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New homes are definitely more energy efficient than their older counterparts. With better insulating materials and sustainable building products coupled with tighter modular construction, a new home buyer is getting a home with lower energy bills that results in immediate costs savings. Modern building codes require a certain level of efficiency that’s well above even the most efficient construction in older homes that haven’t been updated.
Why are New Houses More Energy Efficient?
In the past the materials and products just didn’t exist to create homes that focused on conserving energy while being affordable and comfortable. New building and energy codes adopted by each state, and even local jurisdictions, have required much higher energy efficiency. Electricity and natural gas used to be much cheaper than they are today and it was more affordable to build a home without much insulation. Older home have windows that used a single-pane of glass and had aluminum frames that conducted heat and cold into the house. Today’s technology has made energy efficiency more affordable. Not only are energy codes requiring the use of these new products to meet required ratings but home buyers are requiring it to make energy bills more affordable. Electricity costs of skyrocketed and power utilities have struggled to keep up with additional demand.
While new homes have gotten extremely energy efficient, the actual average energy bill has not seen a corresponding decrease. This is attributed to America’s continuing need for larger homes and technology. This increase in average home size has offset the benefits of more energy efficient building practices on the average energy bill. That means they will require more energy to heat, cool and light. Newer homes are also more likely than older homes to have dishwashers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, and even two or more refrigerators. In addition to newer homes having a larger square footage, they now have more computers, TVs, and gaming systems. Unwilling to pay a lot more for utilities, new home buyers have demanded major energy-efficiency upgrades to their modern homes.
How Much is Enough?
The Energy Information Administration recently published a study showing that modern homes are 30 percent larger than those built before 2000, but they use just about 2 percent more energy. Some of the best practices for new-home builders today include high insulation values, multi-pane vinyl windows, and energy-efficient furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners and kitchen appliances. While the average new home is energy efficient enough to cost homeowners with 30 percent larger houses just 2 percent more on their utility bills, what should you do if you don’t want your utility bill to go up at all?
Think About the Comfort
Energy efficiency isn’t just about saving money on your utility bill. It’s also about home comfort. When your house is built better, you won’t run into cold pockets or heat zones. You won’t have to run the A/C 9:30 at night because you house is still hot and uncomfortable. Air leaks and poor insulation can make you home feel cold in the winter, even with a good heating system. These are some of the biggest advantages to more energy-efficient new-home construction.
Modular Construction is Energy Efficient
Using modular construction to build a new home is even better for making homes more energy efficient. Homes built outdoors tend to absorb moisture. As a home dries out and releases the moisture that was trapped during the construction process, gaps and other cracks tend to appear. The multitude of tiny openings in your homes building envelop collectively creates a huge opportunity for air to escape drastically reducing the energy efficiency of homes built onsite and exposed to the elements. This is just another reason why we choose to use superior modular construction when building custom homes for our clients.
With the growing interest and demand for energy efficiency, Express Modular takes pride in providing the most energy efficient home possible. As an Energy Star partner, Express Modular offers several items as standard that meets or exceeds current Energy Star, LEED, and Green Building Standards. Our homes provide you with the option to customize any of our home plans to meet or exceed the requirements for the certification of your choice. If it’s an optional Energy Star Certified home you require, Express Modular will enlist a third party Energy Star rater to guarantee your custom home meets or exceeds the prevailing requirements specified by Energy Star. It’s just one more way to meet the needs of customers that require a higher standard for their energy efficient home.
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