Bob Vila Radio: Building Smaller

By Sarah Monzon & Bob Vila | Updated Nov 5, 2012 6:56 AM

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Did you know that the best insulation there is can’t save you as much on heating and cooling costs as you’d save if you just had a smaller house?

Building Smaller



Listen to BOB VILA ON BUILDING SMALLER, or read the text below:

Comparing the energy use of a poorly-insulated, fifteen hundred square foot house to that of a well-insulated house twice as big (with R-13 walls, R-19 ceilings, and double-glazed low-e windows), building scientists concluded that, indeed, less is more. Despite its insulation, the bigger house uses 50% more energy than the little house.

That explains why a new breed of smaller, super-insulated homes, designed with an eye toward maximizing the heat from the sun and minimizing air leaks, can be heated with small wall-mounted mini-split pumps that consume no more power than two hair dryers.

It’s not really about how efficiently we make heat anymore; it’s about how well our homes hold on to that heat. As any early American colonist or log cabin pioneer could have told you, smaller and smarter is warmer and cheaper!

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on construction, consider:

Modular Construction
Supervising the Construction
Rough Construction