March 23, 2022

How an Energy-Efficient Home Can Lower Your Utility Bills

Categories: Blog, boise idaho, energy efficient, tresidio homes, tresidio new homes

Maintaining a totally energy-efficient home can be a lot of work, especially during the freezing Idaho winters and equally intense summers. But an energy-efficient home is really the only way to ensure that you and your family stay comfortable all year long — without paying sky-high energy bills. 

If you live in an older home, and because 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 Boise, energy efficiency is often built right into the construction process, lowering your home maintenance and energy costs for many years. At Tresidio Homes, here’s how we do it:

Create Heated and Cooled Air More Efficiently 

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 Idaho need to be able to withstand low temperatures that regularly reach the teens and 20s. For maximum heat retention and 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: 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. 

Efficiently Maintain Hot Water Temperature

When the temperature outside dips below freezing (and stays there!), maintaining hot water for bathing and cleaning can use LOTS of energy. Traditional water heaters are very good at constantly heating stored water to whatever the thermostat is set to, but that comes at a cost. Our homeowners have the option of installing tankless water heaters.

  • Efficient Water Heaters:Tankless gas water heaters are the best option to keep your water hot and your energy bills low. They allow for endless hot water (no more hot water running out when the last person in the family showers), save a ton of space, and don’t pose a flood-risk when they expire. 

Get Smart About Your Thermostat

Smart, programmable thermostats increase efficiency in your heating and cooling system by learning how long it takes your system to reach your desired temperature, and activating the system earlier, so that your home is 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, and can potentially lower your energy bills. In 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 blades are spinning at the lowest possible setting.
All of these systems work together in a new Tresidio home to keep your space comfortable for a lot less money. Have questions about buying a new, energy-efficient home in Boise or any of its surrounding areas? Contact us — we can help!