Building an Energy-Efficient Home That Eases Your Reliance on Air Conditioning

August 31, 2013
Ross and Witmer

Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, putting a little forethought into the intelligent design of your home can go a long way toward controlling energy costs. In order to ease your reliance on air conditioning, consider these strategies when building an energy-efficient home:

  • Orientation – Orient the majority of windows to face south. During summer, more sunlight enters east- and west-facing windows than south and north. Consider breeze patterns as well.
  • Insulation – Installing adequate insulation goes a long way toward building an energy-efficient home. Maximizing insulation minimizes heat gain. Be sure to verify the most cost-effective methods for your climate and ensure your home is airtight as well.
  • Roof surfaces – Check the Energy Star program for roofing that’s light-colored, reflective and high emissivity to prevent unwanted heat from being introduced into your home.
  • Moisture control – Design your home for passive cooling and protect yourself from uncomfortable humidity levels. By providing absolutely no moisture seepage into basements, properly installing rain flashing and using bathroom fans, you can help avoid mold, mildew damage and wood rot caused by high humidity.
  • Ventilation – When building an energy-efficient home, design for effective ventilation by installing an adequate number of operable windows and a whole-house fan. The addition of a whole-house fan increases the effectiveness of night flushing, or closing up the house during hot daylight hours and airing out warm indoor air at night when temperatures drop.
  • Ceiling fans – Ceiling fans use the wind-chill effect to keep you cool by increasing the evaporation from the skin. Using ceiling fans can allow you to raise your thermostat temperature as much as 5 degrees and still retain the same level of comfort, significantly reducing the need for air conditioning as well as your cooling costs.

To ensure you aren’t missing any opportunities building an energy-efficient home, contact Ross & Witmer. Our team has been making homes in Charlotte, Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union and surrounding areas more comfortable, healthy and energy efficient since 1945.

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