Residential energy efficiency is often seen as a checklist of new appliances to be purchased—a dishwasher, a water heater or even a flat screen television becomes the solution to reduce energy consumption and save money.
What is overlooked is the fact that a true high-performance home gains most of its energy savings in places that are rarely seen by the homeowner. Advanced framing, high R-value insulation, air-sealing and triple-paned windows work non-stop to keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. Heating and ventilation systems work in conjunction with the home’s outer shell to maximize occupant comfort and improve indoor air quality. And finally, heat pump water heaters and LED lighting make sure that repetitious daily tasks consume the least amount of energy possible.
When combined, these building materials and practices become a seamless, integrated system that constantly addresses the fluctuations of a home’s interior and exterior environment and regulates accordingly. These super energy-efficient features make it possible to build a home that exceeds current national and state standards for energy efficiency or even better, a “net zero” home that produces as much energy as it uses.