In the market for a new house in the northern United States or Canada?
Experts with the U.S. Department of Energy's Building America program suggest
that you look for the following design and construction features to make sure
that your home uses energy efficiently:
- Efficient Windows:
help to control and reduce ultraviolet light that can fade carpets and
furniture, helping to keep your belongings looking like new and keeping window
areas more comfortable to sit near. Window flashing protects against water
- Compact and Tightly Sealed Duct Runs:
Shorter runs and fewer air leaks allow air to go where it is intended, with
fewer contaminants like humidity and dust from attics or crawlspaces. Leaky
ducts are a major contributor to mold problems. Return air paths ensure
balanced air pressure for less drafts and more balanced temperatures
throughout the house. Put ducts in conditioned space, where possible.
- Right-Sized and High-Efficiency HVAC Equipment:
Properly sized HVAC equipment costs less to install than bigger equipment,
saves energy, and is designed to comfortably handle heating and cooling loads.
Eexhaust fans remove moisture and pollutants. A controlled, filtered air
intake ensures plenty of fresh air. A fresh air intake is recommended.
- Sealed Combustion Appliances:
Sealed combustion appliances cut moisture buildup and ensure the removal of
combustion gases. Stay away from non-vented combustion appliances such as
non-vented fireplaces or heaters.
- Properly-Sized Overhangs:
Ovehangs provide shade in summer, but allow sunlight in during winter.
Insulation holds comfortable temperatures in conditioned spaces and helps
- Air Sealing:
Air sealing stops drafs, helps keep humidity and garage contaminants out of
the house, and creates a barrier to rodents and insects.
- Well-Designed Moisture Barriers and Drainage Pathways:
Moisture barriers and drainage pathways guard against expensive structural
damage and help stop humidity, mold, and mildew.
Careful attention to insulation and air sealing helps to avoid ice dams.
Copyright 2002 - 2009,
Ken & Deb Holmes. All