Building Green Will Save You Green
Savings is achieved through the use of efficient systems and proper construction practices.
- Properly Installed Insulation
- Low-E Windows
- Effective Sealing
- High-Efficiency Central Air & Heating Systems
- Energy Star Qualified Products
Properly Installed Insulation
Properly installed and inspected insulation in walls, floors, and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, reduced energy use, and increased comfort. Heating and cooling account for 50 to 70% of the energy used in the average American home. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Insulation:
- saves money and our nation’s limited energy resources
- makes your house more comfortable by helping to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the house, and
- makes walls, ceilings, and floors warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
The amount of energy you conserve will depend on several factors: your local climate; the size, shape, and construction of your house; the living habits of your family; the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling systems; and the fuel you use. Once the energy savings have paid for the installation cost, energy conserved is money saved – and saving energy will be even more important as utility rates go up.
Low-E Windows Will Save You Money All Year! Low-emittance (low-E) coatings are microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window or skylight glazing surface primarily to reduce the U-factor by suppressing radiative heat flow.
The principal mechanism of heat transfer in multilayer glazing is thermal radiation from a warm pane of glass to a cooler pane. Coating a glass surface with a low-emittance material and facing that coating into the gap between the glass layers blocks a significant amount of this radiant heat transfer, thus lowering the total heat flow through the window. Low-E coatings are transparent to visible light. Different types of low-E coatings have been designed to allow for high solar gain, moderate solar gain, or low solar gain.
In heating-dominated climates with a modest amount of cooling or climates where both heating and cooling are required, low-E coatings with high-, moderate- or low-solar-gains may result in similar annual energy costs depending on the house design and operation. While higher solar-gain glazings perform better in winter, lower solar-gain glazings perform better in summer. In cooling-dominated climates, the priority is to lower solar gains.
Tight Construction and Ducts: Sealing holes and cracks in the home’s “envelope” and in heating and cooling duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, and noise. A tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility and maintenance.
In typical homes, air leaks are often found at cracks, small holes, and penetrations for
plumbing, wiring, lighting, and ductwork. Together, these leaks can add up to as
much air loss as having an open window! It’s easy to imagine how this can increase a
homeowner’s utility bills and reduce comfort.
Sealing a home’s envelope—its exterior walls, ceiling, and floors—is an important step
in controlling the indoor environment and lowering energy bills. The goal is to reduce air
leakage as much as possible, while providing ventilation as needed for fresh air. In
other words, “build it tight and ventilate it right.”
High-Efficiency Central Air & Heat
Cormier Homes uses 13 SEER Air Conditioning Systems as standard equipment in all of the homes they build. Higher efficiency systems are available if requested by the home buyer. Consult the chart at the right for the savings of each SEER Rating.
In addition to using less energy to operate, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems can be quieter, reduce indoor humidity, and improve the overall comfort of the home. When properly installed into a tightly sealed home, this equipment won’t have to work so hard to heat and cool the home.
Energy Star Qualified Products
Energy Star qualified homes may also be equipped with Energy Star qualified products – lighting fixtures, compact fluorescent bulbs, ventilation fans, and appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines.
How Does EPA Choose which Products Earn the Label?
Products can earn the ENERGY STAR label by meeting the energy efficiency requirements set forth in ENERGY
STAR product specifications. EPA establishes these specifications based on the following set of key guiding principles:
- Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide.
- Qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
- If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a reasonable period of time.
- Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
- Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
- Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.