Designing and building a custom home is no small task. Chief among customer concerns is energy efficiency. Projected energy costs can be the deciding factor in whether a particular design or feature is a good investment, so it’s a good idea to consider beforehand a few ways that your custom home can be designed for energy efficiency.
A Sealed, Insulated Design
The first concern should be to ensure that your custom designs allow for a sealed and insulated space. The biggest obstacle to a sealed space is air leakage from the main living space to the outside through areas such as the garage, attic, or crawlspace. Some leakage points are more problematic than others, so researching problem areas and matching them up with your design can help to make designs more energy efficient.
Add Solar Panels
With the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the benefits of renewable energy have skyrocketed. For many residential designs the most obvious and arguably best way to invest in clean energy sources is solar panel installation. Formerly, installing solar panels was a somewhat costly venture, but under the new legislation residences who invest in renewable technology are now eligible for federal tax credits (and possibly state and local tax credits too, depending on where you live). Now, you can receive 26% of the solar cost back in the form of a tax credit.
Appliances and Fixtures
Almost every type of major appliance has models with higher energy efficiency, so when designing a new home it’s prudent to consider these upgraded models over energy-hogging ones. Things like kitchen appliances, washers and dryers, and water heaters are all available in energy-efficient modes. Investing in the extra expense up front leads to more savings in energy bills down the road. Light bulbs and light fixtures, too, can be a prime area for improving energy efficiency. Installing LED ceiling lights and fixtures can initially be more expensive, but the energy savings plus the longer bulb life pays off in the long run.
Are you ready for an energy efficient home? Building and designing a home that is energy efficient can be an enjoyable challenge. If you’re thinking about or are currently drafting a custom home, energy efficiency is a huge aspect that you don’t want to ignore. And with the new potential tax credits for installation of things like solar panels, there’s never been a better time to explore the benefits of making your home energy efficient.