Use Less and Think Green: Energy Efficient Floor Plans

Energy Star Houses

The EPA and the United States Department of Energy’s Energy Star initiative seek to implement high energy standards whenever new houses are built. The Department of Energy states that people living in Energy Star-labeled houses could save 30 percent or more on their overall energy costs. Even owners of older and historic homes could realize significant savings if attention is paid to energy-saving improvements like adding the appropriate level of insulation and weatherstripping.

Energy efficiency in homes can usually be achieved though the following activities:

Conserving heat by using superior designs for windows and doors (such as Energy Star windows and doors) in addition to focusing on wall construction and materials, especially insulation.
Using renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power
Sensible use of energy sources including heat pumps and HVAC systems
The Department of Energy also suggests that Energy Star houses should include both active and passive features for saving energy using heating and cooling equipment. Powering electricity with solar panels would qualify as something that is active. A passive element might be a clever roof design that reduces heat in the summer months and absorbs energy. Framing techniques that use additional and more efficient insulation are yet another great passive element.

Modular Homes

The end of WWII caused the market of modular homes to flourish, yet the energy efficient house plans of such homes have only recently caught the attention of energy efficiency experts. The truth is that reduced energy costs and modular homes go hand in hand. One example is that the very first U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED platinum-level certification was issued for a modular home installed in 2006. The National Association of Home Builders reports that more people across the nation are trying to reduce their impact on the environment by using these homes.

Greener Building Materials and Techniques

Wall construction and materials have seen many advances since modern style homes were first built. One can now build walls with superior efficiency that are as strong and sturdy as traditional designs. Also, households that choose efficient heating and cooling equipment, could be cutting their heating bill in half. Additional savings come from installing energy efficient radiant heating and geothermal pumps. A knowledgeable and qualified professionals place a great deal of emphasis on affordability and comfort in addition to efficiency. If you are buying a new home, it makes sense to get yourself one that you will give both comfort in addition to reduced energy costs.

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