Energy-Efficient Features Found in New Construction Homes in Lake Wales, FL
One of the many benefits of calling Florida home is the year-round sunshine and warm weather. Snow and ice? Forget about it! There’s nothing better than enjoying winter days outdoors in the sunshine or taking an evening stroll on the beach in the middle of December!
With all that Florida sunshine, energy-efficient home features are extra important to keep your home cool and comfortable. Thanks to advanced technology and updated construction practices, new construction homes are more energy-efficient and cost less to maintain and operate than older homes.
If you are considering a new construction home in Lake Wales, FL at our brand-new Scenic Bluff community, you will be pleased to discover many energy-efficient home features are included to help you stay cool and save money on your utilities.
According to energy.gov, 48% of energy consumption in US homes is due to heating and cooling equipment, which means having the latest technology, high-efficiency HVAC equipment will have a big impact on your monthly utility bills. Highland Homes includes a 14 SEER (or better) heat hump in our new construction homes in Lake Wales. For those not familiar with HVAC equipment, let’s break down what that means!
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 costs about 50% less to operate than a 7 SEER unit, 28% less than a 10 SEER unit, and about 7.2% less than a 13 SEER unit. In addition, a higher SEER means a lower carbon footprint with significantly smaller greenhouse gas emissions.
Many houses built prior to 2006 only have a 10 SEER unit and homes built as recently as 2014 may only have 13 SEER equipment. As you can see, this is an important consideration when comparing the overall cost of owning a resale home or a new construction home in Lake Wales.
Florida’s climate makes heat pumps an ideal choice for HVAC. A heat pump does double duty, providing cool air conditioning when it’s hot outside and heating your home when it’s cold out, as well as functioning as a dehumidifier. This means you do not need to maintain and operate a separate air conditioner and furnace – it’s all in one, so it is more efficient and has lower operating costs and reduced carbon emissions. And, by reducing the humidity in your home, the air conditioner runs more efficiently which also lowers energy costs as well as creates a healthier home less susceptible to mites, mold, and mildew.
Looking for even more efficiency? Choose to upgrade to a 15 or 16 SEER heat pump and further decrease your cooling costs.
Pairing your HVAC with a programmable thermostat allows you to optimize your cooling efficiency by scheduling your A/C usage throughout the day. For example, you can program your thermostat to run less when you are away from home, which uses less energy than maintaining a cool temperature 24/7.
And, the next item on our list also helps your home maintain a comfortable temperature and operate efficiently.
Each new home at Scenic Bluff includes R-30 ceiling insulation over the living area, which provides a barrier against heat entering your home through the attic. In addition, your exterior walls are insulated with R-11 foam injected block insulation. This insulating foam fills the hollow concrete cells of your exterior block walls and provides a barrier against heat entering your home through the exterior walls.
The R-value refers to the insulation’s ability to reduce heat flow - the higher the R-value, the more savings you’ll enjoy! On average, energy.gov estimates you can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling costs and up to 10% on total energy costs by having proper insulation such as what we include. Keep this in mind when looking at resale homes – insulation can be added in an older home, but the cost to do so is estimated to be $2,000 to $6,000 depending on factors such as the insulation type and volume needed.
When you build your new home in Lake Wales at Scenic Bluff, you also have the option to add ceiling and/or block insulation to the garage, to help keep this space cooler and reduce heat transfer from the garage into your home.
You can further enhance the insulating capabilities in your new construction home by choosing to add Radiant Barrier, an insulating foil shield stapled to your roof trusses that radiates heat back out of your attic and reduces heat transfer through your attic and into your home by as much as 97%. Radiant Barrier lowers your attic temperature by up to 30 degrees, which also helps your HVAC ducting (which is in the attic) function more efficiently, reducing the heating/cooling portion of your utility bill by 8-12%.
Low-E, or low-emissivity, glass minimizes the infrared and UV light that comes into your home without actually reducing the amount of visible light. Basically, this glass reflects the heat before it enters your home through your windows, helping to regulate your indoor temperatures. In general, Low-E windows reduce energy loss by as much as 30-50% in your home and can save on average $250 per year compared to traditional windows! Not only do our new construction homes in Lake Wales, FL include Low-E windows, they include a tilt-in sash to make it easy to clean the window glass from inside your home.
