Low Energy Appliances
Appliances use up a large portion of electricity in the home. In some cases, they could be taking up more than half of your energy. As such, one of the first ways to reduce your energy consumption is to consider installing energy-star qualified appliances. They use 10% to 15% less energy than standard appliances.
Energy Saving Bulbs
Other than appliances, the other obvious candidate when speaking of going green is bulbs. The traditional bulb consumes a lot of energy, most of which actually goes to heating and not lighting. Since your main aim is to get sufficient light for your rooms, why go for these energy-sapping bulbs? It’s a waste. Instead, you can buy energy-star rated bulbs that deliver even more light but consume substantially less energy.
Sustainable Building Materials
Before you begin building, ask your builder to consider green materials. These can include reclaimed wood, plastic, recycled glass as well as use of renewable energy sources. Some builders are also open to using reclaimed steel, insulated panels, and solar tiles just to minimize wastage and reduce energy consumption.
Using Locally Sourced Materials
In addition to using green materials, ensure that these materials are being sourced locally. Transporting building materials is one of the biggest costs in construction. Additionally, the energy and fuel used in the transportation can be saved if you source your materials locally. The best part is that local materials can add a unique and chic aesthetic to your custom home.
Consider Solar Panels
More and more people are moving from electric power to solar power and for good reason. Solar power is green. It is generated directly from the sun with no additional processes required. What’s more, although costly up front, solar energy will save you a lot of money down the line, not only in energy bills but also through grants and tax breaks.
Install Energy Efficient Windows
You’ve probably noticed that many homeowners are replacing their current windows with energy efficient ones. When building, don’t forget about this. Energy-efficient windows have two main advantages. First, they are built from stronger material therefore guaranteed to last longer. Secondly, they have better insulation therefore will keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in winter.
Ensure Proper Insulation
Lastly, heating and cooling takes up a lot of energy in the home especially in the winter and summer months when the HVAC system sometimes remains on for the better part of the day. Proper and quality insulation can help reduce the cost of heating and cooling during these seasons. Talk to your builder to ensure that all windows and doors are properly sealed and that air leaking in general is minimized.
Located in Volusia County, Empire Custom Builders is the green builder of choice in central Florida. Contact us at 386-734-5238 to get a quote.