Looking at two seemingly identical houses, one Energy Star/LEED Certified and the other minimally code complaint, you won’t notice much on the surface that seems to be different.
The code minimum house will be a little cheaper. Money’s tight, and you want to get the most for your money. So…don’t buy the cheaper house! Spending a little more on the energy-efficient home will save you money in the long run because of these differences in the construction:
- Higher standards of insulation installation, leading to a more weather-tight house.
- Prescribed detailing to virtually eliminate wind infiltration.
- Minimal usage of low performance insulation products such as fiberglass.
- Class 1 Cellulose insulation, a locally recycled product that is sustainable.
- More efficient heating systems and sealed ductwork to reduce air leakage.
- Floor system air sealing for greater comfort.
- Efficient doors and windows.
- Sealing around doors and windows with high performance materials.
- Sealed combustion direct vent heating equipment.
- No fuel smell from oil heating equipment.
- Attics and knee walls sealed from living spaces as if they were outdoors (which they are).
- Up to 35% heating cost savings.
- Minimum SEER 14 cooling equipment.
- Indoor comfort at lower temperatures because of reduced drafts.
- High efficiency lighting reduces lighting costs by 75%.
- Higher humidity levels are achievable without damage to house – approximately 40% for greater health and comfort indoors.
- Constant/periodic ventilation to refresh interior air.
- Gas stove hoods vent outdoors for fumes and cooking odors.
Bewildered by the buzzwords? Check out our Vocabulary page for all the definitions!