Its a good question. And it deserves a good answer. A green home uses less energy, water and natural resources; creates less waste and is healthier and more comfortable for the occupants.
Benefits of a green home include lower energy and water bills; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and less exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. The net cost of owning a green home is comparable to that of owning a conventional home. Many companies today claim to be "Green Builders". We thought it necessary to define "Green Builder" if we were going to become one. There are any number of "Green Building" practices available to home builders. These range from simple, inexpensive practices that result in an energy efficient home to more expensive approaches such as solar or geo-thermal heating and exotic "green" materials that do not emit harmful gases into the environment. The list is long and getting longer. A "green builder" should have as a goal to build a home that has the least impact possible on the environment and requires the least amount of energy to sustain. The following categories are what we concentrate on as a Green Home Builder.
Energy savings of up to 50% can be realized just by incorporating some of the following techniques. Check out the information below.
Sealing and insulating the "envelope" or "shell" of your home -- its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors -- is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. ENERGY STAR estimates savings of up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% of the total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating properly.
As the home is under construction, we are incorporating strict practices in sealing the outer envelope of your home. All homes are wrapped with house wrap and all seams and connections to windows and doors are taped according to Georgia Energy Code and Energy Star requirements. We also use a seal under the walls of the home where it sits on the foundation. This prevents air losses and leaks which can zap a home of heating and cooling causing high energy bills. We pay particular attention to weather stripping around all windows and doors.
One of the best investments a homeowner can make in their new home is to provide adequate insulation. We adhere to Georgia Energy Code and Federal Energy Star requirements for all insulation in your home. This includes higher R-value insulation in the walls, floors and ceilings of your home. Read more about Air Seal and Insulation at:
As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. So making smart decisions about your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills, and your comfort.
We also comply with Georgia Energy Code and federal Energy Star requirements for the heating and cooling systems in our homes. A 13 SEER rating is the minimum efficiency rating we use with heat pumps. In addition, all duct work is insulated and sealed to the system for minimal heating and cooling loss. We also seal all vents and air returns to the floors, walls and ceilings to prevent additional losses. As of 2009, the minimum SEER rating for North Georgia will go to 14. We also offer dual fuel systems which are hybrid electric/gas systems which can provide you with even more options in controlling your energy costs.
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The average household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills — nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 or more per year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings. Programmable thermostats on all heating and cooling systems allow you to minimize energy consumption while still maintaining a comfortable home. In addition, programmable thermostats are now available with WIFI controlled features. You can control your heating and air from you mobile device anywhere you are. They also have features allowing the import of fresh air into your home, conditioning it (heating, cooling, dehumidifying) before it get into your home.
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Windows and doors can be one of your home's most attractive features. They provide views, day lighting, ventilation, and solar heating in the winter. Unfortunately, they can also account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill. We work with the homeowner to select windows and doors that meet their design and aesthetic requirements, but more importantly, energy efficiency requirements. All of our windows and doors comply with Georgia Energy Code and Federal Energy Star specifications. All glass is at least double pane, argon gas filled, low-E to provide you with the minimum heating and cooling losses resulting in lower energy bills.
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ENERGY STAR qualified lighting products provide bright, warm light but uses about 75% less energy than standard lighting, produce 75% less heat, and lasts up to 10 times longer. You can save about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime. Ceiling fan/light combination units that have earned the ENERGY STAR are about 50% more efficient than conventional fan/light units. This can save you more than $15 per year on utility bills. ENERGY STAR lighting is an option in all of our homes. energy efficient lighting is also available in WIFI controlled products. These can be programmed and controlled by WIFI even when you are not at home.
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When buying an appliance, remember that it has two price tags: what you pay to take it home and what you pay for the energy and water it uses. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10–50% less energy and water than standard models. The money you save on your utility bills can more than make up for the cost of a more expensive but more efficient ENERGY STAR model. We use ENERGY STAR appliances in our homes.
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