You may be one of those individuals considering a new home in the Poconos who walks in the door of a model home and makes a beeline for the basement stairs so you can check out the HVAC system. We’ve heard they exist, but we’ve never actually met anyone like that.
And that’s not terribly surprising. Looking at features like insulation, electrical systems, furnaces and air conditioning just doesn’t have the same appeal as poring over potential floor plans, considering kitchen cabinets or mapping out how you’re going to set up your family room.
Taking a look behind the scenes at how your future home actually functions, however, is pretty important. Several different sources put household utilities and service among the top three expenses for Americans (and several others list utilities among the top five). The average American homewoner spends nearly $2,000 on energy every year. That’s something few people can afford to ignore.
An energy-efficient home can save you a lot of money on heating and cooling. But that’s not the whole story. Energy-efficient homes are also much more comfortable. Paying attention to your HVAC system before you build means you don’t have to think about it later.
That’s why we pay attention to RESNET (the Residential Energy Services Network) and to the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) when we’re building homes. RESNET is a nonprofit organization that has developed nationally recognized standards of energy efficiency. What that means for you is that when you’re comparing energy use in your home, you’re getting an “apples-to-apples” comparison and can know exactly what you’re getting from your systems.
The HERS rating system does the same kind of thing: it lets you know how your home compares to other homes with regard to optimal energy efficiency. That means you can be confident that your house was built with consideration to retaining heat in winter months and keeping rooms cool during the summer.
Here’s another benefit to looking behind the scenes and building a more energy efficient home: According to a study conducted by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon, newly built homes that were certified as energy efficient sold on average for 8 percent more than non-certified homes.
As a certified RESNET builder and Energy Star Partner, we take energy efficiency seriously and use it to the ensure the comfort of and savings to our clients. So while running to check out the HVAC system of a new home you’re considering in the Poconos may not be high on your “fun-things-to-do” list, it’s still a very important consideration before you decide to build.