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Energy Efficiency Of American Built vs. European Built Homes: Which Is Better?

While it’s clear there’s a noticeable difference in European homes compared to American homes. Everyone enjoys a little “infusion” of Europe into their US homes.

But in this article, I wanted to show you the major differences of energy efficiency, and maybe some ideas for you to add to your American home—to maybe make it more unique, or to even help you save money!

Difference #1: European built homes are extremely energy efficient due to a higher standard of construction. So this means sturdier woods, a lot of stone or concrete walls, and heavy insulation. It’s typical in European built construction that the exterior walls are made out of insulated concrete blocks on rebar frames, or poured concrete walls.

Also, European homes install the plumbing and electrical first, before they pour the concrete floors and foundation. This means less chance of ever needing to repair these things (that is if they get it right at the beginning!).

But this is understandable as America is still growing and is building homes as fast as possible!

With that said, European builds end up saving you money in the long run due to less repair and just being more energy-efficient.

Difference #2: Europe homes tend to use radiant heat built into the polished concrete floors and walls, rather than forced air. For air conditioning, they use water systems in the concrete as well. This, unfortunately, can lead to increased humidity. So while cheaper than American HVAC systems, not as ideal.

Difference #3: Many German homes have special windows called Rolladens that can control sunlight, affecting the interior temperatures. Somewhat similar to American ‘skylights’, except more functional. 

Difference #4: Most European toilets have 2 flush buttons on their toilets. One is for a 1-gallon flush, the other for a 2-gallon flush. In America, you’re seeing these, but even so, their ‘low flow’ toilets still use about 1.6 gallons.

Difference #5: European appliances such as the refrigerator and oven are typically smaller than Americans. Also, kitchens aren’t as important in Europe compared to America.

So as you can see, European’s pay much more attention to their energy use compared to Americans. A major reason for this though is because Europeans are charged about 24 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy compared to Americans who only pay 9 cents… That is a dramatic difference!

Thank you for reading my first article! Please come back as I plan to update the blog monthly!


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