Building a High Performance Home
At Arbor Homes, we provide our clients with homes that not only provide years of comfort, pleasure and pride, but offer greater energy efficiency than many other options on the market. We utilize a number of innovative construction techniques to help achieve this goal, ranging from the installation of Energy Star-rated appliances to the use of 95%-efficient furnace systems. To start saving on your energy costs now, consider purchasing one of our newly built, energy-saving models.
One major factor that contributes to the energy efficiency of any home is the effectiveness of the home’s insulation. Since insulation has a significant impact on temperature management, it naturally affects the frequency with which you’ll need to use heating or cooling devices to ensure a comfortable atmosphere. When Arbor Homes constructs our homes, we use tightly packed, blown-in insulation, which boasts numerous advantages over rolled batting and other types of commonly used insulation.
Blown-in insulation’s primary benefit is its overall flexibility. Since the material is simply blown out of a hose when it’s installed, it can make its way into smaller spaces and oddly shaped crevices with ease, which enables it to provide more comprehensive protection from the elements. This not only delivers greater comfort, but typically results in a reduction in energy costs, too. Plus, due to its airtight nature, blown-in insulation helps to buffer external noise that might be heard within the home. Arbor Homes also uses foam insulation to seal penetrations at the top and bottom wall plates, as well as QuikFlash gaskets at wire, pipe, and vent penetrations of the exterior to tightly seal against air leakage.
Each time we construct a new Arbor home, we make sure it’s outfitted with a 95%-efficient furnace. While the Department of Energy only requires an efficiency rating of 80%, we utilize high-efficiency systems to ensure that our homes deliver better value in the long run. While such furnaces are more costly up front, they deliver significant savings over time, typically paying back the installation cost within several years of use. The location of the furnace in the home provides for over 90% of the ductwork to be placed within the conditioned envelope, which also reduces the amount of ductwork needed to move air more efficiently. All duct joints are sealed with mastic, greatly reducing heat loss, and the resulting system efficiency allows the furnace to perform better while at lower fan speed, reducing noise and cycling effects.
Other Ways We Maximize Energy Efficiency
In addition to carefully selecting the furnaces and insulation we use during home construction, we provide various other features that makes Arbor Homes stand out from the crowd. These include:
- Properly installed windows and weather barrier with flashings at all penetrations. After all those elements are complete, we take photos of the entire exterior and provide them to the owner on a jump drive for future reference.
- The top plate of all the upper floor walls has a gasket of Sill Seal, which prevents cold air from leaking down from the attic space between the drywall and the plate, emerging into the room through outlets or at the floor line
- Radiant barrier sheathing, which helps to reduce the temperature of your home’s upper level in the summer time
- Strong open-web joist systems that allow us to install ducting in conditioned areas
- Energy Star-rated appliances designed to use less energy and reduce emissions
- 100% LED lighting, which uses much less energy and lasts longer than incandescent bulbs
Improving Air Quality
To ensure the home is not leaking conditioned air to the outside, every home must be tested. We use a Blower Door test to measure leakage, by literally sucking the air out of the home, and measuring the amount of air that can leak in with a constant vacuum pressure maintained. To receive an Energy Performance Score (EPS), the home must pass this test with a score of 5.0 or less. Our homes typically score in the 3.2 range, one of the best averages in the industry.
What happens in such a tight home? The air stays in it. That includes everything from pet odors, chemical cleaner fumes, off-gassing from furniture, last night’s dinner, to depreciating oxygen. To avoid such unpleasantness, the home is equipped with a fresh air intake system that ensures good air in, bad air out, in a controlled manner. The furnace filter is Merv 11 rated, to remove far more particulates than a traditional filter. We have implemented Radon measures for safety. Bottom line: A new home must be more than great looking, it should be energy efficient AND safe for your family to live in.
Help Us Help You
Have you dreamed of a home with timeless aesthetics combined with financial and environmentally responsible energy efficiency? Arbor Homes is armed with nearly three decades of experience in helping our customers achieve this goal, and we’re happy to make it happen for you. Contact one of our Realtors today to learn more.