Tag Archives: energy efficient homes

Energy Saving Concepts & Ideas for Cooling the Home in Summer

Maintaining a cooler indoor environment in the summer can be a challenge for New England green home designers. Fortunately, there are several techniques that can cool your home without the need for increasing energy use or turning up the cooling system. Here are a few of those methods for your consideration:
 
  • Keep sunlight out of your home: Sunlight coming through your home’s windows can cause excess heat in your indoor spaces and put additional stress on your cooling system. Use drapes, shades, or other window coverings to block excess sunlight streaming through your windows. Install awnings or other shading systems to prevent sunlight from getting to your windows. Consider adding solar-blocking window films or other treatments.
  • Improve ventilation and air circulation: Install ceiling fans to improve air circulation and boost cooling. Make sure the fans are set to direct air currents downward into the room. The breezes will cool you and the air flow will also help re-circulate cool air that has settled near the floor. Consider installing a whole-house ventilation system to further improve air circulation.
  • Don’t use heat-generating appliances during the day: Avoid using cooking stoves, ovens, clothes washers and dryers, and other heat-producing appliances during the day. This heat will raise indoor temperatures and decrease indoor comfort. Use these devices in the evenings or at night when outdoor temperatures have dropped.
  • Close off unused rooms. By closing the doors to the rooms you don’t use during the day, it will keep cool air from permeating the spaces. This allows you a little more customization of what areas of the house you’d like to keep cooler.
Sage Builders LLC is a general contractor in Newton, MA, offering professional design-build, construction, and renovation services for Boston-area homeowners. Contact us today for more information that New England green home designers can use to maintain a cooler indoor environment.

Passive Cooling Keeps Your Home Cooler for Much Less

Cooling your home with a heat pump or air conditioner is the most familiar way of maintaining home comfort in the summer. However, there are other methods of cooling your home that require less energy and cost less in the long run. Here are some of the passive cooling technology features you can use to reduce cooling costs this year.
  • Install shading: Shading, such as awnings over windows, can reduce the amount of sunlight that enters you home and, as a result, decrease the amount of cooling you need.
  • Put in reflective barriers: Install a reflective barrier under the roof to reflect heat away from your home.
  • Use a reflective coating: Coat your roof with a reflective material or paint that will also reflect heat and prevent it from warming up your attic and other areas of your home.
  • Install a cooling tower: In some environments, a cooling tower can provide passive cooling without the energy consumption of fans, blowers, compressors, and other equipment. Cooling pads at the top of the tower have water circulated over them. Hot air moving through the pads is cooled by this process. Gravity then moves cool air produced by these towers downward and into your home.
  • Install earth tubes: Earth tubes work on a process similar to geothermal cooling. They extend a distance under the surface of the earth where the temperature stays about the same all year long. Air circulated into these tubes is cooled in this consistent environment, reducing the amount of energy required to cool the air to desired temperatures.
Sage Builders LLC, a general contractor in Newton, MA, is an expert source of residential design, construction, and renovation services. Contact us today for more information on passive cooling technology and how it can help keep your home comfortable for less.

The Future of Home Design: The Zero Net Energy Home (ZNE)

For many new homeowners, energy conservation and sustainability are two of the more important elements they want in their residence. For these clients, the zero net energy (ZNE) home can provide the energy savings they want while still creating an elegant, comfortable residential setting.

What are Zero Net Energy Homes?

A zero net energy home is a residence that consumes only as much energy as it can produce using renewable energy techniques and equipment. A ZNE home does not use electrical power from the local energy grid. ZNE homes typically use solar power installations as a major source of energy generation, but they also incorporate other sustainable technologies and energy conservation measures that significantly affect energy consumption.

Sustaining a Zero Net Energy Home

Some areas of the country, such as California, have fully embraced the concept of the zero net energy home. As the concept continues to spread across the country, homeowners in other areas of the country will find ways to sustain a ZNE home. These can include:
  • Installing high-efficiency HVAC systems: High-efficiency heating and cooling systems can significantly reduce energy demands while keeping a home comfortable in all seasons.
  • Installing efficient windows: Installing double-pane or triple-pane windows can reduce air leaks around windows while decrease energy requirements.
  • Using programmable thermostats: Programmable thermostats and other control technologies allow you to precisely control the operation of your heating and cooling system.
  • Reducing overall energy waste: Power strips, timers, motion sensors, and other technologies can shut off energy-consuming equipment and lights when not in use.
A general contractor in Newton, MA, Sage Builders LLC provides expert residential design, construction, and renovation services to clients in and around Boston. Contact us today for more information on zero net energy homes and how they are growing in popularity throughout the United States.