Should a Net-Zero home be your future home?
What are the characteristics of net zero energy homes?
As you consider living in a net zero home, here are the features you should keep in mind.
Renewable energy production
The main characteristic of a net zero energy house is that it must produce its own energy to compensate for its energy consumption. Renewable energy production can come from solar, wind or hydropower. The power will need to be created on site, so it’s no surprise that installing solar panels on the house is often seen as an essential feature.
Net zero energy homes are often designed with smart floor plans that minimize energy consumption. The location of the building, the floor plan it uses, and the location of the windows are all part of a smart design process.
Beyond design features that minimize energy consumption, most net-zero energy homes also consider the health of the occupants who live there. You will find that the majority of net zero energy homes are designed to support a healthy lifestyle for homeowners through a healthy indoor environment.
High quality insulation
A net zero home will often need high quality insulation as part of its design. The goal of high-quality insulation is to completely seal the interior of the home from the outside elements. Thus, the energy produced for heating and cooling will be used efficiently throughout the house with minimal leakage.
In addition to high quality insulation, most net zero homes will need to consider energy efficient windows. As you improve home energy efficiency, you reduce the amount of energy needed to be produced for your net-zero energy home.
Efficient water management
Water management aims to preserve natural water resources and reduce the risk of water damage. A net-zero home can reduce your hot water consumption by including low-flow fixtures, stacked plumbing, drain water heat recovery, and hot water recirculation.
When you think of home ownership in America, you often think of maintaining a lush green lawn. But net-zero energy homes often choose to forgo the traditional look for a more practical approach to water use.
Instead of opting for the lushest grass available, net-zero energy homes often opt for drought-tolerant landscapes. Typically, homeowners embrace rainwater harvesting methods as a solution to keeping their outdoor landscape alive.