Lighting accounts for about 15% of a home’s energy consumption so using LED light bulbs can add up to savings of about $225 per year. Not only do LED bulbs, use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs, but LEDs also use semiconductors to generate light, which generates almost no heat, unlike a traditional filament light bulb. And, LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs which means you’ll spend less money on bulb replacements.
Homes at Scenic Bluff include energy-efficient LED recessed lighting in the kitchen so you can reap all of these benefits, as well as illuminate your workspace with bright, evenly-distributed, and attractive lighting. And, when you choose to build your new construction home in Lake Wales, you can choose to add this attractive and efficient lighting in additional rooms throughout your new home for a low cost!
An additional lighting upgrade available when you build is the option to add ceiling fans to your home. Ceiling fans can help keep you cool through the “wind chill” effect while using less energy than only cooling with the A/C unit. Choose from energy-efficient ceiling fans which include integrated LED lighting such as the Haven 52-in. fan or Discus 52-in. fan from Monte Carlo Lighting.
Appliances are workhorses in our homes – I mean, can you imagine living without a refrigerator?? (Fun fact – refrigerators did not become common in American homes until the late 1940’s!) And, technology is continually improving to make appliances more efficient, more attractive, and more functional for our modern lives.
For all of these reasons, we’ve chosen to include state-of-the-art Samsung stainless steel appliances in our Lake Wales new homes.
- The included ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher saves you money by using less energy and water with each cycle. An adjustable rack makes it easier to accommodate a variety of dishware, Auto Cycle optimizes your cleaning cycle to be more efficient, and a digital leak sensor identifies leaks and shuts off the dishwasher before water can escape. Plus, it’s attractive with hidden controls and a flat handle, and provides quiet operation.
- Your included Samsung microwave has 1000W to cook quickly, LED display lighting, and an Eco mode which conserves energy by turning off the display when it’s not in use. A 300 CFM ventilation fan quickly removes heat and steam from the stove area.
- Your Samsung freestanding electric range includes WiFi smart cooking technology so you can preheat, adjust time and temperature, and monitor your cooktop from your smartphone. The 6.3 cu. ft. oven can accommodate multiple dishes at one time, a Rapid Boil™ feature allows you to complete simple cooking tasks in less time, and dual ring burners mean you can select the right burner size (and energy output) for your pot or pan.
In addition to these included appliances, you can choose the Samsung ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator to fit your needs, upgrade your dishwasher, microwave, and range with a variety of efficient models to choose from, and decide to add a Samsung ENERGY STAR certified washer and high-efficiency dryer to your new construction home in Lake Wales, FL. How much money can this save you? According to ENERGY STAR, new ENERGY STAR certified washing machines use 25 percent less energy and about 70 to 75 percent less water than a 20-year-old washer.
We’ve talked a lot about electrical efficiency – let’s move on to how a new construction home in Lake Wales, FL can save you on your water bill, as well! At Scenic Bluff, we include Delta Woodhurst® WaterSense® bathroom faucets for sinks, showers, and tubs. Delta’s WaterSense® collection uses at least 20% less water than the industry standard, saving you money without compromising performance.
You can select alternative finishes from the Delta Woodhurst® WaterSense® collection as an upgrade for your bathroom fixtures. Or, choose options from the Kayra or Ashlyn collection, which features Delta’s H2Okinetic Technology, sculpting water to feel higher pressure with more coverage, while actually using less water.
Learn More About New Construction Homes in Lake Wales, FL
As you can see, a new construction home in Lake Wales comes loaded with energy-efficient home features which can help you save on utilities, without the cost associated with updating an older home.
In addition to energy efficiency, new construction homes coming soon to Scenic Bluff in Lakes Wales will offer you the best in new home design with versatile open layouts, a private owner’s suite, and flexible use rooms to suit your needs. This means you can move in and enjoy your new home from day one, without the need for costly (and time-intensive) renovations.
More information about this exciting new community will be available soon. We invite you to join the Scenic Bluff VIP List to receive notification of plans, pricing, and availability to build your energy-efficient new construction home in Lake Wales, FL!
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