Energy efficiency is a buzzword in today’s home building industry, and with good reason. Switching to more energy efficient materials can save homeowners thousands of dollars in utility bills over the years.
1. Spray Foam Insulation
We recommend spray foam insulation where possible to our homeowners for several reasons.
- Using spray foam insulation can provide an average of 30% more in energy savings than traditional batt insulation.
- Closed cell spray foam is water resistant, providing increased protection from water damage in the event of a flood.
- Spray foam insulation is made of an inert polymer, which means that there’s no source of food for mold or bacteria. This gives you enhanced protection from mold and mildew.
- Spray foam insulation has a significantly longer life span when compared to other insulation products, meaning it is unlikely you will need to upgrade or replace your insulation for decades.
2. Variable Speed AC Units
There are three types of AC units you can install in your new home – single stage, two stage and variable speed. Most American homes have single stage air conditioners, as they have been the standard in residential construction for years.
Single stage air conditioners always operate at 100% capacity – full blast – and continuously turn themselves on and off throughout the day to maintain your home’s indoor temperature. If your unit is set to 75 degrees, your single stage AC will kick on when it reads your indoor temperature any higher than 75 degrees, then kick off as soon as they reach the mark you’ve set.
In comparison, variable speed AC units operate at less than 100% capacity, which means they can run much longer cycles. By running longer cycles, these units actually work to dehumidify the air in your home. As a result of the lower humidity level, you actually feel more comfortable at higher temperatures – giving you savings on your utility bills!
As a bonus, because variable speed AC units run more consistently, they filter your air more efficiently.
Here’s the simple breakdown – single stage AC units blast cold air into your home, and then turn off. Variable speed AC units blow a steady stream of cool air into your home constantly to maintain your desired temperature, and they rarely turn off.
3. Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters, also known as demand water heaters, do just that – produce hot water on demand. They only heat water when someone turns on the faucet to request hot water. Water flows directly through your tankless water heater, and is heated as it flows by a gas burner or electrical element. This means a continuous flow of hot water, no matter how long your shower lasts.
In comparison, traditional water heaters store water and maintain that water’s temperature until the tap is turned on. When you run out of hot water in your tank, it must refill and reheat.
Tankless water heaters are about 30% more energy-efficient than traditional tank water heaters, which translates to annual savings for you as a homeowner! Plus they offer continuous hot water – a luxury if you’ve ever run out of hot water in the shower.
Tankless water heaters can be 2-3x more expensive than traditional tank water heaters, but we think that the convenience and financial savings they offer are worth it.