So you’ve probably seen a blue, square sticker with a star in it last time you and your spouse were shopping for that sexy new appliance for your kitchen, right? Maybe you noticed it, maybe you didn’t. Well, that sticker is an indication that the appliance performs its function well, while also using substantially less energy than its competitors. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets aside rigorous specifications for appliances to achieve to earn this logo, and then each appliance is meticulously inspected and performance tested to verify that the specifications are met. And those same specifications also apply to new houses (or substantial rehabs).
1) Control. High performance homes have much more control over the heat flow, airflow and pressure, moisture, and indoor pollutants that plague traditionally built homes. In fact, diagnostic testing gives raw scientific data to prove this. No more guessing where those drafts and odours are coming from.
2) Comfort. Your home will be much more comfortable in all rooms, in all seasons. No more sleeping on a cot in the basement during the summer.
3) Efficiency. Your home will use less energy to provide the same level of comfort and quality of life. No more bank-breaking power bills.
4) Value. Not only do homeowners benefit from month-to-month energy savings, but the overall value of the home is substantially increased when a home earns ENERGY STAR. In fact, one research article out of the northwest indicates that new ENERGY STAR homes sell for about 8 per cent more than others, while existing homes that have ENERGY STAR sell for about 30 per cent more than others! No more worries about the cost of “green building.”[box]Corbett Lunsford is technical director of Green Dream Group and author of Home Performance Diagnostics: the Guide to Advanced Testing and serves as executive director of the Illinois Association of Energy Raters & Home Performance Professionals. In addition to performing hundreds of comprehensive home performance assessments and new ENERGY STAR Home certifications in Chicago, Corbett presents at home performance conferences across the U.S.[/box]