Energy efficiency and alternative energy sources are increasingly important in the face of global climate change and high energy costs. Building and retrofitting homes for alternative energy reduces the consumption of non-renewable energy sources and provides advantages for homeowners in reduced energy costs. Making responsible choices today translates into energy savings in the future.
Alternative Energy for Homes
Energy smart homes can make use of multiple methods of efficiency and alternative energy, from super insulation and efficient appliances to tapping alternative energy such as solar and geothermal sources. Regardless of the other methods used, the most efficient homes have one thing in common, and that is that they maximize passive performance before any mechanical conditioning systems are in place. With the right designs, much of a home's heating and cooling needs can be met passively. However, in most climates additional heating or cooling systems are necessary.
Geothermal heat pumps are ideal heating and cooling systems for passive solar homes because they integrate well with passive designs. Additionally, with energy savings gained through passive design strategies, geothermal systems can be much smaller, therefore more affordable than in traditional homes.