While older homes have their charm, building a new house is a unique opportunity to customize building materials, layouts and add-ons that can make your home more energy efficient. Read on for a few things to consider, including what fixtures to use and how to find an energy efficient HVAC system.
When shopping for the fixtures and appliances you'll be installing in your new home, make sure to think about both the initial and long-term cost. Less efficient appliances may be cheaper up front, but be more expensive when lifetime energy costs are taken into account. Here's a brief guide to finding energy-efficient fixtures and appliances for your home:
• Programmable or remote thermostat – A programmable thermostat can be set to change the target temperature throughout the day to account for times when the family is at work, school or sleeping. A level above the programmable thermostat is the remote thermostat, like the ComfortLink™ II which can be paired with the Nexia™ Home Intelligence system and your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer to control your HVAC system from anywhere.
• Low-flow water fixtures – Low-flow shower heads, toilets and other water fixtures can help reduce hot and cold water usage, saving your money on your water and gas bills. Ask your plumber for recommendations that will provide the right balance of comfort and efficiency.
• Tankless water heaters – Tankless water heaters are becoming popular alternatives to traditional water heaters; they instantly heat up water as you need it, which is more efficient than keeping a tank of water hot all the time. And while tankless water heaters can reduce your energy bill, they are currently more expensive than traditional water heaters. If you're considering a tankless system, do some research to make sure the long-term energy savings will make up for the difference in price.
• Efficient appliances – When shopping for appliances like stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and clothes dryers, make sure to consider the estimated annual energy usage of each. Look for ENERGY STAR certified products to keep gas and electric costs down and minimize the total lifetime cost of your appliances.
When looking for the right air conditioner or heat pump, pay close attention to the SEER rating of each unit. Trane central air conditioners are available up to 21.00 SEER, and heat pumps go as high as 20.00 SEER. Gas furnaces are rated based on the percentage of the natural gas is burned on average (AFUE); Trane gas furnace efficiency can be as high as 97.3% AFUE.
If you're interesting in maximizing your new home's energy efficiency, call your local Trane comfort Specialist today. Our dealers will make sure you find an energy-efficient HVAC system that fits your home's layout and your construction budget.
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