Anatomy of an Energy Star
Omni Homes has made a commitment to our clients that
every home we build in River Landing this year will be Energy Star** certified. The benefits
are tremendous and it's something that can only be done while the home is
being built. In past newsletters we've defined the benefits (pdf): lower energy
costs, improved indoor air quality and greater durability. In this
newsletter, we want to explain how a home earns the certification, so
you'll be able to explain to your family, friends and neighbors how your
home earned the little blue sticker with the Energy Star logo inside your
Plan Review: Before construction begins,
your plan is reviewed by a certified RESNET home energy rater and a Manual
J is completed to insure that your HVAC system is sized correctly
for the heating and cooling requirements of your new home. Without
performing a Manual-J, HVAC contractors tend to install larger and more
expensive systems than your energy-efficient and tightly air-sealed home
radiant-barrier roof sheathing: Roof sheathing with a thin sheet of
aluminum laminated on the underside is installed on the roof. This reduces
the temperature of your attic by up to 40 degrees in the summer. A cooler
attic is a key element of lower energy bills.
Bypass Checklist: The Thermal Bypass Checklist is a comprehensive
visual inspection of building details where thermal bypass, or the movement
of heat around or through insulation, frequently occurs due to missing air
barriers or gaps between the air barriers and the insulation. Heat or air
passing through insulation greatly reduces it's R-Value. The thermal bypass
checklist is required for your insulation to function properly and as
efficiently as stated.
Energy Star Certified Windows and
Doors: In our mostly cooling climate, argon-insulated windows with
low-e coatings reflect the suns heat, greatly reducing the amount of
radiant heat passing through them and warming the air in your home.
High Efficiency Heat Pump and Proper Duct Sealing: A
high-efficiency heat pump (14-SEER or higher) combined with properly sealed
and insulated ducts decreases the work load on your HVAC equipment,
conserving energy and helping it last longer. The RESNET home energy rater
will conduct a duct blaster test to insure minimal air leakage in your duct
Effective Insulation: Omni uses blown cellulose
insulation to completely fill each wall cavity with insulating material.
The insulation is inspected by the home energy rater to insure there are no
gaps and voids. When using batt insulation, the sum of the gaps and voids
can add up to equal an entire non-insulated wall in your home.
Performance Testing: Once your new home is complete, the home energy
rater will perform a duct blaster and blower door test on your home using
thermal imaging to detect significant breaks in the air barrier. This
performance data provides the final information needed to determine the
energy-efficiency rating, or HERS index, your new home receives.
( View a Full Report
I hope you found this informative, if you have any
questions feel free to call or contact us through our website at any time.
Rick Batchelor ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
** To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet guidelines for
energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These
homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004
International Residential Code, and include additional energy-saving
features that typically make them 20-30% more efficient than standard