Scott Ingram
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How Open Floor Plans Affect The Energy Efficiency Of New Homes

Open floor plans are an ideal way to improve the energy efficiency of your new home. By utilizing an open floor plan, you can design your new home to maximize the energy savings and work toward heating and insulating your new home to its best efficiency.    

Before you begin design on a new home, or before you begin a remodel, it's important to consider the energy efficiency that you're seeking. You'll want to save as much money and as much energy as possible to keep your home comfortable and durable. This planning process is also the ideal time to explore your energy options.

Maximize Energy Savings

Open concept or floor plan designs are an ideal way to maximize your energy savings. You can take the first step in this energy efficiency by conducting a home energy assessment or audit to ensure that you understand how your home is utilizing energy and distributing it throughout the home. 

If your design also considers the appliances that are utilized, you can rest assured that using energy efficient appliances will further the value of your home and further the energy savings of your home.

By choosing an open floor plan you can ensure that the insulation and the air sealing is all done throughout the area. Many open plans use this to help focus the energy savings on one basic area of the home. When a home doesn't have this type of floor plan it's easy to have some areas that simply don't get as much heat as other areas and this can reduce the energy efficiency of the home.

Take Advantage of Lighting

Another important factor is that when you're using an open floor plan you can take advantage of daylight and lighting to your full advantage. By placing windows on the correct side of the house and none on the sides that get more wind or weather for that specific location, you can ensure a better energy efficiency yet still allow plenty of light and solar heating into the home. When the weather is nicer you can use curtains or blinds to reduce the heat that comes in through the windows. 

Homeowners that select such open floor concepts can also take advantage of space heating and cooling. With fewer rooms to heat, there is a lower cost of energy consumption and there are fewer areas of the house that will require extra heating. In fact, it makes it easier to close off areas, not in use such as an upstairs guest room, basement, or other areas that aren't in use and not heat them except if they're being used a particular day. This can save an enormous amount of the heating and cooling bill. 

Windows, skylights, and doors are all strategically located to maximize the benefits of the energy for open concept homes. There's no need to worry that you'll have to close off specific areas of the home to keep the house warm and comfortable. 

Energy auditors can help to suggest ideal concepts so that the open floor plan focuses on the requirements for the homeowner. Focusing on efficiency and state-of-the-art methods to utilize the best energy efficient appliances, structures, lighting and even solar water heaters and solar power can all work together to reduce the carbon footprint and encourage a more energy efficient home.

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With over 50 years of real estate experience in the Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin area, SCI Real Estate offers a full range of services that range from quality residential home building to large commercial developments.