An ultra-efficient home combines state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction and appliances with commercially available renewable energy systems. Making your home more energy efficient can help to reduce high energy bills, improve comfort and help to protect the environment. Improving energy efficiency is also an important first step for homeowners interested in green remodeling. Nowadays, technology can provide more tools than ever to make a home environmentally friendly, with the aim of reducing greenhouse emissions and water consumption. So, how do you start?
Your home’s windows, walls, and floors can be designed to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter, and reject solar heat in the summer. This is called passive solar design or climatic design. You can apply passive solar design techniques most easily when designing a new home. However, existing buildings can be adapted to passively collect and store solar heat.
A combination of proper insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, day lighting, shading, and ventilation will usually keep homes cool or warm with a low amount of energy use. One of the leading-edge technologies in this field is geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is simply the heat from beneath the earth’s surface. Unlike wind and solar, geothermal’s power source never varies, which means its efficiency is always 100%.
A heat pump, which is the basis for this technology, has two units: a condenser (outdoors) and an evaporator (indoors). A substance called refrigerant carries heat from one area to another.
Heat pumps can also be used as a ground source. In this case heat is absorbed from outside the building and then transformed into heat using the same process as the geothermal energy. Even cold air contains a great deal of heat. The temperature at which air no longer carries any heat is well below -200 degrees of Fahrenheit. As an added benefit, systems can be equipped with a device called a ‘desuperheater’, which can heat household water.
The next biggest expense for consumers is heating water. Both technologies described above works well for heating water, too. However, solar energy provides another solution. Solar water heaters also called solar domestic hot water systems â€” can be a cost-effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use sunshine is free. By installing a solar water heating system, a typical household can meet 50 to 80 percent of its hot water needs.
The list for energy saving techniques goes on. Technology which is still developing offers a lot of opportunities to change or build an energy-efficient home. Fossil fuels have started to become a thing of the past. In the future, energy solutions will be based on our correlation with a nature. There is a wide spectrum of possibilities becoming available which provide cleaner, cheaper and natural-made energy. The time to change is now.