Zero energy homes have become the rage with the increasing important laid on energy conservation. But is it really possible to build a home that waste very little to no energy? The answer is yes! Environmentally conscious individuals have been finding eco-friendly alternatives to electricity and other non-renewable sources of energy. In fact, low energy homes were built as early as the 1970s where heating costs were dramatically reduced by over 80%.
Today, new and improved technology has made it possible to reduce energy consumption and wastage with simple techniques. Technological breakthroughs in the past decade have made zero energy homes a reality with certified, safe, energy efficient methods to build a healthy and strong home. Surprisingly, these energy efficient homes cost about the same as conventional homes and are slowly becoming the talk of the town. Here’s how this has been made possible.
How does it work?
The most important difference between a conventional and zero energy home is its design itself. Every aspect of construction is sent through extensive analysis and planning to improve indoor air quality and reduce the usage and wastage of water. With advanced construction methods, zero energy homes are initially designed to consume half the energy as that of a conventional home. With energy efficiency techniques, this consumption can be reduced to 45%. Some of the simplest methods of energy efficiency include clever planning for more ventilation and the use of solar panels to generate electricity for the home.
Construction innovations for zero energy homes
When it comes constructing conventional and zero energy homes, there are four key differences in building techniques and can dramatically improve air quality and suppress energy use. Both these are key factors is reducing consumption as the biggest contributors to energy consumption are heating, cooling and ventilation.
- Solar energy panels
Owing to the increasing popularity of solar panels all over the world, the price of these power generators have reduced by over 50%. It is now financially viable and beneficial to install solar panels in your home and enjoy power generation from renewable and eco-friendly sources.
- Heat recovery ventilation
When the air quality and ventilation in your home is optimized, the need for excessive heating and cooling is dramatically reduced. During construction, zero energy homes are built as compactly and tightly as possible to ensure that heat and cold is not lost. This helps maintain the ideal indoor temperatures and lets you go easy on the furnace or the air conditioner.
- Superior framing and insulation
A certified zero energy home is robust and leak proof, which retains heat inside the home. With the right type of insulation for walls, floors and ceilings, you can prevent avoidable loss of energy. Most zero energy homes today use urethane foam as a mode of insulation.
- Efficient lighting and appliances
Home appliances and lighting fixtures are amongst the biggest consumers of electricity. By choosing highly efficient appliances like gas boilers, water heaters etc, you can reduce the energy wasted on heating and cooling in your home. Ensure that you purchase appliances that make use of LED lighting that reduce power consumption.
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