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Is Your New Home an Energy Efficient Home?

Apr 3, 2012

As Americans become more energy conscious and environmentally responsible, they are turning to home builders who can provide them with energy homes that are energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

A new home today that’s built to ENERGY STAR guidelines is 15% more energy efficient than a home built according to the 2004 International Residential Code. That translates into major savings for homeowners as well as a smaller carbon footprint on the environment. When building a new home, there are two categories homeowners can look at:

  1. Custom built homes
  2. Production built homes

Custom Built Homes

With a custom built home, you have the opportunity to build your house exactly the way you want it, making it into a real energy home! This allows you to take full advantage of energy saving features and incorporate any environmentally friendly options you want, from the number and type of windows to outright landscaping.

Some features to consider:

  • The home has a RESNET HERS® Index score, the lower the better
  • Properly installed insulation
  • Ensure the house’s envelope is properly sealed
  • Install high-performance windows
  • Choose an ENERGY STAR qualified HVAC system

Production Built Homes

Production built homes are constructed to standard, per-determined specifications that apply to a complete block of homes. Therefore, you are limited in the number and types of changes you can make. Nevertheless, you can customize the interior of your home with energy saving features, all of which help to keep your energy bills low and your home’s comfort level high.

Some features to consider:

  • Choose energy efficient appliances
  • Replace lighting fixtures with energy efficient ones
    • Look for energy efficient options at your local lighting showroom or hardware store
    • Replace light bulbs with energy saving compact fluorescent ones (CFLs)
  • Make sure your air conditioning unit is the right size for your home

Regardless of the type of house you build, there are countless energy saving options available to you. You can also take advantage of energy mortgages to finance any energy related renovations that you undertake. You can also visit the RESNET Interactive House for tips on how to begin transforming your home into an energy home.

If you’re considering building a new home, a certified Home Energy Rater or RESNET EnergySmart Builder can advise you on your options and help you construct a house that is energy efficient, environmentally friendly and provides a high degree of comfort.