Creating an energy-efficient home requires careful planning that involves the design and construction of the home and the choice of appliances, lighting, and heating and air conditioning systems that keep the occupants comfortable. Choosing energy-efficient practices and products can save homeowners hundreds or thousands of dollars a year in reduced energy costs.
By constructing a home that is well insulated, you can save money by reducing the amount of air leakage into the home. Cold air that enters the home through poorly insulated walls, windows, attic, basement, or crawl spaces lowers the indoor temperature. It then costs more money to warm the home to a comfortable temperature. By well insulating a home, cold air can be kept out, which contributes to lower winter heating bills.
Another important factor in energy efficiency is choosing the right windows. Energy-efficient windows with low-e coatings reflect warm air back into the home in the winter and reflect hot air back outside in the summer, which helps to keep the home at a comfortable temperature year-round. Energy-efficient glass can also regulate the amount of heat from the sun that enters the home. The need to allow heat in or keep it out depends on climate. Choosing the right windows for your location can help to keep your home heating and cooling bills down.
Another potential source of energy savings is in the heating and cooling systems. Using an energy-efficient furnace, programmable thermostat, energy-efficient air conditioning system, and multiple heating and cooling zones can allow you to keep your home at a comfortable temperature while reducing the amount of energy consumed.
Other components, such as an energy-efficient hot water heater and lighting, can contribute to additional energy reductions and cost savings.
The HERS Index is a rating system that compares the energy efficiency of a home to a reference home that complies with a minimum set of energy efficiency standards. The lower the HERS value, the more energy-efficient the home. A reference home has a HERS rating of 100, while an Energy Star home has a rating of 85 and a Five-Star Plus home has a rating of 70. By Carrier’s homes have a HERS rating of 50, making them among the most energy-efficient homes available.