Posts

Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016

Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016

In the previous part of this article series, we discussed the various home design options that you can choose to achieve a complete energy efficient home. Having covered design types from log homes to Efficient-manufactured homes, in this last part of the series we give you the top energy-efficient home devices and appliances of 2016.

1. Connected Homes

Connected homes contributes to conserving energy. This type of home lowers down energy cost due to automated devices or appliances that automatically turn off when not being used. Home owners with learning devices e.g smart heater can save up to 50% of energy cost.

2. Improved Heating Efficiency

Unlike cooling or heating appliances, heat pumps distribute heat instead of generating it. This means you save 25% of heating or cooling operating cost by using heat pumps. To further illustrate, you can save between $1,000 and $2,000 annually in energy cost. Next time you look for heat pumps, look for these features:

  • Two-speed compressors —  reduces compressor wear and minimizes electric consumption
  • Variable-speed or dual-speed motors — maximizes energy saving
  • Desuperheater — recovers waste heat for water heater
  • Scroll compressor — long lasting and way quieter to operate

3. Magnetic Refrigerators

The use of magnetic field is revolutionary. Instead of using refrigerant gas, it uses water-based coolant that changes temperature as the magnetic field changes.

Magnetic refrigerator is environment friendly, requires half the usual electricity requirement and requires very low level of maintenance.

4. Window Technology

There are emerging technologies that incorporates sensors and microprocessors inside the windows. Automated shutters and shade are helpful in keeping the outside air from slipping indoor, and controlling the intensity daylight.

To maximize energy efficiency, a popular material of choice is fiberglass. It is stronger than vinyl and can last a lifetime without shrinking or wearing out like wood or aluminum.

5. Insulation Advancements

A good and complete insulation has always been the most practical way to conserve energy. Air-sealing the attic floors, pipes, wiring, chimney, and light fixtures is important to save heating and cooling cost. A well-insulated house can save up to 40% in energy cost.

6. Reflective Roofing Materials

As the roof catches all the sun’s rays, its temperature surface can rise to over 100°F. With reflective roof material or paint, it can reduce the amount of heat absorbed and thus, helps cool your house. Also, fitting your roof with reflective materials also enhances its durability.

7. LED and other Energy Efficient Light bulbs

Energy efficient lightbulbs e.g LED, compact Fluorescent CFL and halogen incandescents only consumes 25%-80% less energy while emitting same or even superior amount of light with your traditional ones. It also lasts up to 25 times longer and altogether saves you $75 each year/5 lightbulbs. If you’re going to purchase one, look for the ENERGY STAR seal, to ensure high standards and safety.

8. Environment-Friendly Construction

According to the Passive House Institute, Passive house can save you up to 90% on energy consumption. Passive homes are a brainchild of superior ingenuity as it leverages the environment to provide comfort to your home. With proper room orientation, layout and design, passive home can leverage natural energy sources like the sun and wind for cooling, heating, ventilating and lighting the interior.

Having a passive house is a holistic approach to conserving energy and saving  money. Good to know, refashioning your building or home into “passive” one costs only a little or none.

9. Solar Power

Having your home powered by solar panels is a multi-thousand dollar savings. According to Cost of Solar: The average 20-year savings for Americans who went solar in 2011 were projected to be a little over $20,000.” The amount could climb up to $65,000 savings.  Solar power is a reliable source of energy that you can be sure this world will never run out of. And didn’t we mention, that  the installing a qualified solar energy panel can write off your income tax?!

This list of energy efficient appliances and materials concludes our Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016 series. If you want to learn more how you can conserve energy and save money while enhancing the beauty of your interiors, contact us at Lugbill Designs.
For more home and interior design tips, follow our blog.

[PART 1] Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016

[PART 1] Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016

Energy efficient homes offer a smart way to reduce excessive consumption of energy and greenhouse gas emissions. These homes provide a healthy and livable environment for your family while also allowing you to get a few tax breaks and save a significant amount of money.

