Energy Efficiency and Your Florida Home

Posted: December 31, 2015 | Categories: News | General Info | Why Buy New
By Highland Homes

Energy efficient products in your new Florida home Radiant Barrier, an insulating foil shield attached to your roof trusses during construction, can lower your cooling costs up to 12 percent.

Here in Florida, we enjoy sunshine year round. It’s wonderful to take a pleasant evening stroll or lounge away an afternoon at the beach even in December.

Though, the sunshine can have the result of running your air conditioning and running up your electric bill. To save money on your monthly utilities, it’s important for your Florida home to have energy efficiency built-in. The Florida Building Code instituted efficiency updates as recently as summer of 2015, which means new homes built in Florida today are often more efficient than those built even a year ago.

According to a study completed earlier this year by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), newer homes (built since 2008) cost about $1.04 per square foot for annual utilities, and can save you more than $1,000 a year in utility costs when compared to an older home.

You may be wondering about the products which make new homes more efficient, and what else you can do to lower your monthly energy bill. Here at Highland Homes, we include energy-efficient and money-saving products in every new home that we build:

  • Programmable Thermostat — Allows you to program different temperatures for times when you are away from home, which uses less energy than maintaining a cool temperature 24/7.
  • 14 SEER Energy-Efficient Heat Pump — SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) refers to the efficiency of your A/C equipment — the higher the SEER, the lower your cooling costs. For example, a 14 SEER unit will save you about 7.2 percent in utility costs compared to a 13 SEER unit, and 50 percent savings over a 7 SEER unit.
  • Low E, Double Pane Windows - Reduces heat radiating into your home through the windows (plus, a tilt-in sash makes cleaning the glass a breeze!)
  • Insulation — R-30 in living area ceilings, R-4.2 on exterior masonry walls, and R-11 batts between the house and garage provide a barrier against heat entering through the walls or ceiling.
  • R-11 Foam Injected Wall Block Insulation - Insulating foam fills the hollow concrete cells of your exterior block walls and provides an additional barrier against heat entering your home
  • Rapid Recovery 50-Gallon (min) Hot Water Heater — Uses less energy to maintain water temperature than standard units.
  • Fiberglass Insulated Entry Doors — Offer up to four-times the insulating value of wood doors, along with excellent durability and style

In addition to these included products, we offer upgrade options you can choose to further increase your home’s efficiency. One of the most effective and popular is Radiant Barrier.

  • Radiant Barrier — An insulating foil shield stapled to your roof trusses that reduces heat transfer through your attic and into your home by as much as 97 percent, and lowers attic temperature up to 30 degrees. The lower attic temperature improves the performance of your ceiling insulation and HVAC equipment, further lowering cooling costs. According to the manufacturer, Radiant Barrier will lower your utility bill by 8 to 12 percent, saving the average household $25 per month!
  • 15 SEER Energy-Efficient Heat Pump — Increases your HVAC efficiency by about 6.7 percent over the included 14 SEER unit.
  • Two—inch Faux-Wood Blinds — Help block the heat of the sun’s rays, and are custom-fit to all windows and available in a selection of colors.
  • Garage Ceiling Insulation — Add R-19 or R-30 insulation above the garage to help control your garage temperature and heat radiating in through the garage ceiling.
  • Insulated Garage Door — Helps control the climate in your garage, and minimize heat radiating from the garage into your living space.
  • Whirlpool ENERGY STAR Appliances — From kitchen to laundry, select from a variety of ENERGY STAR certified appliances which save money without sacrificing performance.

A huge benefit of building your new home in Florida is the energy-efficiency and utility savings, compared to older homes. When you build with Highland Homes, not only may you select efficiency upgrades to further improve your home’s performance, you may also choose from hundreds of available options to personalize your new home to your unique style and needs. From included and no additional cost to luxurious upgrades, a multitude of selections are available for every room, and in every price point, so your new home is designed by you, built for you, and ready for you to start making memories in the day you move in.

To learn more about building your new home in Tampa, Orlando, Central Florida, Ocala or Manatee County, visit or contact our Florida new home specialists at 863-797-4999.

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