window areas. Select colors and furniture that promote lighting.

All equipment bought for the house, from heating equipment, to cooling equipment, to refrigerators and freezers should have high energy efficiency. Most equipment nowadays is rated and this helps you to make the correct choice.

And of course, even your child will tell you this. Buy energy efficient lighting bulbs.

To achieve energy savings you should look at the possibility of installing solar heating panels for your water and PV (photovoltaic) solar panels to produce electricity. Installation costs are high, but the energy savings over the years will more than recompense the expense. And if you can fit in a water conservation system, you would be a really good citizen.

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      Ghost32 

      6 years ago

      That solar panel setup in the photo, combining the functions of energy gathering and shade...awesome.

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