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New Home vs Existing Home in Energy Efficiency Battle

One of the many factors that home buyers are going to have to decide during the home buying process is whether they want to purchase an existing home or a new home build. Often times this is a very personal choice and many factors are considered before a final decision is made. One the factors driving buyers to new homes is the improvements and advances in energy efficiency over the past 5 years. Improvements in building materials, build process and home appliances are making new homes extremely energy efficient. Some of the primary factors driving energy efficiency in new homes are listed below.

Better Windows and Doors

A new home is going to use better windows and doors than previously built houses. Because of the emphasis on energy efficiency and green building techniques. Typically windows and doors will be a much higher quality and keep the colder air from escaping from the home. Newer windows and doors use advanced manufacturing techniques to ensure a tighter fit, thereby keeping the the cool air inside and not trying to cool the Arizona desert. Older windows typically use single-pane glass whereas newer windows use double-pane glass, which is more effective at keeping heat and cold air from penetrating the home.

Advanced Insulation

Depending on the age of the existing home, there’s a chance that the insulation used in its construction is in need of replacement. In some cases, it could even be non-existent. Insulation is essential to helping to keep cold air from escaping through the walls, floors and ceilings – especially when the home has an attic space. New homes are built using insulation with high R-values in the walls and ceilings to help ensure a better thermal envelope. New insulation methods are much more advanced these days with either blown in batts or blankets that help cover all the air pockets where previous methods could not reach.

Affordable Energy Efficient Appliances

Newly built homes are going to be fit with new appliances, which have become more and more energy efficient over the years. Existing homes are much more likely to have older appliances, from the oven to the washing machine, which eat up energy without performing at the standards set by newer models.

More Efficient HVAC

For Arizona homes the HVAC (air conditioning) system is usually the largest consumer of energy in the home. Keeping our homes cool on 110 degree days is a difficult task. The good news is that most HVAC manufactures have been able to create more powerful systems that actually use less energy.  Many of the new systems use a variable speed fan that helps circulate air in the home and extend the cooling period. In new homes the HVAC systems are more likely to be sized properly and to operate more efficiently. With a new HVAC unit at your house, and a brand new warranty to cover it, you will never have to worry about the air breaking in the middle of the summer. The HVAC systems in older homes are also more likely to need work – especially when it comes to the duct system. Older ducts often have air leaks and insulation problems that could require costly repairs or replacing the whole system. Buyers looking to purchase an energy efficient home need to consider buying a new home build. While these energy efficient features can be implemented into an existing home, the extra costs of doing so will make it more expensive than buying a new energy efficient house.\

Garrett Walker is dedicated to building homes that meet the demands of the new buyer. Our homes are functional, beautiful and use all the latest in energy efficient technologies to help home owners save on electricity bills.