Energy efficiency is a buzzword in today’s home building industry, and with good reason. Switching to more energy efficient materials can save homeowners thousands of dollars in utility bills over the years.
1. Spray Foam Insulation
We recommend spray foam insulation where possible to our homeowners for several reasons.
- Using spray foam insulation can provide an average of 30% more in energy savings than traditional batt insulation.
- Closed cell spray foam is water resistant, providing increased protection from water damage in the event of a flood.
- Spray foam insulation is made of an inert polymer, which means that there’s no source of food for mold or bacteria. This gives you enhanced protection from mold and mildew.
- Spray foam insulation has a significantly longer life span when compared to other insulation products, meaning it is unlikely you will need to upgrade or replace your insulation for decades.
2. Variable Speed AC Units
There are three types of AC units you can install in your new home – single stage, two stage and variable speed. Most American homes have single stage air conditioners, as they have been the standard in residential construction for years.
Single stage air conditioners always operate at 100% capacity – full blast – and continuously turn themselves on and off throughout the day to maintain your home’s indoor temperature. If your unit is set to 75 degrees, your single stage AC will kick on when it reads your indoor temperature any higher than 75 degrees, then kick off as soon as they reach the mark you’ve set.
In comparison, variable speed AC units operate at less than 100% capacity, which means they can run much longer cycles. By running longer cycles, these units actually work to dehumidify the air in your home. As a result of the lower humidity level, you actually feel more comfortable at higher temperatures – giving you savings on your utility bills!
As a bonus, because variable speed AC units run more consistently, they filter your air more efficiently.
Here’s the simple breakdown – single stage AC units blast cold air into your home, and then turn off. Variable speed AC units blow a steady stream of cool air into your home constantly to maintain your desired temperature, and they rarely turn off.
3. Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters, also known as demand water heaters, do just that – produce hot water on demand. They only heat water when someone turns on the faucet to request hot water. Water flows directly through your tankless water heater, and is heated as it flows by a gas burner or electrical element. This means a continuous flow of hot water, no matter how long your shower lasts.
In comparison, traditional water heaters store water and maintain that water’s temperature until the tap is turned on. When you run out of hot water in your tank, it must refill and reheat.
Tankless water heaters are about 30% more energy-efficient than traditional tank water heaters, which translates to annual savings for you as a homeowner! Plus they offer continuous hot water – a luxury if you’ve ever run out of hot water in the shower.
Tankless water heaters can be 2-3x more expensive than traditional tank water heaters, but we think that the convenience and financial savings they offer are worth it.
Are you ready to build your custom, energy-efficient home in the Bayou region? Reach out to the Chris Ledet Homes team and let’s start the conversation.
Hurricane season is quickly approaching, and we don’t take this time of year lightly in the Bayou region. If you’ve recently built a new home or renovated your existing home, thinking about the impending hurricane season can be stressful. Here’s some advice from local and national experts about how you can prepare your home for hurricane season.
Consider the 5 S’s in your home: shingles, soffits, seals, shutters and surroundings.
- Shingles: Roof damage is the biggest homeowners insurance claim following a storm. Check your roof for any loose pieces, and ensure that the most vulnerable parts of your roof (the first course of shingles and along the gable ends) are secure. This is a good time to clear your gutters as well!
- Soffts: Loose soffits can be blown around, allowing wind-driven rain to enter your attic space. Ensure soffits are secure with polyurethane sealant and stainless steel screws.
- Seals: Check holes on the exterior of your home where wires, cables and pipes enter or exit your home, and caulk where needed.
- Shutters: Hurricanes bring high winds, which can cause flying debris to damage windows. If you have functioning shutters, do a test run before hurricane season to ensure they are working properly. If you do not have functional shutters, consider investing in lightweight, translucent removable storm panels that are significantly easier to install than traditional plywood boards.
- Surroundings: In advance of hurricane season, survey the trees in your yard and address any dead or decaying trees around your home that could cause problems. Prior to an impending storm, secure loose objects such as patio furniture, potted plants, bird feeders, etc. Don’t forget about any chemicals you may store in your garage or carport – make sure chemicals like gasoline or pesticides are in secure locations and placed high enough so they will not be affected by any flood waters.
Hurricane season runs June – November, but historically Louisiana has seen the most dangerous hurricanes in the months of August and September.