To earn ENERGYSTAR, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Enviornmental Protection Agency. These homes are atleast 15% more energy efficient than homes built in accordance to the 2004 International Energy Conservation Code. These homes include additional energy saving features that typically make them 20-30% more efficient than standard homes.
ENERGYSTAR qualified homes will include a variety of "tried and true" energy efficiency features that contribute to improved home quality and homeowner comfort! Side effects include lower energy demand and reduced air pollution. The following are typical components of a high performance home:
1. EFFECTIVE INSULATION. properly installed and inspected insulation in floors, walls and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house. Insulation is a key to and energy efficient home, but simply having the right amount of insulation is not enough. If insulation is not properly installed: gaps, voids, compression or lack of contact with the air barrier (usually do to poor workmanship) reduces the effectiveness significantly. To earn ENERGYSTAR, the RKSEC energy rater is REQUIRED to inspect and approve the installation of all insulation. We will ensure your home is insulated properly.
2. HIGH PERFORMANCE WINDOWS. Energy efficient windows employ advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved strcture to reduce air leakage, prevent heat transfer, reduce thermal bridging and eliminate the transmission of ultraviolet light.
3. Tight Construction and Duct Work. Sealing holes, cracks, gaps and junctions of the building envelope in addition to sealing duct work, helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen and noise from entering the home. ENERGYSTAR certification requires that RKSEC verifies effective sealing techniques are deployed during our insulation inspection, air leakage reduction is verified through RKSEC leakage test(s), and ductwork outsided of the building envelope is properly insulated and sealed as verified by a duct leakage test.
4. Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment. In addition to using less energy to produce the required heating and cooling, energy efficient systems are a significant component of and ENERGYSTAR home. Besides being less costly to operate, they are typically quieter, reduce indoor humidity and improve the overall comfort of the home.
5. Efficient Products. ENERGYSTAR qualified homes are also equipped with ENERGYSTAR qualified products--lighting, ventilation fans and appliances. To earn ENERGYSTAR, the RKSEC certified energy rater is required to verifiy efficient products are used in the home.
6. Third Party Verification. From the design process and on to completion of the home, the RKSEC energy raters and analysts verify the design and conduct onsite testing and inspections to ensure the home meets ENERGYSTAR requriements.