Important Design Considerations for Energy Efficient Homes

Important Design Considerations for Energy Efficient Homes

Exerpt from:  DOE Building America Best Practices Series: Volume 4 – Builders and Buyers Handbook for Improving New Home Efficiency, Comfort, and Durability in the Mixed-Humid Climate

Mixed-Humid Design Features

Diagram of an energy-efficient house designA. Efficient Windows: help to control and reduce ultraviolet light that can fade carpets and furniture, helping to keep your belongings looking like new and keeping window areas cooler and more comfortable to sit near. Window flashing protects against water leaks.

B. Compact and Tightly Sealed Duct Runs: shorter runs mean less to go wrong and fewer air leaks to put air where it is intended to go, with fewer contaminants like humidity and dust from attics or crawlspaces. Leaky ducts are a major contributor to mold problems. Return air paths ensure balanced air pressure for less drafts and more balanced temperatures throughout the house. Put ducts in conditioned space,
if possible.

C. Right-Sized and High-Efficiency HVAC Equipment: costs less to install than bigger equipment, saves energy, and is designed to comfortably handle heating and cooling loads. (more…)

ENERGY STAR Program History

EPA began offering the ENERGY STAR® label in 1995. After remaining unchanged for the first 10 years, EPA has revised the thresholds for ENERGY STAR-labeled new homes twice in the last 6 years, raising the bar against a background of improving building technology and evolving energy codes.

Initially the program guidelines focused on improvements in several key areas-reduced energy loss through higher-efficiency windows and doors, tighter overall building shell, tighter HVAC ductwork and more efficient heating and cooling equipment, and independent third-party verification from certified home energy raters. (more…)