American Homeowners Association (AHA)® - Your Home for Savings, Security and Smart Choices
  Your Home for Savings, Security and Smart Choices Customer Service    Toll-Free 1-800-470-2242    
America's #1 Homeowner Organization
Home Benefits Home Services Shopping Resources Travel Professional Services About AHA
 
Home Benefits Home Services Shopping Resources Travel Professional Services About AHA
Home Benefits Home Services Shopping Resources Travel Professional Services About AHA
Financing | Contractors | Moving | Real Estate | Reminders
Home Benefits Home Services Shopping Resources Travel Professional Services About AHA
Froople!  Shop Online | Grocery Coupons | Local Discounts | Flowers & Gifts
Home Benefits Home Services Shopping Resources Travel Professional Services About AHA
AHA Home University | AHA on Your Side | AHA Top Tips | Article Library
Home Benefits Home Services Shopping Resources Travel Professional Services About AHA
Airline Tickets | Hotel Reservations | Car Rentals | City Guides
Home Benefits Home Services Shopping Resources Travel Professional Services About AHA
Home & Auto Insurance | Vision Care | Legal | Life Insurance | Tax
Home Benefits Home Services Shopping Resources Travel Professional Services About AHA
About Us | Our Mission | FAQs | Privacy Statement | In the News | Testimonials

Building with Energy Efficiency in Mind

Building an energy-efficient home takes some forethought and some initial up-front costs, but the planning and the investment will pay off with healthier living conditions and monetary savings in the future.

A good place to begin your planning is with the National Association of Home Builders Web site, at www.NAHB.org. It can provide extensive information on recent developments in energy efficient building, and contact information for their local chapters, which are often able to provide specific information about maximizing energy efficiency for situations unique to your area. This is important because variations in temperature and precipitation affect the choice of building materials and methods of construction.

Once you have some specifics about building materials you should also consider the lighting in your home. Positioning your home to take advantage of the most daylight, along with installing windows and skylights can decrease your electric bills. Of course, that decrease can be offset by astronomical heating costs if you choose to install windows and doors that don't protect against heat loss. Installing good quality windows and doors is an important factor in saving energy. Look for foam-insulated doors that are pre-hung at the factory in order to provide a tight seal once they are installed. You can prevent heat-loss and protect your home from moisture with double-, or even triple-hung windows. These are expensive purchases, to be sure, but the cost-benefit is well worth it during cold winter months, or hot summer days. In addition, protecting your home from moisture is a smart move because of the damage moisture can do to wallboard and carpeting. Carpeting moisture promotes the growth of mold. While mold can cause physical damage to your home, it can also be very damaging to your lungs and sinuses if you breathe it in day after day.

Properly installing good quality windows and doors is one way to minimize air leaks in or out of your home. Another is to insulate any part of your home that could leak air outside of the house. This includes electrical outlets, light switches and exhaust fans. Simply fill the spaces around these areas with spray foam insulation, which expands to fill those spaces. This should be done in addition to a high quality insulation installed in crawl spaces, between walls and around venting ducts. You should also use mastic sealing inside vent ducts when the ducts are installed. This is a sealant inside of the duct can prevent air from escaping the ducts when traditional taping in the ductwork begins to rot.

Building an energy efficient home is now more possible than ever. Information, creative ideas and energy-saving products abound. Using these ideas to make your home comfortable and energy efficient not only helps your bottom line, but also our community's environmental bottom line.

Sources used in this article include Steven Gramins, HomeStyles.com and the National Association of Home Builders, www.NAHB.org.