Note on Energy Efficient Homes

Energy has become, in recent years a central topic in many circles. Be it business, industries, offices and even homes the issue nowadays is all about energy efficiency. Homes in particular have garnered interest as areas where energy efficiency can be easily implemented with many benefits. The design, electrical appliances and sources of energy in a home are some of the aspects that are considered and controlled in the construction of power efficient homes. So what do we mean by energy efficiency? In science the term energy efficiency has more complex meanings and definitions which involve power input and output. For the purpose of this article we will use the simple, layman’s definition.

What if you replace your normal windows with special glass windows that do not allow a lot of heat to pass through them? Now during winter less heat escapes from the house through the windows to the outside and in summer less heat comes into the house. The air conditioner is will be rarely on since the house is already comfortable. In this case you have used less energy with the same results. It is important to note that power efficiency is not the same as energy conservation. Reducing the amount of time you spend using your desktop computer is power conservation. Replacing that desktop with the less energy consuming laptop is energy efficiency. The following are some of the areas in which energy efficiency is applied.

Appliances-Modern day appliances use less energy as compared to older appliances. In most energy efficient homes you will find new models of refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and other electrical equipment. Also making some changes like getting a clothes line instead of using the dryer saves a lot of power.

Design-The building size, shape, color, location and general design plays a big role in energy efficiency. Getting insulated walls, foundations and basement slabs reduces heat loss during cold weather and maintains a cool temperature in the house in summer. The color also matters. Dark colored houses will tend to absorb a lot of heat than light colored one. So if you live in a cold area it is advisable to use a dark color on your house to save on the energy used in air conditioning. Planting trees around your home also helps to control indoors temperature.

Lighting-One of the major energy saving techniques when it comes to lighting is replacement of the traditional incandescent bulbs with the newer energy saving fluorescent light bulbs. Sky lights are also used to save on the energy used in lighting. There is a lot more advanced technology used in construction and design of homes in an attempt to save energy like Optimum Value Engineering, Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF), Air/Vapor Retarders, Solar Water Heating, Solar Electricity and many more. Energy efficient homes are the center of interest in the energy sector today and with time they will become a necessity rather than a luxury.