Qualified Homes Save Energy & Money
Qualified Homes Save Energy and Money While Increasing Comfort
The ENERGY STAR label is more than a symbol for energy efficiency. It identifies new homes and the products (more than 40) that are energy efficient but offer the features, quality and personal comfort a new homeowner wants.
More than the money saved is the comfort factor an ENERGY STAR home offers. Gone are drafty rooms and overheated ones as well. ENERGY STAR homes have a variety of features that cut heating, cooling and water heating energy use. That’s because tighter home construction and tighter ducts cut down on unwanted air flow in and out of homes, and better insulation protects the home from the elements.
Energy efficiency begins with windows. The new low emittance (lowe) coatings are an incredible phenomenon in window technology. The patented coating blocks up to 83 percent of the sun’s harmful ultra-violet rays and up to 96 percent of the sun’s infrared heat. It’s like coating the home with a pair of sunglasses year-round.
Insulated glass is important as well. Many homes feature a one-inch thermal insulation space between two window panes. Window frames account for 15 percent of energy loss. New technology enables windows to withstand winds up to 187 mph while triple fin seal weather-stripping provides maximum air leakage protection. Such windows reduce outside noise penetration, making the home quieter.
Energy efficiency is also important in insulation which, when properly installed in floors, walls and attics, insures even temperatures throughout the house. Less energy is required, resulting in lower utility costs and a quieter more comfortable home. Efficient heating and cooling systems also use less energy which reduces bills because these systems turn on and off less frequently.
Energy Star is a voluntary program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), designed to help businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. More than 2,000 home builders nationwide construct qualified homes in every state. To date more than 380,000 new homes have earned the ENERGY STAR designation including many in the Greater Charleston area.
Last year because of programs such as ENERGY STAR, Americans cut their energy bills by more than $7 billion, saving enough energy to power 15 million homes. The greenhouse gas emissions saved by these steps were the equivalent of taking 14 million cars off the highways. The national office of ENERGY STAR homes estimates a savings of $200 to $400 a year in energy costs. Any residence that is three stories or less height can qualify for the ENERGY STAR designation. Builders choose from a variety of features to achieve the designation including properly installed insulation, high performance windows, tight construction and tight ducts and energy efficient heating/cooling equipment. All homes are independent verified by third-party home energy raters to insure they meet EPA’s strict guidelines.
For more information on qualified products such as lighting, home electronics, windows, home office equipment, programmable thermostats and appliances, visit www.energystar.gov or call 1-888-782-7937.