What is a Net Zero Energy Home?
Incorporating sustainability and green initiatives into businesses and homes are becoming more popular. Not only is the need for sustainability growing in the face of climate change, but sustainable practices — like going net zero can save money and decrease dependence on utility companies.
What is a Net Zero Home?
As a nation as a whole, net zero means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible. On a smaller scale, a net zero home is a home that produces as much energy as it consumes. Rather than relying on utility companies to provide them with electricity, net zero homes are self-sufficient and produce all the electricity they need on the property.
How Does a Net Zero Home Work?
One of the most common and easiest ways to become net zero is through installing solar panels on the property. Solar panels can be installed on top of the roof of the home or elsewhere in the property where there is ample sunlight. Solar panels use sunlight for energy production, reducing or even eliminating the need for electricity from outside sources like utility companies.
However, solar panels are not the only part of achieving net zero. A true net zero home relies also on energy-efficient appliances that require less electricity and energy to power.
Whole house fans, along with solar powered attic fans, are a great example of this.
Whole House Fans and the Net Zero Home
Out of the total electricity produced in the U.S., air conditioning uses up 6 percent. Air conditioning is, therefore, both costly and energy-inefficient, requiring large amounts of electricity to cool the home.
Whole house fans are a popular alternative or supplement to air conditioning. They allow homeowners to reduce temperatures at night when outdoor temperatures drop. They pull in cool outdoor air through open windows and pump the trapped, hot air out through attic vents.
In addition, if there’s a heatwave and temperatures remain high even at night, whole house fans can still help. Running a whole house fan for just an hour before bed can drastically reduce attic temperatures, so when it’s time to go to bed and turn the air conditioning back on, the system won’t have to fight against extreme attic temperatures.
Overall, it reduces electricity consumption. Homeowners who use whole house fans can cut their energy usage by up to 90%.
Benefits of Net Zero Homes
First and foremost, net zero homes lower the carbon footprint of households. Instead of relying on utility companies that use non-renewable sources to produce electricity, net zero homes use renewable energy like solar power. This boosts sustainability and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Also, net zero homes reduce electricity bills. Not only does this save money, but it allows homeowners to be less frugal when it comes to using appliances.
If you’re looking to join the net zero energy home initiative, consider adding a whole house fan to your agenda.