ENERGY STAR Homes Defined
The now-ubiquitous Environmental Protection Agency credential is for more than household appliances and electronics
While Americans are accustomed to seeing the ENERGY STAR label attached to refrigerators, dishwashers, furnaces, and other household staples, new residential homes can also carry the moneysaving, environmentally conscious credential.
New homes claiming the ENERGY STAR label have been designed, built, and independently tested to meet strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In hitting these marks, ENERGY STAR-certified new homes use 15-30 percent less energy on an annual basis, which translates into cash savings for the homeowner and a reduced environmental impact.
To earn the ENERGY STAR certificate, an independent energy rater analyzes the home at three distinct phases: pre-insulation; pre-drywall; and a blower door test upon completion. Tests examine key elements such as the tightness of the home’s envelope, the effectiveness of insulation systems, and the efficiency of heating and cooling equipment.
Though all new Gallagher & Henry single-family homes are ENERGY STAR certified, only three out of every 100 newly built homes in Illinois earned the credential in 2017.
An ENERGY STAR-certified home includes:
- High-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems: ENERGY STAR homes are required to have high-efficiency HVAC equipment. Such mechanicals provide lower utility bills, increased comfort, decreased noise levels, and a constant source of filtered air to minimize indoor air pollutants.
- A thermal enclosure system: By sealing air leaks and installing high-performance windows and insulation, ENERGY STAR homes provide consistent temperatures throughout the home and optimize energy usage.
- A comprehensive water management system: Utilizing proven building practices and materials that protect foundations, roofs, and walls from water damage, ENERGY STAR homes limit the stress and expense moisture can inflict on a home.
- Energy efficient appliances and lighting. Packing homes with ENERGY STAR-certified appliances, lighting, fans, and more sparks savings on monthly utility bills and delivers quality performance.
Enjoy peace of mind with an ENERGY STAR home
When homebuyers purchase an ENERGY STAR-certified home they can rest assured that the home’s construction followed industry-leading construction practices that drive quality, durability, comfort, and, perhaps most importantly in today’s dollar-conscious world, lower cost of ownership and greater resale value since the ENERGY STAR certificate remains with the home.