Green Energy Efficient Home

 Energy efficient Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Heating and air conditioning accounts for a significant portion of your overall energy consumption. HVAC system is the dominant factor of the levels of comfort and overall living experience in your home. Federal rule mandates HVAC system with air handlers to perform at a minimum of 13 SEER. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) is performance rating scale developed by the U.S. government and equipment manufacturer’s that all consumers can understand and compare. The higher the S.E.E.R. rating the less energy (electricity) is required to produce the desired effect. 12 SEER produces about 12 BTU/hr of cooling per watt of electricity. (British Thermal Unit) is (BTU) is the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit, and it is the standard measurement used to state the amount of energy that a fuel has as well as the amount of output of any heat generating device. One ton of cooling is approximately 12,000 BTUs. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is most widely used measure of a furnace’s efficiency.  AFUE is the percentage of the heat delivered to your house from each unit of fuel.  Standard systems have an AFUE of 80%, which means the furnace converts 80% of the fuel it burns in to heat for your home while the other 20% is lost out of a chimney.  We recommend high-efficiency furnaces up to 95% AFUE. SEER rating rates only the performance of the condenser and evaporator. Airflow, charge, tight ducts and equipment size must be tuned to deliver maximum benefits. You can get more information about SEER at these sites:

http://www.udarrell.com/air-conditioner-capacity-seer.html
http://www.advancedenergy.org/buildings/knowledge_library/heating_and_cooling/seer_facts_bulletin.pdf
http://www.lacool.ws/SEER%20Tutorial.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_energy_efficiency_ratio
http://www.compactappliance.com/Buyers-Guide%3A-Air%3A-BTU,-EER,-SEER/BUYERS_GUIDE_AIR_BTU,default,pg.html

High-performance windows and entry doors

Your windows and doors have a significant impact on your energy efficiency. Up to 50% of home heating and cooling costs are the direct results of heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, much of it due to inefficient windows and doors. We recommend EnergyStar rated double-glazed, PVC or aluminum clad insulated windows, and insulated steel or fiberglass entry doors, with double glazed insulated glass inserts (per plan) to maximize energy savings.

Sealing your home

We further insulate our homes by using a low-infiltration building envelope sealing procedure to produce a highly efficient, environmentally friendly home. This process reduces air leakage; both from air getting out and from air getting in. Why is this significant? Because air leakage lets both hot or cold air and moisture enter your home. A properly sealed home greatly reduces the amount of air infiltration, thus reducing total energy consumption.

Energy Star® appliances

Energy Star qualified appliances, ranging from water heaters to dishwashers and most everything in between, have the approval of the U.S. Department of Energy. These energy saving products take advantage of advanced technology, resulting in far less energy and water consumption than standard appliances. We recommend energy-saving products and appliances in all of our Green Homes. To further conserve energy and save water we use water efficient toilets and faucets

Radiant Barrier sheathing

All of our Green homes are built to include radiant barrier sheathing on the roof. Radiant barrier sheathing is a roof sheathing product combined with a highly reflective foil, which acts as a reflective shield to block up to 97% of the sun’s radiant heat from entering your attic. This can reduce attic temperature up to 30 degrees compared to homes without the radiant barrier. Tests done by the Department of Energy have shown that ceiling-heat gains represent about 12% – 25% of the total house cooling load. Radiant barrier roof sheathing lowers peak cooling energy consumption by up to 17%, resulting in lower electricity bills.

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