With the economy and housing market in its current state, it’s no wonder that people are spending their money in different ways. For one thing, many homeowners are now upside down on their houses…meaning, they now owe more on their house than the price it is currently appraised for. When you’re in a situation like this, the outcome is not always so bleak. While the housing market may be down now, things can eventually turn right side up, but that can take a long time. Those who are trying to sell their existing homes that are not either extremely cheap or extremely attractive are finding that they’re in a tough space. For people in the market to purchase a home, however, you’re in a much better position. Costs of material and labor are down, as well as low interest rates on loans. This still doesn’t negate the fact that you should make a wise choice when purchasing a house, and never forget the overall cost that goes along with owning a house. That is why a lot of people are turning towards purchasing energy-efficient custom homes. Not only is it an investment in the long run (even if you don’t sell), you also save on the day-to-day operational costs of owning a home.
The most popular, or the most well-known, type of energy-efficient house is an Energy Star certified home. These homes must meet certain guidelines that are enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency. These homes can be up to 30% more efficient than most standard homes. There are several ways that this is accomplished. The first way, being insulation.
Most homes have very poor insulation planning. If they do not have low-grade insulation, there are pockets where there is literally little to no insulation whatsoever. Poor insulation is the largest culprit when it comes to energy leaks. By putting in high-grade insulation throughout the house, rather than in choice areas, and performing peak efficiency tests to ensure the proper installation of the insulation, you are able to certify beyond a doubt that you are not losing massive amounts of energy through the cracks.
There are other guidelines that need to be followed in order to meet Energy Star certification standards, including the installation of high performance windows, installation of an efficient HVAC system, installation of Energy Star certified appliances, and energy-efficient light fixtures.
However, it’s important to note that Energy Star certified homes are not necessarily the only type of energy-efficient homes out there, let alone the most efficient. There are actually other energy-efficient programs supported through other building agencies that are much more efficient than your typical Energy Star certified homes. To compare which type of home is more efficient than the other, you’ll want to analyze the home’s HERS rating. HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System. A HERS rating is a numerical grade given to a home to gauge its energy-efficiency, and the lower the number, the more energy and money you save. Standard homes have a HERS rating of about 130, while Energy Star certified homes must achieve a HERS rating of 85. Our homes achieve ratings between 65-80!