Compare and contrast home builders. Buying a new home is one of the most significant investments you can make, and as such, the energy efficiency of your new home should be one of your top priorities. Now could be a good time to take advantage of a slowing housing market, low interest rates, and willing homebuilders eager to provide discounts, allowances, and, most importantly, energy-efficient upgrades. find out here!!
Homebuilders are now providing a range of energy efficient features in their homes, enabling them to apply for the EPA’s Energy Star award. An impartial third party awards Energy Star scores, which are based on the goods, materials, and overall construction methods used by that individual homebuilder. When narrowing down the new home selection process, new homes with this Energy Star award should be given careful consideration. Keep in mind that not all homebuilders design their homes in the same way, so start by asking about the details of the homebuilder’s energy efficiency features and comparing which will give you the best value for your money.
It’s the Framing that Counts
The type of framing, such as 2×4 or 2×6 exterior construction, is a good place to start because it helps you to assess the R-value and insulation thickness of the walls. You can also ask on whether the builder’s new homes have any exterior plywood wall sheeting, as this strengthens the home’s structural integrity and increases its R-value. Exterior finishes such as siding or stucco, for example, do very little to improve a home’s energy quality. Another alternative you can highly consider, depending on your home builder, is thermo resistant roof sheathing. This product will significantly reduce the summer heat in your attic (30 degrees cooler on average). With a price difference of a few dollars per sheet, this roof sheathing (5/8″) should be a staple in your home’s construction.
Energy-Efficient Air Conditioning and Heating
In a typical household, the air conditioning and heating system is the single largest user of electricity and natural gas. That is why the HVAC system’s efficiency is so critical. A SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating assigns a coefficient or number to an air conditioning system; the higher the number, the more efficiently the device turns electricity into cool air for your home. For example, new Energy Star homes should have a SEER rating of 14, which is higher than the previous norm of 12 or 13. Upgraded air conditioners with a SEER rating of up to 23 are currently available on the market. These units work at various speeds, allowing them to provide you with even more performance. But keep in mind that no matter what SEER rating your air conditioner has, if your home isn’t properly insulated, you won’t be able to use it to its full capacity.