Energy Efficiency- What does this mean?

Being Energy Efficient is a hot topic these days.You can’t miss all the advertising we see on a daily basis about how to be energy efficient and the simple things we can do in our own homes each day.

So what does it mean to be truly energy efficient? According to Wikipedia Energy efficiency is using less energy to provide the same level of energy service.

So what if you are building a new home? How can you be more energy efficient? One way to be energy efficient is thru the Energy Star Program. If your builder is an energy star builder they should build using a variety of features such as; Tight Construction and Ducts, Effective Insulation, Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment, High Performance Windows, Energy efficient lighting, ventilation and appliances, and also go thru an Independent Testing process.

The Independent Testing process is one of the most crucial items your builder should go thru in order to be an Energy Star builder. This process allows the builder to partner up with Energy Star by going thru a verification process after your home has been built. An Energy star rater actually conducts an onsite inspection and testing to verify the performance of energy efficiency within your new home. Be sure to visit us at www.mccaulhomes.com for more information on the Energy Star program, as we are a 5+ Energy Star builder.

If you are not building a new home, here are the Top 5 ways to make your existing home Energy Efficient;

1. Use CFLs

Replace your incandescent light bulbs (the cheap ones you probably got at the grocery store) with ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). By replacing even your five most frequently used light bulbs, you’ll save $100 per year.

2. Program Your Thermostats

Save 10% on your heating and cooling costs just by setting your thermostat back when you’re not home and while you’re sleeping. Program your thermostat to 78 degrees F or higher in the summer and 62 degrees F or lower in the winter..

3.  Plant a Tree

Shade trees can significantly lower your cooling costs by up to 25% . They also make your home more comfortable, and provide habitat for song birds. In addition, properly placed trees and shrubs act as windbreaks, shielding your home from cold winds and reducing heating costs by 20%.

4. Go Low Flow

 Install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators to save resources without sacrificing water pressure. An efficient showerhead will save a family of four up to $285 per year. They can cost less than $15, and installing them couldn’t be easier: they just screw on.

5. Tune up your HVAC

HVAC maintenance is key to healthy and efficient heating and cooling. Get a professional tune-up every two years. It will cost around $100, but will save 5% to 10% on your heating and cooling bills. Also, clean or replace your filter every month. Dirty filters block normal airflow and significantly reduce the efficiency of the system, which wastes your money.