The Skinny On Energy Efficiency

When faced with building a new home, you may be surprised at the number of options available for lowering your energy consumption, and thus, your utility bills. However, some ideas are better than others, and a good rule of thumb, according to Bethany Jenkins, Vice-President of Jenkins Custom Homes, is to evaluate the product and choose those with a 2-4 year payback. One of the benefits of building a new home – as opposed to purchasing an existing – is the flexibility you have in design. Here are some of our favorite ways to control energy costs:

  1. Start with a great design. Your home’s orientation on the lot, as well as the location of windows and doors, can take into consideration cross-ventilation and the direction of the sun in both winter and summer months.
  2. Have a carefully planned “thermal envelope”. The thermal envelope is a technical term for the insulation in your home. Think of it like a thermos – the quality of the insulation is what determines how hot or cold your liquid inside remains. The same is true of your home. Putting your money into a high-density foam insulation and highly efficient windows will keep your home warmer or cooler, therefore reducing the number of times the A/C or heater has to cycle on and off.
  3. Require high-performance mechanical systems (heating and cooling systems, hot water heaters), as well as appliances.
  4. Employee technology when cost-effective (occupancy sensors for lights, A/C & heater, for instance).
  5. Carefully placed trees can shade your house from cold winds or the summer heat, and drought resistant landscaping will lower your water usage. A good landscape architect can design your green space with eye toward lowering your energy costs.
"We have been extremely happy with every process of the construction of our home with Jenkins Custom Homes."

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