Zero net energy homes are superbly energy efficient homes that depend on renewable energy sources to provide the bulk, if not all, of the energy they use. You can easily achieve a zero net energy home by adhering to the following best practices:
- Install a renewable energy system: Install a solar power system that uses sunshine to generate electricity and produce hot water for your home.
- Use the sun wisely: In the winter, open drapes and curtains to allow warming sunshine inside. In the summer, close window coverings to reduce unwanted heat gain.
- Understand what you want to accomplish: Make sure everyone in your home knows what you’re trying to do with your energy-saving plan.
- Know where you use energy: Carefully assess your energy needs. Knowing where you use the most energy will show you where to concentrate energy-saving procedures.
- Use proper directional orientation: In a new construction or major renovation project, make sure the building is oriented in a way that allows you to take advantage of natural lighting while decreasing heat gain from sunlight.
- Make sure the structure is well sealed: The structure should be well insulated, any openings in the framework should be sealed and caulked, and ductwork should be securely connected and sealed.
- Use high-efficiency appliances and HVAC systems: Install only high-efficiency appliances, including the furnace, air conditioner, heat pump and various kitchen appliances.
- Install a heat-recovery ventilator: Improve energy efficiency and ventilation with a heat recovery ventilator. This piece of energy-saving equipment recaptures and reuses some of the heat in air that would otherwise be vented outdoors.
- Use efficient windows: Install triple-glazed windows or windows with other energy-saving features such as low-E glass.
- Install low-energy LED lighting: While light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are more expensive upfront than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), they deliver much better light, have a longer life and are more cost-effective over time.
A general contractor in Newton, MA, Sage Builders LLC serves clients in and around Boston with professional residential design, construction and renovation services. Contact us today for help achieving a zero net energy home.
Image via Shutterstock.com