The decisions you make during a new home construction will influence how you live in your home. Your personal preferences drive many choices, while building codes drive others. Beyond these factors, paying attention to your HVAC system and certain construction issues can help improve your home’s energy efficiency.
The heating and cooling system you select for your home can affect ongoing costs. If you plan to finish your home before the end of 2016, you can take advantage of a generous federal tax credit by installing a geothermal heat pump, solar panels, or a solar water heater. This tax credit allows you to deduct nearly all of the costs. There’s no upward cap on the amount you can deduct for geothermal or solar systems.
The best time to install a geothermal HVAC system is before construction starts because the system requires an underground loop field that’s easier to place before any structures are on the lot. Solar panels and water heaters are easier to retrofit, although doing so as part of a new home construction will allow you to include them in the mortgage.
If it’s an option for you, selecting 2 x 6 framing instead of 2 x 4 construction will result in a more efficient home. A deeper wall lets you install R-19 insulation instead of R-13. Selecting attic insulation with an R-value of 60 will also cut conditioning costs.
Building codes require a specific amount of attic ventilation to prevent excessive heat during the summer, protecting your roof and shingles. Because summers are hot and humid here, installing an attic ventilation fan will keep your attic even cooler and drier, preventing heat gain through the ceilings and damage to the roof and insulation.
Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal can share even more information about geothermal systems for your new home construction. We’ve been providing top-notch HVAC and geothermal services for homeowners in Northwest Arkansas since 1968.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about new construction and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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