Tips to Make Your New Home (Even More) Energy Efficient
The benefits of owning a newly constructed home in Michigan are many, but one of the top differentiators is definitely energy efficiency. The Bosgraaf family has built thousands of homes in West Michigan, homes grounded in innovative thinking and meticulous craftsmanship. From sustainable materials to superior insulation, our high-performance, energy-efficient homes are designed to be more efficient – inside and out. Making your home more energy efficient is one of the best ways to save money and live comfortably.
How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
For years, builders have been embracing techniques that help us construct homes that are more energy efficient, comfortable and eco-friendly. For instance, systems that work behind the walls are better at protecting a home from air and water infiltration. High-efficiency furnaces and water heaters, high-performance insulation, “green” lighting, and Energy Star appliances.
Even when you live in a brand new home, there are plenty of ways to learn how to make your home more energy efficient:
Always choose appliances with an Energy Star rating. Then, help your appliances work more efficiently by taking care of them. The refrigerator should have about an inch of space on all sides to improve air circulation and should have the cooling coils cleaned at least once a year.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Replace traditional incandescent lights with more efficient options. Most energy-efficient light bulbs last longer than incandescents, so you won’t have to replace them as frequently.
Much energy is wasted due to inefficient HVAC systems, poor insulation, leaky windows… and human behavior! No matter how efficient your home is, your actions matter, too. Especially when it comes to power and water usage. Make a choice to save energy whenever possible. Replace HVAC filters regularly. Keep thermostats on low. Turn off lights or electronic devices you’re not using. Lower the temperature of the water heater and take shorter showers. Use low-flow shower heads, and only run full loads of laundry. Keep curtains closed on hot days, and open on cold ones.
One of the biggest costs of homeownership is heating and cooling. Reducing the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home is one way to cut heating and cooling costs, increase comfort, and create a healthier indoor environment. Caulking and weather-stripping are simple and effective air-sealing techniques. For larger gaps, use foam sealant. Use window coverings to reduce energy loss through the windows. Rugs & carpeting are effective at reducing energy loss through the floors.
If you are building an energy-efficient home, you need to ask the right questions when choosing a builder. These are some of the questions you should ask:
- How many houses have you constructed to green standards?
- Do you have references from satisfied buyers?
- What are your designations? Are you certified as an NAHB Certified Green Professional or by the U.S. Green Building Council?
- Will the house be certified by an independent, third-party organization?
- Do your homes receive a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating?
An Industry Leader in Building an Energy Efficient Home
When it comes to comfort and efficiency, a new Bosgraaf home has you covered. Inspected by third parties throughout the process, a Bosgraaf High-Performance Home offers the best of the best in value, performance, and warranty coverage. We combine superior technology with our extensive building expertise to create homes that are designed for the way you live.
A few of the features included in our High-Performance Homes:
- HVAC high-efficiency furnace & central air – Relax year-round knowing you have the best heating and cooling systems in your home.
- Air conditioning – SEER 13 air conditioners offer greater efficiency and durability, so you enjoy optimal cooling with minimal energy use.
- Programmable thermostats – Programmable thermostats regulate moisture levels and temperature inside your home around the clock.
- Energy-efficient light fixtures – Kichler energy-efficient light fixtures use 2/3 less energy than conventional lighting and last 6 to 10 times longer.
- Insulation – High-performance, “green” insulation means more savings on energy bills.
- Appliances – GE Energy Star-rated appliances reduce energy spending and protect the environment.
- Water heater – A high-efficiency, gas-fired water heater can reduce water heating bills by 10 to 25 percent.
- Windows – JeldWen vinyl Low- E windows keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- Air-sealed home – Sealed with caulks, foams, weather stripping, gaskets, and door sweeps, your home ensures air-tight construction with proper ventilation.
Taking “green” building to a whole other level
A Bosgraaf High-Performance Home features products (even the stuff that you don’t see) that offer the very best in value, performance, and warranty coverage. Want a more cost-effective, energy-efficient home for you and your family? Consider one of our many options in the Grand Rapids and Lakeshore areas. We are an Energy Star builder and when you build with us you receive comprehensive energy diagnostics detailing how energy efficient your home is, as well as how much money per year you will save! Contact us to get started on the search for a home built with energy-efficient features.