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Building an energy efficient home

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Amanda Hutchinson

on 13 December 2011

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Transcript of Building an energy efficient home

Building an Energy Efficient Home by Amanda Hutchinson, Joe Lunt, and Jason Cromer "Recent technological improvements in building elements and construction techniques also allow most modern energy saving ideas to be seamlessly integrated into house designs while improving comfort, health, or aesthetics. And even though some energy-efficient features are expensive, there are others that many home buyers can afford."

—Elements of an Energy Efficient House Climate-specific design
Passive solar heating and cooling
Energy-efficient construction
Energy-efficient appliances and lighting
Solar water heating system
Small solar electric system Elements of the House Gable Fans Natural Light Solar Power Attic Insulation Ridge Vent Radiant Barrier Solar Attic Fan Energy Efficient Furnace Tankless Water Heater Energy Efficient Air Conditioning Wall Insulation Dual Pane Windows Exterior Paint for Life Plantation Shutters As temperatures rise outside, the temperature in an unventilated attic can rise upwards of 125 degrees which raises energy costs to cool the home. Installing a gable attic fan will ensure that the attic will have the right amount of ventilation saving you money on energy costs and expensive roof repairs. Skylights result in reduced requirement for artificial light. They can offer a dramatic reduction in a building’s total energy consumption and the emissions of CO2 associated with this energy use. Installing a photovoltaic solar power system in your home is better than just decreasing your electricity demand from companies that operate coal-fire power plants. Since many air leakage paths are driven by the tendency for warm air to rise and cool air to fall, the attic is often the best place to stop them. Less air leaks leads to a lower use of energy for temperature control. First, ridge vents help lower the temperature in the roof structure, in the attic and the habitable space below. Second, ridge vents help prolong the life of the roofing materials, particularly asphalt shingles and plywood sheathing. Third, ridge vents assist in air circulation and help avoid problems with excessive moisture. Radiant barriers are installed in homes, usually in attics, primarily to reduce summer heat gain, which helps lower cooling costs. The barriers consist of a highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbing it. A solar powered attic fan is an attic ventilation fan which runs solely off solar power, where outside air is forced through the attic and powered by daylight to the outside through the vent. This method of attic ventilation is many times more effective than passive (natural) ventilation since the air inside the attic is exchanged many more times per hour with a powered vent than with a passive vent. By reducing electricity use, efficient furnaces help reduce air pollution produced by conventional power plants. They also can improve the air quality of your home. Every minute of every day, a standard water heater keeps 40 to 80 gallons of water heated to 120 degrees or higher. A tankless water heater only heats water when it is needed. Insulation reduces the escape of hot or cool air, therefore more easily maintaining home temperatures without extra energy. Cellulose insulation is made of 80% recycled newsprint. Installing double-paned windows can help cut down the energy costs of heating and cooling by providing an extra layer of insulation. Insulating paint: By applying an insulating coating to your exterior walls you restrict heat loss through the wall and heat gain during the summer months While today's windows are much more energy efficient and leak free than older windows, a plantation shutter still provides an extra layer of insulation. Heating and cooling costs the average homeowner about $1,000 a year - nearly half the home's total energy bill. An Energy Star qualified model could cut cooling costs by 30%. Energy Star products meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Simple ways to become more efficient Upgrade or replace windows
Plant shade trees and shrubs around your house
Replace incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lamps
Unplug electronics when not in use
Turning off lights, televisions and stereos in unoccupied rooms
Take shorter showers to reduce hot water The end Mr. Dimaggio's House What saves the most energy? Attitude and a mindset of frugality.
What about in a home? The 18 in. thick straw-bell insulation.
Actually, 100% of the finished wood in the house is local.
The bricks are reused from a local refurbished store
The stairs are from a Morro Bay Ash Tree
The sun's energy is used in passive ways
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