Original Article by: Fox Blocks
Soaring energy prices and the effects of climate change are being felt all around, so building energy-efficient homes is more important than ever. California is no exception. With some of the highest electricity costs in the nation, California homes can greatly benefit from being energy-efficient. The state is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint which starts with homeowners building more efficient homes.
The Climate in California
In California, the climate varies greatly depending on the region, but the majority of the population lives in coastal cities. Mild temperatures and a Mediterranean climate prevail throughout these cities. Coastal cities may be quite pleasant, but other regions of California like Death Valley can reach record-high temperatures
of 130°F or greater.
Temperatures can vary throughout the state, and dry conditions have led to an increase in wildfires across the region. Since 1972, the area burned by wildfires in California has increased fivefold
, and in some areas promoting floods. For Californians, the need to build resilient and efficient structures for safety and energy conservation has never been more important.
Building with Efficiency
When building an energy-efficient home in California, there are several key considerations that should be taken into account. Each of these components can have a major impact on the overall energy usage of the home:
Insulation is crucial for keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. High-quality insulation will help to reduce your energy costs and improve the overall comfort of your home. The quality and quantity of the insulation dictates the energy required to keep your home comfortable.
Thermal mass refers to the mass in a building’s exterior walls. The more thermal mass, the longer the walls take to warm up and cool down. By taking longer to change temperature, outdoor fluctuations in temperature are dampened, which keeps the temperature inside pleasant. Stone, concrete, and other materials are great sources to capture thermal energy within mass wall assemblies.