- Seal it airtight: Create a thorough seal that prevents any air or energy leaks that could reduce the structure’s energy efficiency. Make sure that there are no openings where conditioned indoor air could escape or seasonal outdoor air could get in.
- Superinsulate the structure: Insulate the structure well beyond the recommended R-value for your geographical area. R-value indicates how well the insulation resists the flow of heat and is an indicator of how effective the insulation will be.
- Use energy-recovery ventilation: An airtight home will need mechanical ventilation to get rid of stale air and bring in fresh air. Use heat-recovery or energy-recovery ventilators that use exhaust air to heat or cool incoming air. This will reduce the stress on your HVAC system as it heats or cools incoming air to the temperature you prefer.
- Generate hot water with installed equipment: Water heating is a major expense in most homes. Use your existing heat pump or solar power installation to heat water for residential use.
- Install high-efficiency windows and doors: Install triple-glazed windows or windows with energy-saving features such as low-e glass. Make sure the areas around the window and door frames are thoroughly sealed to prevent air leaks or drafts.
Zero net energy homes are designed to generate all the energy they need, providing superior monthly cost savings on electrical bills while reducing stress on the local power grid. Here is a brief zero net home checklist that includes some best practices for energy efficiency with this type of home.