Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What Goes Into an ENERGY STAR Home?

There is a lot of talk about energy efficient homes and ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that provides information, training, and certification of products and practices to help homeowners save money and protect the environment.

In just the year 2007, homeowners who used ENERGY STAR building products saved the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as produced from 27 million automobiles – while saving a total of $16 billion on their utility bills!

The first criterion for an ENERGY STAR home is that it is not more than three stories. It can be a structural insulated panel home, post and beam or
timber frame home, single-family, or low-rise multi-family home. The key is in the materials used.
So what goes into an ENERGY STAR home? An ENERGY STAR home has five major components that a conventional home might not have:

1. High performance insulation. Probably the biggest savings in energy costs can be obtained through having properly installed and correct amounts of insulation in the walls, floors, and roof of your home. We recommend using
structural insulated panels for your home.

2. Energy efficient windows. New technology in window design, glazing, and protective coatings contribute greatly to energy efficiency in windows, helping to keep the house warm in winter and cool in summer.

3. Tight Building Envelope. Making sure your building envelope is “tight”, including well insulated and sealed heating and cooling duct systems, goes a long way in reducing drafts, moisture, noise, and air pollutants, which ultimately create a healthier environment for your family.

4. Efficient Heating and Cooling Systems. Energy efficient heating and cooling systems, especially
renewable energy systems, offer great savings in energy costs and contribute to the overall comfort of your home.

5. Efficient Products.
ENERGY STAR products and appliances make a significant contribution toward energy savings in a green home.

Of course you will want to have an independent ENERGY STAR qualified Home Energy Rater evaluate your home to be called an ENERY STAR home. The Rater calculates and test energy efficient features of the home, including insulation, air tightness, and duct sealing by conducting a blower door test (waived in structural insulated panel homes), duct blaster tests, and completing a thermal bypass checklist of the home. After approval, the only thing left to do is to enjoy the comfort of your new energy efficient home while admiring your low energy bills.

If you’re planning to build an ENERGY STAR home, you won’t want to miss our Free Home Seminar on Saturday, November 15th in Manchester, NH. For more details and to register, visit our Upcoming Events

Jackie Lampiasi, Marketing Director

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