Building a Home? Energy-Saving Strategies to Reduce Your Reliance on Air Conditioning

Building a new home provides the best opportunity to employ energy-saving strategies that will reduce the cost of cooling your home during our long, humid summers. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that half the money you spend annually on energy goes toward conditioning costs, and in our region, most of those expenditures occur for cooling.

As you work with your architect and builder, make sure that your home will have these components and employs these concepts:

  • If zoning laws and your site permit, place the home on the lot so that most of the windows face south and north. During the summer, the sun is high enough so that it won’t strike those windows, but you can take advantage of the daylight that comes through.
  • Use Energy Star or thermal windows throughout your home, placing windows with a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) on the east and west and a higher SHGC on the southern windows.
  • Beefing up wall and attic insulation are among the best energy-saving strategies that will pay you back for years to come. The minimum amount in the attic for a highly efficient home should be 16 inches, with at least 3 inches in the walls.
  • Choose lighter roofing colors to reflect more heat, lowering attic heat gain.
  • Insist on an energy audit for your home before the drywall stage. A blower door is placed inside an exterior door frame and reveals where air infiltration occurs.
  • Block the ceilings in living and sleeping areas for ceiling fans.
  • Choose the most efficient HVAC equipment your budget allows and verify that the contractor will conduct a detailed load calculation for equipment and duct sizing using Manuals J and D software.
  • Consider adding a heat recovery ventilation (HRV) system for the HVAC equipment to provide fresh air ventilation. These systems employ technology that heats or cools fresh air entering your HVAC system, lowering energy bills and improving indoor air quality.

To learn more about energy-saving strategies for the HVAC equipment, contact Davis Air Conditioning & Heating. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for Houston area homeowners since 1971.

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