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Key Features In Building An Energy Efficient Home

Written by Jodi Finnan

Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to perform the same task – that is, eliminating energy waste. Energy efficiency brings a variety of benefits: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing demand for energy imports, and lowering our costs on a household and economy-wide level.

Improving your home’s energy efficiency will help you:

  • Save money on energy bills.
  • Create a healthier living environment as it prevents greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
  • Increase the comfort level in your home with better air distribution and less noise.
  • Contribute to a cleaner environment by using less energy and increased efficiency of energy production.

Image from Global Green

Here are nine key features found in most energy-efficient homes:

  1. Home insulation. Want a quieter, more comfortable home? Home insulation will help you get just that. It will also reduce your heating and cooling energy costs.
  2. Window replacement. Double pane, low emissivity (low-E) windows can also reduce outside noise, drafts, and heating and cooling costs.
  3. Solar thermal. These systems harness the power of the sun to both heat water and the home.
  4. Air sealing. Reduces drafts, saves energy costs, and keeps must, mold and allergens out.
  5. Solar electric panels. Converting sunlight into electricity reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuel. Solar can immediately lower your energy costs and protection from rising electricity rates.
  6. Energy-efficient lighting. Replacing incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient CFLs and LED lighting can reduce energy use in homes by 50-75%.
  7. Duct sealing. If your furnace turns on and off, or if you have some rooms that are too hot or too cold — these are telltale signs that your ducts may be leaking. (The average home duct system leaks 30% or more.) Properly sealing the ducts increases energy use by efficiently directing the air inside your home.
  8. Energy Star appliances. New Energy Star model appliances (washer, dryer, and refrigerator) can reduce the amount of energy use by half, compared to models that are over 10 years old.
  9. Efficiency water heaters. Reduce your monthly water heating bills by selecting a high efficiency or a tankless water heater.

Besides the obvious financial savings, maintaining an energy-efficient home will give you peace of mind, knowing that you are doing your part to ensure a healthy environment for future generations to come.






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