Energy efficiency has been a buzz word for decades now, but our interest in it hasn’t gone away. Today just about every industry is striving to be more energy efficient than it was in the past, from car manufacturing to new home construction. And while there are many reasons why people are interested in building a new home of their own, energy efficiency is often near the top.
How is New Construction Related to Energy Efficiency?
The fact is that older homes simply aren’t efficient unless they’ve been upgraded after the fact by various owners. And even an upgraded, older home still isn’t as energy efficient as a new one. Old homes must be retrofitted with energy saving improvements and technology, and that’s not always possible. On the other hand, new construction allows for energy efficient improvements to be built into the home from the very start. Not only is this easier, but it’s also less expensive as well.
As mentioned, sometimes it simply isn’t possible to include certain energy improvements into older homes. The placement of the windows, the layout of the interior space, and even the location of the home itself can all play a role in energy usage. When a new home is constructed from the ground up, these aspects can be taken into consideration before it’s too late.
And let’s not forget that the actual constructing of homes is more efficient than it used to be. Today’s homes are built using techniques which limit the negative impact they have on the environment. Contractors today understand advanced techniques for limiting resource consumption when building, such as by using wood more effectively and efficiently. Recycled and recyclable materials are also a big part of the building process so less waste is generated overall. And new, environmentally friendly material alternatives are always being engineered.
Energy Efficient Options
There are a wide variety of energy efficient options available with new construction homes. The biggest impact you’ll see comes from using renewable energy sources. These include solar, wind, and geothermal power. Solar is the big name in renewable energy these days, but the other two are still viable options. Aside from the fact that the energy from these renewable sources is “free” another great benefit is that extra energy can actually be sold back to the energy companies. It may cost more upfront, but in the long run upgrades to your home such as this will save you money.
Next there are energy efficient appliances. These can be installed in just about any home, but with a new home they’re included from the start. Energy efficient appliances can include anything from dishwashers, to toilets, to programmable thermostats. And speaking of thermostats, the heating and cooling of homes is often what uses the most energy. By heating or cooling the home only when during hours when people are home, or only in rooms which are being used, energy and money are saved.
But a smart thermostat isn’t the only way to save energy when heating and cooling a home. Other factors such as they layout of the home, placement of the windows, energy rating of the windows, and energy rating of the insulation all come into play. And unless you’re going to replace every window and all the insulation in an old home, a new home will always be able to maintain its internal temperature more effectively.
Finally, there’s lighting. Using energy efficient lights, like LEDs, is something any home, old or new, can do. However, new construction homes are better suited for taking advantage of natural light. Larger windows strategically placed around the house can drastically reduce a home’s reliability on artificial light.
Why Else Should You Invest in Energy Efficiency?
Environmental benefits and lower energy bills aside, there are other reasons why it’s a good idea to invest in energy efficient new homes. For one, energy efficiency adds resale value to your home. In Pennsylvania, solar panels alone can increase the value of a home by almost 5%. And in the future this increase in value is only going to increase as the world shifts more and more towards renewable energy usage.
The other reason investing in an energy efficient new construction home is that increased energy efficiency may be mandated by law in the future. California has already passed a law stating that all new homes must be built using renewable energy — mainly solar power — starting in 2020. The same could happen in Pennsylvania within the next few years. And then we might see a law passed regarding how efficient old homes need to be. If that happens, it will have paid off to build a new, energy efficient home rather than needing to retrofit an old home.
New homes are generally more energy efficient than old homes for a variety of reasons. They’re built in ways which help them save energy and they can more easily incorporate energy saving technology when compared to older homes. There are also many reasons why you should care about your home being energy efficient. It’s good for the environment, good for your wallet, good for the value of your home, and may someday be mandated by law.
Construct Your New Home with Mancill Builders
Mancill Builders have extensive experience when it comes to new construction homes. All of our homes are built with energy efficiency and environmental impact in mind. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of energy efficient new construction.