Building Energy Efficient Safe Homes
by Dean Minton
Tips for building energy efficiency into your new home.
Everyone has heard of the energy crises in California and the rising cost of electricity and gas. And as the years go by it will get worse. Even if you can afford the extra money it's no fun when the power goes off and your home loses its comfort level quickly. New technology has come along to help but most must be built into the home at the time of construction. If you are planning on building a home than the following are things you should consider. Most contractors unless you have a very good one will not build your home the best it can be built. There are many small and big details, which can make a big difference in the long run.
Building energy efficiency into today's homes requires much more than simply adding more insulation or energy efficient appliances and windows. It requires a totally new concept of building techniques. It requires innovation and creativity, the ability to move forward into a whole new dimension of building tomorrow's homes today. These super energy efficient homes will have the ability to reduce our energy consumption by 50% to 90% making these homes extremely Environmentally friendly by reducing the demands for more energy as requested by the department of energy.
The real cost of owning a home is not the construction cost, it is how much it costs you to own and operate your home every month. The huge monthly savings realized by drastically reducing your rate of energy consumption will result in a positive cash flow from day one. With the high and ever increasing utility bills this will accrue tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage or in an interest bearing savings account.
In addition to the money saving benefits of your new home you will realize other very pleasant benefits, and homes that are quieter and safer.
The following list should be considered:
- Have at least 8" thick, (I use 14") newer type panel extremely strong exterior walls. The insulation value (up to R-50) and soundproofing of these manufactured panels can't be beat. There are many companies that make these panels and after much research I believe ®RASTA is the best and is the one I use. You can even use them to soundproof a music room if you want.
- Make sure the home is constructed as a sealed unit with vapor barriers, with adequate ventilation and with a heat exchanger as required. Eliminates air leakage into and out of your home.
- Have standard 10 ft. high Ceilings to increase comfort.
- Include solar hot water heating but pick a quality system.
- Have a Roof system with 97% reflective air spaces vented from the Fascia to the continuous Ridge vent for much cooler attic spaces.
- Most heat energy is transferred into and out through the roof system and the only way to prevent this is with reflective air spaces in the ceiling and roof.
- Use quality bath and kitchen fixtures like ®MOEN. They last much longer and most important they don't leak. A single drip can waste 400 gallons of water a year. Make sure air chambers are installed in the plumbing.
The air conditioning and heating will be much smaller in this home and in some locations none at all.
A home built like this will cost very little to heat and cool.
These things will add cost at first but will pay for themselves over and over again. With the addition of a few solar panels (The Government will help pay for them!) you can actually sell electricity back to the electric company!
For pictures please visit our website.
Web site address: http://www.energysaverpanels.com
EMAIL: Dean Minton is part owner of Western States Energy Company.
© 2001 Dean Minton