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Home Energy Raters

April 3, 2012

If you’re thinking of building your own home, it only makes sense to work with a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater. Why? Because while others are others are dealing with soaring energy costs and retrofitting their homes to be more energy efficient, you’ll already have potentially saved thousands of dollars in these sorts of costs. Not only that, you’ll also be doing your part in protecting the environment, because an energy efficient home is one that works with nature and not against it.

Did you know that 20% of all greenhouse gases in the United States are generated by homes that aren’t energy efficient? Which means that in addition to high utility bills, homes that aren’t built energy efficiently are also major environmental polluters. In addition, such homes also tend to be badly designed and insulated, leading to lower comfort levels and higher rates of illness for the inhabitants.

Some reasons why you should design your home with energy efficiency in mind:

  • Save money in energy costs
  • Increase your comfort
  • Protect your family’s health
  • Save the environment by reducing carbon emissions

Certified Home Energy Raters can work with architects and building designers on how to incorporate energy saving features directly into a home when designing and building it. Among some of the things they take into consideration are (as according to the book: Energy Efficiency in Architecture: An overview of design concepts and architectural interventions):

  • Incorporating solar passive techniques in a building design to minimize load on conventional systems (heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting).
    • Passive systems provide thermal and visual comfort by using natural energy sources and sinks e.g. solar radiation, outside air, sky, wet surfaces, vegetation, internal gains etc. Energy flows in these systems are by natural means such as by radiation, conduction, convection with minimal or no use of mechanical means. The solar passive systems thus, vary from one climate to the other e.g. in a cold climate an architects’ aim would be design a building in such a way that solar gains are maximized, but in a hot climate his primary aim would be to reduce solar gains, maximize natural ventilation and so on.
  • Design energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning).
    • Once the passive solar architectural concepts are applied to a design, the load on conventional systems (HVAC and lighting) is reduced. Further, energy conservation is possible by judicious design of the artificial lighting and HVAC system using energy efficient equipment, controls and operation strategies.
  • Use renewable energy systems (solar photovoltaic systems/solar water heating systems) to meet a part of building load.
    • The pressure on the earth’s non-renewable resources can be alleviated by judicious use of earth’s renewable resources i.e. solar energy. Use solar energy for meeting electrical needs for a building can further reduce consumption of conventional forms of energy.
  • Use low energy materials and methods of construction and reduce transportation energy.
    • An architect also should aim at efficient structural design, reduction of use of high energy building material (glass, steel etc.) and transportation energy and use of low energy buildings materials.

All of these factors contribute to a healthier, happier and more cost effective home, not to mention the positive impact on the environment. A RESNET EnergySmart Builder can help you in planning and building your new energy efficient home.

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