Custom home building offers the rare opportunity to choose each and every detail about the look and functionality of the home. Advancements in technology and manufacturing enable custom home builders to construct energy-efficient buildings that will be eco-friendly, reduce the need for material repair and replacement, and save money over time on monthly energy bills. Some energy-saving tips for custom home builders include:
Technological advances and growing societal awareness of the importance of energy conservation have made HVAC efficiency an affordable focus for custom home construction. Installing the proper size and type of heating and cooling system will help to save money on energy bills.
An effective layout design of your insulated ducts will distribute air evenly and maintain temperatures throughout your building. Alongside renewable energy installations like rooftop solar, a well-optimized HVAC system can help turn your home into a net zero building, meaning the amount of energy you use on a daily basis is equal to the amount of energy you are taking in. Several other components can help achieve this green milestone, such as mini-splits or geothermal air sourcing.
Custom homes built with sustainable construction techniques like insulated concrete forms (ICF) have become a popular way to protect new homes from extreme weather conditions and an effective way to save energy and money on monthly cooling and heating bills. Walls erected with ICF construction are built with multi-layers of insulation between concrete slabs, creating a thick, dense barrier which makes the airflow and temperature inside easier to control.
The benefits of ICF construction for custom home builders include:
- Uses less energy to cool and heat the home
- Absorbs temperature swings, saving money on transitional conditions outside
- Less likely to produce leaks in walls and window panels
- Concrete construction will last for decades
If you live in a seasonal climate, then setting up a well-insulated structure in your custom home is a critical step to take. Nowadays, it is extremely popular to use new insulation methods such as spray foam, double-wall construction, and 2×6 construction (larger pieces of wood that make walls thicker and create room for more insulation between the studs). Another critical step to take is making sure seams and crevices around your house are tightly sealed. This includes window seams, attics, roofing, underlayment, and other areas where air could seep through.
Modern Windows and Doors
Modern technological advances in the design and manufacturing of windows and doors for custom homes have focused on energy-efficiency to better heat and cool homes. There are many types of windows and doors with high R-values; which is the measurement used to determine a window’s insulation properties. The higher the R-value, the better the window will be at resisting extreme and changing outside temperatures.
Energy-efficient windows and doors can be major contributors to building a net-zero energy building that will save on the use of energy, as well as monthly utility bills over time.
The quick, widespread use of light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting has shown society’s willingness to change for the good of the environment, mainly if it saves money on a long-term basis. LED lights are far more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, with only 5 percent energy wasted during use. LED lights last far longer than conventional light bulbs and produce monthly savings on energy bills.
Appliances and Electronics
The digital explosion has seen an enormous increase in the energy needed for electronic devices on top of the electrical appliances that are used daily. Computers, cell phones, tablets, big-screen TVs, gaming consoles, and other energy-sapping electronics that are always plugged in can add up to an essential need for energy-efficient appliances and power distribution.
Always check the energy consumption of new electronics and try to purchase gadgets that do not use much energy. It would also help to install some small smart appliances that will help cut down on energy costs smart thermostats like the nest and ecobee will help reduce HVAC on-time. Other appliances such as wifi outlets can let you set lights on timers or shut them off remotely if you forgot to do so.
Custom home building gives builders (and homeowners) the opportunity to completely design the home of their dreams while staying within their budget and making cost-effective long-term decisions.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Construction and Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.