Energy efficient home design increases with popularity each year as homeowners look for ways to help lower rising energy costs. This trend has multiple components, though, that may each trend in their own way. Each year, Fixr polls experts in the home design industry to discover what the upcoming trends in home design and building will be. In addition to bringing you a comprehensive look at what single-home buyers are looking for, we also took a closer look at energy savings as well.
What is an energy efficient house?
Energy efficient homes can look and function in a lot of different ways depending on climate, size, style, and the lifestyle of the owners. In the most general sense, an energy efficient home strives to lower energy consumption, stop energy loss, and help reduce things like greenhouse gas emissions and the demand for nonrenewable resources and materials.
At the same time, an energy efficient house strives to provide better, healthier and more comfortable living conditions. These homes give off fewer VOCs, have lower energy bills, have fewer issues with moisture management, and are more comfortable to live in temperature wise.
They often end up paying for themselves over time in the decreased energy bills that go into heating and cooling them.
Key Trends: What are the Most Popular Energy-Efficient Home Designs?
Homes and residential buildings consume the most energy of any sector, including industrial and transportation. This means that energy-efficiency is key for homeowners looking to save. We polled industry experts on what they believe are the top ways that homeowners will utilize design trends and new innovations to create the most energy efficient home design that fits their needs. Learning how to design an energy efficient home is often just one piece of the puzzle, as many homeowners have different needs that must be addressed.
Homeowners are motivated by savings and environmental awareness
When asked what motivates homeowners to want to increase their energy savings, the majority responded that they wanted to increase monetary savings as well. However, many homeowners also responded by saying that an awareness of the environment and climate change were also motivating factors.
Seal Ducts and Windows to stop energy loss
Air sealing is one of the most effective ways to stop energy loss. Of the various places that you can seal within your home, both HVAC ducts and windows rank as the most effective areas to seal. They score 4.2 and 4.3 respectively out of a total of 5.
Heating with Heat Pumps
When you need to heat an energy efficient home, the most popular method is to use a heat pump. Standard heat pumps rank first with 48%, while ductless heat pumps take second place, and geothermal heat pumps take third. Whichever method you use, heat pumps do deliver more energy savings than other heating methods.
Tankless Heaters are the Most Efficient Way to Heat Water
For heating water, tankless water heaters outrank other models for efficiency. Gas heaters are the most popular method, while electric tankless heaters take second place. Tankless heaters work only as needed, rather than continuously heating water, which makes them more efficient regardless of energy type.
Solar power is most common way to utilize renewable energy
Traditional, solar photovoltaic panels are the most common method of all current renewable energy sources. At 75%, they outrank both geothermal and solar photovoltaic shingles by a considerable margin.
Insulate with Cellulose and fiberglass
Adding insulation to an attic is a good way to stop energy transfer and keep the home more comfortable. When it comes to insulation types, both blown-in cellulose fiber and fiberglass batts are equally popular, with each one receiving 28% of the vote.
Build an Energy Efficient Home
When it comes to energy efficient home design, there are many different factors that need to go into the final project. Paying attention to what's driving this trend and what homeowners want to take away from it, as well as to the various components that rank high in popularity and use can help you achieve a more efficient design on your end. Follow the trends in energy efficiency to make a more efficient home design of your own.
We reached out to 25 industry professionals from Fixr's 2019 Experts' List to ask them to select one answer or several to each question that they felt best captured industry trends in each category. They were also asked to answer open-ended questions on each topic to provide a clearer picture.
Fixr selects experts within the U.S. construction industry who are building, designing, manufacturing, and publishing content relevant to the field.
We selected the experts for this list based on criteria such as:
- Their experience in the industry
- Any awards won
- Their online presence, including web traffic or social channels, and how often their name or business appears online
- Their contributions to other publications or external organizations
Eric Crey Freed