July 31 2009

Energy Star Qualified Homes

by racheal

If you are house hunting, and you came across a home-built to be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and more comfortable all year round, and this home could actually help reduce your energy use up to 30%, and even provided a healthier environment for you and your kids, and it was just the right size and in the perfect location, then your ideal home would be an ENERGY STAR Qualified home.

To earn the ENERGY STAR for new homes status, builders select from an array of possible improvements thought out their new homes. Homes can earn the ENERGY STAR for new homes label only after a neutral 3rd party verification. Independent certified Energy Evaluators conduct on-site testing and inspections to verify that the homes qualify. Invisible to the naked eye, most ENERGY STAR qualified home improvements are hidden "under the skin" of your new home. The specifications that have to be met to earn the ENERGY STAR for new home label fall into two main categories. 1) Improvements to the envelope. 2) A better mechanical systems.

What is the "envelope” you ask, well it’s the walls, insulation, roofing, windows and doors from your home. A tighter envelope yields a more comfortable more energy efficient structure. Properly installed, climate-temperatures remain steady throughout the house and throughout the seasons. Energy efficient windows available today are vastly superior to what has been used historically. Protective coating or argon gas between the panes and improved frame assembles all combine to create a technologically superior product that helps keep heat in the winter and keep heat out in the summer. This also protects carpets, upholstery and artwork from be damaged by filtering the sun's destructive UV rays. Windows add a lot to the beauty and character of a home and they can do so much more with a little technology applied. Benefits of a green home are numerous.

One of the secrets of an energy efficient home is to minimize the possibility that air (which has already been either heated or cooled) will leak out through unseen openings. Sealing holes and crakes in the homes "envelope" and in duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, and noise. A tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills.

Better and more energy efficient appliances, lighting, heating, and ventilation make for a more comfortable and less costly home. ENERGY STAR qualified homes employ some of the most efficient systems on the market. High efficiency heating systems and modern water heater do an amazing job of reducing energy waste from your home's biggest energy consumer. New technology heating systems are powerful, quiet and durable. The new heating systems burn fuel more efficiently producing a small fraction of the greenhouse gases that older models produced. ENERGY STAR qualified products like, lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, refrigerators, dish washers, and washing machines all provide additional energy saving to the homeowner. Look for the ENERGY STAR on qualified products when selecting items for your new home.

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