A home with all the energy-efficient amenities could mean lots of potential savings for the homeowner. Energy-efficient appliances, building materials and designs all could be featured in an energy-efficient home.
For buyers who are interested in building energy-efficient homes, are there energy-efficient home plans? Here’s what homeowners need to know about energy-efficient homes and energy-efficient home plans.
Finding Energy-Efficient Home Plans
A professional architect could draw up plans for an energy-efficient home. While hiring an architect could be an added expense, for homeowners who really want their own unique plan and design, the expense could be worth it.
For those on a budget, though, there are many energy-efficient home plans online at sites like The Plan Collection, Ekobuilt,The House Designers and more! Prices for purchasing the plans vary; some cost a little less than $1,000, but this was at the lowest end of the price point. Check out different sites to explore plans, layouts, square footage and, of course, the price of each plan.
Plans can be one floor or more. And homeowners also can find a variety of square-footage offerings and layouts. Be sure to look at bathroom and bedroom counts for each plan!
What Makes a Home Energy-Efficient?
There are a number of factors that add to the energy-efficiency of a home, including the layout, building materials, and features of the home. Some homes can include solar energy panels or even wind turbines to help generate electricity.
High-end insulation also can add to the energy-efficiency of the home; insulation keeps hot and cool air from escaping. This, in turn, puts less stress on the HVAC systems.
Even smaller features within a home can add to the energy-efficiency. Low flow showerheads and faucets can help conserve water. Homes also could feature hands-free faucets that turn off or on by sensing movement.
A LEED Certified Home
Some architects will include that they are LEED Certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Engineering or Environmental Design. Homes also can bear this certification.
So what does this mean? And why would a homeowner want a LEED certified home?
The U.S. Green Building Council states that “LEED-certified homes are designed to provide clean indoor air and ample natural light and to use safe building materials to ensure our comfort and good health.” LEED homes don’t just lower energy costs but they also feature cleaner air…these homes are designed to decrease air pollutants.
Geodesic Dome Homes
For homeowners who don’t want a standard home, one of the most energy-efficient home designs is the geodesic dome. These homes also are incredibly structurally sound. And, yes, they are constructed in an actual dome style.
While these unusual looking homes aren’t for everyone, their open layout makes them not only unique in appearance but also incredibly energy efficient.
Homeowners also can purchase a kit to build these houses. Homedit explains, though, that while the cost for the kit might be around $50,000…that’s not where the dollars necessarily end. Homeowners will either have to build their own home or have someone build it for them. Choosing a pro could cost up to $200 per square foot according to homedit. For example, a 2,000 square foot geodesic dome home could cost around $400,000 when a professional handles the build!
For homeowners who can’t afford a full energy-efficient home plan and might be purchasing a pre-owned home, there are still ways to make that new (old) home more energy efficient.
While some homeowners leave appliances behind, others elect to take them to their new home. Homeowners moving into a new home might decide to purchase new appliances, too. When choosing new appliances, energy-efficient choices could save some money.
While the heating and cooling (furnace and air conditioner) is responsible for using up about half of the home’s energy costs each month, the washer and dryer and hot water heater also use a fair share of energy.
Upgrading these appliances could help save money over time. If a previous homeowner recently replaced the furnace or air conditioner, check to see if it’s an energy-efficient model. While might be mentioned in the listing as a selling point, not all homeowners think to mention these upgrades when selling their home.
Embracing Energy Efficiency
Homes can wear out over time. Eventually, appliances need to be replaced, and so, too, might be insulation and other features in the home. Homeowners can get estimates on energy-efficient upgrades when they need to make changes to their home.
While upgrading everything in the home at once isn’t practical—or always financially feasible—upgrading the home over time can mean that eventually many of the home’s major appliances are energy-efficient.
Eventually a standard home could include low-flow faucets and showerheads, an energy-efficient furnace and air conditioning, and all energy-efficient appliances. In this way, every homeowner can create their own unique energy-efficient plan for their home…if an energy-efficient home plan or design isn’t in their future.