Reasons Why You Should Consider an Energy Efficient Home

Doing more with less energy is one way to take your part in preserving nature. But there are other reasons to make the investment in an energy-efficient home.

Energy efficiency saves you money.

The average American household spends thousands of dollars per year on electricity bills.

Many families can take simple steps to reduce their energy bill, while making their homes more comfortable. One way is to buy Energy Star-rated appliances which can help you save up to 30% on your electricity bills, as compared to regular home appliances.

1. Energy efficiency boosts economic growth.

While being energy efficient can help you improve your lifestyle, it can also help in a macro scale. Energy efficiency can boost the economic growth and competency of a country. It can help the state to save on its overall costs, saving billions of dollars per year.

Also, energy efficient projects and innovations have opened numerous doors for employment opportunities. These projects have provided 830,000 jobs nationwide.

2. Energy efficiency benefits the environment.

Energy efficiency helps conserve natural resources, as it limits the need to produce and import oil, coal, and natural gas Investing in energy efficient methods is an effective way to abate tons of greenhouse gas emission every year.

One good example is the differences between incandescent light bulbs and LED light bulbs. In addition to saving ample energy while producing the same light, the manufacturing process of LEDs is much cleaner (i.e. no mercury)

The Home Energy Score

The Home Energy Score

U.S. Department of Energy has developed a rating system to determine the level of energy efficiency in a home. This rating system is called the Home Energy Score. It helps homeowners and home buyers to obtain information about the home’s energy use and possible financial savings if any upgrade will be made.

scoring system

The scoring system uses a scale of 1 to 10, wherein 10 serves as the highest score as an energy efficient home. It was designed to be simple for every household to feel encouraged on improving their score, and outperforming other homes. Furthermore, the Home Energy Score can provide useful recommendations on how to improve the home’s capability of being energy efficient.

Single-family homes, townhouses, and duplexes are the types of home eligible of getting the Home Energy Score. These homes will be estimated using different attributes such as furnaces, insulation levels, windows, and others. And because the Home Energy Score is widely used across the U.S.,it is possible to compare scores on a local or national scale.

A home with a score of 5 reflects a decent amount of energy use among homes in the country. If a home scored a perfect 10, it ranks among the 10% of expected homes to consume the least amount of energy.

 

Factors That Determine an Energy Efficient Home

Factors That Determine an Energy Efficient Home

There are several factors that determine the energy efficiency of a residential property.

1. Insulation

Hidden cracks in attics and crawlspaces can cause excessive air flow. Thus, the heating and cooling system will work twice as hard, causing your bills to increase substantially. That’s why having proper insulation and protection against air leaks is considered as an energy efficient home.

2. Heating and Cooling

A good deal of excess energy consumption in your home is caused by impractical use of heating and cooling systems.

To smartly utilize your heating and cooling systems, be sure to use a programmable thermostat or even better, a learning thermostat that knows when you are home and when you aren’t. (i.e. Nest, or Ecobee). You also have to regularly change filters and inspect further damage of ducts. Thereby, you can lower your expenses while increasing your utility’s efficiency.

3. Energy Star

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy developed a program that helps consumers opt for the most energy efficient products. If you plan to upgrade your appliances, look for products with Energy Star rating.

4. New Home Planning

If you’re planning on building a new home, there are a lot of things you can do to improve energy efficiency. For instance, installing solar panels on your roof, and coupling it with a Tesla Powerpack, is a great way to save money by only needing to purchase energy during non-peak times. Glazed windows, cool roofs, and energy-saving insulation.

 

For more information about Energy Efficient Home Trends of 2016, watch out for the 2nd part of this article series in the coming weeks. Regularly check out our  interior design blog for useful updates and information.

@ 2019 Lugbill Designs   Downtown 211 W Wacker Dr, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60606   North Side 7005 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60626-2812    (773) 572-9049