Here’s a fact: the majority of homes in the United States leave a big carbon footprint. In fact, nearly 20% of US energy-related greenhouse gas emissions come from powering our homes. That’s a lot of CO2! Fortunately, eco-friendly houses are here to help save the planet (and your wallet).
It’s simple – you can reduce your carbon footprint by opting to build a new, eco-friendly home rather than buying an older, established home that is leaking too much energy. Especially in the sunny State of Florida, it’s easy to create eco-friendly houses equipped with solar panels and energy efficient A/C units.
So, how can you build an eco-friendly home from the ground up?
If you are aching to jump on the eco-friendly bandwagon and learn how to make an eco-friendly house, all you need to do is follow our 5 expert eco-friendly home building tips. You’ll save money, conserve energy, and help the planet in no time!
1. Install Eco Friendly Windows
When it comes to energy conservation, a lot of it has to do with your windows. Without the right windows in the right places, you can actually lose a lot of energy.
So, if you are wondering how to make an eco-friendly house, the first rule you should always follow is to invest in eco-friendly windows. Here are some major benefits of eco-friendly windows:
- Lower transfer materials like wood are more resistant to water and structural damage
- Low-E glazed windows reduce the impact of UV rays, which saves on electricity and heating costs
- Eco-friendly windows increase the resale value of your home
Ready to install eco-friendly windows? Before you get started, keep in mind that the strategic placement of your windows in your eco-friendly home is vital for energy conservation. Keep reading to learn why.
It’s All About Fenestration
You may be wondering why it is important to think of where you want to put your windows before you build. In order to understand this, we must first explore fenestration.
In simple terms, fenestration describes the installation of all openings in your home, including:
When you make a home eco-friendly, you need to take these openings into account.
Why Does Fenestration Matter?
Well, the more windows you install, the more potential broken seals you have in your home. These cracks and crannies can allow air and water to make their way into your home. This, in turn, can crank up your heating and cooling bill.
Remember: you want to reduce the amount of energy you use to heat up or cool down a room! So, you should definitely take into account the number of windows and the quality of materials you use to create these openings in your home.
As you can see, fenestration is a critical step in the eco-building process.
2. Provide Proper Insulation
Next on our list of how to make an eco-friendly house is insulation. Insulation is one of the most important aspects of energy efficiency, especially here in the Sunshine State.
Although eco-friendly windows help in the least insulated parts of your home, you should keep in mind that window frames, door frames, and door gaskets are often responsible for your air conditioner working overtime.
Don’t Forget Insulation in the Attic!
Furthermore, the proper insulation in your attic can actually stop the conduction of heat and decrease the chance of soaring temperatures from penetrating the walls of your home.
With that being said, you will want to plan ahead with your professional home builders to include adequate insulation in your home design so you can reduce the chance of unnecessary energy emissions. Now, let’s move on to our next tip.
3. Plant the Right Trees
That’s right, landscaping can actually improve energy efficiency! Specifically if you have solar panels, the types of trees you plant around your home can either help or inhibit solar energy. Here’s how.
Big, dense trees often prevent solar panels and solar-heated water from soaking up the necessary rays of light to keep your home’s energy alive. This is due to their wide, long, and full branches.
How to Pick Suitable Trees for Your Eco-Friendly Home
When building eco-friendly houses, you can reduce this problem by strategically selecting the types of trees you plant and where you choose to plant them. For instance, although a big oak tree might provide plenty of shade in the summertime, this backyard beauty can cast huge shadows across your solar panels.
As a substitute, you can opt for peaceful, swaying palm trees and sweet-smelling pine trees as a less intrusive landscaping solution.
However, if your heart is set on an oak tree, then simply place the tree in an area that is far away from your solar panels!
4. Opt for Air Conditioning
What uses more electricity to cool a room: A/C or a ceiling fan? Drum roll, please… a fan!
Did that come as a big surprise to you? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one still scratching your head. In fact, one of the biggest eco-friendly home myths out there is that fans use less electricity to cool your room than your A/C unit.
Why Fans Waste More Energy
In reality, ceiling fans don’t actually reduce the temperature in eco-friendly houses. Instead, they just blow wind around to cool you. So, if you choose to leave fans on all summer long, you can actually waste a lot of energy and money.
Instead, opt for an air conditioning unit! Just remember to always keep your A/C at a reasonable room temperature so you don’t waste electricity.
5. Choose Professional Eco-Friendly Home Builders
Last but not least, if you really want to know how to make an eco-friendly house, it all has to do with finding the right home builders.
When hunting for the perfect construction crew to build on your lot, be sure to choose home builders that have years of experience in your area, are highly-rated, and are able to personalize your dream eco-friendly home.
For over 25 years, Pillar Homes has specialized in creating custom-built homes throughout Central Florida. If you want to build the perfect eco-friendly home in the Sunshine State, Pillar Homes is here to help. Get in touch with us to learn more.