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Old 07-25-2013, 05:10 PM
 
5 posts, read 8,270 times
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we may be looking to build a new home (2-story, ~3000 sqft) in the DFW area. what energy efficient items would you look to include? Builder already provides a 15 SEER hvac system, low-e vinyl windows and insulation (R-13 Fiberglass batts, R-38 fiberglass attic spray (Denton R-38), R-22 fiberglass batts in vaults) which seems to be pretty standard. I'd have to check if something like a radiant barrier and LED light fixtures are included or not.

Apart from possibly upgrading to a 16 SEER, what other items would you look yo add/upgrade that would give us a break on the monthly utility bills in the DFW area.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Northern Wisconsin
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There is a general principle, that the more insulation you add, the less your payoff will be. Yours looks about right for our state. Only way you could significantly make it less, IMHO, is to build part or all of the house below ground level.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:08 PM
 
Location: back to Texas soon!
72 posts, read 114,563 times
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Tankless water heater
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,544 posts, read 22,433,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla97 View Post
Tankless water heater
Definitely. Even if not for the energy efficiency, get one for the convenience of never running out of hot water!
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:10 PM
 
440 posts, read 757,425 times
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Tankless water heater and radiant barrier -energy efficient appliances (if included)-rain sensor for irrigation -gas cooking-multi zoned a/c ( no point cooling areas not used all the time) . We put insulation on interior walls as well for sound dampening but I'm sure it keeps rooms cooler
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:15 PM
 
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consider using the reflective sheathing/house wrap too along with the roof decking---it works great with how the brick/stone goes up on the exterior since you need a void vs close contact...
Personally I think cellulose vs fiberglass is better because you also get additional sound/fire protection...

if you are going to add a pool, I would suggest heat pump for house HVAC that would act as heater for pool/spa...

consider where your HVAC outside units will go--put them on the north or east side of the house if at all possible--away from hot sun...

if you can--design house with overhanging eaves to take advantage of winter sun angle and block out summer higher angles...most house designs don't do this because of the current home styles but it is worth considering if you are designing a home
and try to get windows aligned for cross ventilation...
there are times when it is perfectly pleasant in Texas to have open windows and no AC but if your rooms don't help with air flow then you can't really benefit by doing it...

I would really try to avoid having an open stair well in the front foyer open to 2nd floor
that acts just like a chimney taking hot air up into the second floor
IF it were done correctly you could design something to siphon out the hot air that way but most home designs don't even consider it...

If you are doing a tankless hot water heater--you need to consider that it only works well for larger volume use--like showers --
most people default to that as energy efficient--but it isn't always the answer
having a hi-efficiency gas water heater with larger flue can be better use of money/energy

it depends on your family, how you use hot water, and your home's design...
some people are better off with two units bases closer to water sources than one large one in garage...
but again that takes forethought and design creativity...
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:25 PM
 
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good stuff so far. many thanks. much advantage for dual HVAC units if the other bedrooms are upstairs and the master is down?
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:13 PM
 
Location: plano
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Ventilation in the attic is very important to energy efficiency. You need lots of air inlets to the attic along the eaves typically and ridge vents if there is enough area along the op to let the air out. If there is not a long ridge for a vent to let enough attic air out, add an additional air outlet, either air hawk or power vent. (I prefer air hawk since it consumes no energy. Check window tint for efficiency from direct sun and it will keep furniture from fading as fast as well.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:16 AM
 
Location: So California
8,707 posts, read 9,564,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabsabre View Post
we may be looking to build a new home (2-story, ~3000 sqft) in the DFW area. what energy efficient items would you look to include? Builder already provides a 15 SEER hvac system, low-e vinyl windows and insulation (R-13 Fiberglass batts, R-38 fiberglass attic spray (Denton R-38), R-22 fiberglass batts in vaults) which seems to be pretty standard. I'd have to check if something like a radiant barrier and LED light fixtures are included or not.

Apart from possibly upgrading to a 16 SEER, what other items would you look yo add/upgrade that would give us a break on the monthly utility bills in the DFW area.

If you are building with a production builder they will far more limited than a custom builder.

1. Spray foam insulation (full encapsulation). Attic is non ventilated!
This is the single best thing to upgrade for energy efficiency.
2. Tankless water heater. (gas or propane only). The unit is dormant unless you are using hot water.
3. Good windows and doors. Glass is regulated through energy code, just make sure house is sealed well.
4. Good AC units. 16 SEER & up will typically give you a two stage compressor. Watch the brand to.
5. Radiant barrier is ok, if you dont spray foam house.
6. LED light fixtures would be great, but Im afraid no builder will have them standard at this time, theyre too expensive.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Frisco, TX
1,271 posts, read 1,607,487 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabsabre View Post
good stuff so far. many thanks. much advantage for dual HVAC units if the other bedrooms are upstairs and the master is down?
Are you asking if you need one unit for downstairs and another for upstairs? If so, YES. If you only have one unit it will run all the time during summer to try and keep the upstairs cool.
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