Achieving a successful zero energy home is not an easy task. If you are constructing a new home or reconstructing your current one there are many things you can do to increase the energy efficiency and achieve net-zero energy standards. It is important to say, that you do not have to be afraid of high investments (10 – 20 % higher cost than normal house, depends on climate) or limited living comfort (even better interior climate than in normal house due to smart ventilation systems).
Steps and tips to zero energy house:
1. Decrease the energy requirements for:
- space heating
- water heating
2. Orient the home with smaller walls facing west
3. Increase foundation, wall and ceiling insulation, use high R-Value Insulation
4. Use low U-value, low-E value windows. Use triple glazed windows and well insulated or double external doors. Ensure that all windows and doors are tight and meet the air-leakage standards. Seal all holes, cracks, and penetrations through the floor, walls, and ceiling to unconditioned spaces
5. Ensure adequate ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms.
6. Porches, trees, garages nearby buildings and their placement also have an effect.
8. Install a solar hot water pre-heat system, an efficient backup water heater, and an efficient distribution system:
9. Use efficient lighting and appliances. Be sure that all of your appliances aree Energy Star labeled.