Seasons can be hard on older homes. People love the aesthetic charm, but they don’t love waking up and running to turn on the space heater, or walking on chilly floors, or the colds inflicted by mold growth and dirty air filters.
Or even in the summer, when the scorching sun outside is somehow cooler than the temperature of the home on the inside.
This is because, according to the EPA, almost 99% of American homes are ‘sick’ – meaning, they’re poorly insulated and their design is outdated.
And so we’ve seen the desire for people to move into energy efficient homes. For many people, it’s the appeal of the long-term savings: buying a home isn’t cheap, so people figure it’d be nice to make some of it back in decreased utility bills. For others it’s lessening their carbon footprint. For every one million certified Energy Star homes, there’s $1.2 billion saved on energy bills and 22 billion pounds of greenhouse gases kept out of the atmosphere.
Or maybe you just want to wake up to a warm and cozy home in the winters.
One of the biggest misconceptions we’ve heard, though, is the impression that, just because a home is bigger, it might be less energy efficient than a smaller one.
That is partly true.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) conducted a study which found that homes built after 2000 are 30% larger than ones built before 2000. However, the these homes consume only 2% more than the older homes.
So, this means that homes have gotten bigger, but also more energy efficient.
They do cancel each other out – this is more reassuring than finding out homes are bigger and consuming more energy.
Now, part of this is attributed to the fact that most of these homes were built in warmer climates. It is, after all, easier on your energy costs to cool a home than it is to heat it.
The biggest contributing factor, though, is that with bigger homes comes the need for more…stuff. With the rise in square footage, we see more appliances and more electronics. Appliances have also become more efficient, yet the sheer amount is enough to offset the home’s structural improvements.
Energy codes have changed over the years, and data proves that newer homes are inherently more efficient.
In 1993, heating took up 53.1% of a household’s energy consumption; in 2009, it was lowered to 41.5%
Our main point, though, is that the newer the home, the more energy efficient it is capable of being
Even the larger ones. With a new home comes a clean slate. Builders will most likely install high-performance windows, which keep heat in during the cold and keep the cool air in during the summer. You can install radiant heat barriers in your attic. You can also install ultra-efficient heating and cooling systems. These are just a few options to maximize the energy efficiency of your home.
Essentially, you can have the final say in how you want to keep your home at its most comfortable level for the lowest price.
For Portland Development Group, construction is at the heart of what we do. We emphasize design that fits the neighborhood within costs that fits your wallet. For some examples, check out some of our most recent projects.