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What is a RESNET SmartHome?
September 20, 2013
The Residential Energy Services Network’s (RESNET) SmartHome is a conceptual idea of what an energy efficient home should be.
Why is the RESNET SmartHome So Smart?
Using a combination of energy efficient home design, features and lifestyle practices, the RESNET SmartHome reduces unnecessary energy consumption, cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions and provides homeowners with a healthier and more comfortable living environment. The RESNET SmartHome also offers homeowners significant financial savings in the form of lower utility bills in comparison to conventional homes. And with its low HERS® Index Score (the HERS Index is the nationally recognized system for calculating a home’s energy performance), homebuyers and owners can immediately see how energy efficient it is in comparison to other similar homes.
What Are Some of the RESNET SmartHome’s Energy-Saving Features?
Here are five features that you’ll find in the RESNET SmartHome that keeps its energy bills low, and home comfort levels high!
1. Thermal Boundary
Let’s start with the exterior of the RESNET SmartHome. This is known as the home’s “envelope” or “shell” and, in the case of the RESNET SmartHome, has been properly sealed against air infiltration (air leaking in from outside) and air ex-filtration (air leaking out from inside). The energy efficient windows with low thermal emissivity glass (low-E glass) form an effective barrier, ensuring that heat loss is kept to a minimum.
The combination of air sealing and proper insulation keeps the home comfortable and could save the RESNET SmartHome more than $200 a year or up to 10% on annual energy bills.
Insulation plays a major role in making a home energy efficient. The RESNET SmartHome is well insulated and sealed against air leaks and hidden cracks, especially in areas such as attics and crawlspaces, which can let in as much air as an open window.
A combination of energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED lights ensures that lighting in the RESNET SmartHome is as energy efficient as possible. LED lighting, for example, not only uses less electricity to produce the same amount of light as conventional light bulbs, but it’s also solid state, which means it is more resistant to shocks and vibrations. The advantages of CFLs include:
- 75% less energy use than incandescent bulbs
- Pay for themselves in 6 months
- Last 10 times longer than incandescent ones
- Generate 70% less heat than incandescent bulbs
4. Energy Efficient Appliances
The appliances in the RESNET SmartHome are all energy efficient versions. When you consider that appliances are responsible for nearly 20% of the average household’s energy bill, using energy efficient models can translate into significant financial savings. In fact, some energy efficient models use 1/3 less energy than their non-efficient counterparts.
5. HVAC System
Like most homes in the U.S., a furnace acts as the main source of heat in the RESNET SmartHome. However, the ENERGY STAR furnace in the RESNET SmartHome has an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90%, making it as much as 15% more efficient than other furnace models. In addition to the energy efficient furnace, the ducts in the RESNET SmartHome are properly sealed and insulated. Improperly sealed ducts can result in up to 10% heat loss.
A third-party home energy rater has verified that all the systems in the RESNET SmartHome are operating in an energy efficient manner.
How to Get a RESNET SmartHome
While the RESNET SmartHome is a concept home, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one! Essentially, when you buy an energy efficient home, you are buying a RESNET SmartHome. The initial costs might be higher in comparison to buying a standard home, but they are more than offset over the long-term by the lower energy bills and maintenance costs that energy efficient homeowners enjoy. And when you factor in the increased level of home comfort and higher property value, the initial outlay is more than justified.
Homeowners can convert their existing homes into RESNET SmartHomes as well. By investing in energy efficiency improvements, they can lower their energy bills, increase their home comfort and improve their quality of life.
- See a list of RESNET EnergySmart Builders who specialize in building energy efficient homes.
- Find Certified RESNET Home Energy Auditors and Raters in your area.
- Find RESNET Qualified Contractors in your area that specialize in energy efficiency improvements.
- Learn more about available Energy Tax Credits and Energy Mortgages that can help you finance the cost of an energy efficient home or energy efficiency improvements to existing homes.
Learn More About the RESNET SmartHome
The RESNET SmartHome is what every home in America should aspire to be! Packed with energy-saving features, this energy efficient home provides its owners with lower utility costs, improved home comfort and a higher resale value. The best part is that with energy efficiency improvements, any existing home can also become a RESNET SmartHome.
To learn more, take a tour of the interactive RESNET SmartHome room-by-room to see how it’s been optimized for maximum energy efficiency.
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