In 2021, the average American home used about 886 kWh of energy per month. However, in recent years, building homes to be energy efficient has become very popular.
Home designs have changed a lot over the years. This has been for several reasons, such as changes in people’s tastes, advancements in technology, and different resources becoming readily available.
Having a more efficient home can provide several benefits, and there are various ways that you can make your home more energy efficient.
For seven modern design tips on how to build a more energy-efficient home, keep reading.
1. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances and Lighting
One of the most effective ways to make your home more energy-efficient is to use energy-efficient appliances and lighting. When it comes to this, there’s a wide range of appliances and lighting solutions on the market that are specifically designed to use less energy than older models.
Making this change can significantly reduce your energy bills without you needing to change your habits in terms of what you use and when. Some common examples of appliances that you could change for more energy-efficient models include:
- Washing machines
There are also various lighting solutions you can make use of. Replacing traditional bulbs with LED ones, for example, can greatly reduce your energy usage. LED bulbs can still be just as bright and typically last much longer.
Solar lights are another great option for your yard. Once these are installed, they’ll absorb sunlight and run through the night. You’ll never need to worry about supplying them with another power source.
2. Incorporate Natural Lighting and Ventilation
The more natural light there is in your home, the less need you’ll have for artificial lighting during the day. While lights aren’t the biggest energy drainers in your home, over extended periods, they can add a sizable amount to your expenses.
On top of that, natural lighting generally makes for a more comfortable living space. Large windows, skylights, and other forms of natural lighting can provide more natural light while helping to lower your utility bills.
Natural ventilation can also help reduce your bills by allowing air to flow through your home. You can use windows, vents, and fans to increase airflow, helping to keep your home cooler on hot days.
3. Insulate the Walls, Roof, and Floors
When building your home, ensuring it’s properly insulated will make it much easier to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Insulation in your walls, roof, and floors can help reduce the transfer of heat between the inside of your home and the outside air. It will keep your home warmer when using heating in the winter and colder when using air conditioning in the summer. This can significantly reduce the need for heating and cooling systems, leading to further savings on your energy bills.
4. Use Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors
A lot of heat can be lost through windows and doors – especially older ones. Installing energy-efficient windows and doors will have a similar effect to installing proper insulation. While summers in Idaho are generally not too hot, winters can get very cold, so you’ll want to keep the cold out.
Your home will experience less heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Additionally, improved doors and windows can prevent air leakage, helping maintain better indoor air quality within your home.
5. Use a Solar Water Heater or Solar Panels
One of the best ways to ensure you have an energy-efficient home is to use more renewable energy. One of the most viable solutions is solar energy. Solar water heaters use the energy from the sun to heat water, giving you a reliable source of warm water without the need to use electricity or gas.
Solar panels are becoming more popular all over the world. They can generate electricity that will power your home, and you can even store any excess in a solar battery for later use. Both of these options can help to reduce the costs of your utility bills and are beneficial for the environment.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
While things like insulation and energy-efficient windows can help make your home more energy-efficient, you may still be able to reduce your energy usage even further. Installing a programmable thermostat will give you more control over the temperature of your home.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day, ensuring the temperature of your home adjusts as and when you want it to. You may want to set the temperature to be lower when you’re not at home and higher when you are, for example. This will help keep your home more comfortable while reducing your energy usage.
7. Design for Water Conservation
Things like low-flow showerheads and faucets can help to reduce water consumption. They use less water than standard models, leading to lower water bills. Every time you shower or wash the dishes, you’ll be using less water, which can also reduce strain on the local water supply infrastructure.
Other water-saving systems are also available. Greywater recycling systems can take the wastewater from sinks, showers, washing machines, etc., and use it elsewhere. A typical example would be for use in your backyard – recycling the water will reduce your overall usage.
Designing Your Energy-Efficient Home
Having an energy-efficient home can help you reduce how much energy you use. This will save you money and is beneficial for the environment.
At Idaho Impact Homes, we specialize in designing and building custom homes. To find out more about how we can help make your dream home become a reality, click here to contact us today.