When it comes to new home development, there has been a new craze helping home owners reduce their impact on the environment and save money on their energy bills. Net zero homes are designed to produce as much renewable energy as they consume, even allowing some home owners to supply extra electricity back to the grid to power other homes.
Conventional homes are typically 80% less energy efficient than revolutionary net zero homes. Using significantly less energy, net zero homes are a solution to counter the increasing costs of home utilities.
What makes a net zero home energy efficient?
Net zero homes are designed meticulously, from the location of the home to the use of ENERGY STAR® appliances throughout the home. Here is how your net zero home design can save you money:
Better insulation: One of the main ways home builders are achieving a net zero home is through extra insulation in the building envelope and foundation. The foundation is typically an insulating concrete form (ICF) system which consists of extra insulation on either side of the foundation walls. The building envelope is coated with expanding polystyrene, which significantly reduces air leakage.
Sun and shade: The exposure of the home is important to note, as you can use the sun and shade to your advantage to save on heating/cooling expenses. The sun will provide heat and light, while shade such as roof overhangs and natural vegetation can provide cooling.
High-quality windows: Windows installed in the home will be triple pane windows with low-e coating. This coating reduces the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light coming into the home.
Home heating: There are various ways to heat a net zero home whether you want geothermal heating, electric baseboard or even the use of an air source heat pump. These homes also have a heat recovery system (HRS), which exchanges indoor air with fresh outdoor air. In this process, the incoming air is heated by the air leaving the home, reducing your overall heat loss.
Producing energy: The most common way for net zero homes to produce energy is a rooftop photovoltaic system that generates electricity. Another common way to produce energy for a net zero home is to have wind or water turbines.
In having a net zero home, you will significantly reduce your impact on the environment, lower your household expenses and lessen your dependence on your municipality. And you could even earn money from selling your electricity back to the grid!