Maintaining a totally energy-efficient home can be a lot of work, especially during the intense Florida summers. But an energy-efficient home is really the only way to ensure that you and your family stay comfortable all summer long — without paying sky-high energy bills.
If you live in an older home, conditioned air can escape from the unlikeliest of places. You’ll probably need to conduct a pricey energy audit to even know what to look for. Then, there’s the time and expense of caulking, sealing, insulating, replacing materials and products, and more to treat the air loss. What a job!
Luckily, when you buy a new home in Jacksonville, energy efficiency is often built right into the construction process, lowering your home’s maintenance and energy costs for many years. At Dream Finders Homes, here’s how we do it:
High-Efficiency A/C Unit & Heat
Up to half of a home’s energy is used for heating and cooling interior spaces. Today’s energy efficient furnaces provide maximum heat with minimum gas usage by electronically monitoring the thermostat to ensure precise temperature control. Having the right sized HVAC system for your house is also critically important to maintain even temperatures room-to-room and control humidity levels.
Prevent Air Loss
Your HVAC system works hard to warm and cool your home. The number one thing you can do to lower your energy bills is to prevent that air from escaping, so that it doesn’t have to work even harder. While effectively sealing air leaks around floors, walls, ceilings, windows, doors, fireplaces, and outlets (yes, outlets!) is a given, the right insulation and window glass will help trap air and keep it right where you need it.
Effective Insulation Solutions: Homes in Florida need to be able to withstand high temperatures in the summertime, which regularly reach the mid 80s to low 90s. For maximum comfort, 2×6 exterior wall construction allows for fiberglass batt insulation to fill a wider space without breaks or gaps, resulting in less air leakage. In ceilings, blown-in fiberglass insulation with an R-value of R38 prevents warm air from escaping.
Qualified Low-E Windows & Sliding Glass Doors: Inefficient windows are notorious for ushering your hard-won heat right out of your house (or allowing heat in). During the winter, low-emissivity coatings on glass windows and doors reflect the home’s interior heat and bounce it right back into the spaces where you need it the most. In warmer months, these windows reflect exterior heat from the sun, keeping the inside of your home cooler while still letting in lots of natural light.
Get Smart About Your Thermostat
Smart, programmable thermostats improve heating and cooling system efficiency by learning how long it takes your system to reach your desired temperature and activating the system earlier, so your home is exactly how warm or cool you want it to be, at the precise moment you want it. Smart thermostats that allow for multiple programming settings — like auto-adjusting on the weekends or when you are not home as often — will save you both money and the hassle of remembering.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
In rooms with ceilings of normal height, fans can keep you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This can potentially lower your energy bills. In the warm months, keep them spinning counterclockwise to push cool air from the top of the room down to floor level. At the first sign of cool weather, reverse the direction your ceiling fans turn — so that they are spinning clockwise to pull cool air upward and push down the warmer air that naturally rises to the ceiling. Just be sure the blades are spinning at the lowest possible setting.
These systems work all summer long in Dream Finders Homes to keep your space comfortable for a lot less money. Have questions about buying a new, energy-efficient home in Jacksonville or any of its surrounding areas? Contact us — we can help!