Alternatives

Alternative energy systems are used to reduce the need for fossil fuels and they also have a great payback when compared to current interest rates.

Solar Electric Panels

Solar Electric Panels MilwaukeePhotovoltaic (PV) systems use solar electric panels to directly convert the sun’s energy into electricity. This conversion of sunlight to electricity occurs without moving parts, is silent and pollution free in its operation.

Most residential PV systems are used in conjunction with utility-supplied power. Power produced from the PV system is sent to the power grid and offsets the cost of electricity that is consumed from the utility.

Most often, PV panels are installed on roofs, but they can also be installed as free-standing units, on a pole on the ground, or even on complex tracking structures that change with the sun’s angle during the day.

Geothermal Heating & Cooling

Geothermal Heating MilwaukeeGeothermal’s basic concept takes advantage of the earth’s constant temperature, approximately 55 degrees, to heat and cool a building. By tapping this steady flow of heat from the earth in the winter, and displacing heat in the earth in the summer, a geothermal heat pump can save homeowners 40 to 70 percent in heating costs and 30 to 50 percent in cooling costs compared to conventional systems.

Thermal Mass with Radiant Heat

Thermal Mass with Radiant Heat MilwaukeeRadiant heat warms the objects which it contacts versus heating the air around the object. People feel warmer with radiant heating even in cooler air temperatures. Thermal mass acts like a fly wheel releasing radiant heat slowly over time.

The photos to the left show the main flooring system for the 2008 Best New Green Home that we built in Franklin. Instead of wood joists, we used Spancrete where the orange heating tubes were laid out then embedded in 3″ of concrete. This large concrete thermal mass was set inside the insulation of the Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) which attach directly to the foundation. In the same way, the foundation walls and basement slab have insulation between the concrete and the earth creating true thermal mass in the lower level.

On Demand Hot Water Heaters

On Demand Water Heaters MilwaukeeYou don’t use hot water 24 hours a day. But, you’re paying to heat water 24 hours a day. With a standard water heater, you heat and reheat the same water even when you’re sleeping. Tankless water heaters are a more efficient way to heat water. They heat water quickly and deliver an endless supply of hot water for as long as you need it. You only pay for the hot water you use.

Low Energy Usage Lighting

Low Energy Usage Lighting MilwaukeeCompact fluorescent bulbs are a significant improvement over standard incandescent lights. Advancements in LED technology are producing bulbs with even longer life, that use less energy and don’t utilize mercury.

 

Wind Power

Wind Power MilwaukeeA wind energy system transforms the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical or electrical energy that can be harnessed for practical use. Mostly used by utilities and homes in rural areas, new designs that turn slower and have a more sculptural look may become more applicable for suburban and urban locations.

Contact Milwaukee home builder, P.E.A. Builders, for more green home building and remodeling today!

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