Our nation’s homes are among the top sources of energy waste, in part because, unlike users of commercial buildings, homeowners don’t do “life cycle costing”. At Right-Sized Homes, we take several approaches to minimize energy consumption in our completed buildings, so the occupants will use less energy and have lower energy bills.
We install high efficiency appliances, including EnergyStar rated appliances, and high efficiency air and water heating equipment. We install ceiling fans to reduce reliance on mechanical cooling, and encourage people to open window blinds on winter days and keep them partially closed on summer days to reduce reliance on mechanical heating and cooling.
Day Lighting and Solar Energy
We design our buildings to take advantage of natural lighting to reduce reliance on electric load for daylighting. We also use skylights and “solotubes” to bring light to the interior of buildings, especially row houses. We have completed projects that used photovoltaic panels to generate electric power on site, with excess energy sold back to the grid.
Until the days of cheap energy in the mid-20th century, buildings were designed to take advantage of solar orientation in the location of rooms and windows. We renew that awareness, thoughtfully designing for a combination of maximum winter lighting, and avoidance of unwanted summer solar gain. We work to provide outdoor space for food gardening, and to minimize impervious surfaces to manage storm water runoff.
The most important factor in building energy efficiency is having a tight building envelope. We work with our contractors, educating them and monitoring work to eliminate air leakage and ensure tight construction to reduce air infiltration, and to minimize energy needed to heat and cool interior air.