What Is A Net Zero Home?
Have you ever heard the term “net zero?” It applies to both homes and buildings that have achieved zero net energy consumption. Throughout the year, a net zero home or building will create as much energy as it uses. They are considered to be the most environmentally friendly way to exist.
Not only are they friendly to the pocketbook, but they are also friendly to the environment.
While it’s something many of us strive for, it’s not something easily achieved unless you’re starting from the ground, building a new home with all environmentally friendly things in place. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot you can do. Designers and builders are all looking for ways to be more sustainable. Even local, state, and federal government initiatives are all pushing the envelope in helping consumers go green wherever possible.
A lot of it starts with being aware of what is available to you. Even most net zero homes are still connected to the power grid. Renewable energy such as wind and solar isn’t produced twenty-four hours of the day. That means energy storage solutions are mandatory, and many energy companies are looking for ways to improve on this and make solutions available to their customers. Check with your energy company; most have an option for you to use renewable energy whenever possible.
Once you have this side of energy consumption under control, it’s equally important to minimize how much you use. The less energy you use to operate your home, the less renewable energy you’ll need to bring into your house. That’s how you lower your operating costs, and grow in efficiency.
New technology plays a huge role in this process. How often have you upgraded the major appliances in your home? New high efficiency HVAC equipment plays a huge role in this process. Old furnaces and air conditioners can be costing you money. Old water heaters can be equally as bad. Of course, there is a trade off between replacement value and efficiency. That’s where a conversation with a reliable, professional HVAC and plumbing technician can help you establish your own guidelines for replacement, and keeping your current equipment in the best condition it can be.
To achieve a net zero home, whether you’re building from the ground up or working with a contractor to remodel an existing home, can only be achieved through cooperation with the designer, builder, and homeowner. It depends on how well your home’s envelope is functioning, and every change to each system is made. If a device is plugged into the wall, is it the most efficient it can be? Is it the most efficient compressor, fan, pump, system, or control on the market to meet your goals?
The result will help you save money each month on your utility bill. It will also give you peace of mind knowing you’ve done all you can do to build sustainable living.