If you’re looking to build a new home, be environmentally-friendly and save money, you’ll want to consider building a “green” home. There are 5 things you will need to incorporate in your new “green” dream home to achieve ENERGY STAR certification. (ENERGY STAR is a federal designation granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.)
The five things to incorporate into your dream home for ENERGY STAR certification are:
1. Use a green certified builder and look for the blue ENERGY STAR label – it assures your home meets the material requirements, is tested, inspected and certified.
2. Efficient Walls and Windows – Properly installed insulation of the right level in the walls as well as high-performance windows with proper sealing.
3. Efficient Air Ducts for consistent airflow and temperatures throughout the house.
4. Efficient Equipment for cooling and heating the house.
5. Efficient Lighting and Appliances, you’ve probably seen the label when shopping for appliances. An ENERGY STAR certified home uses Energy Start certified light bulbs, washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators and other appliances.
Here are some advantages to purchasing or building an ENERGY STAR certified home:
ENERGY STAR certified homes are built to higher standards than most homes on the market and have proven to use 15-30% less energy on average than non-certified homes. Green building improves the way a home uses energy, water and materials to minimize adverse impact on people and the environment, and save you money. The EPA says that consumers in energy efficient homes saved over $500m last year in energy costs.
Building green starts at the planning process and includes the on-site building process. The payback extends all the way through the years you live in the home, and comes in the form of:
- Lower Utility Bills – ENERGY STAR certified homes use less energy for heating, cooling and water heating than other homes, saving on your annual utility bills. Studies by the EPA over 10 year period reveal a typical family saves thousands of dollars on maintenance costs.
- Enhanced Performance – ENERGY STAR certified homes provide more consistent temperatures room to room; indoor air quality is enhanced by reducing dust, pollen, bugs, and excessive humidity. Durability is improved with more thorough water protection and windows that block damage from the sun, and better equipment.
- Environmental Protection – ENERGY STAR certified homes use less energy and, consequently, they help to prevent air pollution. Having an ENERGY STAR certified home will save you money and help you save the environment with ‘greener’ options.
In fact, according to the EPA/Energy Star Program, the environmental impact in 2013 of ENERGY STAR certified homes in the United States was*:
- Reduced emissions equal to approximately 4,339 fewer cars
- Reduced coal usage by approximately 17,943,762 pounds
- Equivalent to growing 530,310 trees for 10 years AND
- Reduced CO2 by approximately 45,953,772 lbs
*Based on national averages
Home buyers should also look for the Indoor airPLUS label. This is an EPA specification that addresses the indoor environment associated with green building. EPA’s WaterSense® program guides buyers toward the purchase of high efficiency products that use 20% less water without sacrificing quality or performance. Taken together the ENERGY STAR, Indoor AirPLUS and Watersense programs complete the green home picture.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255