Solar water heating and photovoltaic panels have begun to drop in price and enable a person to invest in clean energy while recovering their investment in 8-10 years. This also qualifies as a tax credit.
Testing and Evaluation
Independent HERS (Home Energy Rating Standard) raters will evaluate the home to measure the home’s performance. They do this by evaluating all of the home’s components. As part of this evaluation, they will measure the air duct leakage, total home air leakage (blower door test), and do a visual inspection of the work at critical stages. This gives the homeowner independent third party certification, which enables the builder to make important changes if necessary, and also enables the homeowner to qualify for energy tax credits. The bottom line is energy savings to the homeowner.
Exterior wall systems such as Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), E-Crete, Rastra, and Adobe achieve high insulation values and superior interior comfort and sound quality. Insulation systems such as Demolac/Icynene, Polystyrene, Isocyanurate, blown-in cellulose, and blown-in fiberglass, can be combined to achieve superior insulation, low air leakage and sound quality. The proper usage of these materials will greatly lower energy costs and reduce energy consumption.
Mechanical systems have become very efficient, achieving 95% AFUE and higher. SEER ratings are increasing as well. These systems, for example, can be integrated to perform as one unit. For example, the boiler/radiant heat, domestic hot water, and solar water system can be combined or integrated into one system to reduce energy consumption. Mini-split heating/cooling modules can be used for remote areas of the house.
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality can be controlled by reducing the air pollutants within the home, such as formaldahydes, polyfinyl and Radons, and by introducing outside fresh air. An Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) distributes fresh air throughout the home by crossing exhaust air and the intake air while recovering approximately 50% of the heat.