As state and local building codes are updated each year, home builders are building more energy-efficient new homes and continue to reduce energy consumption from homes built in previous years. Improvements in insulation levels and window performance, as well as building envelope air leakage reduction, should result in a substantial step forward in saving energy and reducing monthly electric and gas bills for homeowners.
The average HERS Index Score in 2016 was 62. This is 38% more efficient than a home built as recently as 2006. With the rising costs of energy, this can add up to substantial savings over the course of a year.
The HERS Index (Home Energy Rating System) is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured and the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance.
Most people understand the importance of having a well-insulated home when it comes to energy efficiency; however, the energy performance ratings of windows, doors, and skylights are also very important as is sealing a home against air leakage.
- Insulation: Proper insulation offers one of the biggest energy-saving benefits. Proper insulation also provides added comfort and noise reduction, thus improving the overall livability of your home.
- Windows, Doors, and Skylights: Windows, doors, and skylights can gain and lose heat in several ways:
- Direct conduction through the glass or glazing, frame, and/or door. Low-E windows, doors, and skylights can protect your home from unwanted UV rays which can fade your carpets, and damage your furniture. They also help control radiant heat (infrared light) as it enters and leaves a room which keeps your house warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
- Radiation of heat into a house (typically from the sun), and out of a house from room-temperature objects, such as people, furniture, and interior walls.
- Air leakage through and around windows, doors, and skylights. The energy performance ratings of windows, doors, and skylights tell you their potential for gaining and losing heat, as well as transmitting sunlight into your home.
- Air Sealing: Energy efficiency and comfort is compromised when air enters a house uncontrollably through cracks and openings – this is called infiltration. Infiltration reduces energy efficiency and can cause problems with moisture, mold, and dust. Air sealing or properly sealing cracks and openings in your home can significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, improve building durability, and create a healthier indoor environment. Air sealing also reduces the likeliness of certain insects entering your home.
If you’re considering buying a new home in Eastern North Carolina, remember to consider more than just the price of the home, but also the cost of monthly heating and cooling bills. Energy-efficient new homes from McKee Homes can save you money every month and command a higher resale price while improving the quality of life enjoyed by you and your family.
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