Building an Energy Efficient Home
Hey guys, I’m Dean Casey, Casey Services Heating and Air. We’ve been in business longer than Jimmy Carter was president. Even when he was always building houses we was putting in heating and air. This house has got a long list of great features.
- Metal roof
- We’re putting in American Standard two stage geothermal unit.
- Great triple pane windows
- Sealed crawl space
- Ultra Aire products
- Accu Clean
- Energy star packages.
We’re gonna make a bunch of videos off this one house so you can help people get off the grid, live the dream baby. Believe in America.
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What Is an Energy Efficient Home?
An energy-efficient home is a house that is designed, constructed, and equipped with various features and technologies to minimize energy consumption and maximize its efficiency in using energy resources.
Its a straightforward definition – but what does it actually look like? Let’s start by looking at how we typically use energy in our homes.
According to the US Department of Energy, 54% of household energy use is dedicated to heating and cooling interior spaces. And as a result, the typical homeowner will spend a proportional amount of their utility bill (43%) just on heating and cooling. The second and third largest sources of home energy use are for water heating (18%) like for laundry, dishwasher, and shower, and for lighting and appliances (17%).
What is an ENERGY STAR® Home?
In many ways, ENERGY STAR certification is the gold standard for home energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR homes are certified by a program devoted to researching and promoting energy efficiency in building construction that is run by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ENERGY STAR certified homes, at their core, are designed to use less energy. Certified homes must meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and are independently verified to have lower energy consumption. The EPA also claims that certified homes reduce pollution that can be harmful to the environment.
Benefits of Building an Energy Efficient Home
If you are looking to design and/or build your own home, building an energy-efficient home offers numerous benefits. Here are some key advantages of constructing an energy-efficient home.
You Have Lower Energy Bills
Energy efficient homes reduce energy consumption. ENERGY STAR certified homes and apartments are at least 10% more efficient than homes built to current code and they achieve a 20% improvement on average energy usage. This translates to lower utility bills for you every month and over the lifetime of your home.
You Can Access Energy Efficiency Rebates and Tax Credits
There are several federal tax credits and incentives for homebuilders and homeowners. For instance, you can receive up to $2,500 for meeting ENERGY STAR requirements for your home, as well as tax credit for a variety of clean energy equipment, including geothermal heat pumps. North Carolina residents may also be eligible for certain tax incentives as well as rebates. The HOMES program is meant for whole-house energy efficiency upgrades and may offer rebates of up to $4,000 depending on how much energy the project saves.
Additionally, Duke Energy’s SMART $AVER program offers rebates for certain products and Dominion Energy has incentives for the purchase of a smart thermostat and their Weathersmart Program also provides rebates. If you maximize these credits and rebates by opting for energy-efficient equipment and construction, you have the chance to save a bundle as you build your new home.
You Can Get an Energy-Efficient Mortgage
You may be able to save money with an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM). An EEM can be used for the purchase or refinancing of an ENERGY STAR certified home, or to help finance energy efficient improvements to your existing home. Three types of EEMs are possible: Conventional EEM, Federal Housing Authority (FHA) EEMs, and Veterans Affairs (VA) EEMs.
Energy Efficiency Increases the Value of Your Home
Beyond saving you money, building an energy efficient home can make you money. Studies show that resale of ENERGY STAR certified homes bring a premium when it’s time to sell. Over the past decade, a variety of studies show the sale and resale prices of energy efficient homes range from 2% to 8% higher than conventional homes in most markets. While an ENERGY STAR home, on average, costs about $2,500 more to build, a 2019 National Association of Home Builders study concluded that energy-efficient homes tend to garner $5,000 more than standard homes in the housing market.This means you can recoup the cost – and more – when you want to resell the energy-efficient home you built.
Increased Comfort with Energy Efficient Systems
An attention to energy efficiency also means an attention to occupant comfort. For example, certified homes efficiently control internal building temperature and humidity – which makes your home more comfortable, especially in warmer, balmy climates like North Carolina.
Energy efficient features like effective insulation and proper duct system installation not only deliver consistent temperatures and reduce drafts, but they can also reduce noise in your home. Many ENERGY STAR certified equipment tout the benefits of being less noisy as well.
Energy Efficient Homes Can Improve Indoor Air Quality
An important component of your comfort in your home is how your home impacts your health. And while not all energy efficient homes have been proven to improve your health, ENERGY STAR certified homes do provide more purified air and reduce pollutants like dust, pollen and other allergens that can negatively affect health. So as you build your new home, don’t forget this crucial benefit of energy-efficient home design.
Enhanced Durability and Quality
In order to be certified energy efficient, homes are typically built with high-quality materials and construction techniques that ensure durability and longevity. This can result in lower maintenance and repair costs over the total life of the home.
If getting “off the grid” is a goal for you as you’re building your new home, energy efficient homes can incorporate renewable energy sources such as solar panels or geothermal systems (like we talk about later on in this series). These types of energy-efficient systems rely less on the grid, so home builders (and even existing homeowners) can reduce or eliminate electricity bills. This energy independence means that in the event of an outage or grid interruption, your home will stay powered.
Building an energy efficient home provides a number of practical, immediate benefits. Cost saving aspects range from potentially lower mortgage costs to reduced utility bills and tax and utility incentives that keep your money in your pocket. Certified homes also deliver a healthier and more comfortable environment. Your HVAC system plays a big role in your new energy efficient home – but you need professionals who not only understand HVAC equipment, but also understand the big picture of building an energy efficient home from insulation to return duct placement. To get the most out of your HVAC for your energy efficient home, contact the experts at Casey Services.
Up Next – Building with Energy Efficient Insulation
With energy costs rising, many are now including energy efficient insulation in their new construction. Yet 90% of American homes are still under-insulated. Read on to learn more!
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