Progressive void-free framing and value engineered house plans.
Typically in framing, voids are created in corners and other areas that are difficult to insulate. This leads to energy loss, and creates drafts in the home. During construction, we follow specific framing patterns that facilitate the thorough insulation of your home. When the frame of the house is constructed, sheathing panels, housewrap, windows, doors, and siding are carefully installed, flashed, and sealed to create a weather barrier that deflects moisture back toward the outside of the walls. We also seal all base plates for a continuous air barrier and install foam around the windows and doors to prevent air loss. These practices will help save you money on your energy bills and create a more comfortable living environment in your home.
2x4 and 2x6 walls with superior R-19 insulation
The thicker the wall, the warmer the house in the winter and the cooler the house in the summer. That’s why we use 2x4 lumber for framing as standard in most of our communities, and thicker 2x6 lumber in select communities throughout our divisions. Using 2x6 walls adds depth and allows us to use a thicker and higher-rated R-19 insulation. R-value means resistance to heat flow. Insulation is rated on the “R” scale, with higher numbers translating to better insulation properties. For 2x6 walls, R-19 insulation exceeds the Department of Energy (DOE) recommendations for the regions we build in. Note: Most communities are built with 2x4 walls using R-15 insulation as standard. Select communities may deviate from the standard and be built with 2x6 walls using R-19 insulation. Please contact a community New Home Consultant for more information.
Low 'E' windows
Low-emissive (Low-E) glass is window glass that has been treated with an invisible metal or metallic oxide coating, creating a surface that reflects heat, while allowing light to pass through. Windows treated with Low-E coatings are proven to reduce energy consumption, decrease fading of fabrics, such as window treatments, and increase overall comfort in your home. In warmer climates, Low-E coating should be applied to the outside of window panes to keep the sun’s heat out. While in colder climates, Low-E coating should be applied to the inside of a pane of glass to keep heat trapped in. This way, radiant heat is kept on the same side of the glass from which it originated.
Radiant barrier to reduce internal heat gains
In select communities, radiant barriers are installed -- usually in attics -- primarily to reduce summer heat gain and reduce cooling costs. The barriers consist of a highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbing it. When the sun heats a roof, it's primarily the sun's radiant energy that makes the roof hot. Much of this heat travels by conduction through the roofing materials to the attic side of the roof. The hot roof material then radiates its gained heat energy onto the cooler attic surfaces, including the air ducts and the attic floor. A radiant barrier reduces the radiant heat transfer from the underside of the roof to the other surfaces in the attic.
TRANE® 16 SEER energy efficient heat pumps
SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” and is a measure of equipment energy efficiency over the cooling season. It represents the total cooling of a central air conditioner or heat pump (in Btu) during the normal cooling season as compared to the total electric energy input (in watt-hours) consumed during the same period.
For climates with moderate heating and cooling needs, heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house and during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.
Programmable thermostats reduce energy bills by tailoring the heating and cooling of a home to the homeowner's work and sleep schedule. Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or air-conditioning according to a pre-set schedule. Programmable thermostats can store and repeat multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program. You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill. In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling.
ENERGY STAR dishwashers
ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers use advanced technology to get your dishes clean while using less water and energy. A new, ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher will save, on average, 1,300 gallons of water over its lifetime. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. electricity is generated by burning coal and natural gas, which releases greenhouse gases and other air pollutants into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change and air quality problems. ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers use less energy than conventional models, which helps reduce air pollution and combat global climate change. By reducing water consumption, ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers also help protect our lakes, streams, and oceans.
Ceiling fans in family room and master bedroom
Ceiling fans are an inexpensive way to save energy costs at home. In the summer, use the ceiling fan in the counterclockwise direction. While standing directly under the ceiling fan you should feel a cool breeze. The airflow produced creates a wind-chill effect, making you 'feel' cooler. In the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space. Remember to adjust your thermostat when using your ceiling fan — additional energy and dollar savings could be realized with this simple step!
TESTING & VERIFICATION
Third party testing and verification for proper air duct sealing
Every ecoSelect is rated using the nationally-recognized HERS Index, and distinguished for going beyond minimum design standards in order to meet a higher level of indoor air quality and energy efficiency. The ecoSelect designation reassures homeowners that the home they are buying is not only energy efficient, but also more comfortable and healthier than standard code-built homes on the market. Through a series of comprehensive on-site inspections during the construction of the home, homeowners can buy with added confidence knowing their home is healthier, more comfortable and energy efficient.
H&H Homes' national HERS index score is an average of 63
The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry standard by which a home's energy efficiency is measured. It’s also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home's energy performance. A certified Home Energy Rater assesses the energy efficiency of a home, assigning it a relative performance score. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the home.
The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical resale home scores 130 on the HERS Index while a standard new home is awarded a rating of 100. The average H&H Home scores 63 on the HERS index, vastly outperforming other builders. By buying a new H&H Home, you could save up to $3,600 per year in energy costs.