When people decide to build a new home they soon find there’s more to it than finding a floorplan and architectural style they like. There’s hundreds of details to consider. We all want attractive homes–both inside and out–but there are much more important things to consider. One of these things is warmth. You can’t enjoy your home if you are in danger of frost bite.
Do not attempt to save or cut corners with cheap windows. The windows are one of the most important elements of your home. Not only do they provide light and view but they keep the cold out if they are good quality. If not the cold winter air has rather free passage into your home. Thermal pane windows may cost a little more but you will save on your heating and cooling bills every month. That savings can really add up and with the high cost of heating and cooling those windows will pay for themselves in very little time. Even the best windows will not preform well if not installed properly. So make sure you go with a very reputable builder or contractor who as a lot of experience.
Good tight fitting doors are also a consideration. Never go cheap on entrance doors a lot of cold air can come into your home around cheap loose fitting doors. Be sure they are being installed right.
Insulation keeps the cold from coming through your walls and it helps keep your precious heat in. Make sure your builder is using the best insulation for your climate. Also make sure the builder is paying proper attention to the ceiling insulation. Researches have shown that almost 45% of heat is lost through the ceiling, so this is why it is extremely important to properly insulate your ceiling.
Go for the high efficiency gas furnace–it should be in the 90 to 97 percent efficiency range. Always stick with the major brands, and never go for the lowest HVAC bidder. Service calls are usually more to do with faulty installation than the actual furnace. Have separate thermostats for various areas of your home. If it’s two story have at least one for each floor. You can turn down rooms you are not using and divert your heating dollar to the rooms you are using. You can turn down the bedroom areas during the day and warm them up in evening in preparation for bedtime.
Even with the light cost of natural gas today a fireplace is still a good idea. Not only does it provide a nice cozy look to your home but it can help heat it. If using a gas fireplace turn down the thermostats in the other rooms and use the fireplace to heat the family room or living room when the family is gathered there. Your gas bill should not be affected. Wood fireplaces are becoming more popular again most likely due to the cost of gas. They are not low cost if you plan to use them often or daily–wood isn’t cheap unless you can cut your own, but it can be a nice source of extra heat.