Why ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Are Built Better from the Ground Up
By Brian Ng
Being an EPA employee working for the ENERGY STAR program, it’s natural to find myself thinking of ways to save more energy, especially at home. There’s plenty I do to consume less energy – everything from turning off lights and using a programmable thermostat, to sealing and insulating in my attic. But there are things that I just can’t do to my existing home that I wish I could do to really improve my home’s comfort and efficiency, things like sealing and insulating the air ducts behind my walls and in the floors, installing a moisture barrier under the foundation, and insulating the brick and block walls of my 1940’s colonial. For those in the market for a new home, you’re in luck! New homes that earn the blue ENERGY STAR label include all these comfort and energy-saving details, and more.
When a home earns the ENERGY STAR label, it means that it can be up to 30 percent more efficient than a typical new home. All ENERGY STAR certified homes are constructed with:
- A complete Thermal Enclosure System to deliver comfort and low utility bills;
- An efficient Heating, Ventilating, and Cooling (HVAC) System designed and installed for optimal performance, comfort, and lower bills; and
- A comprehensive Water Management System to protect roofs, walls, and foundations from moisture damage.
These are features that just can’t be easily installed in most homes after they’ve been built, and surprisingly are not built into many new homes. These features are inspected by a third party using a set of quality assurance checklists that can dramatically reduce the chance that critical details are overlooked and that can greatly improve the efficiency, comfort, durability, and quality of homes that earn the label.
To find home builders in your area that are constructing ENERGY STAR certified homes, you can visit www.energystar.gov/partnerlocator. To learn more about the features and benefits of these homes visit www.energystar.gov/newhomes.
Every ENERGY STAR certified new home is built better from the ground up to use energy more efficiently, which means lower utility bills for you and less of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. This makes a big difference for our environment. In fact, one ENERGY STAR certified home contributes 3,700 lbs. less greenhouse gases than a typical home, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gases that are absorbed by planting 43 trees. Since EPA began labeling new homes in 1995, American homeowners have saved over $4 billion on their energy bills and reduced GHG emissions by more than 46 billion pounds.
ENERGY STAR is the simple choice for energy efficiency. Join the millions already making a difference at energystar.gov.
Mr. Brian Ng is the communications manager for ENERGY STAR’s Residential Programs. Mr. Ng has been with the U.S. EPA for 17 years supporting a wide range of initiatives related to the protection of human health and the environment, including the improvement of energy efficiency in new and existing low-income housing.
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