As more and more people recognize the importance of energy-efficient homes, custom builders continue to see an increase in demand for energy-efficient features and floor plans. Whether you’re looking to contribute to a cleaner environment, increase your home’s comfort level, or just save on utility bills, building an energy-efficient home is always a smart move, especially in West Volusia County, Florida.
Florida has beautiful weather all year long; however, this can sometimes lead to significant cooling costs if your home wasn’t built with energy efficiency in mind. To put things into perspective, Florida is the fourth-highest energy-consuming state, and it’s safe to say most of that energy is being used to keep homes and buildings cool. As a result, it’s so important to focus on energy-efficient construction in our area. An energy-efficient home means you’ll be better able to keep your home cool and comfortable while decreasing your energy bills.
Not all builders specialize in energy-efficient construction, so it’s important to do your research. However, if you’re looking to build green, here are 6 energy-efficient features that come standard for Atlas Homes customers:
1. Spacious Open Floor Plans
Open floor plans refer to homes that combine multiple areas into a single large space. Since they contain larger, open areas, open floor plans have fewer interior walls, and as a result, fewer private rooms throughout the house.
Why They Matter: One of the easiest ways to promote energy efficiency in a new custom home is by building an open floor plan. Interior walls actually restrict airflow, which is why some rooms of the house may feel cooler than others. This usually means your HVAC system likely needs to work harder to reach every room throughout the home. On the other hand, air circulates much easier in an open floor plan. Ceiling fans are also significantly more effective in an open space.
Open floor plans also allow for more natural light to make its way through the home during the day and provide less need for artificial light in the evening, both of which can drastically reduce energy costs, especially over a long period of time.
Atlas Homes specializes in open floor plans. We actually integrate open plans into many of our home designs. With over 12 standard floor plans to choose from, it’s easy to find an open floor plan that meets your needs and lifestyle.
2. High Performing HVAC System
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and it’s an appliance that is responsible for maintaining a consistent temperature inside of your home. An energy-efficient HVAC system uses the least amount of energy necessary to regulate your home’s temperature.
Why They Matter: In a warm climate, your HVAC system has to work hard throughout most of the year in order to keep your home cool. This can translate into a significant amount of energy usage. As a result, the quality, performance, and energy efficiency of your unit can make a world of difference when it comes to energy consumption and utility bills.
Atlas Homes understands the important role a quality HVAC system plays in a Central Florida climate. Therefore, we’ve selected high-performing, energy-efficient Lennox 15 Seer HVAC units as the standard option for our custom homes.
3. Dual Pane Windows
Like their name suggests, dual pane windows consist of two panes of glass with a gap in-between. The gap acts as a barrier layer and ultimately helps stop thermal transfer.
Why They Matter: The benefit of dual pane windows is two-fold. For one, they offer extra insulation and help to keep cool air trapped inside your home for longer periods of time. However, they also stop warm air from entering your home because the gap between the two panes acts as a thermal barrier. Within the gap is also a seal that basically keeps gas or air from escaping from between the layers. This means dual pane windows are some of the most energy-efficient window options available.
Atlas Homes includes PLYGEM Low-e Dual Pane Vinyl Windows as the standard option on its custom homes. These dual pane windows are specially formulated with Low-E (or Low-Emissivity) glass which also reduces the amount of harmful infrared or ultraviolet light that comes through the window.
4. Fiberglass Doors
Fiberglass doors are often constructed with heavy-duty compression-molded fiberglass exteriors and are filled with polyurethane insulation foam to provide strong insulation and energy efficiency.
Why They Matter: Second to windows, doors are likely the second leading cause of air leakage from within the home. Unlike wood or other materials, fiberglass doesn’t shrink, warp, crack, or deteriorate over time. As a result, you can expect the door to fit within the frame for many years to come. Additionally, since fiberglass doors are often filled with insulating foam, you can trust that they’re effective at keeping air indoors.
Atlas Homes integrates high-quality Tru Fiberglass Insulated Exterior Doors as an option on many of its floor plans to provide its customers with an extra energy-efficient feature. Not only will it provide energy efficiency and soundproofing, but it’s also an incredibly durable front door.
5. LED Lighting
Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs leverage a microchip that transmits electricity through thousands of little diodes in order to produce light.
Why They Matter: LED bulbs use significantly less electricity and are up to 75% more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Best of all, they last about 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs and about 20 to 25 times longer than halogen bulbs.
Atlas Homes adds LED lighting throughout each of its custom homes, which means customers will enjoy lower energy costs and change their bulbs less frequently.
6. Programmable Thermostats
Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to create pre-set schedules making it easier to optimize internal temperatures throughout the day.
Why They Matter: Your home likely doesn’t need to stay the same temperature every day. For example, some people enjoy cooler temperatures while they sleep, but like it a bit warmer during the day. It’s also pointless to overwork your air conditioner when you’re not home. A programmable thermostat allows you to increase or decrease the temperature based on the time of day.
Atlas Homes installs Honeywell Programmable WiFi Enabled Thermostats in its energy-efficient homes so customers can optimize temperatures throughout the day. Customers can even set or control temperatures from various devices.
People move to Florida from all over the world to enjoy the sunshine all year long. The area’s warm weather doesn’t mean you need to pay through the roof for cooling costs. Investing in an energy-efficient home can pay dividends for years to come.
If you’re in need of an expert custom builder in West Volusia County that specializes in energy-efficient builds, contact us at Atlas Homes. Our family-owned and operated business has been helping local residents build green homes for many years.