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Benefits of Owning an ENERGY STAR Qualified Home
The ENERGY STAR for New Homes initiative promotes energy efficiency guidelines that enable new homes to be approximately 25 percent more energy efficient than those built to minimum provincial building codes. The increased efficiency of these homes translates into reduced energy costs for homeowners. ENERGY STAR qualified new homes are built to strict technical specifications by licensed ENERGY STAR builders. The homes are then verified by independent Energy Advisors (EA). You can benefit from this rating in a variety of ways.
You will be pleased to see the monthly energy savings in an ENERGY STAR qualified new home. These savings typically compensate for any additional costs that may be charged initially for the energy-saving features.
Improved air quality = health and comfort
Air movement in your house, especially in the winter, causes draughts that make you feel uncomfortable. ENERGY STAR qualified homes have higher levels of air tightness and a heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) provides superior comfort levels as they keep indoor air fresh and maintain proper humidity levels.
Less energy expended = fewer pollutants
Homes account for about 1/4 of all energy use in Canada. As ENERGY STAR qualified homes are more energy-efficient, they can help reduce air pollution and lessen other environmental problems, such as climate change.
Features of an ENERGY STAR Qualified Home
ENERGY STAR technical specifications for New Homes cover several areas:
Heating and Cooling Systems
- All furnaces and heat pumps are ENERGY STAR qualified.
- Ducts gain efficiency by providing heating and cooling to designated areas only. To accomplish this, duct and all take-offs are sealed. This means that less heat is lost as air moves from the furnace to the living areas of your home and air conditioning is evenly and properly distributed.
Windows, Patio Doors and Skylights
- All must be ENERGY STAR qualified. This feature alone could cut more than 10% off your energy costs.
Walls and Ceilings
- There is more insulation in the ceilings and walls of ENERGY STAR qualified homes. This reduces heat loss, puts less strain on your heating and cooling systems and keeps your house more comfortable.
Ventilation and Air Leakage
- ENERGY STAR qualified new homes must meet rigorous air-tightness targets. Reduced air movement through the building envelope, means less drafts for the homeowner. Inclusion of an ENERGY STAR qualified heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) creates improved air quality. There may be additional homeowner savings if builders supply ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and lighting.